A banged-up thigh made Kyrie Irving unavailable. Marcus Smart’s hand swiped its way out of the lineup for two weeks last week. And even Shane Larkin’s knee was not up to the task for Wednesday night’s rivalry head-to-head with the Knicks.
But that’s OK, because the Celtics have Terry Rozier.
In just the first start of his 165-game NBA career, it took just the first Boston basket of the night for everybody to realize that they were about to watch The Rozier Show. It only went up from there, too, as the 23-year-old Rozier came through with the first triple-double of his career in a 103-73 blowout victory over the Knicks.
“When I got the update on Shane, I was pretty sure he’d play 48 minutes,” Celtics coach Brad Stevens said of Rozier’s night. “I thought he played great. He just made the right basketball plays. He did a couple of things he hasn’t done before with regard with the lob and a couple of the looks he made really quickly. He’s done it before, but he made them very, very consistently tonight. It was good to see him play well.
“Happy for him. He deserves it.”
Rozier was there for offensive rebound putbacks and finished with 11 boards, came through with some beautiful helpers en route to 10 assists, and outscored New York’s starting backcourt tandem of Jarrett Jack and Courtney Lee 17-to-9.
With the triple-double, Rozier became the first NBA player to record a triple-double in his first career start since Tony Wroten did it with the Sixers on Nov. 13, 2013.
“Just worked out perfect for me,” Rozier, whose day began with some treatment for a sore ankle, said with a smile. Got to knock down some shots at the beginning of the game. Hit the open man, and I’m always going to get in there for the rebound.”
Rozier was also his signature pestering defensive self, with two steals (including one successful swipe on a Kristaps Porzingis inbound) and two blocks on a night that saw the Knicks turn the ball over 14 times compared to just nine from the Celtics.
“He’s got a lot of confidence,” Marcus Morris said of Rozier. “He’s a dog. He can get after people, he can score, he can dish it. One thing I don’t think people give him enough credit for is his rebounding. He rebounds the hell out of the ball. He did that tonight, he got everybody involved, and he ran the team. He did a great job.”
But Rozier was not the only effective Celtic on this night.
Morris, who departed the game in the third quarter after an ugly-looking fall following a dunk, finished with a Celtic-leading 20 points in 19 minutes off the bench. Abdel Nader, meanwhile, set career-highs in points (10), assists (3), and minutes (28). Even Kadeem Allen got in on the fun, with a steal in a season-high 6:06 of action.
With the victory, the Celtics improved to 11-3 in their last 14 games against the Knicks, and have wins in 19 of 27 games played at TD Garden this season.
The Celtics return to the Garden for a Friday night meeting with the Hawks.
Full article @ Celtics 103, Knicks 73: The Terry Rozier Show
Source: GreenStreet Blog