Despite a poor Game 7 in the Eastern Conference Finals, Terry Rozier proved to be a star in the making for the Boston Celtics over the final stretch of the regular season and the postseason
Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals isn’t the spot any player wants to have their worst individual postseason performance in. But for Boston Celtics guard Terry Rozier that’s exactly what happened in the loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers led by all-time great LeBron James.
The performance, though, was far from a reflection of Rozier’s postseason, which was one to marvel at.
Best Postseason Showing
His best single game showing came in Game 1 against the Philadelphia 76ers. Rozier finished with 29 points, 8 rebounds, 6 assists, 1 block and 2 steals in it. He was 7-for-9 from 3-point range that night at the TD Garden and 13 of the points came in the fourth quarter.
While one game isn’t a measurement of the true value a player has, certain situations within a game can be indicative of what a player brings to the floor.
In the game with just over six minutes remaining in the final quarter Rozier had one of those moments on the offensive side of the court.
He drove the lane right at Philadelphia guard Ben Simmons. As Rozier attacked Simmons, 76ers center Joel Embiid slid over to provide help defense, leaving five-time NBA All-Star Al Horford wide open for a jumper.
Terry Rozier read the floor perfectly and dished it off to Horford for the basket.
It wasn’t just a display of elite court vision.
That moment right there proved opposing defenses didn’t just worry about Rozier’s offensive ability but feared him on that end of the floor.
It was one of many shining highlights Rozier put together.
A Shining Star in the Playoffs
Rozier was one of the brightest stars of the postseason and quite possibly the biggest surprise at the same time.
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He averaged 16.5 points per game throughout the playoffs and played smart basketball with just 1.2 turnovers per game, impressive with the time he possessed the basketball. He is currently fifth in minutes played throughout the postseason with 696, fourth in 3-pointers made with 41 and had 3.6 points in transition, one of his finest attributes with his athletic ability to run the floor.
More than just defense
Rozier’s offensive performance has been a pleasant surprise after the Celtics lost Irving to injury, one of the premier scorers the game has to offer.
Most impressively Rozier was taken 16th overall in the 2015 NBA Draft because of his ability to defend, which makes his offensive production seen even more valuable to the team.
Rozier ranked 18th in the NBA this season in defensive rating and he was 59th in steals per 48 minutes this year with 1.86, the best on the Boston Celtics.
Best of the draft class?
When grading Terry Rozier, one has to look at the draft class he came out of.
Of the 15 players selected ahead of him, there’s only three right now that should be prioritized to take over Rozier — Karl Anthony Towns (1st overall), Kristaps Porzingis (4th overall) and Devin Booker (13th overall).
Willie Cauley-Stein (6th overall) and Myles Turner (11th overall) each could be argued as well.
So when looking at Rozier’s season in perspective and back to the draft class he was part of, Rozier is shaping up to be the 4th best player in that draft and Boston got him at No. 16 overall.
The future is bright
It was a breakout season for Rozier.
There’s no other way to put it.
With the Boston Celtics season over, Terry Rozier is likely already chomping at the bits for another Game 7.
If he gets one, watch out.