The suddenly ice cold Boston Celtics (12-12) seek to snap their three-game losing skid when then host the equally embattled Cleveland Cavaliers (5-21) on Wednesday night at TD Garden in Boston, MA.
After picking up a 117-115 wild double overtime win against the Dallas Mavericks, who were without star big Dirk Nowitzki, the Celtics embarked upon a three game road trip that had stops in Houston, San Antonio and Chicago. A slow start doomed Boston in its 101-89 loss to the Houston Rockets while opportunities slipped away against the Spurs (103-88 loss Saturday) and the Bulls (100-89 loss Tuesday). Plane trouble kept the Celtics in Chicago until Wednesday, so they will be playing a game on the same day it flew into town.
It has often been said that, as Rondo goes, so go the Celtics. That wasn't exactly the case on the recent road trip, however, barring a poor six-point, nine-assist performance in San Antonio. Over the past three games, Rondo has averaged 15.6 points and 10.0 assists, but has give the ball away 5.6 times on average.
While Rondo carries the Celtics, it is Kryie Irving who carries the Cavaliers. Irving has been having a stellar season, posting averages of 23.7 points, 5.7 assists, 3.7 rebounds and 1.2 steals. Irving is shooting a healthy 47.4 percent from the field and is making 42.5 percent of his shots from three-point range. Unfortunately for Cleveland, Irving's dominance has not translated to many wins, partly because Irving missed 11 straight games due to injury and is currently playing with a broken jaw. Cleveland has now dropped four straight games and has only won once in the month of December against the Lakers.
This is the first of four meetings between Boston and Cleveland this season, with the next three coming on Jan. 22, Mar. 27 and April 5. Last season the Celtics and Cavs met three times, with Boston winning two meetings but Cleveland stealing the lone game at TD Garden behind Irving's 21 points.
Wednesday's game tips off at 7:30 p.m. ET and will air on CSNNE and WEEI.
For more Boston Celtics coverage, check out our team blog, Celtics Blog.