Some fun facts (or not so fun) going into tonight's #Celtics - #Lakers game

Neither of these guys will be playing in tonight's Lakers-Celtics game, and ESPN likes to remind us of that by rubbing depressing facts in our faces.

The Boston Celtics and the Los Angeles Lakers rivalry has been deemed the best in the NBA. It was renewed in recent years due to the competitiveness of the 2008 and 2010 finals, but for the most part, the prominent players that reignited the rivalry won't be on the court tonight. Kobe Bryant is sidelined. We won't see Paul Pierce and Metta World Peace jawing at each other. Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen are gone. But that doesn't matter to most faithful Celtics and Lakers fans who, no matter the state of their team and its roster, always get excited when their teams clash.

However, going into tonight's game, ESPN has compiled some facts about this year's chapter in the rivalry, and how both teams are hitting historical low points:

No team has a worse record than the Lakers (1-12) and the Celtics (2-11) since December 21. The Lakers win percentage (.359) this season is on pace to be their worst since they moved from Minneapolis and the Celtics (.350) would be their fourth-worst in franchise history.

So the Worldwide Leader in Sports seems to be promoting this year's match-up as a $hit show. Thanks ESPN. Maybe they prefer that people tune into the games they are carrying on their network tonight -- Clippers vs Knicks and Warriors vs Thunder -- instead of the match-up between the two most storied franchises in the NBA.

In any case, here is a more positive fact -- Rondo will be returning tonight, and the Celtics are better with Mr. Triple Double on the court than without him:

Whether or not ESPN continues to post some historically depressing facts about the current state of the Celtics and Lakers, I think most faithful Celtics and Lakers fans are still pumped for tonight's game. Are you? Sound off in the comments.