The Boston Celtics backup point guard Terry Rozier was unconscious last night as the Celtics took care of the young guns in Philadelphia with a 117-101 victory in the first game of the Eastern Conference Semifinals. Rozier racked up 29 points on 11-18 shooting, which included an impressive 7-9 from beyond the arc. This is also the same game that Scary Terry drew a lot of attention from the media when he strolled into TD Garden with a throwback Drew Bledsoe jersey on.
The Celtics keep on proving critics wrong, no matter how many of their core players get hurt. Gordan Hayward has not played all season, Kyrie Irving has been sidelined since March, and now Jaylen Brown is out with a hamstring injury. Jayson Tatum has had an incredible rookie year, and Al Horford is one of the most underrated stars in the league (he is the opposite kind of All Star that John Wall is). The X-Factor for the rest of these playoffs though is Rozier.
Through 8 games, Rozier is averaging 19-5-7 after his dominant performance on Monday. If he can play close to this level the rest of the playoffs, the injury-riddled Celtics might have a legitimate shot of making a Finals run.
I must warn Rozier of one thing though, and that is do not play too well this playoff run, or you are just Isaiah Thomas 2.0 waiting to happen.
Thomas last year was a folk hero in Boston. He was a crowd favorite. He was an underdog. He played through the playoffs even though his lost his sister to a car accident a day before game 1 of the first round. He was then shipped out the door as fast as they could when they realized they could obtain a top 10 player in this league in Irving.
Thomas had one year left on his contract left for $6.3 million when the Celtics traded him to the Cavs. At the time it was good value for the Cavs at that price regardless of the hip injury Thomas suffered that ended his 2016-2017 season. You want to know what Rozier makes next year? $3.1 million.
The Celtics have so many assets and cannot pay all of them. There have been rumors about every available superstar the past 3 years going to Boston because of all these assets they have to offer. You know would be attractive to teams like the Spurs or Pelicans that might part with their franchise player in the next year? A young, cheap player that has reached the highest point of their career to this date and can contribute right away. Sound familiar?
Terry, if you want the opportunity to stay with the best coach in the league with this stacked roster, you need to tank the rest of this series. No one would blame you. Three of your starters are hurt. There is no reason to sign your ticket out Boston for the honor of getting your ass kicked by the Warriors in The Finals.
Take my word for it Terry, you won’t regret it.
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