Celtics’ Terry Rozier Still Trying To Strike Balance Between Speed, Control

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The Boston Celtics’ decision to take Terry Rozier with the 16th overall pick in this year’s draft wasn’t exactly met with universal praise, even within Boston’s own locker room. Yet the Louisville product did plenty in training camp and the preseason to justify the team’s selection.

Rozier had a pretty impressive preseason, leading the Celtics in scoring in a win over the Brooklyn Nets and flashing the explosive athleticism he was known for as a Cardinal.

As a player like Jared Sullinger can attest, though, the preseason and the regular season are different beasts entirely.

Rozier earned extensive playing time against the Washington Wizards on Friday night with Marcus Smart sidelined due to injury. He tallied his first NBA points and finished the contest with five points on 2-of-8 shooting in 19 minutes.

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There were some things to like about the 21-year-old’s performance, but head coach Brad Stevens pointed out after Boston’s 118-98 win that Rozier is capable of a lot more.

“I thought he actually played a little bit tentative (Friday night) versus what he usually does,” Stevens said. “Like in practice, when the other four guys can’t get down the court quick enough to get into our stuff because he’s already down there.”

Indeed, Rozier arguably is the quickest player on the Celtics’ roster and has an incredibly high motor. Yet it might take some time before the rookie learns how to successfully harness that energy while making smart decisions in his point guard role.

According to Stevens, Rozier could learn a thing or two from a certain All-Star point guard with a similar skill set who was on the court with him Friday.

“(Rozier) is trying to figure out that fine line of pace with running a team or organizing a team and staying in that gear,” Stevens said. “Probably a lot of John Wall tape would help that.”

Thumbnail photo via Greg M. Cooper/USA TODAY Sports Images

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