Boston Celtics 2017-18 player preview: Terry Rozier

CLEVELAND, OH - MAY 21: Terry Rozier
CLEVELAND, OH - MAY 21: Terry Rozier /

Point guard Terry Rozier is poised to have a breakout season and be a steady presence in the rotation for the Boston Celtics in 2017-18.

Bench play is always a must-need when it comes to a team’s playoff success. And for the Boston Celtics, it is no different.

Now entering his third-year, Terry Rozier is ready to capitalize on what is to perceived to be a substantial increase in playing time in 2017-18.

Rozier found a solid role for the Celtics in 2016-17. Coming off the bench, Rozier played in 74 games in as Boston battled through various injuries to guards in much of the season.

Opening the check book for Gordon Hayward and trading for Kyrie Irving were part of a major roster overhaul in the offseason. Rozier is one of only a handful of players returning, meaning he will be a veteran presence in only his third year.

Looking back at 2016-17

Boston Celtics
BOSTON, MA – OCTOBER 2: Terry Rozier /

Rozier, as a rookie in 2015-16, bounced back and forth between Boston and the Maine Red Claws.

Last season saw much improvement from Rozier as he averaged 5.5 points, 3.1 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game. He did so while shooting 36.7% from the field in 17.1 minutes per play.

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The now third-year guard out of Louisville put up numbers in the playoffs consistent with those of the regular season. Four times Rozier scored in double figures in Boston’s playoff run.

Rozier’s scored a season-high 16 points in a December victory over Orlando. A loss in March to Philadelphia found Rozier scoring 14 points and collecting 10 rebounds.

Previewing 2017-18

The rebounding Rozier brings to the court will be much needed, especially with Avery Bradley no longer in town.

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A rebounding guard is always a plus, especially one who is at the point. Rozier has the ability to do both, which will be required if he is going to be a strong leader on the second unit.

Rozier will be a trusted ball handler and spark plug in that unit. If he continues to improve, the Boston Celtics and head coach can take advantage of the versatility of Marcus Smart. Smart will likely be used off the bench, but having Rozier play more minutes will give Smart the chance to post up more.

Rozier’s defense will also come into play. Boston lost two of their best defenders in Bradley and Jae Crowder. Rozier has shown glimpses of what he can do and will need to continue to impress on the defensive end.

If all goes according to plan, look for Rozier to average over 20 minutes per game this season. The point total from Rozier could even creep into double digits. The Celtics have plenty of scorers, but their all-star level ability will open things up for Rozier even more.

Next: Boston Celtics 2017 player preview and predictions: Gordon Hayward

Regressing is not really option at this point. Danny Ainge has put a lot of eggs in the Kyrie Irving basket. Rozier’s ability to spell Irving for sometimes long stretches will be a key to the team’s success.

Is Rozier the only key? Of course not. However, his progress will be a difference in whether the Celtics get to be the bride or are once again left behind as a bridesmaid.