The Boston Celtics (4-7, 2-4 away) visit the Houston Rockets (7-4, 4-2 home) on Tuesday night at the Toyota Center (8 p.m., CSN). Here's what to watch for:
OFFENSIVE LANGUAGE: The Celtics are enduring a tough stretch against some of the league's most potent offenses. Now it's Houston, which ranks fourth in the league in offensive rating (106) and second in scoring average (10.8.8 points per game). The Rockets are shooting 46.9 percent from the floor this season (6th best in NBA) and are second in 3-point attempts (despite hitting only 32.9 percent). The Rockets also get to the free throw at an insanely high rate and play at a cranked pace (100.75 possessions per 48 minutes; 5th in NBA). It all adds up a daunting night for Boston.
NO SECOND CHANCES: The Rockets are tops in the NBA in rebound percentage (53.3 percent). But here's the crazy part: Houston ranks near the bottom of the league in defensive rebound percentage (27th overall), but is fifth on the offensive glass to pump up its overall numbers. Against an offensive like this, Boston must limit the second-chance opportunities.
FRESH LEGS FOR C'S: For the first time since the season tipped on Oct. 30, the Celtics enjoyed consecutive days off after playing Saturday night in Minnesota. After playing 11 games in 18 days, Boston got a chance to catch its breath a bit (just in time to play four games in the next five nights in four different cities). The extra time gives Brad Stevens and his staff a chance to further game plan for upcoming opponents.
WHAT ELSE?: The Rockets are exploitable on defense as they give up a whopping 106.3 points per game (29th in the NBA). ... Houston is also 29th in the NBA in turnover rate (18.7 percent). ... Houston is favored by a whopping 10.5 points. ... How will Jeff Green respond after being held without a field goal last time out? ... Boston as a whole is coming off its most lopsided loss of the season and it will be interesting to see how it bounces back in a tough matchup.