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Game 50: Nuggets (33-18) @ Celtics (26-23) Open Thread

 

http://a.espncdn.com/photo/2011/0224/bos_g_pierce_b1_576.jpgDenver at Boston
6:00 P.M. ET
TD Garden

CSNNE

Offensive Efficiency:
Boston: 100.6 points/100 possessions (20th)
Denver:
106.5 points/100 possessions (5th)

Defensive Efficiency:
Boston: 99.8 points allowed/100 possessions (7th)
Denver:
 102.1 points allowed/100 possessions (13th)

Probable Nuggets Starters:
Ty Lawson (PG), Andre Iguodala (SG), Danilo Gallinari (SF), Kenneth Faried (PF), and Kosta Koufos (C)

View From The Opposing Bench: Roundball Mining Company

Thumbnail: Everybody should be very excited for the first 2012-13 matchup between the Celtics and Nuggets. These two teams are the hottest ones in the league with the two longest current winning streaks. Boston and Denver are both very good home teams, but subpar on the road. Therefore, the advantage has to go the Celtics, especially with the Nuggets on the second night of a back-to-back. After defeating the Cavaliers in Cleveland in a contest that began at 7:30 P.M. ET on Saturday, the Nuggets traveled to Boston for the 6:00 P.M. tipoff.

While this scheduling has favored the Celtics, consistency has been key for the Nuggets. Although Denver began the season 12-12, they have gone 20-6 since. One of the reasons for this resurgence is that they are one of only four teams to have fewer than five different starting lineups this season. In comparison, the Celtics have used 13 starting lineups in 2012-13. Part of why the Nuggets have been able to keep the same lineup is their luck with injuries. Not too many teams can start the same five players in 47 of their 51 games.

With the Nuggets main lineup, this has the potential of being one of the best games of the 2012-13 season. At the final buzzer, the Celtics will have played every team in the league this season. However, it will just be their seventh game since Rajon Rondo’s ACL injury. In the post-Rondo phase of this season, the bench has stepped up. Most notably, Jason Terry and Jeff Green, who have averaged double-digit points over that span, need to continue performing well for Boston to succeed.

Prediction: The Celtics push their winning streak to a season-long seven games, making it the longest current one in the NBA.

Celtics 100, Nuggets 98

For more Celtics coverage and pertinent statistics, follow Celtics Hub and Stats Adam Lowenstein on Twitter: @CelticsHub and @StatsAdam

  • Phil725

    This game worries me. The Nuggets are really good, and they present all kinds of matchup problems for the Cs. They're like Miami west as far as getting out and destroying you in transition goes. With the up tempo game the Cs have been playing lately, Denver's capable of turning what's become a big positive into a negative. They're also second in the league in offensive rebounding, and the Cs' defensive rebound rate has dropped into the bottom 5 or 6 over this streak, despite not really being tested. The Cs have to be good enough in halfcourt defense to neutralize transition, and those extra possessions they get from offensive rebounds.

    Denver is fully capable of smothering you with their athleticism, and Iggy is going to make Pierce work for everything he gets, if not severely limit him/shut him down. I'm not sure the Cs have the answers needed in other places; they really depend on Pierce now, even if his scoring is down over this streak.

    I'm hoping the schedule comes through (Denver on the road, second half of a back to back,) because otherwise I'd be bracing for a loss. I don't like this matchup at all. I do feel like the Cs have struggled with extended rest this year, but this is a new Cs team. I'm feeling a good 3pt shooting day for some reason too, so maybe that's enough. Hopefully this streak keeps up, because it's been a fun ride.

    • janos

      hi phil
      do not overthinks game we are #1 is nobody want play us i am not see game tonight i am miss the best game but you know have daughter supper so was little bit piss but is ok i know you was watch game and tell me us is going us. what a game is seem!!

  • ghoulbuns

    Green and Terry need to show up

  • Morpheus

    Nuggz are a poor road team, i like our chances of ending their streak tonight.

    GO Cs!!!

  • Phil725

    Great D by Pierce on that possession. He got Lawson (maybe the fastest guy in the league,) on a switch, stayed in front of him on two drives, then contested the shot by Koufos. He moves his feet as well as anyone.

  • Phil725

    Wilcox first off the bench!

  • Phil725

    I've got a complaint about how every team in the NBA handles fast breaks. Why don't people just concede the free 2 more often? Fast break buckets lead to some of the best transition opportunities for the other team, yet teams almost always intentionally foul, and it rarely helps.

    Best case scenario, you put probably a good free throw shooter on the line and let the other team get their D set. Worst case it ends up like this game for the Cs, where they've given up a 3pt play and a clear path foul. I get it pre-penalty when you can make them take the ball out from the side, but that's rarely the case.

