Rozier ready to contribute after putting in 'a lot of work' this offseason

Rozier ready to contribute after putting in 'a lot of work' this offseason

BOSTON – While at the University of Louisville, Terry Rozier’s favorite subject was math.

It’s fitting when you consider how his play of late in the preseason has added up to what should be a prominent role off of Boston’s bench.

He certainly delivered a strong performance in Boston’s 113-96 preseason win over Philadelphia on Monday.

Rozier had a double-double of 15 points and 10 rebounds with six assists, a steal and a blocked shot.

But more important, Rozier had a command of the game at both ends of the floor that we’ve seen flashes of in the past, but rarely has the third-year guard been able to sustain that level of control consistently.

It’s all part of the work Rozier put in this summer in preparation for what he anticipates will be a breakout season.

Rozier appeared in just 39 games as a rookie during the 2015-2016 season, averaging just 1.8 points, 1.6 rebounds and 0.9 assists while shooting 27.4 percent from the field.

Last season he nearly doubled his stats in most categories, averaging 5.5 points, 3.1 rebounds and 1.8 assists while shooting 36.7 percent from the field while appearing in 74 games.

Rozier spent this summer working out in Cleveland, Los Angeles and Miami with pick-up games including former Celtics like Jeff Green and Kelly Olynyk in addition to All-Star talent such as Washington’s John Wall.

And those matchups combined with a stronger, more fit physique, has Rozier feeling ready to make his mark this season.

“I feel pretty confident,” he said. “I put in a lot of work this summer. I’m not second-guessing myself. I’m going out there and having fun.”

In a separate interview with NBC Sports Boston, Rozier reiterated how different things are for him heading into this season.

“Definitely. I just feel different,” Rozier told NBC Sports Boston. “This year is my first year that I feel I got a role and feeling comfortable, just out there. It felt so natural. I don’t have to think so much like I usually do. Once that settles in, it’s over.”


Kyrie practices, expected to be back Sunday

Kyrie practices, expected to be back Sunday

WALTHAM, Mass. – Kyrie Irving was able to participate in all of Celtics practice on Saturday and is expected to be back on the floor when the C's host the Orlando Magic on Sunday.

Irving did not play in an 89-80 loss to Philadelphia on Thursday because of soreness in his left shoulder.


He will continue to receive treatments for the shoulder, “but I’m just ready to go back out there and play,” Irving said. “I’ve had a few days to reset and do the things needed to put myself in a great position to go out there and play.”

Irving said earlier that the shoulder had been bothering him for a couple weeks and an overtime loss to New Orleans on Tuesday didn’t help matters.

Still just 25 but recently named to his fifth All-Star team, Irving’s return could not come at a better time for the Celtics.

Boston (34-12) has the best record in the Eastern Conference, but the C's are riding a two-game losing streak, which is only the third time this season they've lost back-to-back games.

Arguably Boston’s biggest issue in the loss to the Sixers was an offense that struggled in several phases.

Not having Irving available certainly made matters worse, but there were a number of elements of play that with Irving or not, coach Brad Stevens recognizes his team must make a significant improvement in if they are to remain among the top teams in the NBA.

Stevens talked extensively after the loss and again on Saturday about the team not playing hard enough on offense.

“I don’t want to take away from the teams we’re playing against. They’re really guarding us hard,” Stevens said. “But we’ve got to execute harder. The one thing that’s pretty obvious in person and when you watch on film, is we just didn’t play hard enough on offense which is kind of unique. That’s the way I felt.”

Irving said there needs to be an increase in emphasis on their offense, which would make the game easier for everyone.

“Our spacing, our cutting … just playing the game kind of within the game, understanding our talents and where we can make the game easier,” Irving said. “We have very unique talents on this team. When you’re trying to put that together and guys are coming back into the lineup and getting their rhythm still and guys are in and out sometimes … big picture, down the stretch, we’re going to need everyone to be on the same page.”



Celtics sign Jarrell Eddie to 10-day contract


Celtics sign Jarrell Eddie to 10-day contract

WALTHAM, Mass. – The Celtics have signed Jarell Eddie to a 10-day contract.

The 6-foot-7 forward, who has spent two seasons in the NBA with Washington and Phoenix, has appeared in 31 NBA games.

More recently, he played with the Gatorade League’s Windy City Bulls. Appearing in 10 games, Eddie, 26, averaged 17.2 points while shooting 49.5 percent from the field and 50.7 percent from 3-point range along with 4.1 rebounds and 1.7 assists.

He will wear jersey No. 9.