Opposing viewpoint: Roundball Mining Company
Boston: 107.2 points/100 possessions (14th)
Denver: 112.4 points/100 possessions (2nd)
Boston: 102.4 points allowed/100 possessions (2nd)
Denver: 107.1 points allowed/100 possessions (17th)
Probable Denver Starters:
Carmelo Anthony, Nene, Aaron Afflalo, Chauncey Billups, Joey Graham/Johan Petro
Utah: OUT:Kenyon Martin, Renadlo Balkman
QUESTIONABLE: Ty Lawson
Thumbnail:The Celtics are catching the Nuggets at the perfect time. Starting Power Forward Kenyon Martin is out indefinitely with knee tendonitis and the lightning fast rookie sensation Ty Lawson may be out as well. This could be the first must-win game for Celtics all year. This team hasn’t had a win of consequence since Christmas and they need to prove that Monday night’s game against the Jazz was more the product of the end of a road trip than having inferior talent.
Luck of the Irish
The Celtics are pretty lucky to be catching Denver as they are right now. I did a little scouting last night and watched the Knicks beat the Nuggets pretty handily. A Knicks’ player almost exclusively guarded Chauncey Billups for the fourth quarter, really cramping his style. Unfortunately, that Knicks player was J.R. Giddens. Our good ol’ boy J.R. also put a mean Iverson cross over on Carmelo Anthony and absolutely embarrassed the superstar baseline. I had been clamouring all year for the Celtics to play J.R more partly because I love watching young guys develop, but also because I saw this type of player in him. Masked in J.R.’s reticence was a freakishly athletic dude waiting to break out. I’m not saying is now or is going to be a rotation player in this league- as it is pretty obvious anyone can play for the Knicks- but I do believe he is showing the potential we all hoped he had.
On the flipside, while the Celtics no longer have J.R. Giddens, they do have Marquis Daniels and Tony Allen to cover him when Rondo needs a breather. It was pretty apparent last night that a long defender hampered Billups play and the Celtics would be wise to follow suit.
Carmelo Anthony is one guy, like LeBron James, that the Celtics are just not going to be able to stop. Luckily, the Celtics team defense is such that the only way ‘Melo is going to really hurt the C’s, is if he pulls up and knocks down midrange jumpers- which he pretty much does whenever he wants.
Chris Andersen is another guy to be aware. While he’s not as tough as some of the other energy players that stick in the Celtics craw (Anderson Verejao, Luis Scola), he is super-athletic and he is active on the glass. The Celtics do not have a player on the roster that can stop Andersen from getting to the glass. Someone needs to try and be physical with him and someone needs to get him in foul trouble (I’m looking at you Paul).
The Celtics need you to have a strong game tonight. They need you to get to the tin and finish strong. Kendrick Perkins did a very good job on Monday using his length to hamper Carlos Boozer and the Celtics need him to do the same against Nene- he just might not be long enough. The frontline has to be a facotr offensively tonight. the Nuggets are hurting up front and must be exploited if the Celtics hope to win tonight.
I think it will, and I think they will.
Celtics 102, Nuggets 92