The Celtics beat the Timberwolves 91-84, which was a season low in scoring for the Wolves. According to EVERY sports media outlet, the Cs have now beaten seven of the top teams in the NBA, holding them all under 100 points. It’s also important to point out that they’ve won their last five games, with heavy contributions from Rozier and Smart off of the bench.
Rozier: Finding Comfort in His Role
I know when I used to watch Rozier with the ball, I would get nervous. Why you ask? Because he dribbles too much! But as of late, I don’t mind his dribbling because his shots are falling. In the last six games, he’s averaged 15.3 points and hit 17 threes. He’s been able to do this in an average of 23 minutes off of the bench. Impressive huh? Well, I sure think so, especially when you consider is performance against Cleveland: 20 points and 4-6 from three. After that clutch steal and basket in Indiana, I knew it was just a matter of time.
Smart: Consistent Confidence
Although Smart is only averaging 11.5 points in the last six games, as we go further back we can see his production on offense. I wrote an article back in December about him finding his confidence on the offensive side of the ball. I’d say he’s been pretty reliable since his turnaround, only having six games under 10 points since late November. And of course, if he can’t give you his best on offense, he’s always going to do his job on defense. Don’t believe me? Go watch the final seconds of that Rockets game where he drew two offensive fouls off of Harden — back to back! Though, something else I have noticed is Smart’s unwavering confidence. He’s not afraid to continue taking shots even if the first few don’t fall because he knows eventually, he’ll get hot.
Rozier and Smart Creating Depth
Rozier and Smart’s sparking of this Celtics bench has rubbed off on everyone. Theis, Larkin, and Baynes when he comes off the bench, have each had a couple of productive nights. Irving is also starting to take somewhat of a backseat in scoring, as we saw in the game against Cleveland. Him doing so is allowing for the development of all the younger guys on the team, bench and starters. This is the type of consistency we’ve called for this season. Let’s see if they can keep it going!
The Celtics have a game at Brooklyn, then they’ll be getting ready for their London match up against the 76ers. After the Brooklyn game, we won’t see our guys on the hardwood until the 11th. But don’t fret Boston fans— this means some more rest for the Celtics, which they so rightfully deserve.
32-10 and leading the East. Go Celtics!