8 a.m. ET: If ESPN tries to play up the angle of Rajon Rondo versus Kris Humphries on Tuesday, go ahead and finish unwrapping your presents, because a repeat of the Nov. 28 fireworks between those two is unlikely.
Humphries did not play in the Nets’ last game, a 95-92 win over the Sixers, and he played less than 18 minutes against the Knicks last Wednesday. It appears that getting tackled by 6-foot-1 Celtics point guards is not the only weakness in Humphries’ game. His scoring is down in December to 5.8 points per game and he is still an atrocious defender. Most damning of all, his rebounding — one of the few reliable parts of his game — is down to 6.3 boards per game this month.
On the other hand, if ESPN bills this as a matchup of two Atlantic Division foes who consider themselves championship contenders despite rough stretches, set aside your stocking for halftime and keep it locked here for your in-game infotainment. The Nets (14-12) had lost three straight before Sunday’s win and have lost eight of their last 11. The Celtics (13-13) have one win in their last five tries.
Join us for updates and analysis during the game, which tips off at noon ET.