The Celtics host the struggling Mavericks at the Garden on Monday before a two-week stretch that will see them play a handful of the league's elite teams. The Celtics need to quickly get back to playing their game before their inconsistent play becomes a losing streak.
When and Where
Monday, Jan. 18, 8 p.m. ET
TD Garden, Boston, Mass.
Celtics (27-11, first place in Atlantic Division, second place in Eastern Conference)
Mavericks (26-14, first place in Southwest Division, second place in Western Conference)
Head to Head
The Celtics and Mavericks meet for the first of two matchups this season. After Monday's game, the two teams won't meet again until March 20 in Dallas for the regular-season finale between the clubs.
The Celtics have lost three of their last five with two of those losses coming at home and two of them coming against the Hawks. The Mavericks come to Boston as losers of three of their last four, having been blown out by 22 points in Toronto on Sunday. One of the two teams will gain some needed momentum with Monday's meeting, as both could certainly use a push entering the second half of the season.
Point guard: Rajon Rondo
Shooting guard: Ray Allen
Small forward: Paul Pierce
Power forward: Brian Scalabrine
Center: Kendrick Perkins
Point guard: Jason Kidd
Small forward: Shawn Marion
Small forward: Josh Howard
Power forward: Dirk Nowitzki
Center: Erick Dampier
Paul Pierce is averaging 19.5 points in six games since returning to the lineup.
Brian Scalabrine is averaging 9 points per game over his last three games after going pointless in seven straight games.
Ray Allen did not record a 3-pointer on Thursday against the Bulls. It was the first time Allen did not make a 3-pointer in a game since Dec. 3 at San Antonio.
Rajon Rondo has three double-doubles in January after having seven of them in December.
Kendrick Perkins has recorded double-digits in points in eight straight games.
Dirk Nowitzki scored 19 points against the Raptors on Sunday, and it was the first time Nowitzki did not score at least 22 points in eight January games.
Josh Howard has not scored 20 points in a game since Dec. 8 against the Suns.
Shawn Marion has not made a 3-pointer this season, despite being a career 34-percent shooter from behind the arc.
Jason Kidd was one assist short against the Raptors from posting his third straight double-double.
Erick Dampier has reached double-digits in rebounds just once in his last eight games.
Black and Blue
Rasheed Wallace is out with a sore left foot, but could return against the Mavericks.
Kevin Garnett is out with a hyperextended right knee. He will likely miss another week.
Marquis Daniels is out with a thumb injury. Doc Rivers says he projects to be back in the lineup right after the All-Star break.
Eduardo Janera is day-to-day with a back injury.
This Date in Celtics History
In 1998, Robert Parish's "00" is retired to the FleetCenter rafters in a halftime ceremony of the game against the Indiana Pacers. The contest also marks the return of Larry Bird to Boston for the first time since he was named head coach of the Pacers. Indiana prevails 103-96.
?It?s just amazing the luck right now with things like that. That?s why he was so upset. He said, ?Man, that?s right on the spot that was starting to feel better.' "
–Doc Rivers on boston.com about Paul Pierce's collision with teammate Shelden Williams at practice
Paul Pierce suffered another issue with his knee at practice.
Rasheed Wallace should be able to play on Monday.
The Celtics aren't playing like themselves lately.
The Mavericks seem to have lost their way.
The Mavs aren't built for a title as currently constructed.
Dirk Nowitzki recently hit a major milestone.
The Bucks are close to signing Jerry Stackhouse.
Gilbert Arenas could be facing time behind bars.
Dwyane Wade broke the Heat's all-time assist record.
The Celtics are still looking for some consistency with Kevin Garnett sitting on the sidelines. With the Mavericks, Magic, Hawks and Lakers on the schedule over the next two weeks, the Celtics need to find an answer to their inconsistent play in a hurry. There is a great opportunity for the team to turn around their recent struggles against the Mavericks on Monday, but Dallas will be looking to do the same in what should be a tight game.