The Boston Celtics have proven that this team can beat weak teams of the East. However, when it comes to playing playoff-tested teams with winning records, the Celtics find themselves 2-6. Four out of the six losses were by double-digits. The Denver Nuggets have had their struggles this season but have shown what they are capable of. Denver has won 10 of the last 13 games and find themselves in 6th place in the highly competitive Western Conference. Boston, on the other hand, is in first place in the Atlantic division. Is their success a testament of the weak Eastern conference or do the Celtics deserve to be in this position? The Nuggets will be a good measuring stick for where the Boston Celtics belong.
The Celtics will have their hands full on the boards tonight. Boston is 19th in the league in rebounding while Denver is 5th. JJ Hickson, Kenneth Faried, and Timofey Mozgov are rebounding machines. For 48 minutes every game these players crash the boards on defense as well as offense. The only true rebounders on the Celtics are Jared Sullinger and Kris Humphries. Brandon Bass has done well, but it is not a strength in his game. The whole team needs to chip in and help out on the glass, especially defensively. The Celtics can’t afford to give second and third chances to this team as Denver piles up points in a hurry. Look for Kris Humphries to have an increased role in tonight’s game.
The Nuggets have a high-paced offense that runs the floor with speed and are able to get easy buckets in transition. Denver is 5th in the league in scoring with 104.3 points a game, and Ty Lawson leads that terrific offense. He is a difficult guard to defend. He gets out in transition, carves up defenses, and can shoot. Tonight, Avery Bradley will have to show why he is so special defensively. Denver may be 5th in scoring, but the Celtics just so happen to be 7th in points allowed. Also, the Celtics are one of the best teams at defending the three. The Nuggets have a plethora of shooters on their roster. Lawson, Wilson Chandler, Jordan Hamilton, Randy Foye, and Evan Fournier can be deadly from three.
It should be interesting to see how Boston performs against Denver. The Celtics have a chance to prove that their defense is no fluke, and the Nuggets will be a solid test.