The bliss of a five-game win streak on the heels of last month's trade deadline has been replaced by the frustration of a two-game slide for the Celtics.
Boston's next chance to reverse that trend comes on Sunday evening when the streaking Milwaukee Bucks come to TD Garden (6 p.m. EST; TV/Radio: CSNNE/WEEI).
The Celtics (46-17) will be looking to bounce back from an 89-86 loss in Philadelphia on Friday night, a game in which they went dark on offense in the later stages of the fourth quarter and couldn't push aside the Sixers, even when Philly was equally as chilly from the floor.
After the game, point guard Rajon Rondo talked about how, "nothing happened," for the Celts. Kevin Garnett, who is just 10-of-32 from the floor in his last two games, blogged that "guys are frustrated."
The Celts not only have to continue getting comfortable with all of their new faces, but must also keep improving their team defense. Despite the loss on Friday, holding the Sixers to 89 points represents some semblance of progress on that end.
Sunday's game should mark the return of Glen Davis, who has missed the C's last four with patellar tendinitis in his right knee. This will be the second meeting in a week between Boston and Milwaukee. The two teams squared off last Sunday night at the Bradley Center, with the C's coming back from a first half deficit to hold off the Bucks, 89-83.
The Bucks (26-38), who have won three in a row (all by 19-plus points) since then, were without center Andrew Bogut in that game. Bogut has averaged 11.3 points and 9.3 rebounds over the three-game winning stretch, and has put up 22.8 points and 13.3 boards in his last four games against the Celts.
Bogut will be countered by the C's hottest player of late, Nenad Krstic, who scored 16 points and grabbed 15 rebounds against the Sixers and is averaging 15.4 and 7.4 in his last five games.