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Nuggets (15-12) at Celtics (23-6) Game #30 12/13/17
« on: December 12, 2017, 10:35:53 PM »

Offline FLCeltsFan

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  at 
Denver Nuggets (15-12)  at  Boston Celtics (23-6)
Wednesday,  December 13, 2017
7:30 PM ET
Regular Season Game #30 Home Game #14
TV: NBCSB, Altitude, NBA-LP 755(DTV), 753(Xfinity)
Radio: 98.5 Sports Hub, KKSE 950 AM
TD Garden



Probable Starting Matchups
Point Guard

vs
Kyrie Irving vs Jamal Murray

Shooting Guard
vs
Marcus Smart vs Gary Harris

Small Forward

vs
Jaylen Brown vs Will Barton

Power Forward
vs
Jayson Tatum vs Wilson Chandler

Center
vs
Aron Baynes vs Mason Plumlee




Celtics Reserves
Shane Larkin
Abdel Nader
Semi Ojeleye
Guerschon Yabusele
Terry Rozier
Kadeem Allen
Jabari Bird

Injuries
Gordon Hayward (ankle)  out
Kyrie Irving (quad) probable
Marcus Morris (knee) out
Al Horford (rest) out

Head Coach

Brad Stevens


Nuggets Reserves
Darrell Arthur
Malik Beasley
Kenneth Faried
Juancho Hernangomez
Richard Jefferson
Tyler Lydon
Trey Lyles
Emmanuel Mudiay

Injuries
Nikola Jokic  (ankle) questionable
Paul Millsap  (wrist)  out

Two Way Players
Torrey Craig
Monte Morris

Head Coach
Michael Malone

Game Notes

The Celtics return home from a not so successful road trip to begin a 3 game home stand against 3 Western Conference teams.  The Celtics are coming off an embarrassing blow out loss to the last place Chicago Bulls which should make them very hungry for a win as they host the Denver Nuggets.  Also, the Nuggets won the series 2-0 last season. 

The Nuggets are playing in back to back games after blowing out the Pistons in Detroit on Tuesday night.  The Nuggets are 1-2 on the second night of back to back games so far.  The Celtics are 12-2 at home and 7-3 in their last 10 games while the Nuggets are 5-10 on the road and 5-5 in their last 10 games.  The Celtics are 8-1 vs the West while the Nuggets are 9-4 vs the East. 

The Celtics just finished 3 games in 4 nights on the road winning just one of those 3 games.  They now begin a 3 game home stand, which will also be 3 games in 4 nights but this time, all three are at home and they won't have the travel between games.   The Celtics are still on top in the East, but with Cleveland playing very well, and the Celtics slipping, they have climbed to within 2.5 games of the Celtics. 

The Celtics announced that Al Horford will sit out this game for rest.  Kyrie Irving, who  missed the Celtics game on Sunday with a bruised quad, is listed as probable.  Marcus Morris remains out with a knee injury and Gordon Hayward is out with the ankle injury.  For the Nuggets, Nikola Jokic is questionable with an ankle injury and Paul Millsap is out with a wrist injury.

With Al Horford resting this game, it's a question as to who will start.  I'm guessing that Brad will start Marcus Smart at the two and shift Jaylen Brown to small forward and Jayson Tatum to power forward with Aron Baynes starting at center. However, the Celtics may just start Theis or Ojeleye at power forward and leave the rest of the starters in place.  Denver's starters are the ones listed in their game notes. 

Key Matchups 
vs
Jaylen Brown vs Will Barton
I'm just guessing that Brown will start at small forward.  It's also possible that this will be Jayson Tatum vs Will Barton, depending on who starts in place of Horford.   Barton is averaging 16.1 points, 5.3 rebounds and 3.2 assists.  He is also shooting 41.8% from beyond the arc.  Murray finished Tuesday's win with 4 points 10 assists and 6 rebounds. 

