66 games through the regular season and nobody would have predicted the Boston Celtics to be 40-26.
2018-2019 was supposed to be the year the Celtics steamrolled the league, a prediction that seemed reasonable after the Celtics were one game away from dethroning the King in the 2017-2018.
This season has been a roller coaster for the Boston squad.
One day they can look like the most dominant team on the planet and the next day they look disconnected.
Currently the Celtics are the 5th seed in a newly competitive Eastern Conference. The Celtics inconsistency is puzzling to every fan and NBA insider, maybe they are just coasting until the playoffs. Nobody knows, but every Celtics fan can agree that they are starting to figure things out after dismantling the reigning champs on the road and having a narrow win over the surprising competitive Sacramento Kings.
As the playoffs approach it will be more and more difficult to win, every possession matters. Brad Stevens is known for playing anywhere from eight to eleven or twelve guys in a game depending on the situation. Nobody has blamed Brad Stevens for a disappointing season so far. Fans are more often criticizing Kyrie’s free agency distraction or other off the court issues. Some fans even feel as if the Celtics are better when Kyrie doesn’t play. But nobody looks at backup point guard Terry Rozier, a savior to the Celtics magical run last June.
Terry Rozier needs to be benched for the playoffs plain and simple. They have the depth to not use a true backup point guard with Gordon Hayward coming off the bench and Marcus Smart being able to organize an offense. Looking at this closer it becomes more and more obvious however. To start, Rozier’s shooting percentage is below the league average. Rozier shoots 37.9% from the field and 34.6% from three point territory this season. The league average is above both of those marks at 46% from the field and 35.4% from three.
On the season Terry Rozier’s plus/minus on the season is just +33 in 64 games played. That result means that Rozier is only +.52 points per game. He has the third lowest plus/minus per game on the team. The only players he is ahead of are Guerschon Yabusele, +0 per game, and rookie Robert Williams, -2.23 per game, whose are both players that only play if the game is a blowout.
Box plus minus, BPM, is a metric now being used to evaluate players’ quality and contribution to the team. It uses the players’ box score information as well as the performance of the team to estimate a player compared to an average player in the league. It is a 100 possession stat and 0.0 represents the league average. After looking at Rozier’s BPM, it is not impressive as well. Rozier’s offensive box plus/minus is -1.0 and his defensive box plus/minus is .8 giving him an overall BPM of -.2. Rozier, the playoff hero a year ago, having a -.2 BPM is alarming because he is below the league average.
Just in case you aren’t convinced, The Celtics just don’t play that well with him in the lineup. The Celtics have played 28 different lineups this season that have a negative net rating and have played at least 12 minutes, the length of an NBA quarter. Of those 28 different lineups Terry Rozier has been a part of 21 of them, an astounding 75%. Terry Rozier not only under performs on an individual level but also on a team level. His style of play is hero ball, not team basketball. You often see him trying to do too much, pulling up for threes or trying to break his defender down and score when he just isn’t that good at it and it hurts the team as a result.
At the end of the day Terry Rozier needs to be benched for the playoffs. According to basketballreference.com, Terry Rozier’s win shares are worse than the following players in their third year, Delon Wright, Walt Kirk, Ron Perry, Spencer Dinwiddie, Smush Parker, Seth Curry, Earl Shannon, Mike Barrett, and Bobby Rascoe. You read those names right, just a hint you’re going to have google them to know who they are.
All Celtics fans need to thank Mr. Rozier for his role in the last post season but please, please Mr. Rozier, for the city of Boston, do not play in the post season this year.