CLEVELAND The last time Boston and Cleveland played, way back on Sunday, the Celtics choked away an 11-point lead in the fourth as Kyrie Irving capped off the Cavaliers comeback with a driving, left-handed lay-up, giving Cleveland an 88-87 win.
Disappointment was the mood of choice following the loss, especially for Paul Pierce who made a bit of noise afterward about whether Doc Rivers should have sat him for as long as he did.
Rivers went with the second unit guys for the bulk of the fourth. He brought Pierce and Kevin Garnett in with just under four minutes to play, and the C's ahead by seven.
"I wish I was a fortune teller," was Pierce's response after Sunday's game when asked about how different the game would have been had he re-entered it sooner. "I don't think this would have been the outcome."
Rivers is well aware of Pierce's feelings on the matter, but doesn't believe it's that big a deal.
In fact, it's not even something he believes is worth talking over with Pierce.
"We were up 11, 12 (points)," Rivers said. "He had still played 33, 34 minutes. If Paul was 25, he probably would have been in. But, he knows what I'm gonna do. He likes it most of the time, but when you lose, no one likes it. So I don't think it's a big deal; I don't think it's something I need to have a conversation about."
With Rivers indicating that being a non-issue heading into tonight's game, let's take a look at a few issues that will factor into tonight's game as the Celtics (9-10) look to get back to .500 basketball.