Heat’s Rozier seeks footing amid whirlwind, ‘It’s been a crazy week, to say the least’

MIAMI — The smile that Terry Rozier displayed upon his Tuesday arrival to Miami was part of the warmth of being in a better place.

The cold reality is that the veteran guard has experienced victory far more recently than any of his current teammates, with the Heat on a six-game losing streak.

Winless in his first three games with the Heat, Rozier was coming off a victory last Monday with the Charlotte Hornets on the eve of his trade for Kyle Lowry and a first-round pick.

The difference is now the games mean more, which, Rozier said, means the losses sting more.

“The difference between the organizations, and simply the difference is guys over here don’t like losing, they don’t like losing,” the 6-foot-1 guard said, with the Heat shifting their focus to Monday night’s visit to Kaseya Center by the Phoenix Suns. “It’s something that they’re not used to. Like I said, we’re all just looking to turn this thing around together and we’re going to figure it out.”

At 24-22, the Heat remain well ahead of the 10-34 Hornets in the standings. But what Rozier came for is something more significant. After playing in 50 playoff games in his first four seasons while with the Boston Celtics, the 29-year-old veteran hasn’t played in one in these five seasons since.

“It’s been a crazy week to say the least,” he said. “But I think we’re all still trying to figure it out together. And the most important thing is wins and losses. Obviously the way I play is going to come into effect, is going to come into play. That’s the reason they brought me over here.

“We’re most importantly trying to get wins, and you kind of feel that around the locker room. We’re kind of desperate right now. And it’s going to happen. It’s got to turn for us, because we’ve all got the right attitude. So hopefully it will turn for us ASAP.”

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It has been an uneven go for Rozier in Heat colors, since his arrival shooting 3 of 11, 3 of 10 and then 4 of 12 in Saturday’s 125-109 loss to the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden.

The irony, Rozier said, is he is getting cleaner looks than with the Hornets, where he was shooting .459 this season, compared to this .303 start with the Heat.

“I’ve never been traded, the middle of the season, with guys I’m actually open with now, because they’re getting a lot of attention. I’m not so used to that,” he said. “But, like I said, we’ll figure it out.

“Us all being competitors in this locker room, it’s tough on us, but we’ll figure it out. And I just got to be myself. When you’ve got one through 15 guys plus the coach telling me to be myself, that’s what I got to do.”

Coach Erik Spoelstra said he appreciates the delicate balance.

“He’ll figure it out,” Spoelstra said. “He’s tried to fit in. I get that. We’re all saying the same thing. We want Terry to be Terry. He’s going to unlock other things for us and you can see the burst that he gives us, the rim pressure that we need.

“And that’s not just the head coach saying that, that’s his teammates saying that. And once he gets comfortable, those are really good and needed opportunities for our team offensively.”

The reality is there has not been a single practice day since Rozier’s arrival, with Tuesday the next opportunity.

That, center Bam Adebayo said, means no true chemistry on pick-and-roll sets, through no fault of Rozier.

“Not really, not yet,” he said. “Probably when we have more practices and get to watch film together, then we’ll get to have a good conversation and discuss at that point.”

That means more playing on instinct in the interim.

“You just let him find his way,” Adebayo said, “let him run in the flow, get him in actions where he can be aggressive and then we see how it goes.”

As for the wayward shots? Jimmy Butler said just let it fly.

“We need him to be him. We want him to be him,” Butler said. “That’s the reason that he’s here. And the more comfortable that he gets, the more he realizes we’re all in his corner to shoot the ball and to be aggressive, to attack.

“So as much as we are on him about it, we’ll be on him even more about it, because we want him to be him.”