The Charlotte Hornets have been in terrific form lately, winning five of their last seven games. Their season record now stands at 25-23, which is good enough for fourth place in the East standings.
The Boston Celtics, meanwhile, continue to produce inconsistent displays, recording just three wins in their last seven outings. They find themselves eighth in the East standings after a dismal 24-25 record on the season.
Fixture: Charlotte Hornets vs Boston Celtics | NBA Season 2020-21.
Date & Time: Sunday, April 4th, 2021; 6:00 PM ET (Monday, April 5th, 3:30 AM IST).
Venue: TD Garden, Boston, MA.
Charlotte Hornets Preview
The Charlotte Hornets have taken everyone by surprise this season due to their enthralling performances, especially post the All-Star break.
In the first half of the campaign, they seemed like a team that would have had to go through the play-in tournament to get to the playoffs. But a solid 8-5 run in the second half of the campaign has enabled them to aim for a direct playoff qualification berth.
In their last game, they thrashed the Indiana Pacers 114-97, thanks to a season-best performance from Miles Bridges. He scored 23 points and claimed ten boards on the night to lead the Hornets to a win. Six players apart from him also scored in double-digits for James Borrego's side.
Key Player - Terry Rozier
Terry Rozier has been in sublime form for the Charlotte Hornets this season. With Gordon Hayward ruled out for this game, along with the likes of LaMelo Ball and Malik Monk, the onus will be on Rozier to help his team beat the Boston Celtics.
Rozier is leading the scoring charts for the Charlotte Hornets with 20.3 points per game this season. He hasn't performed at the level he has been performing at in his last two games, so he is due a strong performance against the Boston Celtics. If Rozier gets going, his former team, the Boston Celtics, could be in deep trouble.
Point Guard - Devonte Graham l Shooting Guard - Terry Rozier l Small Forward - Miles Bridges l Power Forward - PJ Washington l Center - Bismack Biyombo.
Boston Celtics Preview
The Boston Celtics have been one of the most disappointing teams this season. Despite all the firepower they possess, they have struggled to perform consistently on a nightly basis.
It would be fair to say that their performances post the All-Star break have been poor, as they have recorded just five wins in 13 games during this period.
In their last game, though, they beat the Houston Rockets 118-102, which should give them some momentum ahead of a tricky matchup against the short-handed Charlotte Hornets.
Jayson Tatum led the scoring charts with 26 points, while Evan Fournier (23), Jaylen Brown (22) and Robert Williams (20) also scored more than 20 points on the night.
Key Player - Evan Fournier
Evan Fournier made a strong comeback in his last match, scoring 23 points while coming off the bench for the Boston Celtics.
He struggled in his first two games after being unable to score on his debut, missing ten field goal attempts while scoring just six points in the second match for his new side.
With the Boston Celtics struggling to find reliable scorers off the bench, Fournier's return to form from his minor slump comes as a piece of welcome news for them. The Boston Celtics could once again be able to register a comfortable win, provided Fournier plays the way he did in the last game.
Point Guard - Kemba Walker l Shooting Guard - Marcus Smart l Small Forward - Jaylen Brown l Power Forward - Jayson Tatum l Center - Robert Williams.
Hornets vs Celtics Match Prediction
The Charlotte Hornets are in better form, but the Boston Celtics have a better squad at the moment, which gives them a slight edge for this matchup.
However, the Hornets are a gritty side and aren't outright underdogs for this game, which should make things interesting as the two Eastern Conference rivals prepare to battle for the first time this season.
Where to watch Hornets vs Celtics?
The game between the Charlotte Hornets and the Boston Celtics will be televised locally on NBC Sports Boston and Bally Sports Southeast. The match can also be streamed live with an NBA League Pass.