BOSTON After what has been a slow, tumultuous start by the Boston Celtics, the road back to respectability begins at home.
And lately, home has been a good place for the Celtics who come into tonight's game against Milwaukee (again, I know) having won their last five at the TD Garden.
This will be the fourth and final regular season matchup between these two teams.
Leading the charge for Boston at home has been their defense which has been noticeably better.
During their current five game winning streak at home, the C's are giving up 91.4 points per game. For the It is that kind of play that the C's have to figure out how to maintain both at home as well as on the road where the Celtics are just 4-8.
And while there's still plenty of season left to be played, they know the goals they have set for themselves this season will be easier to accomplish the sooner they start putting together some wins.
"I know we're in December, but games are games," said Celtics big man Kevin Garnett. "We gotta figure out what we want to do and be consistent with it."
They're starting to do that at home, a trend they clearly want to stick with tonight against a Milwaukee Bucks team that's also hovering around .500.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR: Paul Pierce carried the C's to a season-high 40 points on Wednesday. No one should expect another night like that from the Captain, but he really does have to deliver 20 or so points consistently for this team to win.
MATCHUP TO WATCH: Kevin Garnett vs Larry Sanders: Now that Garnett is back to playing the power forward spot, we'll see if that helps him do a better job on Sanders who has emerged as one of the league's most improved players this season. This season, Sanders is averaging 12.7 points and 11.7 rebounds against the Celtics.
PLAYER TO WATCH: Jeff Green has been in a bit of an offensive lull lately, but the Bucks just might be what he needs to snap out of it. Some of Green's best play this season has come against Milwaukee, a team that he averages 13.7 points per game against this season while shooting 57.1 percent from the field.
STAT TO TRACK: A solid night defensively by the Celtics should lead to plenty of fast-break opportunities against a Milwaukee team that has had issues with their transition defense. The Bucks give up 16.3 points on fast breaks per game this season which ranks last in the NBA. That should help the C's improve upon their 13.5 fast break points per game average which ranks 16th in the league.