BOSTON The Boston Celtics (5-8) are looking to inch closer to the .500 mark against the Phoenix Suns (5-9), a team with similar aspirations. For the C's, that'll be tougher to do than usual because of Rajon Rondo's right wrist injury which will keep him out of tonight's game. That could be a major problem, especially against a Suns team that's led by Steve Nash, the NBA's leader in assists.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR - Paul Pierce, the playmaker. With Rondo out and Bradley unlikely to run the offense, Pierce will play more of a a point-forward role for the Celtics. We saw what that looked like against the Raptors, a game in which Pierce had a team-high seven assists.
MATCHUP TO WATCH - Kevin Garnett vs. Channing Frye. There's certainly no love lost between these two. But each could play a significant part in their respective team's chances of winning. This will be one of the few matchups where Garnett has a strength edge. But Frye's ability to stretch the floor with his perimeter shooting will make it tough for Garnett to be the rebounder that the C's need tonight.
PLAYER TO WATCH: Mickael Pietrus. He has been a major spark off the Celtics bench, providing the kind of offensive lift the C's desperately need from their second unit. Facing his former team for the first time, it'll be interesting if he'll stick to his usually solid play, or try to make a point and try to do more than the C's need.
STAT TO TRACK: Ray Allen's shot attempts. He has taken less than 10 in each of the last three games. It's never a good thing when you're best shooter isn't doing what he does best. Look for the Celtics to try and get Allen on track offensively early.