Five ways Eric Bledsoe can recognize Terry Rozier
Any of this look familiar, Eric?
BOSTON – So, Eric Bledsoe’s having a little trouble remembering who this, uh, Terry Rozier kid is.
I think we all can understand where Bledsoe’s coming from.
After all, Rozier has been a walking nightmare for Bledsoe in this series.
And do any of us wanna think much about nightmares?
Of course not.
Pick a stat, any stat of significance and you’ll find that Rozier is winning that category, easily.
And with a nickname like Scary Terry, along with all the Freddie Kruger-like inferences, it’s not a huge stretch that Bledsoe came down with a case of selective amnesia on Tuesday just minutes after having Rozier outplay him...again!
Well, we’re here to help Bledsoe fill in some of the many blanks in his head about Rozier.
Here are the five things Bledsoe should know about Rozier who isn’t just schooling him in this series – he’s delivering a back-of-the-woodshed beatdown.
The rebounds haven’t come quite as plentiful as we’ve seen in the past from Rozier, but part of that has to do with him being in the starting lineup which requires him to play the game slightly different than when he was coming off the bench.
Still, there’s no getting around the fact that Rozier averaged 8.7 rebounds per 48 minutes played which was tops among guards 6-foot-2 or shooter.
For those who wonder why Rozier hasn’t been a bigger deal before now, the answer is easy. He has spent his entire career in the shadows of really good players. From All-Stars Isaiah Thomas and Kyrie Irving, to defensive specialists Marcus Smart and Avery Bradley. Once some of those were out due to injuries, Rozier emerged into being a leader who has made great strides in the regular season as well as here in the playoffs.
Rozier has shown he can stomach the ups and downs that come with the playoffs. That may be in part because he can stomach some really out-there food combinations like his favorite sandwich which involves spaghetti, sugar and ranch dressing. It doesn’t look pretty, but that’s filling in quite a few boxes on the food chart, combining a salad staple (dressing), with a main course (spaghetti) and a little sweetness (sugar) – all in one sandwich. And on the court, it has been more of the same with Rozier getting it done in several categories.
We all went into this series believing that the ball would be in Al Horford’s hands more than anyone else when the Celtics are on offense. And yet in the Game 2 win, no one had the ball in their hands more than Rozier, who had a game-high 91 touches – three more than Giannis Antetokounmpo and 17 more than Bledsoe. I’m sure Bledsoe probably didn’t bank on Rozier and not Horford, leading the way for the Celtics in touches.
Although Terry Rozier is five years younger than Bledsoe, Rozier came into the postseason with an edge in terms of playoff experience. We’re two games into the series and Rozier has played a total of 24 playoff games compared to 19 for Bledsoe. And Rozier’s emergence as a player to watch, came in the playoffs. You can’t help but think that Bledsoe didn’t come into this thing taking Rozier as serious as he would if it were Kyrie Irving or Marcus Smart. But Rozier is making the most of his opportunity, showing off his skills but more important, showing respect for each and every Milwaukee player he faces. Bledsoe might want to add that to the long list of lessons he’s being schooled on by Rozier in this series.