Times haven't been ideal for the once great Boston Celtics, whose season can be described as streaky at best. Opening up with three straight losses certainly hurt, but the four straight Celtics wins had fans believing they had recovered.
Well, not quite. Boston is back to is losing ways, having dropped four straight games to fall right back into the middle of the Atlantic Division. Sure, the streak will eventually come to an end, but it will in all likelihood survive another night on Monday at the Celtics welcome Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder into TD Garden (8 p.m. EDT; TNT/WEEI).
There certainly won't be a lack of storylines in this one. For starters, anytime you have a player like Durant come to town, it's a story in itself. Durant is up to his usual tricks, averaging 25.8 points and 6.8 rebounds to lead Oklahoma City.
Of Course, Monday's game also marks the return of ex-Celtics center and scowler Kendrick Perkins, who will return to TD Garden for the first time since being traded to the Thunder at the trade deadline last season for Jeff Green.
Reggie Jackson also makes his return to the Boston area, as the former Boston College Eagles star was drafted by Oklahoma City in the first round of the 2011 NBA Draft last summer. He may not play a lot, but he's certainly notable.
To top it all off, it's Martin Luther King Jr. Day, where we as a nation honor one of the greatest freedom fighters who ever lived and is of course credited with leading the movement for black equality. You can bet the NBA will pay tribute.
Oklahoma City is at a different place than Boston from a talent perspective, so it wouldn't be entirely shocking to see the Thunder cut through the Celtics like a knife through butter. Still, even to this day, it's a foolish act to count out the Celtics.