Game 15: Celtics vs. Nets

at TD Garden, 7:30 p.m. | CSN, WEEI (850 AM)

GAME PREVIEW (via Stats Inc.)

The Boston Celtics may be without Rajon Rondo again, but so far Nate Robinson is filling in nicely. Facing the New Jersey Nets may soften the blow of another absence by the NBA's assists leader.

The Celtics may have Robinson starting at the point again as they look to re-establish their dominance of the Nets on Wednesday night at TD Garden.

Boston (10-4) isn't sure if Rondo is healthy enough to return from a strained left hamstring that has forced him to miss two games, leaving the team without the speedy guard's 14.3 assists per game.

While Rondo's continued absence could turn into a major problem, Robinson has been impressive in his first two starts of 2010-11.

The guard scored 16 points and dished out a season-high 10 assists in a 99-76 win at Atlanta on Monday. That effort came a night after Robinson put up a season-high 22 points only to see Boston lose 102-101 at Toronto in a performance the team used as motivation against the Hawks.

"Guys were (ticked) off," said swingman Paul Pierce, who had 13 points Monday and leads the team with an average of 19.9. "That's the way we should be every night. We should never have to use losses to motivate us."

The Celtics may find themselves in a similar situation against the Nets (5-9) after losing the most recent matchup 104-96 at home on Feb. 27 with Pierce out injured. That defeat ended their 12-game winning streak in the series, including a five-game run at home.

Read the full preview HERE.


  • HealthPoint: No, Boston's practice facility has nothing to do with Wednesday's game, but the health of the Celtics' point guards does. Will Rajon Rondo return from a sore left hamstring? (The Celtics are exercising extreme caution). Is Nate Robinson's ankle OK after tweaking it in the third quarter Monday? (He suggested it is). Boston has newfound depth at the guard spot with Delonte West and Avery Bradley, but a healthy Rondo and Robinson would be advantageous.

  • Memories linger: Sure, the Celtics saw the Nets twice in the preseason, but the last regular-season meeting should remain fresh in Boston's mind: An embarrassing 104-96 loss to a then-five-win Nets squad on the Garden floor in late February. Kevin Garnett said after the game he was "disgusted" by the loss. Can the Celtics atone for last year's transgression (just as they did last week against the Wizards)?

  • Feed the Baby: Not only did Glen Davis' charge streak come to an end Monday in Atlanta, but he's been struggling offensively the last few games. He's just 9-of-29 shooting (31 percent) over his last four contests averaging 6.8 points per game. Boston needs to get him back on track, as his early season contributions were key to a fast start.