Few players have done more to recently boost their stock than Terry Rozier of the Boston Celtics has. During his rookie season, Rozier was barely anything more than a benchwarmer for the Celtics, as he only played a total of 311 minutes during the entire season. While Rozier enjoyed success with the Maine Red Claws averaging 19.4 points, 6.4 rebounds, and 7.8 assists in 14 games played, there wasn't a huge sense of optimism surrounding Rozier.
When he entered the league, coaches and scouts questioned whether or not he would develop into a NBA point guard. Standing at only 6'1" and lacking a jump shot, Rozier needed to work on his game if he wanted to have a role on this well-established Celtics roster. After five Summer League games, it looks like he has done just that.
Averaging an eye opening 19.2 points, six rebounds, and 3.8 assists per game, Rozier looks like a hardened veteran that is imposing his will on everyone. His most impressive game came just last night, as he dominated the Dallas Mavericks to the tune of 26 points, six rebounds, two assists, and three steals. He was five of nine from the floor, two of three from deep, and hit eleven of his fourteen free throws in one of his most efficient performances to date.
It's clear that Rozier has spent the off-season not only working on his jumper, but also understanding the game at a deeper level. Every season, players spend hours in the gym trying to hone their skills on the court, but what sets the ones that make it apart from the ones that don't is knowing how to translate those skills to game scenarios, and it's clear Rozier has been studying.
He plays with a supreme confidence now that carries over to every aspect of his game. When he drives to the rim, he either draws a foul or finds a wide open teammate. When Rozier's running the pick and roll, he's more aware of the screener and is better at feeding him with a good pass.
On defense, he seems to understand how to play passing lanes and has better anticipation on plays. Turnovers have always been an issue for him, but so far he is averaging only 2.4 turnovers per game. Just about everything has improved for him since he was last on the court.
It looks like the Celtics are ready to reload and take on the East with their young roster, incredible coaching staff, and excellent player development program. Rozier will be one of the several young players in Boston that will look to establish a role in the rotation this year. If he continues to play like this, he will leave head coach Brad Stevens with no choice but to carve out time in the rotation.