BUCKS AT CELTICS, 7:30 P.M. ET

TV: League Pass

  • Tonight’s matchup will be the fourth and final meeting of the season between the two teams. The Bucks hold a 2-1 edge thus far in the season series, including a 99-88 blowout win in Boston’s home opener on November 2nd. Doc Rivers spoke on the challenges of facing a team so often over such a brief window of the season, “It’s four new times every time we play them, since the lineup changes have changed every time. I don’t like playing a team so much this early,” Rivers said.
  • Monta Ellis missed the Bucks shootaround with a sore back, but will play against the Celtics this evening. The speedy guard has struggled mightily with his shot lately, going a mere 1-for-14 from the field during the team’s loss against Memphis Wednesday night, while also shooting 25 percent overall over his last three games. Beno Udrih (ankle) and Tobias Harris (elbow) remain out.
  • One challenge for the Celtics tonight will be to slow down third-year forward Larry Sanders on the offensive end of the floor. The former VCU star has wreaked havoc in the team’s prior three matchups this season, averaging a double-double (12 points, 11 rebounds) during the contests off the bench for Milwaukee. “He’s just one of those guys you put on the floor and he does something good for your team,” Rivers said.
  • The Celtics will stick with the same starting lineup for the second straight game, going with Jason Collins at the starting center for a bit of the defensive boost for the unit. Collins also took some pressure off Kevin Garnett on the defensive end during the team’s 103-91 win over the Cavs Wednesday, which didn’t go unnoticed by Rivers. “He took the charges that he did. He took charges and he just clogged the middle up. He’s one of the better talkers on our team defensively and knows everything we’re doing and I thought he made Kevin (Garnett) relax,” Rivers explained.
  • Chris Wilcox (right thumb) and Leandro Barbosa (personal) will not be active for the Celtics tonight. The team recalled small forward Kris Joseph from the Maine Red Claws before the game and he will be in uniform tonight for Boston.

– Brian Robb

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