The Boston Celtics (22-42, 14-19 home) host the New York Knicks (25-40, 11-20 away) on Wednesday night at TD Garden. Here's what to watch for:
NO RONDO FOR CELTICS: Rajon Rondo will stick to his routine of resting on the second nights of back-to-backs (this is the fifth such instance since his return on Jan. 17). Knowing Rondo was going to sit out Wednesday's tilt with the Knicks, the Celtics rode him for 41 minutes, including all 24 minutes in the second half of Tuesday's loss in Indiana. With Avery Bradley still eyeing a Friday return, that leaves Boston without its starting backcourt against the Knicks. Typically, the Celtics shuffle undrafted rookie Phil Pressey into the starting point guard role, while Jerryd Bayless has started six games at shooting guard with Boston.
KNICKS MAKING A SURGE: The Knicks have won four straight while shuffling within 3 ½ games of the final playoff berth in the East. As noted by STATS LLC: The Knicks are "averaging 114.0 points while shooting 41.3 percent (50 for 121) from 3-point range during the win streak. Their 123-110 victory Monday night over Philadelphia may have been the most encouraging one since rookie Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 28 points and was one of four Knicks to finish with at least 20 as Anthony didn't have to shoulder the scoring burden alone."
LOOSE BALLS: This is the fourth and final meeting of the season between the two teams. The Celtics own a 2-1 advantage, but dropped a 114-88 decision at Madison Square Garden in January. ... Tyson Chandler (personal reasons) and Amar'e Stoudemire (recovery) will not play for the Knicks. Cole Aldrich moves into the starting lineup for New York ... The Knicks can match their season-long win streak. ... The Celtics shot 35 percent in Indy and are hoping for better bounces back at home.