New arrival Terry Rozier is going to finally have the opportunity to show what he can do as an NBA starter. Rozier has spent the last four years as a somewhat frustrated member of a Boston Celtics ensemble cast, never quite getting the minutes or opportunity he probably could’ve been getting elsewhere. That will all change after signing a 3-year, $58 million deal with the Charlotte Hornets.
Charlotte is going to need Terry Rozier to score, score, and score some more this year as he joins a team that lacks offensive firepower. But to be more specific, the team don’t just need him to put the ball in the bucket, they need him to score more efficiently than he has in the past.
Rozier demonstrated his scoring ability back in the 2017-2018 playoffs when over the course of 19 electric games “Scary Terry” averaged 16.5 points in 36.6 minutes for the Boston Celtics. Hornets fans might have the tendency to reflect back on Rozier’s memorable postseason run and hope he can channel that same vibe this year. But the one thing many of us have forgotten since Rozier’s playoff outburst is he shot just 40.6 percent during the 2017-2018 postseason and it took him 14 field goal attempts per game to generate those 16.5 points. That’s...not very efficient.
Efficiency has always been the main concern in Rozier’s offensive game. Over the past two seasons, for example, his 39.2 field goal percentage was second lowest in the NBA among the 94 players who have attempted at least 1,400 shots (thank heaven for brickmason Justin Holiday!) This needs to improve as he looks to become a primary scorer in Charlotte.
Rozier’s shot chart from last year can shed some light on how the Hornets can put him in the best position possible to succeed. Per NBA.com/Stats, he was an above average shooter from the left corner and from around the free throw line. He was about league average in three pointers from the foul line extended. Everywhere else, he was below league averages.
While Terry Rozier isn’t a naturally efficient scorer, there are reasons to believe he can improve this year with the Hornets. Rozier should get more consistent minutes starting in Charlotte than he did coming off the bench in Boston and that continuity helps shooters find their rhythm. Last year in Boston, for example, Rozier started 14 games and averaged 30.1 minutes as a starter. In those games he shot nearly 43 percent from the floor versus 37.5 percent coming off the bench. His three point shooting significantly improved as a starter as well, hitting 40.5 percent when starting compared to 33.7 when coming off the bench.
As far as the rest of his game goes, Rozier isn’t a great distributor averaging just 4.2 assists per 36 minutes over his career. He’ll need to improve on this in Charlotte as he’ll have the ball in his hands a lot. His defense as measured by Defensive Box Plus/Minus is actually quite good. Over the last two seasons his DBPM of 0.6 ranks No. 8 of 48 guards who played at least 3,500 minutes.
If Rozier can get comfortable and find consistent starter minutes he has the potential to have a breakout 2019-2020 season.
How many points will Terry Rozier average this year?
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Less than 14