Michael Dwyer/Associated Press
Terry Rozier is making sure everyone knows the Boston Celtics remain confident heading into the postseason, despite having a roster plagued by injuries.
Per ESPN’s Chris Forsberg, Rozier said Friday that teams will have to go through the Celtics if they want to win a championship.
“It sucks to see your brothers go down — (Marcus) Smart, (Daniel) Theis, Kyrie (Irving), (Gordon) Hayward — but, like I said, it’s not over,” he said. “It’s not going to be an easy road for our opponents. They still have to go through us. We’re ready.”
Last year, as the No. 1 seed in the East, the Celtics lost Isaiah Thomas for the final three games of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Cleveland Cavaliers due to a hip injury and lost the series in five games.
Forsberg noted the Celtics had a total of 216 missed games from their players due to injuries this season. Hayward only played five minutes this season after fracturing his tibia and dislocating his ankle in the season opener against the Cleveland Cavaliers.
On April 5, Irving was ruled out for the postseason with a knee injury that requires surgery and a recovery time of four to five months.
Celtics head coach Brad Stevens told reporters on Tuesday that Smart could return from his thumb injury within two weeks, assuming the team is still playing.
Despite all of those injuries, Boston finished the regular season with the second-best record in the Eastern Conference at 55-27. It will open the postseason at the TD Garden on Sunday against the Milwaukee Bucks.