The Celtics split their two games while Rondo was out, but the point guard's absence wasn't really the issue: Friday night, they had no problem with the Portland Trail Blazers while Courtney Lee filled up the stat sheet in a starting role, and Saturday Jason Terry had a double-double with 15 points and 11 assists. But they couldn't handle Larry Sanders, who had 18 points, 16 rebounds, and five blocks in the Milwaukee Bucks win.
The Timberwolves will provide a tough matchup for the Celtics, having just beaten the same Bucks team that just beat the Celtics. Kevin Love has predictably been a monster in his return from offseason injury, but it's been a team effort with six players averaging double digit points. Minnesota boasts the sixth-best defensive efficiency in the league, and are one of the best rebounding teams in the league with Love, Nikola Pekovic, and Andrei Kirilenko - not a good sign for the Celtics after their struggles with Sanders. The Wolves are 7-8, but Love has only been back for six games and Ricky Rubio is nearing return from his injury.
The Celtics are off until Wednesday night. Here's a look at their schedule for this week as well as national matchups:
Monday, December 3
Milwaukee Bucks vs. New Orleans Hornets, 8 p.m., NBATV
Tuesday, December 4
Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Brooklyn Nets, 7:30 p.m., NBATV
Wednesday, December 5
Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Boston Celtics, 7:30 p.m., Comcast SportsNet-New England
Denver Nuggets vs. Atlanta Hawks, 8 p.m., ESPN
Dallas Mavericks vs. Los Angeles Clippers, 10:30 p.m., ESPN
Thursday, December 6
New York Knicks vs. Miami Heat, 8 p.m., TNT
Dallas Mavericks vs. Phoenix Suns, 10:30 p.m., TNT