The first winter storm of 2014 is toying with the New Orleans Pelicans' faceoff with the Boston Celtics.
A coastal storm is delivering heavy snow that could approach blizzard-like conditions, high winds that will reduce visibility to almost nothing and dangerously low wind chill in the Boston area from Thursday late afternoon through Friday morning, according to the National Weather Service.
Logan International Airport planned to close around 8 p.m. Thursday until about noon Friday to avoid dangerous takeoffs and landings.
That left the Pelicans with few options. After a flogging at the Target Center against the Timberwolves on Wednesday to start the new year, head coach Monty Williams had his team scheduled to practice hard Thursday in Minneapolis before departing for Boston in the late afternoon.
The team changed plans and left Minnesota several hours early to guarantee a safe arrival in Boston ahead of the nor'easter, which is expected to pound the general area with up to 12 inches of snow - and perhaps up to 14 inches in coastal areas.
The Pelicans touched down safely in Boston Thursday at about 5:30 p.m.
The Celtics, however, are not so lucky.
They play the Bulls Thursday night in Chicago, where lake-effect snow has already built up a blanket of white that is expected to reach 2 feet deep when the snow stops falling.
It's doubtful the Celtics will be able to return home to Boston to sleep in their own beds ahead of the last leg of their back-to-back with the Pelicans Friday. Now, that call is up to Mother Nature.