Boston Celtics: Deep bench proving worth through bout of injuries

DENVER, CO - JANUARY 29: Mason Plumlee
DENVER, CO - JANUARY 29: Mason Plumlee /

A collection of different players continue to step up for the Boston Celtics as the team battles through an array of injuries.

Terry Rozier has really ratcheted up his play since being inserted into the starting lineup for the Boston Celtics.

And considering he was already in the midst of a solid season, that speaks volumes as to what his peak might be.

Rozier followed up a triple-double performance in a victory over the New York Knicks with a 31-point outburst in a 119-110 victory over the Atlanta Hawks. The 31-points were a career-high for the third-year guard.

Kyrie Irving, Marcus Morris, Marcus Smart and Shane Larkin all missed the game with injuries. Alongside Rozier, the Celtics continue to get productive output from players up and down the bench.

Finding ways to win — with contributions from players 1-12 — will be needed come April.

Irving missed his second straight game with a quad contusion. One week after shouldering the load in almost defeating the Warriors, Irving has temporarily given way to Rozier.

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Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown have also seemed to find their way after brief struggles in January. Tatum scored a career-high 27 points in the victory over Atlanta while Brown added 19.

It is the play of guys like Larkin, Daniel Theis and Aron Baynes, however, showing the league that Boston is much more than just its stars.

Larkin, Theis providing Boston Celtics with depth

Numbers don’t always tell the story when it comes to the collection of bench players providing adequate support for the Celtics.

Larkin is one of those examples.

He has missed the past three games, but in the two before that, his responsibilities had grown. Against the Clippers and the Warriors, Larkin played a total of 39 minutes, attempting 17 shots in these two games (though he only made four).

Among these players, power forward Theis has seen the most playing time. His minutes have increased with each passing month (11.9 in Nov.., 13.7 in Dec., and up to 16.4 in January.) along with his production. In January, Theis averaged 6.3 points and 5.1 rebounds, bringing his season average up to 4.9 and 4.2, respectively, in 51 games.

Players like Abdel Nader (24 games) and Semi Ojeleye (47 games) have also given Boston productive minutes.

This is to not also forget Baynes, who has become a mainstay in the starting lineup at center.

The rumored addition of Greg Monroe will hopefully only make the Celtics deeper and better.

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The depth built now will give the Celtics the upper hand needed in the playoffs. First, getting healthy and seeing how a future rotation shakes out.

For now, it’s fun watching Rozier continue to do his thing.