In the second installment of the "Celtics 2016 Season Predictions" series, I will be going over the guys on this team that will, in a sense, shine on the floor. Now, this "shine" I speak of will be in relation to where these guys were last year. So keep that in mind. Just because a throw a name out there, does not mean I am claiming he will be an MVP caliber player. Simply put, I will be going over the "risers" of this season, the guys that will rise to the occasion and have clearly risen their level of play.
But before we start...If you have not read Celtics 2016 Season Predictions (Part 1) then I encourage you to check it out prior to continuing.
So, let's get to it. Right off the bat I think we can all agree that Marcus Smart is due to have a great season. If he plays anything like he did in those playoff games last season, all Celtics fans would be pleased. We all know Smart can play defense, but I have a feeling he will truly figure out the other end of the floor this year. Once that happens, all opposing teams are gonna have issues.
The one concern I have had with Smart since he has entered the league is his offensive aggressiveness. Anyone that saw this kid play in college could tell how much of a bully, or bulldog, he was on the drive and in the paint. Where did that go? Smart all of a sudden only shoots contested threes. Well, now as he gets older I believe that sort of immature offensive awareness and shot selection will be miniscule. He just has to drive...dude you are the size of an NFL linebacker!
Anyways, Smart is obviously going to continue his defensive level of play, and he has been showing increase in his offense. So, it is safe to assume this guy will be a better player and more crucial player to the team in the 2016 NBA season.
Next we have Terry Rozier. This is the guy that I am by far the most excited about. I believe he will have a stellar season. He recently crushed it in the 2016 NBA Summer League, so I hope even just half of that play transfers to the real stage.
I believe Rozier is going to be that guy that minimizes the absence of Evan Turner. Turner was very important to the Celtics' success in 2015, but now he is gone. He was a great scorer off the bench. Rozier has the skills and what seems to be the intangibles as well to succeed at the highest level. It may be a crazy prediction, but I could see Rozier starting at the two over Avery Bradley by the end of the season. Not saying it will happen, just saying I could see it happening.
Again, I am simply excited by Rozier. That may be the root of all of my positive predictions for him. None the less, he will have a far better season than how he performed last year. That is inevitable. He is going to have a much larger role in 2016. This will result in more touches, meaning more points, and more game impact.
Lastly, we cannot forget the fact that Terry Rozier is also a phenomenal defender. He may be taking a back seat to Smart, Bradley, and Crowder. However, he has just as much defensive skill as anyone of those guys and he adds an athleticism that is unmatched.
So there you have it, Marcus Smart and Terry Rozier are my "risers" for the upcoming Celtics season. Be on the lookout for these two to absolutely kill it.
Also, my two honorable mentions include James Young (because I am still keeping my hopes alive on him) and Jordan Mickey (because he is a savage).
Let me know what you think!