With an array of new personnel plastering the Boston Celtics roster, there is sure to be some fresh faces that have a significant impact on games who may not be one of the current headlining names.
Let’s break down who you can expect to make a change on a nightly basis:
A prime example that we have already seen throughout the opening contests this preseason is the 6-foot-9 Daniel Theis. Over the first two games, the German native averaged 8.0 points and 6.5 assists in just 10.4 minutes of action. While the rumors of him seeping into the starting lineup are slightly far-fetched in my opinion, especially when considering the small dosage of action we have been able to judge him by, it could certainly be something to consider down the road.
In the Celtics’ most recent preseason game, Theis disappointed from a scoring perspective as he shot 0-5 from the field, however was still able to influence the 113-96 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers by collecting nine rebounds.
Headed into a contract year, Marcus Smart told the press that he has shred 20 pounds and is a whole new player. Thus far, his improvements in the quickness and shooting categories have been undeniable. The 23-year-old has shot 58.3 percent from behind the arc this preseason which is a tremendous jump from just a season ago where he finished just 28.3 percent of his attempts.
Perhaps the greatest attribute he provides is the willingness and ability to sacrifice his body and make hustle plays that gives a spark to other players around him. Even when the games don’t technically matter, the Oklahoma State University product is prepared to put forth this kind of effort:
The 16th overall pick in the 2015 draft now has two years of experience under his belt, and will finally have his time to shine in the upcoming season with a roster that is not overloaded with talented guards like we have seen recently. From his rookie to sophomore year, Terry Rozier made notable improvements in categories including but not limited to minutes (8.0 to 17.1), points (1.8 to 5.5), and field goal percentage (27.4 to 36.7).
For me, the 6-foot-2 point guard has blossomed into one of my top players to keep an eye on with his consistent play and versatility on both ends of the floor. On Oct. 9, Terry was placed in the starting five with Kyrie Irving being rested, and he took advantage of the opportunity by achieving 15 points, 10 rebounds, and 6 assists in 24 minutes of action.
Be sure to watch for these three players and more as the Celtics vie for yet another championship in a brand new season that’s just around the corner.