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The 1 Hornets player with most to prove after 2022 All-Star break

Hornets, Hornets All-Star break, Hornets season prove

The Charlotte Hornets went into the 2022 All-Star break on a down note, blowing a late lead in regulation and suffering a painful double-overtime loss to the division rival Miami Heat on Thursday. This gave the Hornets a ninth loss in their last 10 games heading into the break, dropping them to 29-31 on the season after things were looking so promising just a few weeks ago. Charlotte is still sitting in the No. 9 spot in the East, but the 10th-seeded Atlanta Hawks are tied with them and the No. 11 Washington Wizards are a game back.

The Hornets can still turn things around and at least make the play-in tournament, but it has been tough sledding of late. They need some guys to bring more to the table, and that especially includes Terry Rozier with Gordon Hayward out of the lineup with an injury.

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Hornets player with most to prove after 2022 All-Star break

Scary Terry needs to step up to take this team to the next level. In the Hornets’ last game against the Heat, Rozier only had five points on 2-of-9 shooting in 36 minutes. Taking only nine shots in 36 minutes is a problem, especially considering he also only had three assists.

Of course, Rozier typically doesn’t have a problem getting up shots. The guard is averaging nearly 19 field goal attempts per game in the month of February. The problem is he’s only converting on 41.7% of those looks and 30.7% from deep on nearly 10 attempts per game. The Hornets as a team have really struggled shooting the ball of late, with Rozier being emblematic of these problems. He needs to find a rhythm and be more consistent after being such a terrific shooter the last two seasons with the franchise, knocking down 40.7% from deep in 2019-20 and 38.9% last season. He’s still at 36.0% on 3-pointers this season, but that number is trending way down right now.

LaMelo Ball and Miles Bridges have been nothing short of spectacular, but with Hayward out, Charlotte needs its next-best player to perform at a higher level. Even if he’s not scoring at a high rate, Rozier needs to impact the game in other ways, whether that’s as a playmaker or playing inspired defense.

With Hayward and a few other key role players being out, the pressure is on in Charlotte to turn things around. The Hornets are going to have to figure some things out to make a push into the postseason. They have the right group of guys to get it done, especially after trading for Montrezl Harrell.

Rozier may not be the best player on the team, but his play could be the most important to the squad. Ball and Bridges have been reliable, but can Rozier return to form to help his team get into the postseason? Can he find a way to impact the game outside of just scoring? Lastly, can he find a way to be more consistent and string those good games together?

Only time will tell, but the Charlotte Hornets’ future depends on it. Terry Rozier has a lot to prove after agreeing to a long-term contract extension worth nearly $100 million this past summer. The 27-year-old guard needs to show he’s worth that contract and can lead the Hornets to meaningful success.