Your Morning Dump… Where we appreciate the pride of northeast Ohio

NBA: New York Knicks at Boston Celtics

Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here… highlighting the big story line. Because there’s nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.

Asked if a triple double was in his plans upon being told he would start, Rozier joked, “I guess so, that was the plan this morning. No. It worked out perfect for me. Got to knock down the shot at the beginning of the game, hit the open man, I’m always going to get in there and rebound. Just a great night.

“I came in here for treatment on my ankle this morning, and he said be ready, you’re starting tonight, and I was like, OK,” Rozier added. “Just been on my mind all day, be aggressive from the start.”

Curiously absent from Rozier’s game, though, was the nervousness that sometimes comes with a first start.

“It’s better when you start. I think the nerves is less when you start. I speak for myself,” he said. “Just kept my confidence high. Wanted to see the ball go through the net and keep it up in the defensive end. Lot of credit goes to my teammates, making sure I’m open.”

Herald — Terry Rozier nets triple double as Celtics crush Knicks with Kyrie Irving on the sidelines

It was a big night for your friend and mine, Terry Rozier  [AKA insert your favorite Terry nickname here. Mine is “Mr. Spaghetti Sugar and Ranch” but it hasn’t seemed to catch on yet], and it started with an epic announcement yesterday afternoon that Brad Stevens could hardly keep to himself:

If that didn’t light a fire under Terry’s ass, I don’t know what else would have. Of course, as we all predicted, Rozier played the most complete game of his NBA career after having Eddie Paladino announce his name during intros for the first time.

Ok, we all didn’t predict that, but if you listen to Rozier and teammates post-game, it starts to make sense why he would have success as part of the starting five — he’s a guy that feeds off of confidence:

“He’s got high confidence,” Morris said. “He’s a dog. He can get after people, score or he can dish it.” (Mass Live)

When Kyrie comes back, perhaps on Friday night, Rozier will head back to the bench– with Marcus Smart still out (and Marcus Morris likely out for a bit, too), they will need his scoring punch with the second unit. But let’s not forget, as we look into the future of the Celtics, that Terry Rozier can and in my mind, should be a part of it, submit last night as evidence.

Lastly, curious as to what you all think: Current contract lengths aside, if you have to keep one of Terry Rozier and Marcus Smart, who are you keeping? I’ve been saying it since the beginning of the year (go back and check our pre-season predictions) that I’m a Rozier guy. I think his ceiling as an offensive player is higher and still think he can get close to Smart’s defensive ability.

[polldaddy poll=9930388]

On page 2, it’s the big guys and Al

Disguised in a funky lineup of mostly big wings, the Boston Celtics showed Wednesday night a window into one way they intended to use injured All-Star Gordon Hayward. 

After unleashing Al Horford as a point center alongside all long wings during a 103-73 win against the New York Knicks, Celtics head coach Brad Stevens said he initially planned to use Hayward in the role. Obviously, Boston will put the ball in Kyrie Irving’s hands when he’s on the court, but Stevens hoped to give Hayward primary playmaking responsibilities during some of Irving’s time on the bench. 

“Especially when Kyrie was out of the game,” Stevens said after beating the Knicks, “we were planning on playing big like that with Gordon as the point.”

Stevens wasted little time before turning to Horford as the point guard. Midway through the first quarter, the Celtics went with a lineup of him, Semi Ojeleye, Abdel Nader, Marcus Morris and Jayson Tatum. 

Later in the half, Horford spent a couple more minutes at the point.

“That was something we talked about in shootaround and Coach said that we were going to do it,” he said. “I felt comfortable doing it. We did the stuff that we needed to do and had fun with it.”

Mass Live — Point guard Al Horford shows one way the team planned to use Gordon Hayward

Glad that Jay King took time to point this out after Point Al and the Wings (great name for a 60s mo-town group) took to the floor. The article and title do make it sound, though, as if Gordon Hayward is no longer with us– he’ll be back! This is hopefully a way they’ll plan to use Hayward soon enough. Can you imagine? The Cs could have four primary ball-handlers on the floor at one time, or even five. A three-guard lineup of Kyrie, Smart, Rozier, Hayward and Horford would be fascinating offensively.

Also, for those complaining about Horford as an all-star, I submit last night’s 14/9/5/2 (steal) performance. Looks a little Draymond-y, no?

And finally, where will the Celtics go DPE shopping?

Center Greg Monroe has agreed to a contract buyout with the Phoenix Suns, clearing the way for him to become an unrestricted free agent, league sources told ESPN.

The Boston Celtics and the New Orleans Pelicans have strong interest in Monroe and are expected to be at or near the top of his list, according to league sources.


Ok, so one guy is definitely bought out (Monroe), but another one, Lopez, sure seems headed that way. The Monroe buyout comes before the trade deadline, which few expected, and which probably won’t happen for Lopez and others. So, if you’re the Celtics, what do you do here? Monroe would seem like a fit to me as a scoring big off the bench who has killed the Celtics when he plays them time and time again, though some disagree (Red’s own Rich Jensen)– thinking Monroe’s presence down low could muck up the offense spacing-wise. Lopez doesn’t play a lick of defense, but I’d love to see him in pick-and-pops with Kyrie Irving, especially because his range stretches to the three-point line. He’d be a better Tyler Zeller for Brad. Anyways, things are about to get exciting here and unlike in the last few years, expect the Celtics to upgrade the roster either via trade or buyout candidate in the next 1-2 weeks. Also, none of this may ever matter again because:

I’m sorry, but on behalf of the entire world: ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?

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