Fresh off a five-day layoff, the rested and recharged Celtics resume their season Tuesday night with the first of a four-game West Coast road trip in Oakland against the Golden State Warriors. Although the C's had four players in attendance at Sunday night's All-Star game in L.A., none of them played more than 21 minutes, with Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett logging just 11 and eight, respectively. Those two, along with fellow All-Stars Ray Allen and Rajon Rondo, as well as coach Doc Rivers and his staff, made the journey north to join their teammates for tonight's game against the Warriors (26-29).
With 28 games remaining in the regular season and the league's trade deadline looming on Thursday, the Celts, thin at the small forward spot after Marquis Daniels's spinal cord injury a couple weeks ago, will actively be looking to deal for reinforcements, according to Rivers. Rumors of the C's making a play for Houston Rockets forward Shane Battier were shot down Monday night, with Boston more likely to look at names like Cleveland's Anthony Parker or the Clippers' Rasual Butler. At any rate, acquiring depth at the 3-spot seems crucial, with players like Luol Deng, Hedo Turkoglu and now, perhaps even Carmelo Anthony as likely opponents come playoff time.
The Celts will be looking to end a six-game losing streak at Oracle Arena, the Warriors home court on which they are 19-11 on the season. In each of Golden State's last three home wins over the Celts, it has come from at least 12 points down. The Warriors are led by guard Monta Ellis, who averages 25.3 points and 5.5 assists per game and dropped 37 on the Green in the team's last Bay Area meeting. The Warriors are 7-2 in their last nine games and have give up just 97.6 PPG over that stretch. Speaking of defense, the Celts will face a tough task in slowing down their hosts. The C's allow only 91.1 points per game, tops in the NBA. But the Warriors are averaging 102.9 per contest, good for seventh in the league overall.
The Celts (40-14) get back to work, opening up a West Coast swing tonight in Oakland against the Warriors at 10:30 p.m. EST, on Comcast Sports Net New England.