Originally written on NESN.com  |  Last updated 12/19/12
Celtics_garnett_talks_98cb
Not every team gets the honor of playing on Christmas Day, but the Boston Celtics do. This Tuesday the veteran Celtics will hit the road in a festive matchup with the Brooklyn Nets. Bet on the NBA tradition when the celebrating franchises pull out their limited-edition holiday jerseys at the Barclays Center. After a mediocre first two months, the Celtics have much to take care of if they want to hit the ground running in the New Year. Although they haven’t exactly fallen off the NBA betting radar (they still have 25-1 odds of winning the NBA championship), it’s evident that the Eastern Conference juggernaut that once struck fear in the league is no more. Can Rajon Rondo find a way to take the reins of the organization, putting his stamp on the franchise? It used to be the core of Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen guiding the club to NBA betting world supremacy, but Garnett and Pierce are seeing age takes its toll, and Allen isn’t with the franchise anymore. For the C’s to claw their way back to the top of the Eastern Conference, superstar Rondo will have to truly emerge as one of the league’s elite guards. Considering the 26-year-old’s track record — his ability to take over games single-handedly, the assist streak, etc. — that’s not out of the question. Lined up against the Nets in their pure green threads (seriously, look them up), the Celtics will be hungry to take a stand — not nibble-some-milk-and-cookies hungry. This will be full-on Christmas Day roast-beast-feast hungry. They have to be. With the window closing on the Boston core, after all, there’s more than a little pressure. For Brooklynites, the holiday matchup gives the mediocre roster an opportunity to leapfrog a predecessor. Joe Johnson and Deron Williams may not have launched the Nets to the level of dominance Mikhail Prokhorov had hoped when he aspired to assemble his super team this time last year, but that doesn’t mean they can’t still boost their NBA odds with a win under the national spotlight. It won’t be easy for Boston to give its increasingly concerned fan base a gift worth unwrapping this Christmas, but don’t rule the old coots out just yet. With Rondo at the helm and veterans Garnett and Pierce available to oversee any potential playoff run, the Celtics may be ready for one last title strike.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Adrian Beltre completes cycle, gets mad when assaulted

Gruden had to convince Dan Snyder to bench RG3

Jim Mora turns P. Diddy fight into recruiting pitch for UCLA

Illinois releases results of women's basketball probe

Richie Incognito named starter by Rex Ryan

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

DeMarco Murray isn't thrilled Eagles limited reps in practice

Brandon Weeden: 'God forbid I am forced to play' for Dallas

Ben Roethlisberger: Markus Wheaton is ready to break out

Hernandez tipster allegedly had sexual relationship with him

Rookie WR Tyler Lockett has Pete Carroll, Seahawks gushing

Packers TE returns to practice in wake of family tragedy

WATCH: Giants players fight during training camp

Lindsey Vonn shows support for Tiger Woods on Twitter

Report: Rousey to star in film based on her autobiography

Porn star offers to cook meal for any sports champion

Why everyone is wrong about Cowboys Tony Romo, Part 1

Oregon was only team drug tested during CFB Playoff?

Five 2nd year NBA players ready to take the next step

John Daly wants to be US Ryder Cup captain

Rodgers appears in another Olivia Munn workout video

Matt Hasselbeck is still getting random drug tests

Five teams that won at the MLB trade deadline

What should be expected from Aaron Rodgers in 2015?

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Adrian Beltre gets mad when assaulted after HR

Lindsey Vonn shows support for Tiger

Notre Dame doesn't need a conference

Rex takes jabs at Jets' management

Sanchez: It's 'crazy' to call Chip racist

Ronda Rousey calls out Cyborg

Five most underrated players in the NFL

Five potential NFL salary cap casualties this preseason

Winners and losers of the 2015 MLB trade deadline

Pirates do Pirates at deadline: Neat little moves

Mets acquire Cespedes from Tigers

Ranking the NFL’s 32 head coaches

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker