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Game 70/82: Celtics (45-25) vs. Nuggets (47-24)

 

Denver at Boston
7:00 p.m. EST
Pepsi Center
CSN/WEEI

Opposing viewpoint: Roundball Mining Company

Offensive Efficiency:

Boston: 107.2 points/100 possessions (14th)

Denver: 112.4 points/100 possessions (2nd)

Defensive Efficiency:

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

Injury Report

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

  • Jay P

    Um, the Mavs weren’t a win of consequence? I mean ya, they lost to the Knicks, bad. But they did go on a 13-game win streak recently and are one of the hottest teams in Basketball since the trade deadline.

    Not sure how that win is of no consequence.

  • Brendan Jackson

    Yeah, you are correct. I was in NYC this past weekend and watched it from my DVR when I got back Sunday night- thus, I missed the fanfare. Mavs win was a great win and very telling I thought.

  • Sam

    Yeah our front line needs to go off tonight and exploit the fact that the Nuggets are hurting in that department.

  • Eric

    Pierce did a great job on Melo in the second half of the game in Denver, after they made adjustments; I particularly like the way he fronted Melo when the latter was trying to receive passes around the elbow. That cut down on his ability to get his mid-range game going. I hope they start the game with that this time.

  • Eric

    I don’t necessarily agree that the Dallas win was quality. I don’t really consider them to be real contenders. Fifth best team in the West, at best, I’d say.

  • Perry

    @Brendan: Pretty sure my grammatical skills hold water, so let me retool that sentence for you.

    Instead of ‘not having a win of consequence’; you could say ‘a consequence of not having a win off a loss to a contending team’.

    I looked it up and it’s true. Not once this season have they beaten seeds 1 thru 4 (Eastern or Western conference) off a loss.

    Following a loss, all of their wins were registered against sub-500, or teams playing slightly above 500. Ugh!

  • I love Green

    Let Gino dance tonight baby!! We gotta get this game to prove we’re still there. Paul is going to have to be agressive attacking the rim tonight. We need that from him.

    Lets go C’s! 96-90 Victory!

  • Conall Mac Michael

    Must win game in my mind, think we can do it. Let’s go C’s. Oh ya non basketball related comment, can anyone tell me where the phrase ‘Luck of the Irish’ came from, just curious???

  • ker

    Kevin Garnet is reduced to running away from down the lane dunkers in order to not be posterized. His best defense is after the whistle when he “defends” the hoop from no-count shots. He’s showing why college coaching can improve a player’s performance. Plus, he’s an idiot.

  • What More Can I Say?

    These refs get on my last nerves with their whistles. I can’t believe some of these calls.

  • DRJ1

    Worse than the refs are the ESPN announcers. Hubie too. They’re vomitously bad. And they NEVER STOP TALKING.

  • rondoislove

    @DRJ1:

    It’s like they got all my least favorite commentators and put them together for tonight’s game. I like the trio of Mark Jackson, Jeff Van Gundy (I actually hated him until about halfway through this season.. he’s not as annoying anymore) and Mike Breen (although I’d have to say he’s the most boring of the three).

  • I love Green

    Yeahhh Gino danced tonight baby!! I knew they had this game from the beginning. We gotta roll into the playoffs now

  • DeVelaine

    I’m convinced that Jon Barry feels slighted ever since we traded him on draft day. Look it up, we originally drafted him, but he never played for us. All night tonight he was talking bad about the C’s, in a game where they actually didn’t deserve it. The win just makes it better.

  • DRJ1

    I’ve never heard announcers so BLATANTLY biased to one side as the ESPN guys were tonight re Denver. They abandoned all pretext of equanimity and openly CHEERED whenever the Nuggets did something good… like when JR hit his 3 to end the first half. It was embarrassing… except they didn’t know it.

    This is the first time I was honestly compelled to shut off the sound watching a Cs game.

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