The Suns and the Celtics have a lot of things in common, the glaring one being that both teams have been struggling so far in this abbreviated season.
The 5-9 Suns are trying to capitalize on their victory over the Knicks Wednesday, while the 5-8 Celtics are trying to get back to their winning ways after beating the Raptors the same night.
While the Celtics are 26th in points per game, the Suns are 16th; but while the Suns are 22nd in opponent's points per game, the Celtics are 7th. These numbers have to change if these teams want to turn their seasons around.
However, there are more connections to be found between these storied franchises.
Former Suns swingman Mickael Pietrus, who was waived by the Suns, was picked up by the Celtics to replace injured guard Jeff Green. Pietrus only recently came back after having offseason knee surgery, and has just five games under his belt. Pietrus is averaging 8.2 points and 1.2 rebounds as a Celtic after averaging 7.4 points and a couple of rebounds during his 38-game stint in Phoenix last season.
But the connections go farther than just players who wore Suns orange.
Rajon Rondo, who the Suns picked 21st overall in the 2006 NBA draft, was eventually dealt to the Celtics for a future pick. Rondo started for the Celtics in their championship season, and is now an All-Star. He's averaging 15 points and 9.4 assists per game this season, and at 25-years-old the best could still be yet to come. Oh what could have been…
And it doesn't get any better for Suns fans…
Kevin Garnett was on the trading block in the summer of 2007, and the Minnesota Timberwolves had serious discussions about sending him to Phoenix.
The trade would have sent Garnett to the Suns with Shawn Marion (and other pieces) going to the Celtics and other players going back to Minnesota in a three-way trade, but the trade did not happen because Marion, allegedly, wouldn't sign an extension with the Celtics if he was traded there.
The Celtics went on and acquired Garnett, added Ray Allen from the Seattle Supersonics and proceeded to win the NBA championship.
Of course, the man who acquired Garnett, Celtics GM Danny Ainge, finished his playing career as a Sun in 1995, and was the team's head coach from from 1996 until resigning in 2000.
The teams are set to play Friday evening, and at least the Suns may catch one break: Rondo is listed as tentative due to a wrist injury and may not play.