The Boston Celtics and Charlotte Hornets will clash off for the second time in four days on Wednesday. The last fixture between the two sides at Spectrum Center saw the Hornets maximize their home advantage as they walloped the Celtics 125-104.
Fixture: Charlotte Hornets vs Boston Celtics | NBA Season 2020-21
Date & Time: Wednesday, April 28th, 7:30 PM ET (Thursday, 5 AM IST)
Venue: TD Garden, Boston, MA
Charlotte Hornets Preview
The Charlotte Hornets have struggled with injuries in the month of April and that has eventually taken a toll on their campaign. The Hornets have lost seven of their last 10 games, including the matchup yesterday against the Milwaukee Bucks.
The Charlotte Hornets showed some signs of rejuvenation by picking up consecutive wins against the Cleveland Cavaliers and Boston Celtics last week, but it's back to square one for James Borrego's men. They could get a break, though, with both LaMelo Ball and Malik Monk slated to return by the end of this week.
Charlotte Hornets may be shorthanded in the backcourt, but their forwards have risen to the occasion of late. Miles Bridges has averaged 18.8 points and nine rebounds per game in the last five games. He's on course to become the first player in the Hornets' history to finish with a 50-40-80 shooting clip. Meanwhile, PJ Washington has averaged 19.3 points and 5.3 rebounds per game since returning from his ankle sprain.
Key Player - Terry Rozier
Terry Rozier will need to bounce back from a tough outing against the Milwaukee Bucks. Playing against his former side would be enough motivation for Rozier, who has scored over 20 points in both fixtures against the Boston Celtics this season. He even clamped Jaylen Brown during the game on Sunday. Rozier leads the Charlotte Hornets in scoring, averaging 20.4 points, 4.1 assists and 4.2 rebounds per game this season.
Charlotte Hornets Predicted Lineup
G Terry Rozier, G Devonte' Graham, F Cody Martin, F Miles Bridges, C PJ Washington
Boston Celtics Preview
The Boston Celtics hit rock-bottom last night when they lost to the Oklahoma City Thunder, who were on a 14-game losing streak of their own. The Celtics have been pretty ordinary over the last 10 days. They've lost four of their last five games. Three of these losses were against teams who are below .500 on the season.
In more concerning news, Jaylen Brown suffered an apparent hand injury towards the end of the game yesterday. He could miss out against the Charlotte Hornets. Both Jayson Tatum and Kemba Walker are expected to return to the lineup after being rested against the Thunder. Robert Williams is also expected to return from his long layoff.
Walker will have to pick up some of the scoring slack if Brown sits out on Wednesday. He's averaged 26 points, six rebounds and 3.7 assists over his last three appearances, so Walker is well-equipped to carry the extra load for the Boston Celtics.
Key Player - Jayson Tatum
Jayson Tatum looked absolutely out of sorts against the Charlotte Hornets in the previous fixture and will have a point to prove tonight. Tatum's form has had a massive impact on the Boston Celtics' results. He's scored over 20 points in just two of his last six games. In comparison, Tatum averaged 29.4 points and 8.6 rebounds in the first two weeks of April, with the Celtics winning six of their seven games during this stretch. He'll be hoping to get the Cs out of a rut again on Wednesday.
Boston Celtics Predicted Lineup
G Kemba Walker, G Marcus Smart, F Semi Ojeleye, F Jayson Tatum, C Robert Williams
Hornets vs Celtics Match Prediction
Both the Charlotte Hornets and Boston Celtics have been in patchy form of late, but it's the latter who has the capacity to do much better. The main reason the Hornets were able to catch the Celtics off guard on Sunday is that Brad Stevens' men simply did not play with enough energy or tenacity.
That won't be the case tonight as the Boston Celtics will be playing with a chip on their shoulders following the loss to O. Expect Tatum and co. to win this tie.
Where to watch Hornets vs Celtics?
Local coverage of this matchup will be available on Bally Sports Southeast–Charlotte and NBC Sports Boston. You can also live stream the same via the NBA League Pass.