    • KillerGymRat

      It's because only the NBA penalizes a team for attempting to stop the fast break. I guess with the intention that players will have incentive not to foul and the audience gets to see a spectacular dunk (assuming that said player can deliver).

      It's instinct. These guys grow up playing ball and at every other level it's a great play since instead of a guaranteed 2 you make them earn it on the line. Also the clear path foul is relatively new…and IMO the worst rule in basketball. Why is it an extra penalty to stop the break, but not to hack a guy under the basket or foul a 3 point shooter prior to a shot attempt to keep them from taking the shot? It's a garbage rule and it should be eliminated.

      But yeah, when you see any player make a legit one…you'll usually see them kicking themselves for reacting and not remembering that they just made a bad play.

      And in this case…the C's got robbed. It wasn't a clear path. Lee (I believe) saw Pierce ahead of the play and made a smart foul. The refs didn't bother to review it (which makes it an even worse rule since they can) and we got robbed.

      • Phil725

        I think the clear path foul will go away sooner rather than later. Once players realize that the penalty for flagrantly fouling the guy as he's going up is the same as reaching in at half court, it becomes the smart play to just hammer him; maybe it's a flagrant, maybe it's not. Since that's ridiculously dangerous, the league will have to change it. It really is just a terrible rule. It slows the game down, makes it less exciting, and makes no sense.

        And nice to see Denver not valuing those transition to transition opportunities either. Karl just called a timeout after the Cs scored on the fast break and the Nuggets had one of their own.

        • KillerGymRat

          One can only hope. Worst. Rule. Ever.

  • Phil725

    Ugh, brutal miss by Lee on a wide open corner 3. Would've stretched the lead to 11, but the Nuggets ran off a couple baskets in a row instead, and now it's a 2 point game.

  • Anthony

    I've got a complaint about the Celts' lazy and careless inbound and top of the key passes. It has been at least 4 consecutive games where they turn the ball over on inbound pass after the opposing team just scored. And at least twice a game where they turn the ball over on lazy lazy passes from top of the key. Three extra possessions for a poor rebounding team is pretty crucial in any game.

  • hydrofluoric

    Letting the game get tied was brutal there, and Pierce has played way too many minutes. He's easily been the best player on either side of the court so far.

    • Phil725

      No Iggy for the rest of the game is a huge deal for Denver too. He's one of the best Pierce defenders in the league. I like PP's chances a lot against everyone else on that roster.

      • hydrofluoric

        I think he's exhausted beyond belief at this point. He's played 37 minutes and his outside shot looks like garbage at this point. Hasn't gotten many rebounds lately and he's hanging around the perimeter on offense too. Still committing to D but it doesn't look good for our spacing… hoping I'm wrong…

  • KillerGymRat

    Bradley really needs to work on his around the rim moves. He's getting routinely blocked because he goes straight up and exposes the ball. This is like 4 games straight now. At least his jumper is on.

    And gooooo JT. That's more like it.

  • Phil725

    Is this the first time the Cs have went big since the injuries? I feel like it is. Pretty crucial point to bust it out.

  • KillerGymRat

    This is a game we really miss Sully. Nobody is inside scrapping for rebounds on the offensive end…it's one and out every trip.

  • KillerGymRat

    Rare off shooting night for KG. He's missing everything and wide open in his favorite spot on the floor. He's hitting and this game is already over.

    • hydrofluoric

      Very true. This game has been really ugly for KG.

    • Phil725

      On cue, he misses a potential game clincher from a sweet spot.

  • Phil725

    Yay, time for my favorite play in basketball, the intentional missed free throw to put back!

    I've never seen this work, so let's hope this isn't the first time…

    • Phil725

      Wow, Andre Miller pulled it off perfectly, but missed the layup. Sometimes luck's just on your side.

  • KillerGymRat

    Wow. That they took thaaaaat long to review and came away with the wrong call. Disgusting.

    It was clearly off Faried.

    But this loss is on us for not blocking out against one when they clearly intended to miss the free throw.

    Yikes.

  • Danny

    That out of bounds call was ridiculous how can you look at a tape for 5 minutes and still get it wrong. NBA refs suck so bad it’s not even funny.

  • Josh_5

    5 more min….ugh.

  • Danny

    Between the blocking foul on pierce the out of bounds call and the lack of traveling this has been just awful

  • Phil725

    The Cs just aren't planning on making anything the rest of the game, are they? They just missed 5 great shots in a row. the worst one for me was the wide open Bass 5 footer, but you could make an argument for the KG wide open free throw jumper or either of the wide open Terry 3s too.

