Since the playoffs started, the news and media have flocked to Boston Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas and it’s no secret why. Any NBA fan can tell you Isaiah Thomas has been Boston’s best player since he arrived a little over 2 years ago. His breakout, MVP-like season had everyone in the league talking about the 5’9″ bulldog point guard that scores at will. Sadly, just before the opening round of the Celtics-Bulls series, Thomas’ younger sister passed away. His performances since then have been nothing short of spectacular.
Facing an 0-2 deficit against the Chicago Bulls, the Celtics needed more than just what Thomas was giving them. They needed help from role players, and no one has been more of a help than former-Cardinal Terry Rozier. Boston won 4 consecutive games to eliminate the Bulls. Terry scored 27 points in those 4 games and was often times Boston’s biggest contributor off the bench. Currently, the Celtics are up 2-0 on the Washington Wizards. Isaiah Thomas has dominated headlines scoring 33 and 53 points in games 1 and 2, respectively. Still, it was Terry’s solid all-around play that aided Thomas’ efforts.
In game 1, Terry recorded 8 rebounds, good for 2nd on the team, in only 15 minutes of play. In game 2, Terry grabbed 6 more rebounds, dished out 4 assists and dropped 12 points, none bigger than his 3-pointer from the corner with 1:38 left to the tie the game at 110-110. The shot came off a beautiful pass by the Celtic all-star Isaiah Thomas, which shows tremendous confidence the 2nd year Rozier to hit a big shot when it mattered most.
People were surprised when Terry was taken 16th overall by the Celtics. Louisville fans knew his ability and knew it was only a matter of time for others to learn how special of a player Rozier has come to be. He’s been heralded by Coach Brad Stevens as one of the best defensive rebounders on the team, along with being one of the best on-ball defenders on a team that consists of defensive juggernauts like Avery Bradley and Marcus Smart. Entering last night, Terry Rozier had the best Plus/Minus of ANY player in the NBA playoffs. Rozier was +94 in 128 minutes, oh, and he had 0 turnovers in that span (full stats not yet updated after last night).
It may have been gradual, and there will still be ups and downs in his young NBA career, but the former-Louisville star is doing what all of CardNation knew he could do. Now, the whole world is seeing it. His role will likely increase due to his consistently stellar play, and for that we can’t be happier for him. Keep it up, Terry.