A Letter From a Boston Celtics Fan: Thank You Terry Rozier
Terry Rozier was drafted by the Boston Celtics with the 16th pick in the 2015 NBA Draft. Coming off of a two-year stint with the Louisville Cardinals, Celtics fans had no idea what they could expect from the young guard. In the 2017-18 NBA Playoffs, Terry Rozier made sure no one would ever forget him, introducing the world to Scary Terry.
A Letter From a Boston Celtics Fan: Thank You, Terry Rozier
Let’s set the stage for a second. It was the Summer of 2017. The Celtics just came off of a riveting playoff run where Isaiah Thomas led the team of misfits all the way to the Eastern Conference Finals, eventually losing to LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers in five games. It was IT time in Boston, but his hip injury was a growing concern.
Once the offseason settled in, what seemed like out of nowhere, the Boston Celtics surprisingly announced the signing of All-Star wing Gordon Hayward. After being so close in the prior season, Celtics fans believed that the addition of Hayward would help push us to the NBA Finals – a step closer to hoisting the Larry O’Brien trophy up in the air.
Weeks passed, and we are now into the latter end of August. Again, out of nowhere, the NBA world is set on fire with the announcement that Isaiah Thomas would be traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers for All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving. After the initial phase of missing our little guy, IT, Boston fans quickly erupted with joy. With the addition of Hayward, Irving, and a highly praised rookie in Jayson Tatum, who would stop the Celtics now, right?
Apparently, the floor at Quicken Loans Arena.
The Downfall of the Celtics
Game 1 of the NBA season is underway and is quickly put on pause as Hayward goes up for an alley-oop dunk. The rest is a blur, as most Celtics fans have chosen to delete that memory from their minds (at least we try to, anyway). Hayward hits the ground hard, and the arena goes silent. Fans at home hear the on-air broadcaster say, “Hayward has broken has leg. Hayward has broken his leg.” Silence.
At that point, most people in the NBA counted the Celtics out of title contention. Kyrie was good, but not that good. The Celtics lose the following game, but then prove the doubters wrong by winning the next 16 games in a row. The Celtics have a chance again, right? Wrong.
Time goes by, and the Celtics quickly become the injury team. Irving goes down, Al Horford goes down, Tatum goes down, Jaylen Brown goes down. All in all, there were a total of 53 injuries on the Celtics roster that year.
Terry Rozier Becomes Scary Terry
Some players recovered in time for the playoffs, but Irving and Hayward were nowhere near cleared to play. Without a real point guard, the Celtics have no chance.
In comes Terry Rozier as Scary Terry.
It’s the first round of the playoffs and the Celtics are up against Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks. Bucks guard Drew…sorry, Eric Bledsoe takes the podium for some questions. A reporter asks Bledsoe if he is worried about Terry Rozier at all. The rest is history.
Terry Rozier absolutely lights it up in the series against Milwaukee, averaging 17.6 points with a 41.5% field goal percentage, 6.7 assists, 4.3 rebounds, and a steal. Rozier’s efforts were enough to send Boston to the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals and get the last laugh over Bledsoe.
The Celtics are now up against Joel Embiid and the Philadelphia 76ers, with a trip to the Eastern Conference Finals. What a series this was! A new rivalry began, but the Celtics were able to wipe out the Sixers in five games (cue the confetti), all thanks to Scary Terry himself. Rozier averaged 19 points on 43.2% shooting, 7.3 rebounds, 4.4 assists, and a steal. It was looking like there was a new Sherrif in town, and he got the whole town talking. Debates were actually being had about if the Celtics should trade Irving and let Rozier run the one spot.
The Celtics were back to the Eastern Conference Finals and were up against the same foe – LeBron James and the Cavaliers. This time around, the Celtics were able to push the series to seven games. This series had fans on the edge of their seat every minute of every game. It was King vs. Rook in Tatum. Tatum was able to make a strike by absolutely posturizing LeBron, but it was the King who had the last laugh by taking a tightly contested game seven. It was the end to the most emotional season in the history of the Boston Celtics.
Thank You, Terry Rozier
Although the Celtics weren’t able to get it done, Terry Rozier proved that he could play with anyone, and that hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard (ie Kyrie Irving). He took a beaten and bruised team and led them to game seven of the ECF, something that no one predicted after all of the injuries.
Thank you, Terry Rozier, for making basketball in Boston fun again. Best of luck in Charlotte, we will miss you.