Boston at Denver
9:00 P.M. ET
Boston: 100.1 points/100 possessions (23rd)
Denver: 106.5 points/100 possessions (5th)
Boston: 99.2 points allowed/100 possessions (5th)
Denver: 102.6 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: Heading into Tuesday night, both the Celtics and Nuggets are riding seven-game home winning streaks. Unfortunately for Boston, this game is being played in Denver, and the Nuggets have the league’s third-best winning percentage at home. In addition, Ty Lawson joined some impressive company the last time he saw the Celtics on February 10. He went for 29 points, 9 assists and 6 rebounds in the triple-overtime contest at TD Garden. Before Lawson, the last four players to reach those plateaus in a game against the Celtics were Carmelo Anthony, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Kevin Garnett.
The Celtics will hope to prevent Lawson this time around as well as keep the points in the paint margin from getting out of hand. Boston was somewhat lucky to escape with the victory just over a week ago against Denver because the Nuggets scoring 62 points in the paint while the Celtics only got 30 of their own in the key. Since the Nuggets’ interior scoring is very strong, the Celtics will have to shoot a much better percentage than they have recently in order to stem the tide.
In their first six games since Rajon Rondo’s ACL injury, the Celtics shot nearly 50% from the field. However, the team’s field goal percentage has plummeted to worse than 40% over their last three games. Although it is a small sample size, the recent trend for the Celtics offense has been a heavy reliance on three-pointers, which usually means tired legs. What benefits the currently shallow Boston roster is that the players have had an important five-day resting period with the All-Star break. The Celtics have won their last four games when playing on at least three days rest, so hopefully they are able to extend that streak.
Prediction: The Celtics sweep the season series from the Nuggets for the first time since the 2003-04 season.
Celtics 95, Nuggets 94