Is it time for Celtics Terry Rozier to be a starter?
Yes, once Marcus Smart returns from injury, it just may be time for Terry Rozier to start in the backcourt with Kyrie Irving. In yesterdays' awful loss to the Cavaliers on Paul Pierce Day, Terry was one of the few bright spots. He played the most minutes of any Celtic (33), scored 21 points on 6/15 field goals, 3/8 on threes and 6/7 from the foul line. He grabbed nine rebounds, handed out five assists, blocked one shot, had roughly one-third of the team's total free throw attempts (7/22) and turned the ball over only once.
T-Ro is averaging 31.1 MPG in the last six games, and his production in those games roughly mirrors what he did yesterday. He has become a legitimate two-way player and keeps progressing, reminding us a lot of Avery Bradley. He can now hit from anywhere and drive into the paint. He has become a better distributor, and his rebounding, once again, is Bradley-like. This video below puts Terry's various talents on display:
Whether Danny Ainge chooses to retain Rozier or use him as a future trade chip on a major deal, starting him next to Kyrie Irving may be the way to go. Terry is an intense competitor and would serve to motivate his fellow-starters. Marcus Smart serves the same purpose on the second unit, and his ball-distribution skills are put to their best use there. Moving Jaylen Brown to the second unit, but keeping his minutes at the current level, would not be a demotion. No one matches Marcus for ferocity, and Jaylen can sometimes need a bit of that.
Terry Rozier is averaging starter-like minutes over the last six games. He wants to be a starter and feels he deserves it. It may be time for Brad Stevens to experiment a bit more with his most-frequently-used starting lineup. The team's energy and focus seem to be faltering lately, and as much as I have criticized Marcus Smart's wall punchings, no one brings more energy to the floor than he does. It is time to distribute the energy that T-Ro and Smart bring. Terry as a starter and Marcus as a backup point guard might just work on a few levels. It may be time to try it.
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Photo via Brian Fluharty/USA TODAY Sports
Video via DownToBuck