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Game 53: Celtics (28-24) @ Nuggets (33-21) Open Thread

http://a.espncdn.com/photo/2011/0224/bos_g_pierce_b1_576.jpgBoston at Denver
9:00 P.M. ET
Pepsi Center


Offensive Efficiency:
Boston: 100.1 points/100 possessions (23rd)
106.5 points/100 possessions (5th)

Defensive Efficiency:
Boston: 99.2 points allowed/100 possessions (5th)
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

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

  • emg

    I predict C's lose by 10. They'll be rusty and old, not ready to run, and Nuggets something like 22-3 at home and out for revenge.

  • jman

    I hope we get the calls denver received in Boston. Let's hope it will be 5 on 5 not 8 tonight. Hopefully they won't come out rusty like you said though. 4 days off is a long to time away.

  • hydrofluoric

    Hate to say if but I don't like our chances tonight…

    Celtics in Denver:

    2008: L, 124-118
    2009: L, 94-85
    2010: L, 105-114
    2011: L, 89-75
    2012: L, 98-91

    Can we just punt on this game and skip to the Lakers game tomorrow night?

  • Banner18

    Can we bring Mozgov to L.A. with us?

  • NZNICK33

    How about flipping Barbosa's expiring contract to the Cavs for Shaun Livingston?

    Ball-handling, passing and defense and not to mention good size in the backcourt.
    And for anyone who wants to speak ill of him, read this: http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/8934761/on-ca

  • The Cardinal

    Just slap Bass up side the head for trying to bring the ball up court!

    • hydrofluoric

      Promising start so far.

      Bass got a crazy rebound and probably would have turned the ball over in the backcourt had he tried to outlet that one, so I'm OK with him getting trapped there.

      Pretty solid start so far.

    • KillerGymRat

      Or how about that hero-ball post up flub?

  • hydrofluoric

    Thanks Michael Pina – I think Avery Bradley read your article before tonight's game!

    • KillerGymRat


  • KillerGymRat

    I think Bradley read today's article on him. He is really getting buckets tonight.

  • hydrofluoric

    Jason Collins is having an excellent first quarter.

  • hydrofluoric

    Jeff Green had a real slick pass to Lee for 3 out of the double team in the post. Lee missed the shot but I love seeing his IQ in play.


  • The Cardinal

    Seems like the 90th game in a row Lee stepped out of bounce in the corner.

  • hydrofluoric

    Three things I LOVE right now:

    1. Avery Bradley looks great, of course.

    2. Denver has only three (3!!!) offensive rebounds in the first half.

    3. Jason Collins and Chris Wilcox managed to play a few serviceable minutes apiece.

    • The Cardinal

      Sho nuff. Now we need PP and Jet to start httin' some shots.

  • hydrofluoric

    Brandon Bass quietly having a huge game.

    Meanwhile it looks like the Nuggets are starting to get theirs on the offensive glass…

  • The Cardinal

    Bradley, Lee and Green have gone timid instead of attacking the basket. That does not bode well.

  • hydrofluoric

    Ty Refson

  • KillerGymRat

    We just benefitted from our first potential Shaqtin' a Fool play. Thanks Javale!

    More please.

  • hydrofluoric

    Courtney Lee just took a few months off my life by letting the shot clock expire without any clue about it.

    Sick of all the fouls in the lane too.

  • hydrofluoric

    At this point we just look like the clearly worse team.

    • hydrofluoric

      Disclaimer: the Celtics had taken both Pierce and KG out of the game when I made this comment.

      Since re-inserting Pierce and KG, the C's have gone 9-2.


  • Anthony

    Hated that 3rd quarter but that Javale McGee goaltend had me LMAO. I've never seen anyone goaltend a 3 pointer before.

    So many Shaqtin the Fool nominees but we have a clear winner in the 3pt goaltend.
    – Iggy with FT airball
    – Javale goaltend of JET's layup

  • The Cardinal

    Now if our guards could only read the defense better.

    • hydrofluoric

      I don't think it's just reading the D; I think Avery is just having trouble finishing. He bricked a free-throw-line pullup with no one on him, and he's had a really low conversion rate at the rim. His shot selection has been excellent but they're not quite falling.

  • hydrofluoric


  • james patrick

    Hey Jeff Green?! Now that you're on the trade block you start performing?! Where was this game since… ahh… Day 1? lol

    • Jeff Green

      Hey, I'm sorry. I had frickin' heart surgery!

  • hydrofluoric

    Depressing to lose in the end by getting eaten up on the offensive glass and just being unable to hit some makeable shots.

    Well, add this to the list of losses in Denver. No biggie. Just gotta make sure the LAL one is a clear win.

  • The Cardinal

    Tough loss but…it clarifies where we need to shore up the team after the trade deadline.

  • Anthony

    I know this is not important now but why was JGreen's baseline 3pt in the fourth qtr listed as a 2? He was clearly behind the line. When he hit that third 3pt, I could've sworn the game should have been tied at 80. Denver working that home court magic I suppose.

    Just a few plays here and there that cost us the game but overall, I liked the effort. Should't have too much issues with the Lakers if they put the same effort level.

  • KillerGymRat

    Despite the loss I was glad to see how hard everybody competed. The break certainly didn't help PP and KG;s shooting. They were just ugly shots. And Pierce really has to stop jacking that quick 3 everytime he gets a long rebound.

    But considering how shallow the team currently is and how fast Denver runs up and down the floor, those 9 guys really brought it as far as effort.

    Really wish AB would practice some finishing moves. He misses at least one easy layup every game by extending for a quick shot when he could learn other moves to ward off the potential block. Hard to complain when he gives a first quarter like that though.