  • hydrofluoric

    We're seeing some live-by-J, die-by-J here… with the added bonus that our defensive rebounding is getting obliterated.

  • Switcharoo

    I saw four hands on that ball and ABs hand growing out of Millers back, no way he touched that ball! That’s just an ugly call right there.
    Hopefully the Celts can grind this one out in OT

  • Phil725

    Green with the clutch 3!

    Now for the whole getting a stop on the last possession thing…

  • The Cardinal

    Lotta accidental offense on both sides, but the C's are scrappin' and hangin' in there. This team is legit.

  • Danny

    I don’t understand just how you are supposed to be the best referees in the world you look at a play at every angle of camera for 5 minutes and still call it wrong you’re either incredibly stupid or crooked either way. There’s just no excuse for that I’m 5 miles away and I could make the right call.

  • KillerGymRat

    Tough OT. Great looks but nobody can hit them and KG's confidence in his jumper is gone. And we don't seem to be able to get a stop when we need one.

  • Phil725

    The Cs have to lead the league in total overtimes, right? I'd be shocked if it was even close.

    • hydrofluoric

      I think the Mavs and Blazers have played a bunch too.

      • KillerGymRat

        The Mavs do for sure. I seriously think they've played at least 20. And lost nearly all of them.

  • hydrofluoric

    I'd love to see some baskets in the paint, but Javale McGee is doing a great job for Denver of protecting that area. Also we're brutally bad at driving lately, but that point stands.

    • Phil725

      McGee's really impressed me in this game. He's usually at his clownish max when I see the Nuggets play, but he's been Denver's best player today. It's a different defense when he's in there.

      • Anthony

        I was rooting for Javale to get the ball on the offensive end though. That was the Celt's best defense. KG just let him do whatever he wanted cuz he know Javale have absolutely NO offensive game besides the dunks.

        Guess it's a successful night for Javale when he's not making Shaqtin the Fool.

  • KillerGymRat

    Double OT. Let's hope that this being a SEGABABA for Denver works in our favor cuz we can't hit anything right now. Oof.

  • hydrofluoric

    We need a whole bunch of 3s guys GET HER DONE!

  • Phil725

    Question for Denver; why is Ty Lawson not handling the ball on every possession? He's terrifying right now.

  • Danny

    watch them het this one wrong too

  • Phil725

    Maybe I have the out of bounds rules wrong. Is the team who hits it out supposed to keep it? I thought it was the other way around.

    • KillerGymRat

      Maybe that was a make good for the blown call at the end of regulation. The referee pool of Tweedle Dee, Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dummer is befuddling for sure.

      • Anthony

        Or a make good call for the Wilson Chandler travel? Wasn't that an obvious call? Guess like Phil, I need a refresher on what the rules are.

        On a similar note, is there any way to find out who has be warned and fined for flopping so far this season?

        • KillerGymRat

          Yeah it did look like Chandler pretty much hopped.

          They occasionally post the flop warnings on NBA.com but not consistently. If they really wanted to stop it they would post it clearly and it would be fun to see a "flopping" segment on Inside the NBA with the lamest attempts to draw calls for the month.

  • hydrofluoric

    Frustrating to watch right now. Denver has been dictating terms here. They're getting anything they want on offense.

  • hydrofluoric

    I hate Denver's outside shooting so much right now.

  • Phil725

    Wow…

  • hydrofluoric

    THAT'S WHAT I'M TALKING ABOUT!!!

  • KillerGymRat

    Whatever the final score is…this is a game we deserve to lose. Terrible defense. Nobody can hit a shot. And nobody is taking it to the rim and getting fouled. It's been all long jumpers.

    They've played both OT's and the 4th quarter not to lose instead of fighting to win.

  • Angelo

    omg

  • Josh_5

    I live in ND and can't watch this game, but what the hell is happening?!?!

  • Switcharoo

    Pierce scares the hell out of me sometimes in both good and bad ways

  • Danny

    Glad to see Denver plays by their own rules regarding traveling

  • KillerGymRat

    KG found his shot!! Thank you!!

    Now how about attacking the rim and getting to the line to ice this game.

  • Bill

    Cs are KILLING me …. MOVE THE BALL. They've had this sequence where Pierce holds it for 15 seconds, single pass to Terry open and he shoots a contested three.

    STOP IT.

    • Bill

      I meant to say, they've had that sequence at least 10 times since the start of the 4th quarter… and of course now Terry just made a three. :)

  • Phil725

    And… that's your ball game….

    Woooo!

    …I'm stunned at how that just ended.

  • hydrofluoric

    I don't care how blasphemous this is – but if this team continues to play with this amount of heart in the regular season, then I don't give a damn what happens in the playoffs.

