A surging Oklahoma City Thunder team, winners of seven straight, head to Boston for a nationally televised contest against the struggling Boston Celtics in what sure's to be an emotional game for Thunder center Kendrick Perkins.
Perkins was originally drafted by Boston and spent the first seven-and-a-half years of his NBA career there, helping the Celtics win the 2008 NBA Finals before tearing his knee in Game 6 of the 2010 Finals and being shipped out to Oklahoma City in last season's trade deadline.
Monday's game marks his first return to Boston since the trade. The main player the Celtics received back, Jeff Green, will miss the entire season after a pre-season physical revealed he had a heart problem that needed surgery.
The Thunder's athleticism should be a huge challenge for the Celtics, as Oklahoma City has younger and more athletic players at nearly every position.
The one exception is at the point guard slot, where Boston All-Star Rajon Rondo will be matched up with Russell Westbrook. Westbrook has been criticized for taking games against fellow elite PG's too personally, and he'll have to be careful not to lose his head against Rondo, notorious for using any trick in the book to get an edge.
The 7:00 PM game will be televised nationally on TNT.