With a healthy roster to choose from next season, Boston Celtics head coach Brad Stevens will have some difficult lineup choices to make.
Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward are set to return to full health and the expectation is that the duo will go straight back into the starting five.
That means Terry Rozier is likely to return to the bench despite deputising impressively for Irving in the playoffs.
Breakout playoff campaign
The former underwent knee surgery and was ruled out for the entire postseason but Rozier stepped in and enjoyed a breakout moment.
He showed that he’s good enough to be a starting point guard in the NBA but the 24-year-old was never going to permanently dislodge Kyrie.
But luckily for Stevens, the talented Ohio native is prepared to embrace being a part of the second unit again as he prioritises winning over his own personal gain.
“I’m not worried about [his role],” Rozier said, per ESPN’s Chris Forsberg. “Kinda control what I can control.
“We all got one goal, and that’s to win. We all get love when we win. That should be everybody’s mindset. It’s going to be a lot of fun.
“If you want to win a championship, that’s what it’s going to take — sacrifice. … We’re all going to have one goal, and it’s going to lead us to the promised land.”
In 19 games as a starter in the playoffs, Rozier averaged 16.5 points, 5.7 assists and 1.3 steals.
He truly came of age on the biggest stage and played a major role in helping the Celtics reach the Eastern Conference Finals.
But his emergence will give Stevens a chance to play ‘Scary Terry’ and Irving together in the backcourt on occasions and give him another option.
However, as a five-time All-Star and the best player on the team, Kyrie will be their leader on the floor and his championship-winning experience will be crucial as they seek to win another Larry O’Brien trophy.
Rozier says he and the former Cleveland Cavaliers star will work out together next week as they gear up for the start of training camp in late September.
He also told ESPN that he expects Boston to have a “special” season.
As the favourites to win the east, there will be pressure on the C’s to live up to expectations but they have everything in place to be successful.
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