Shooting Guard
vs
Marcus Smart vs Gary Harris
This could be Jaylen Brown vs Gary Harris if Brad just replaces Horford at the four.  Harris is averaging 15.4 points, 2.9 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 1.83 steals per baje.  He is shooting 39.9% from beyond the arc.  In Tuesday's win over Detroit, Harris finished with 8 points, 6 rebounds, 9 assists and 4 steals. 

Honorable Mention
Kyrie Irving vs Jamal Murray
Kyrie is probable for this game and the Celtics really need him back judging by how poorly they played against the Bulls.  Murray is averaging 13.9 points, 2.7 rebounds and 2.3 assists.  Murray led the Nuggets over the Pistons with 28 points, 4 rebounds and 3 assists.  He shot 58% from the field and 50% from beyond the arc. 

Keys to the Game
Defense - Defense is the key to every game.   The Celtics still have the #1 defensive rating at 99.6 but they have let their defense slip in several games recently and need to get back to making defense a priority and putting in more work on that side of the court.  The Nuggets have a defensive rating of 107.0 (21st). 

Be Aggressive - The Celtics must be the more aggressive team.  They have to fight for loose balls,  defend aggressively,  be aggressive in driving to the basket, and just play harder than the Nuggets for the entire game.  They have to be the team that wants it more.  They can't let the Nuggets outwork them as they let the Bulls outwork them on Monday.   

Rebound
- Both teams are good rebounding teams.  The Celtics have a slight edge with 45.3 rebounds per game (7th) to 44.9 rebounds per game for the Nuggets (8th).  Rebounding takes effort and the Celtics have to work harder to grab rebounds to limit the Nuggets second chance points and fast breaks.  The Celtics can't allow the Nuggets to outwork them on the boards. 

Move the Ball - The Celtics play very well when they move the ball and find the open man.  When the ball sticks and players try to do too much, take quick shots, and dribble too much, the Celtics struggle.  They have to move the ball and look for the best shot and not force shots and not take quick shots. 

Focus - The Celtics had 15 turnovers on Monday against the Bulls and seemed to lose their focus for long periods in the game.  They struggled to hit shots, had many unforced turnovers, and they shot just 64% from the line.  The Celtics have to focus on playing their game and not let things around them take that focus away.

X-Factors
Injuries -  Al Horford is a key part of the Celtics starting lineup and will be resting this game.  Kyrie will probably return to the starting lineup but may not be 100%.  The Celtics are also missing Marcus Morris, who was just finding his place in the rotation.  The Nuggets may be without two key players as well.  They will miss Jokic's 15.5 points and 10.6 rebounds along with Millsap's 15.3 points and 6.2 rebounds.  However, the Nuggets won without them on Tuesday night. 

Home vs Road
-  The Celtics are finally home after a tough 3 game road trip.  They need to get a boost from the home crowd.  On the other hand, the Nuggets have pretty much played like two different teams at home and on the road.  They are 10-2 at home and outscore their opponents on their home court 112.3-103.4 but but are 5-10 on the road and are outscored by opponents 111.3-103.1.  They average 26.8 assists at home and just 19.8 assists on the road.  The Garden needs to be loud and the Celtics need to protect their home court. 

Re: Nuggets (15-12) at Celtics (23-6) Game #30 12/13/17
« Reply #1 on: December 12, 2017, 10:36:24 PM »

Offline Phantom255x

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FIRST!

TP FLCeltsFan!

Will be tough without Horford and Morris, but glad Kyrie is back!  ;D

Unfortunately with the way this putrid bench has been playing, may need Kyrie to score like 40+ to win this game (and for the team overall to play much better defense than it did against Chicago).

Re: Nuggets (15-12) at Celtics (23-6) Game #30 12/13/17
« Reply #2 on: December 12, 2017, 10:38:04 PM »

Offline FLCeltsFan

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TP to Phantom255x for being the first to post in the game thread!

GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO Celtics!!!!

Re: Nuggets (15-12) at Celtics (23-6) Game #30 12/13/17
« Reply #3 on: December 12, 2017, 10:47:49 PM »

Offline footey

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Letís go.

Re: Nuggets (15-12) at Celtics (23-6) Game #30 12/13/17
« Reply #4 on: December 12, 2017, 10:53:49 PM »

Offline BlastFromThePast

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If true that Jokic is out, it makes me feel better about the C's chances but don't count them out Plumlee is a good all around player 2.  The back court match up is also intriguing. 

Re: Nuggets (15-12) at Celtics (23-6) Game #30 12/13/17
« Reply #5 on: December 12, 2017, 10:55:30 PM »

Offline Hank Finkel

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Letís not have another Chicago disaster

Re: Nuggets (15-12) at Celtics (23-6) Game #30 12/13/17
« Reply #6 on: December 12, 2017, 10:58:34 PM »

Offline kraidstar

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Letís not have another Chicago disaster

Can't get any worse!!!

Re: Nuggets (15-12) at Celtics (23-6) Game #30 12/13/17
« Reply #7 on: December 12, 2017, 11:01:45 PM »

Offline slamtheking

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great thread as always FL -- TP for the effort

Re: Nuggets (15-12) at Celtics (23-6) Game #30 12/13/17
« Reply #8 on: December 13, 2017, 01:55:42 AM »

Offline Billz401

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C'mon boys we gotta tighten up on defense after that Chicago game
everyone got so sensitive after 9-11... thanks alot bin laden

Re: Nuggets (15-12) at Celtics (23-6) Game #30 12/13/17
« Reply #9 on: December 13, 2017, 02:13:54 AM »

Offline trickybilly

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No Jokic and Milsap = squad root of darth nader and the bear
"Gimme the ball, gimme the ball". Freddy Quimby, 1994.

Re: Nuggets (15-12) at Celtics (23-6) Game #30 12/13/17
« Reply #10 on: December 13, 2017, 02:41:39 AM »

Offline liam

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On track to start a new winning streak!

Re: Nuggets (15-12) at Celtics (23-6) Game #30 12/13/17
« Reply #11 on: December 13, 2017, 03:30:34 AM »

Offline bopna

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This should be another L

We play as bad as the competition...see Bulls game.

Nader and Yabu are terrible NBA players that are very good in perhaps some league in China or the Philippines.

I want Smart to stop taking attempts..period.
I wish Jaylen for once be 100% from the FT line.
More shots for Tatum please.

If Kiyrie does not play...book it we are screwed.

Re: Nuggets (15-12) at Celtics (23-6) Game #30 12/13/17
« Reply #12 on: December 13, 2017, 06:33:33 AM »

Offline gouki88

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This should be another L

We play as bad as the competition...see Bulls game.

Nader and Yabu are terrible NBA players that are very good in perhaps some league in China or the Philippines.

I want Smart to stop taking attempts..period.
I wish Jaylen for once be 100% from the FT line.
More shots for Tatum please.

If Kiyrie does not play...book it we are screwed.
If both Jokic and Millsap play, we're not necessarily screwed. We hopefully won't shoot that poorly again (ever ;) )
Quote from: PhoSita
It's not rational, but sports fandom isn't supposed to be.

Re: Nuggets (15-12) at Celtics (23-6) Game #30 12/13/17
« Reply #13 on: December 13, 2017, 07:05:01 AM »

Online Surferdad

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Bounce-back game.  They will play like it's the last game of their lives.

Re: Nuggets (15-12) at Celtics (23-6) Game #30 12/13/17
« Reply #14 on: December 13, 2017, 07:12:45 AM »

Offline hodgy03038

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Hopefully Kyrie plays because without him we are not good and with Horford resting we need some offense and some people that desire to play defense.


I hate to lose more than I like to win
Larry Bird