When Terry Rozier faces his old team on Sunday, he’ll actually be on the team with the superior record.
Rozier’s Hornets squad enters Sunday’s matchup against the Celtics with a 25-23 record, which is better than the Celtics’ 24-25 record on the year. While the Celtics have been unimpressive for much of the season, Rozier doesn’t view his old squad that way.
“To be honest I think they’re not that bad,” Rozier told reporters prior to Sunday’s game. “I think people in the city kind of overreact sometimes because they’re the Boston Celtics. I think they expect more, but I don’t think things are that bad.”
The Celtics, who were projected to be one of the top four teams in the Eastern Conference heading into the season, have hovered around .500 for much of the last two months after starting the season 8-3. Their underwhelming record though could be explained due to time missed from COVID-19 (Jayson Tatum, Robert Williams, Tristan Thompson, and Romeo Langford have missed several games due to the virus) and injuries (Kemba Walker, Marcus Smart, and Langford have missed significant time).
Meanwhile, the Hornets hold the fourth spot that many expected the Celtics would have. Rozier has been a big reason for that. In his second season in Charlotte, Rozier’s averaging a team-high 20.3 points per game while shooting 41 percent from 3-point range. He also has 3.4 assists and four rebounds per game.
Rozier isn’t the only ex-Celtic that’s been a major contributor for the Hornets. Gordon Hayward’s averaging 19.6 points, 5.9 rebounds, and 4.1 assists per game in his first season since leaving Boston.
However, Hayward won’t be on the court for his return to Boston on Sunday. Hayward suffered a right foot sprain in the Hornets’ win over the Pacers on Friday and the team ruled him out for the next four weeks. If Hayward is out for that much time, it’s unlikely he’ll play the Celtics at all this season. The other two Celtics-Hornets matchups are on April 25 and 28, which are within the four-week timetable.
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