BOSTON – The TD Garden can be a raucous place for visiting teams, especially when the Celtics are playing well.
But lately, fans have had very little to cheer about.
Boston comes into tonight’s game against the Memphis Grizzlies riding a three-game losing streak at home, the team’s longest losing skid at home this season.
A loss tonight would match the longest home losing streak for the Celtics since they dropped four in a row Jan. 14 to Feb. 1, 2015.
But if there was ever a team to play that would help them get back on track at home, it’s the Grizzlies.
They come into tonight’s game with a 5-22 road record. That's tied with the Atlanta Hawks for the fewest road wins in the NBA.
And as you delve deeper into their road struggles, you will find that they are a woeful 0-9 on the road against teams in the Eastern Conference.
Which means Celtics fans should have even more to cheer about when all is said and done tonight.
Here are five other below-the-radar storylines heading into tonight’s game:
SELDEN JR. RETURNS HOME
Wayne Selden Jr. isn’t expected to play tonight for Memphis because of a right knee injury. But you won’t know it by the number of fans coming to the TD Garden just to see him.
In his second NBA season, Selden, from nearby Roxbury, is averaging 8.3 points in 19.5 minutes per game, appearing in 20 games (eight starts) along with shooting 38.1 percent from 3-point range.
REMEMBERING DAN FEGAN
Chandler Parsons was among the many within the NBA community saddened by the news of longtime NBA agent Dan Fegan, being killed in a car accident in Colorado over the weekend.
“That’s tough. Probably the worst news I’ve ever heard,” Parsons told NBC Sports Boston, regarding his former agent. “The last four or five years he was like a father figure to me, the things he did for me and my family. I’m forever grateful for him. I’m going to miss him a lot. He was one of the best agents to do it. Just awful … praying for his son, praying for the nanny. I hope she makes it.”
Fegan, 56, was reportedly driving an SUV when he was hit by a commuter bus while attempting to merge onto a highway near Aspen, Colorado.
A Colorado State Trooper told the Aspen Times that the vehicle was also occupied by Fegan’s 5-year-old son and a 29-year-old California woman, and that both were airlifted to a Denver hospital and listed in serious condition.
No one was hurt on the bus that hit Fegan’s SUV.
Tayshaun Prince, a former Celtic for a really, really hot minute, is back at the TD Garden tonight as part of the Memphis Grizzlies’ staff. Prince, acquired by Boston in January of 2015 and traded away about a month later, is a special advisor to the Grizzlies.
Although most of Prince’s career was spent with the Detroit Pistons, the 6-foot-9 defensive stalwart was also a member of the Grizzlies where he developed a close bond with their core players, Marc Gasol and Mike Conley Jr.
“I know what kind of leadership those guys bring,” Prince, who travels with the team full-time, told NBC Sports Boston. “But also, moving on from Zach [Randolph], Tony [Allen] and Vince [Carter] and going to the youth movement, they would need some type of experience from surrounding guys.”
Prince, widely praised by coach Brad Stevens in his brief time as a Celtic, is getting to do a little bit of everything in Memphis.
He works with some players individually after practice, in addition to spending time with the Memphis front office where Prince says he gets to pick “… their brains a little bit, gain some knowledge and see things from that side, too.”
BOSTON, MEMPHIS EXTREMES
This East versus West matchup has two teams that are about as far apart as you can imagine. The Celtics come into tonight’s game 15-9 against the Western Conference, tops among teams in the East. Conversely, Memphis is 3-18 record vs. the East, worst in the West.
Jayson Tatum has been a standout this season for his ability to play both ends of the floor at a fairly high level. Just as significant has been the 6-9 forward being able to physically show up ready to play every night. In fact, he is one of just three rookies to appear in every game this season for their respective team. The other two are Memphis’ Dillon Brooks and Toronto’s OG Anunoby.