<
>

W2W4: Celtics vs. Hornets (Game 38 of 82)

Layne Murdoch/NBAE via Getty Images

Rajon Rondo and the Celtics host the Hornets on Wednesday night.The Boston Celtics (20-17, 13-6 home) host the New Orleans Hornets (12-26, 6-13 away) on Wednesday night at TD Garden (8 p.m., CSN). Here's what to watch for:

* FAMILY MATTERS: Hornets rookie Austin Rivers is struggling at the moment and playing bite-sized minutes (logging just five in last night's win in Philadelphia), but the biggest storyline on Wednesday will undoubtedly center on Celtics coach Doc Rivers going against his son for the first time. For more on that, hop HERE.

* SYNERGY SNAPSHOT: Offensively, the Hornets rank 18th overall in the league (0.909 points per play), but actually stand first in transition offense (1.279 ppp). That's worrisome for a Boston team that ranks last in transition defense and the Celtics must force a halfcourt game. Ryan Anderson and Robin Lopez have been two of the most efficient scorers in the league, but outside of rookie Anthony Davis, the Hornets haven't gotten much help from their top rotation players. The Hornets rank 19th in spot-up shooting, but Greivis Vasquez has thrived in that play type. Defensively, New Orleans ranks 27th overall at 0.958 points per play. Lopez (.0793 ppp, 77th percentile) is the only one of the Hornets' top eight rotation players that ranks above the 55th percentile in individual defense. Rookies Davis and Rivers have struggled mightily in the defensive end.

* STEPPING ON A HORNETS NEST?: After enduring an 11-game losing streak in December, the Hornets were 7-25 at the start of the month. But New Orleans has won five of its last six, including a 111-99 triumph over the 76ers last night in Philadelphia. Look past the record as these are two of the hottest teams in basketball right now and New Orleans owns recent wins over the Texas trio of Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio. The Hornets are battle tested having endured one of the toughest schedules in the NBA.

* DEFENDING THE 3-POINT LINE: The Celtics have struggled at times to defend opponents' looks beyond the 3-point line. The Hornets don't take an exceptional amount of 3-pointers, but rank eighth in the league in 3-point percentage (37.3) and have dangerous shooters like Anderson, Vasquez, and Roger Mason.