Rozier on clutch Game 2 play: 'I just enjoy being in this moment'

Rozier on clutch Game 2 play: 'I just enjoy being in this moment'

BOSTON – For more games than he can recall, Terry Rozier waited for his opportunity.
This was, after all, supposed to have been his breakout season.
But there’s just one problem.
It turned out to be a breakout season for basically every guard ahead of him – Isaiah Thomas, Avery Bradley and Marcus Smart – which meant his minutes would once again be up and down.
His minutes may have fluctuated, but Rozier’s confidence in his game remained strong as ever.
And as the Boston Celtics gear up for Games 3 and 4 in the Nation’s capital, Rozier has indeed put his imprint on this series and is one of the reasons why Boston currently has a 2-0 lead in this best-of-seven series with Washington.
Rozier is averaging 8.0 points in this series, but none any bigger than the 3-pointer he hit with 98 seconds to play in the fourth quarter that tied the game at 110.
“I.T. (Isaiah Thomas), being who he is, in attack mode all the time, he jumped in the air and I was actually about to go in and crash (the boards),” said Rozier who had 12 points and an insane plus/minus of +25 which was tops among all players. “He found a way to pass the ball out to me, I kind of bobbled it. Just got it off and it went in. It was an exciting play.”
In a game that Washington had control of for most of the night, Rozier’s late-game 3-pointer provided a much-needed infusion of life into a Celtics team that for the most part seemed they were one or two plays from being put away for good.
Boston’s Isaiah Thomas, who scored a career playoff-high 53 points, took over in the fourth quarter and in overtime by scoring 29 points (20 in the fourth, nine in overtime) in leading the Celtics to their sixth straight playoff victory.
Thomas’ scoring was huge, as was the continued fight and scrap shown by the Celtics who were carried by several high-energy plays late in the game like Rozier’s game-tying 3-pointer.
It was last year in the playoffs when Rozier went from a seldom-used rookie to a semi-regular rotation player off the Celtics’ bench during their six-game playoff series with the Atlanta Hawks.
Even when the minutes weren’t there, confidence was never something Rozier lacked.
An opportunity to play?
That’s another story.
“This is the best time of year for basketball,” Rozier said. “I just enjoy being in this moment.”
Celtics head coach Brad Stevens acknowledges that Rozier had a bit of a rocky second season.
“He’s a young player, so he’s going to have ups and downs,” Stevens said. “And sometimes we don’t look at ups and downs as a good thing, but they are. It’s good to have ups and downs; it’s good to have to go through some tough times just as well as the good times. One thing that I’ve always known about Terry from the minute I met him was he was extremely athletic and he was going to compete. And that’s never waned, even when he didn’t shoot it well for a while there, even when he was learning some of the stuff about how to run a team, and how to be a better defender, he’s always been that. And so that’s a great building block to start with.”

Irving's procedure means Celtics may add player via 'hardship roster exception'

Irving's procedure means Celtics may add player via 'hardship roster exception'

With Kyrie Irving undergoing a “minimally invasive procedure” on Saturday, the Boston Celtics may look to add a player via the “hardship roster exception” that only teams that are significantly impacted by injuries, are eligible for. 

MORE - Doctor: Irving could return in 'three to four weeks'

The Celtics won’t have a clear sense of what the timetable will be for Irving’s return until after his procedure is performed. 

But it’s likely to be at least a couple weeks which at the earliest would put Irving’s return just before the playoffs. 

In order to qualify for the NBA’s hardship roster exception, at least four players must miss a minimum of three consecutive games, and later be deemed to be out for an additional two weeks. 

Gordon Hayward (dislocated left ankle) and Daniel Theis (torn meniscus, left knee) are out for the season, and Marcus Smart (right thumb) recently underwent surgery that will keep him sidelined for at least another five weeks. 

An independent doctor will determine if the extent of the aforementioned injuries as well as the recovery time for Irving, meet the two-week criteria to be eligible for the hardship roster exception. 

Once that’s determined, Boston will be given a hardship roster exception to use on a player for the remainder of the regular season but won’t be eligible for the postseason. 

If Boston does add a player, look for him to come from the Gatorade League, possibly their G-League affiliate, the Maine Red Claws. 

Boston has a collection of guards who have helped fill the void left by Irving’s absence, but Boston has not been able to address the loss of Daniel Theis. 

Keep an eye on former No. 1 overall pick Anthony Bennett, a 6-foot-8 forward who averaged 16.0 points, 7.6 rebounds and 1.6 assists for the Red Claws this season. 

MORE - Hayward gives update on rehab

Boston has a 45-day cap on the use of its two-way players with the parent team, but that limitation ends tomorrow which means guard/forward Jabari Bird and guard Kadeem Allen can earn the league minimum for every day they are with the Celtics going forward in the regular season. That can provide some depth to a Celtics team that because of injuries, can use every healthy body they can find.


Doctor: Irving could return in 'three to four weeks'

Doctor: Irving could return in 'three to four weeks'

Kyrie Irving could be back on the court in time for the Celtics to begin the playoffs.

Or not.

Irving will have what the Celts are describing as a "minimally invasive procedure" on his injured left knee Saturday. NBC Sports Boston talked to Dr. Christopher Chihlas from Southcoast Health -- who has not examined Irving but is familiar with his type of injury -- about how long Irving may be sidelined.

"A minimally invasive procedure is basically an arthroscopy," said Dr. Chihlas. "His return to play is mostly dependent on what is done . . . If it's just a cleanout, as we're being told, then -- best-case scenario -- we could see him back playing in three to four weeks."

But, he added, "it could be double that . . . depending upon what exactly is found . . . 

"The key here is the patella fracture (which Irving suffered during the 2015 playoffs). My feeling is that he's suffering a bit of the consequence of the patella fracture, which is a fracture into the knee joint . . . [He] may need to have this done periodically to get him through the rest of his career."