It's hard to imagine, especially considering the unbridled bad feelings in the aftermath of the Celtics trade that sent Kendrick Perkins and Nate Robinson to Oklahoma City in exchange for Jeff Green and Nenad Krstic. But the C's, who were asleep at the wheel that same night in an 89-75 loss in Denver, are perfect ever since. They will look to win their sixth straight game, all with Green and Krstic in the rotation, Wednesday night at the TD Garden against the L.A. Clippers and their high-flying, Rookie of the Year candidate, Blake Griffin.
The Celts are on a roll since the deal, scoring 103.4 points per game, 22.2 of which have come from Paul Pierce. Kristic and Green have fit in nicely as well, with the big man staring all six games and posting 12.2 points and Green, given more minutes in the Celts last two wins due to Glen Davis' injury, looking more and more comfortable, as his 21 point showing last Friday night against the Warriors attests.
The Celts will be short-handed again against the Clips, with Davis and Delonte West each expected to miss at least tow more games, and Shaquille O'Neal still out with Achilles problems. These injuries will likely mean more minutes for the newer Celtics, with the newest point guard Carlos Arroyo, expected to make his Boston debut vs. L.A. Arroyo, waived by the Miami Heat last week to make room for Mike Bibby, was the Heat's starting point guard for their first 42 games, lost that job in late January and was pushed out entirely when Bibby entered the fold. He will primarily be used as Rajon Rondo's chief backup until West returns from his sprained ankle.
The Clippers are just 6-25 on the road this season but are currently riding a three-game winning streak, including a 92-87 victory at Charlotte on Monday night. With guard Eric Gordon out with wrist problems, Griffin is their leader, averaging 22.7 points and 12.5 rebounds per game. This will be the two teams second meeting of the season; the Celts won the first, which was also the first game of the Krstic/Green era, to kick off this winning streak, 99-92, on Feb. 26, in L.A.
The Celtics (46-15) look to keep their streak rolling when they meet the Clippers (24-40) Wednesday night at 7:30 p.m. EST, on Comcast Sports Net New England.