The injury-riddled Celtics could get a boost Tuesday night against Oklahoma City at the Garden as Kyrie Irving (knee) is expected to return to the lineup.
“I think he feels better and better,” Celtics head coach Brad Stevens told MassLive.com. “He just doesn’t quite feel 100 percent. So until that point, then he’ll be out. There was a chance that he would play [Sunday in the loss to the Pelicans]. He just didn’t quite feel that. And again, we’re going to make sure he feels that way.”
Jaylen Brown (concussion) could also return to the Celtics lineup Tuesday but it’s a 50-50 deal at this point.
Irving and Brown are the Celtics’ two leading scorers this season and the C’s could certainly use both of them Tuesday night against a Thunder team that is finally finding its way this season. Oklahoma City has rattled off six straight wins as Russell Westbrook, Paul George and Carmelo Anthony are now excelling in their respective roles.
The Thunder put up a whopping 132 points in a win over the East-leading Raptors Sunday in Toronto as Westbrook poured in 37 points. Oklahoma City (43-29) has now climbed into the No. 4 seed in the Western Conference while the Celtics (47-23) look almost certain to be the No. 2 seed in the East come playoff time.
The Celtics have struggled to score in their last two outings as they put up just 92 points in a nine-point win over Orlando last Friday, and they totaled just 89 points in a 19-point loss in New Orleans Sunday.
Ray vs. Rondo
The Rajon Rondo – Ray Allen beef is 100 percent real as Rondo went after Allen this past weekend following excerpts of Allen’s new book being released. In the excerpts, Allen goes into several stories that paint Rondo in a bad light – particularly one about Rondo allegedly saying he “carried the Celtics” to the 2008 championship.
“[Allen] just wants attention,” Rondo told The Boston Globe. “I actually need some sales from [the book]. The only [publicity] it’s been getting is from my name. I need some percentage or something … Obviously that man is hurting. I don’t know if it’s financially, I don’t know if it’s mentally. He wants to stay relevant. I am who I am. I don’t try to be something I’m not. I can’t say the same for him. He’s looking for attention. I’m a better human being than that. I take accountability for my actions.”