Terry Rozier openly discusses challenges of playing with Kyrie Irving

Darren Hartwell

Terry Rozier openly discusses challenges of playing with Kyrie Irving originally appeared on nbcsportsboston.com

Want direct insight into the Boston Celtics' roller coaster of a season?

Just talk to Terry Rozier.

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The Celtics guard has been candid all season about the frustrating reality of returning to a backup role behind Kyrie Irving, and how re-integrating Irving and Gordon Hayward into the lineup has led to strife in Boston's locker room.

In an interview Tuesday on ESPN's "Get Up!", Rozier openly discussed what made Irving challenging to play with at times.

"He's a great guy. Great leader. You just have to adjust to his style," Rozier told host Mike Greenberg. "Whatever Kyrie wants done, he's gonna show it. That's what he wants done. And you have to adjust to his style of play and how he goes about every game every day."

Rozier said he believed his teammates got used to Irving's leadership style by the end of the season. But in Rozier's eyes, there still was an on-court disconnect between how the Celtics practiced with Irving and how they played.

"We would come in the game and it would be a different game plan than what we kind of expected and kind of went through in practice, so it was different," Rozier admitted.

"We had the first five and then we had the second five (in practice). And when we go out there, I feel like a lot of guys would be mixed up. It wouldn't be the first five and the second five.

"So, what we'd be talking about in practice is not what we went through in the game. It was like, all right, we're going to keep Kyrie out there and put the other guys out there with him, and we're going to figure it out."

That would seem to be either an indictment of head coach Brad Stevens, who had to manage egos and make some difficult lineup decisions on a crowded roster, or Irving, who perhaps undermined parts of Stevens' game plan when he took the floor. In any case, the C's never found the right formula, losing four straight to the Milwaukee Bucks to bow out of the second round of the NBA playoffs in five games.

Irving is expected to hit unrestricted free agency this offseason, while Rozier will become a restricted free agent. Based on the latter's comments, it's hard to see the two playing on the same team in 2019-20.

Here's video of Rozier's full interview with Greenberg:

 

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