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Terry Rozier had his right hand taped up and some discomfort in his left pinkie finger when he addressed the media following Boston’s 113-101 loss at Washington.
It was a disappointing night for the Celtics, Rozier included.
And his struggles against the Wizards served as a reminder of how important the third-year guard will be in Boston’s postseason quest which begins this weekend.
The Celtics close out their regular season schedule at home tonight against Brooklyn, a good tune-up before the playoffs due to the Nets being one of the few teams in the NBA that consistently plays hard regardless of circumstances.
Facing a team like that is exactly what the Celtics need, especially coming off a disappointing loss to Washington on Tuesday night in large part because the Wizards simply out-worked them and played with greater effort, more consistently.
But Boston also struggled to execute when opportunities were there for the taking.
No Celtic seemed to be off their game more than Rozier who had eight points on 2-for-12 shooting from the field.
It was the fourth straight game Rozier has had a rough night shooting the ball.
In that span, Rozier is 10-for-37 (27.0 percent) from the field while averaging just 6.7 points per game.
Rozier’s importance and the spotlight on his play is enhanced by the absences of Kyrie Irving (left knee) and Marcus Smart (right thumb), with Irving out for the rest of the season – along with Gordon Hayward (left ankle) and Daniel Theis (torn meniscus, left knee) – while Smart may be back as early as April 27.
“We understand we don’t have Kyrie and Smart and other guys; we get it,” Rozier said. “But we still have to go out there and play. And the teams have to still go out there and go through us. That’s got to be our mindset.”
Rozier added, “We just have to be better.”
Especially in the first round where the Celtics will play either Miami, Milwaukee or Washington.
You can add Jaylen Brown to the list of Celtics players disappointed in how they performed against the Washington Wizards.
However, he doesn’t seem too concerned about how the last few games – Boston has lost four of its last five games – will impact the team’s play heading into the playoffs.
“I’m not concerned at all; could be motivating,” Brown said. “It depends on how we use it, come back next game, get ready for the playoffs. Hopefully it opens our eyes a little bit.