The Boston Celtics won't have an easy holiday season, as they take on a pair of tough opponents on the road this week starting with a Christmas Day game.
It's been a bit of a rough patch for Boston, who have lost four of five. It won't get any easier: first up are the Brooklyn Nets, on Christmas in Brooklyn. The Nets are struggling too -- they've dropped eight of ten -- but have had the C's number this year, winning both outings between the two teams. However, they haven't yet beaten a Boston team with Rajon Rondo fully participating: he was hurt for a 102-97 loss on Nov. 16, and got ejected after only 18 minutes of court time in a 95-83 loss on Nov. 28, although the team was already down by quite a bit when that incident happened.
Next up are the Los Angeles Clippers, who are on an absolute tear, winning their last 12 in a row. And they haven't just been winning, they've been running teams out of the gym, winning their last four games by double digits. They have the league's fourth-best offensive efficiency and fourth-best defensive efficiency, with Blake Griffin and Chris Paul doing their thing while Jamal Crawford has provided a critical scoring boost off the bench.
Here's a look at the team's weekday outings, plus other nationally televised games:
Tuesday, Dec. 25
Boston Celtics vs. Brooklyn Nets, 12 p.m., ESPN
Denver Nuggets vs. Los Angeles Clippers, 10:30 p.m., ESPN
Wednesday, Dec. 26
New York Knicks vs. Phoenix Suns, 9 p.m., NBATV
Thursday, Dec. 27
Dallas Mavericks vs. Oklahoma City Thunder, 8 p.m., TNT
Boston Celtics vs. Los Angeles Clippers, 10:30 p.m., TNT