  • Danny

    wow terry coming up big in the end.

  • High Rollers

    Phil, don’t be stunned.

    • Phil725

      What really stunned me was how the last twenty seconds basically ran off after it had been five seconds, review, five seconds, foul, five seconds, timeout.

      Denver just jacked a bad shot, then didn't foul. Maybe it was because it was a second night of a back to back for them, but they just looked like they ran completely out of gas. Big props to the Cs for staying strong throughout that whole time. I think most of us fans felt like it was over after that block out fail to tie game that sent it into OT.

      • hydrofluoric

        George Karl was one of our biggest assets, yeah. Also Iggy going down; I forgot about him but he probably would have made things uglier (albeit it's hard to imagine things being much uglier than they were in those first two OTs).

      • KillerGymRat

        I definitely think Denver caved to fatigue. It looked like Pierce's 3 broke their spirit and they didn't show up in that final OT.

  • KillerGymRat

    Note to Doc. The PP iso is still the lowest percentage offense we run.

    It's those big clutch 3's he hits that makes us think any different.

    What a win. That last overtime was the first solid play in 22 minutes.

    • Bill

      He could hit those clutch threes off movement instead of that 15 second hold the ball set …

  • tbunny

    YES!

    Denver game to play and brought it for the whole game. Great win.

  • KillerGymRat

    7 in a row. Longest current win streak.

    Now, c'mon admit it. Didn't you miss Rondo even a little bit in this one? I sure as hell did. He would've exhausted Lawson trying to chase him around and he's the only one not afraid to challenge McGee.

    • Bill

      I miss Rondo and then I think … it would be him bringing the ball up the floor holding it for 15 seconds instead of Pierce. :(

    • Anthony

      Actually, I missed National TV Rondo in the last game against Lakers. That would've been a sweet triple double.

      A lot not to like in this game but the win makes me forget all the negatives. KG needed a heat check in the 3rd OT. Nice!

      I'm predicting CLee, Barbosa, Bass and Wilcox with big games tomorrow since they didn't play heavy minutes.

      If San Antonio beats Brooklyn, we would only be a game and a half out of 5th place.

      Go Celts!

  • Phil725

    Wow, looking at it again now, AB had a terrible last five seconds of regulation. He's the one who blew the box out on Miller. Missed call or not, it was his hand in there on the ball out of bounds, and he got overly aggressive on the last ball in to Lawson, which let him get way too good of a shot for 3 seconds on the clock.

    I liked the rest of his game, just a rough stretch there.

    • KillerGymRat

      Agreed. I think sometimes AB puts to much pressure on himself to make a big defensive play and loses sight that sometimes a simple play is all you need. Like boxing out. And forcing Lawson to shoot a long contested J instead of letting him burst to the hoop where he's nearly unstoppable.

      Sidenote: they keep saying Denver doesn't have any stars…but I think its really their shareball system that keeps people from standing out. Ty Lawson is a star for sure if he gets 40 minutes of run and has the offense go through him the way most starting PGs do. The guy is amazing.

      • Phil725

        I don't get to watch Denver as much as I'd like, but I think consistency is still the biggest problem with him. He was unstoppable tonight, but he just can't play at that level all the time.

        He's only shooting 43% on the year, so it's hard to just hand him the keys full time, no questions asked. I do like him long term though, he's only 25.

        • KillerGymRat

          Lawson is unstoppable every night. It's his shot selection that is shaky. He loves the 3 ball, and when he's got it going he's one of the toughest covers in the game. But I agree, he consistency with his shooting and shot selection is something to focus on.

          I don't particularly think a team that just went on a 9 game tear, and arguably lost this game due too fatigue needs to do any tinkering. It was more a point that they have really great players like Lawson and Faried (who really didn't play well tonight) that are standouts, but will never have the stats to be all stars in this system.

  • High Rollers

    I know we haven’t exactly dominated in the many overtime games so far, but if they keep piling up, they’ll start taking on a legend of their own. A team-that-never-dies type legend. Which we pretty much had already without them. If anybody needed a reminder.

  • ghoulbuns

    Amazing game. This team has so much heart. And is it just me or has JET been coming up with clutch defensive plays lately? Jeff Green and AB’s confidence are growing by the game. I love this team. Truuuuuth!

  • High Rollers

    Neo had a whole crew. Did you see the movie yet, Phil?

    • Phil725

      I haven't. My movie quality laptop blew up, so I've been limited to only movies they play on TV lately (Dodgeball and more Dodgeball, basically.) I can look up a plot summary if it's vitally important to the Cs season though…

      • Josh_5

        Dude, you gotta see it!!

  • High Rollers

    Not vitally important, Phil. C’s will write their own script ultimately.

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