Patience was understandably running thin for Terry Rozier within the Celtics fanbase heading into Wednesday’s game against the Raptors. The fourth-year guard was stuck in a 4-for-23 shooting slump during the team’s three-game losing streak and the Celtics routinely performed far worse as a team with him on the floor (something that has held true for a couple months now).
The calls for Brad Wanamaker to join the rotation grew louder after the 28-year-old performed admirably in spot duty against the Nets and Mavericks off the bench with Kyrie Irving sidelined, performances that gave Brad Stevens a seemingly decent alternative to Rozier in the rotation for the time being.
We looked at some options that Stevens could consider with Rozier at the beginning of the week to try to get him to snap out of this funk or at least minimize his impact on Boston’s struggles. A trade has always been unlikely during the season, and we considered an outright benching was a long shot as well. Despite his flaws, the Celtics need Rozier’s athleticism and rebounding in the long run, traits Wanamaker simply can’t match. Benching Rozier risked losing him entirely, even though a case could be made for it.
So if Rozier still needed to play, something had to change since the Celtics offense was falling apart when he was on the floor on most nights, particularly when he captained the second unit. So what did Stevens do to help fix this? A simple adjustment ended up going a long way on Wednesday night.