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Links & Quotes: Terry Rozier, Marcus Smart, and Marcus Morris shine too

This is the non-Gordon-Hayward version of the Links & Quotes

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Minnesota Timberwolves v Boston Celtics Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

We’ll talk plenty about Gordon Hayward today, but I wanted to do a quick run around the links with some non-Hayward talking points.

Starting with Terry Rozier, who started off the game very strongly in his starting role. (via NBC Boston)

Asked about his mindset as a starter, a matter-of-fact Rozier answered, “Go out there and kill.”

Later he added, “My job is easy. Just go out there and play hard. Like I said, kill. My teammates and my coaches do a great job of giving me that confidence.”

Pressed on the difference between Starter Terry and Bench Terry and whether he’d gotten some of that playoff mojo back, a straight-faced Rozier said, “Yeah, it’s a new year, so new me.”

John Karalis points out that Marcus Smart is more than a defender. (via MassLive)

Marcus Smart is a brilliant passer

Everyone loves Marcus Smart for his “cobra” mentality (this is different snake than a mamba. This is a totally different thing). People rarely give him credit for his passing, even though he’s been the only Celtic who can consistently throw alley oops. Sure, people clamor for Smart to dive for loose balls and rip steals from opponents hands, just like people clamor for Bruce Springsteen to play “Born to Run.” But Smart’s passing is his “Thunder Road.” It’s always there, always sublime, always reminding us “oh yeah, this is a great thing.”

Jay King points out that Marcus Morris is making himself a lot of future money with his play this year.

Morris’ transformation has surprised everyone from Celtics fans to rival team executives. Based on conversations with sources around the league, it’s clear the veteran has set himself up well to cash in when he hits free agency this summer. His development into such a willing and capable 3-point shooter has changed the conversation about him. Combined with his size and versatility, his newfound efficiency would make him a valuable piece on any team.

Steve Bulpett goes full grumpy old man and points out that defense still wins Championships.

Let’s face it. Defense will never get its full and proper due in basketball. While Marcus Smart’s steals and charges drawn and Robert Williams’ blocked shots will rouse the Garden for a moment, hoop discussions will almost always trend heavily toward offense. It’s the more evident aspect of the game, for even if we don’t always detect the subtle screens and floor spacing that led to the score, we know who put the ball in the bucket.

But you don’t need a deep analytics dive to see the correlation between defense and Celtic success.

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