What to think of Terry Rozier's recent cut in playing time

Terry Rozier has registered two straight Did Not Plays against the Knicks and Grizzlies after having none this season. His minutes are clearly on the decline. Should we make anything of this, or is it solely matchup-based and riding the hot hand?

Check out Rozier's decline in minutes per game over the last 10 contests:

The first classic overreaction here is that Rozier is on the verge of being traded. "Noel for Rozier! That must explain it right?" Wrong. There is no real substance behind this, it's just some of the media taking a story and running with it.

In reality, it seems like there are three much more basic and boring reasons for Rozier's prolonged time riding the pine recently.

The first is because Brad Stevens is looking to his veteran guard Gerald Green more often now than he was earlier in the season. As a result, it has been cutting into Rozier's minutes with the second unit. While Rozier hasn't seen playing time in the last two contests, Green has played more than 30 minutes and has excelled off the bench.

Secondly, the Celtics have been healthy recently after starting the season with sporadic absences of key players like Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, and Marcus Smart. The more time that passes by from those respective injuries, the more confidence they and the coaches will have in keeping them on the court for longer periods of time.

On top of this, can you think of the last time the Celtics were part of a blowout? Or even had a very comfortable lead for that matter? Most games have been coming down to the wire, which has forced Stevens to play starters and key bench players rather than letting youngsters take over.

Rozier's minutes per game have declined each month since the start of the 2016-17 season from 24 in the few October games, to 17.9 in November, and now down to 16.8 in December. Do you agree with why this is happening? Let me hear your thoughts in the comments.

Follow Erik Johnson on Twitter: @erikjohnson32

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