The Boston Celtics need to figure out what to do with Terry Rozier once Marcus Smart is back
The Boston Celtics just got news that Marcus Smart will be returning, and everyone is going to benefit from that on the defensive end. There is, however, a much bigger question mark around Terry Rozier now, whose role is still far too uncertain.
Rozier was one the lone the bring spots in Smart’s absence, and he certainly did enough to prove that he can handle a larger role. Obviously, he is no where near that starting lineup, but he has proven to be a viable option to run the second unit, and it is not crazy to say he is a better option on offense.
The problem is Smart does so many other things, that Rozier’s role will have to be reduced. You cannot take minutes away from Kyrie Irving, and Smart is far too important on defense. That being said, this break may have brought a little clarity into the role distribution.
The second unit is in desperate need of consistency, and it will not work with Rozier and Smart just taking turns trying to make things happen. Rozier has shown us the kind of damage he can do when he is the primary instigator, and he is growing into a more trusted shooter than Smart.
Smart is still one of the best passers on the team, but giving Rozier more responsibility on the second unit will allow Smart to have more time with the starters, because he is always a part of their best defensive lineups.
The Celtics need to get Smart out there for their best defense, and that will always involved playing with the first unit. Smart may not actually start, but Stevens may have a great opportunity to settle the rotation a bit by staggering the minutes in a way that Smart and Rozier do not need to be taking turns.
Rozier can take on that added offensive responsibility, while Smart can fall back into a more under control role. Smart will never hesitate when taking open shots, and those are the ones the Celtics want him taking. When he is playing with the starters, he focuses a lot more on distributing and hitting open shots. With the second unit, he starts forcing more things, feeling like he has to create a lot more by himself.
The problem is that if Rozier is not able to get things going, then Stevens will have no choice other than to keep Smart back with the second unit. Rozier is in a position where his minutes will certainly go down, but his importance to the team does not have to.
The Celtics need a lot of roles to settle down, and Rozier is still in a great position to be the primary instigator for the second unit. The Celtics have held onto him for a long time because they believe in his talent, but now is when they really need that talent to come together.
One way or another, he is going to be one of the two most important players coming off the bench for the team, and when the second unit is as inconsistent as the Celtics are, that role will ultimately be a difference maker, especially in the regular season.
Rozier has been incredibly exciting, and with the way he has progressed and improved over the years, now would be a great time for him to really break out in his role, and help the Celtics get back to that number one seed.