Who needs Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward when youve got Terry Rozier and Jayson Tatum ballin’ harder than Chinese arithmetic? The more you observe these NBA playoffs, the more you can argue that Irving and Hayward getting hurt is the best thing to ever happen to the Boston Celtics this season.
Danny Ainge would never have gotten to see his young draft picks blossom into superstars right in front of his eyes if his already established, high-priced backcourt didnt get hurt before the playoffs began. One could also argue that the resounding playoff success of Rozier and Tatum has created a logjam of superstar talent on the Celtics and is laying the groundwork for some ego drama in the future.
The @celtics take Game 1 behind big nights from Terry Rozier, Jayson Tatum, & Al Horford! BOS defeats @sixers 117-101 to go up 1-0 in the Conference Semis!
Theres a silver lining in every horror story. Not having Hayward and Irving for what could have been a championship run has resulted in Rozier and Tatum blossoming on the job and making the Celtics a force to be dealt with.
Phillys vaunted point guard-center combination of Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid get all of the press and props for being the next young superstars in the NBA, but they were no match for Rozier and Tatum in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semis.Boston’s young guns are proving to be veteran lethal as they make believers out of dreamers in these playoffs.
Terry Rozier is no more of a backup than Nick Foles was.
In the meantime, the disrespect, calling the Celtics a compromised team needs to stop. They are legit contenders to advance to the NBA championship. Stephen A. Smith dismissed Boston and picked Philly to go to the NBA championship and Max Kellerman picked Philly to sweep Boston on ESPN’s First Take.
Rozier and Tatum obviously didnt get the memo and are seizing the spotlight once reserved for Irving and Hayward. In three seasons as a backup to Isaiah Thomas and Kyrie, Rozier paid his dues and averaged just 7.2 points per game and 2.1 assists. He flashed some game, but who knew that all he needed was some PT to show us that his 3-point ball was lit and he was such a leader?
Terry Rozier made $1.9M this season and is slated to make $3.5M next year. What do you think his next contract will pay him yearly?
Forced into the starting rotation once Kyrie went down, Rozier has shown that he is anything but a backup. The Louisville product is averaging close to 18 points per game in the playoffs and in a clinching Game 7, first-round win over Milwaukee he dropped a playoff career-high 26 points with six rebounds and nine assists.
In Game 1 of the EC semifinals against Philly, Rozier walked into the arena with a Drew Bledsoe jersey on, but caught Tom Brady wreck on the court, raising his game another notch with 29 points, 8 rebounds, and six assists. Hes 12 of 17 from three-point land in those games as well.
Terry Rozier really showed up in a Bledsoe jersey… https://t.co/0XHnp65w7A
Ben Simmons is supposed to be the Rookie of The Year and Donovan Mitchell has emerged as the rookie phenom in these playoffs, but Tatum is putting points on the board every night. Tatum scorched Philly for 28 points in Game 1 which is the most by a Celtics rookie in the playoffs since Larry Bird and he joins Kobe Bryant as the only players 20 or younger to score 20 points in three straight playoff games.
Jayson Tatum is the 1st @celtics rookie with 28+ points in an #NBAPlayoffs game since Larry Bird (April 1980). #NBARooks
Tatum is an undeniable superstar and hes showing it at the right time for Brad Stevens and Danny Ainge, whos so into this series that he cant contain himself in the stands. He thinks he’s playing again anAinge feels the energy and knows that something special is happening in Boston. A wealth of riches has emerged and an NBA Finals appearance is there for the taking. Thus, Ainge got caught up in that rapture on Monday night.
Danny Ainge status: still a competitor. https://t.co/TcOWQL0OqQ
How could you blame him? His biggest problem next season will be figuring out how to mesh the abundance of talent that Boston wields all of a sudden. But when Kyrie and Hayward return that means fewer reps for the young guns who have proved that they are starters — second-year stunner Jaylen Brown included. Brown had 34 and 30 point games in the Milwaukee series. If these youngsters continue to progress it may even sense for the Celtics to sell off one of their two veteran backcourt stars. Tatum and Rozier give the Celtics youth, fresh legs, healthy knees, manageable contracts and a hunger to prove themselves. Just a thought. I know it sounds crazy to most people.
I just see some drama on the horizon this offseason in Beantown. Because the deeper Rozier, Tatum and Brown advance in these playoffs, the less likely any of them are going to want to come off the bench when next season rolls around.
Thats just facts.