Celtics

Robb: Terry Rozier is already venting about the minutes crunch and it’s easy to see why

(Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Through four regular-season games, Terry Rozier has the highest net rating out of any guard on the Celtics roster. His strong preseason has carried over the regular season, with the team playing elite defense (83.5 defensive rating) whenever he has been on the floor. Individually, his numbers are trending as usual -- his 3-point shooting remains elite (42.9 percent) while his shot attempts inside the arc leave a lot to be desired (35 percent). But overall, he's been one of the most consistent two-way players on the roster through the first week of the regular season.

On Monday night against the Magic, however, Rozier played just 15 minutes, seven below his season average and 10 below his average from last season. Part of that decline was likely due to an off shooting night (2-of-9). But it was a tough pill for him to swallow in the midst of a 93-90 loss to the lowly Magic.

"It's not the easiest," Rozier said. "Me being a competitor, me being who I am, (I) wake up every day and want to be the best I can be. Want to win and everything, (and) it's tough when I don't get the minutes that I may want -- like (Monday) night for example. I didn't play that many minutes, but like I said, Coach does not have the easiest job. He has the toughest job out of all of us. I can respect that. I control what I control. I still come in every day, bust my butt because I know it may be different on Thursday."

The tightrope that Brad Stevens is trying to walk right now is a challenging one. He's letting Kyrie Irving and Jaylen Brown play through their early-season struggles, even though Marcus Smart and Rozier have been the far superior duo, particularly on the defensive end of the floor.