Rozier posts triple-double, sets career-highs in first career start
If you haven't hopped on the Terry Rozier hype train yet, this might be one of your last chances to get on-board so act quickly. Getting his first official career start in the NBA tonight against the New York Knicks due to Kyrie Irving's absence, the Boston Celtics' third-year guard put his much-improved play this year on display for everyone to see as he posted his first career triple-double.
Scoring 17 points, grabbing 11 boards, and tallying 10 dimes, Rozier set career-highs in both assists and rebounds with those marks as he simply outworked Knick defenders all night long.
If all this isn't enough for you to take in as is, what might be more impressive about his performance was the fact he already hit the milestone with about seven and a half minutes to go in the game. Terry didn't even need a full tilt to become the second player to tally a triple-double their first career start since the NBA began recording which players started in box-scores in 1970-71.
While many folks across the NBA and supporters of other squads have mostly heaped praise on the Green's two most-recent top draft picks, Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum, this season, fans here have seen #12's rise coming for some time now.
Starting last year while he began to cut out a role for himself off the bench paired with other backup guard, Marcus Smart, Rozier has endeared himself to the blue-collar Boston fan-base with his play. Hustling non-stop while he's on the court and following in Smart's footsteps in being a bulldog who will simply outwork his man regardless of the situation, the former Louisville Cardinal has been huge in a lot of wins.
Tonight was also special for Terry because this was a completely new milestone for him. Asked about his performance, the Celtics budding young guard noted it was his first-career triple-double at any level of basketball including his high school days.
#Celtics Terry Rozier said it was his first-ever triple double. Asked about high school, said: "Nah, I would go out and get you 60, but not anything else."
As someone who's been a pretty big Terry supporter for a while now and sees him as one of "our guys" who makes the team who they are, this game is especially gratifying.
From seeing him as a rookie who would come off the bench a couple minutes at a time sparingly, to developing into one of our backup guards last season, to now watching him become one of the team's most exciting players, it's almost personally rewarding because you feel like you've invested so much observing his growth. Rozier not only is an embodiment of Boston basketball with his hard-nosed play but he's an embodiment of the city as well considering his career arc and his example as someone reaping the benefits of hard-work in an aforementioned, blue-collared town.
While any player who records a triple-double is going have a pretty insane stat line, the third-year Celtic did it on a night he played phenomenal on the defensive end too. Recording two blocks and two steals apiece as well, the Youngstown, OH, native was all over Knicks scorers and it seemed like he was in on almost every play for stretches.
One could simply look at the box-score and see Terry's plus-minus of +32 on the night and they could guess how this game probably went. Holding the Knicks to under 75 points total, the 103-73 final score doesn't even really speak for how bad things we're for most of the second half for New York.
I'm sure as most of us do, head coach Brad Stevens is probably hoping he can get this type of play from his backup point-guard down the line and specifically in the playoffs come late-April. President, and GM, Danny Ainge may look to retool a little bit before the deadline to give Rozier and the second-unit a little bit of a face-lift as the Green should be suitors for a few different players.
Realistically, one would think this type of play off the bench from him would solve most of the issues the C's are experiencing there but this came while #12 was playing with the first-unit. But regardless of what has been propelling his stellar play recently, Terry is definitely making a case to be a part of the organization's future plans and I'd love to see him here for a while.
Here's to messing around and getting many more triple-doubles (and social media shout-outs from NBA superstars), King Terry!