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Celtics (35-18) at Nuggets (36-19) 2/21
« on: February 20, 2010, 09:19:48 PM »

Offline FLCeltsFan

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  at 
Boston Celtics (35-18) at Denver Nuggets (36-19)
Sunday, February 21 
3:30 PM ET
Game #54, Road Game #30
TV:  ABC
Radio:  ESPNR, WEEI, KCKK
Pepsi Center

The Can as it is known to Denver Nuggets fans, the Pepsi Center is the place to be during the winter months in the Mile High City. The Nuggets have been a part of the NBA since 1974 when they moved from the American Basketball Association. One year after becoming part of the NBA the Nuggets began playing at McNichols Sports Arena. The 17,000 seat arena was the home of the Nuggets and two NHL teams, the Colorado Rockies and later the Colorado Avalanche. Like every other team in the NBA and NHL, a new arena was needed for both teams in order to remain competitive in both leagues. Construction began in November 1997 and was named after Pepsi bought the naming rights for $68 million.
In 1999 the Nuggets played their first game at the Pepsi Center. The arena has a seating capacity of just over 19,000. It features 95 luxury suites, 1,800 club seats, the Lexus Club, the Blue Sky Grill featuring western crusine and The Denver Post Newsroom.




Coach: Doc Rivers
Average Age: 28.3
Average Height: 6-6
Average Weight: 228


Probable Starters
PG SG SF PF C
Rajon Rondo/Ray Allen/ Paul Pierce/Kevin Garnett/Kendrick Perkins


Reserves

Glen Davis
Rasheed Wallace
Marquis Daniels
Tony Allen
Shelden Williams
Marcus Landry

Injuries:
Tony Allen (ankle)  probable
Paul Pierce (thumb)  probable
Nate Robinson (flu)  out 




Coach: George Karl
Average Age: 27.6
Average Height: 6-6
Average Weight: 223


Probable Starters
PG SG SF PF    C
Chauncey Billups / Aaron Afflalo /Carmelo Anthony/ Kenyon Martin/ Nene Hilario

Reserves
Anthony Carter
J R Smith
Malik Allen
Ty Lawson
Joey Graham
Johan Petro

Injuries
Chris Andersen (back) day to day
Renaldo Balkman (back)  out

Key Matchups
  vs 
Rajon Rondo vs Chauncey Billups 
Chauncey Billups is one of the top PGs in the league and he isn't known as Mr Big Shot for nothing.  Rondo has been playing very well and the Celtics will need him to continue his strong and aggressive play in this game, especially on the defensive end. 

  vs 
Paul Pierce vs Carmelo Anthony
This should be a very good matchup as both players are tough and play hard.  Both are strong and can hit the outside shot as well as take it to the hoop.  Paul Pierce is playing with a couple of nagging injuries, with the most concerning one being to his thumb.   He was 50-50 right up until the start of Friday's game in Portland and wasn't particularly effective.  Hopefully with a day off, Pierce will be ready to go.  Melo has been playing very well and scoring in bunches.  Pierce's defense will be needed even more than his offense. 

Honorable Mention
Kevin Garnett vs Kenyon Martin
Against the Blazers, KG looked the best he has since coming back from the injury.  It is no surprise that the better KG plays the better the team defense looks.  Hopefully, KG will continue his improvement with a strong game on both ends of the court in this game.

Game Notes
The Celtics are looking for their 4th straight win on this western road trip.  They are 6-4 in their last 10 games.  The Nuggets are coming off a loss to the Washington Wizards after an emotional win over the Cavaliers the night before and are 5-5 in their last 10.  The Nuggets struggled while Melo was out with an injury but he is healthy and back playing well. 

The Pepsi Center is a tough place for visiting teams to win as evidenced by the Nuggets' 23-5 home record.  The Celtics have played well on the road and have a 20-9 road record, but it will still be a tough arena to win in.   

Over the last 3 games we have seen the Celtics begin to play very well.  Their defense has picked up as has their overall team play.   KG is playing better and Ray Allen seems to have worked his way through his recent slump.  Rondo and Perk have been playing well over the last 3 games as well.  The only question mark in the starting lineup is Paul Pierce who is still trying to get healthy.  The Celtics bench, in spite of being short handed played well against the Blazers. 

This will be the toughest test of this current road trip.   The Nuggets are a tough team, the Pepsi Center is a tough venue, and the last game of a road trip is always the most challenging. 

Keys to the Game
Defense - The Celtics have won their last 3 games with their defense.  They seem to have found the defensive urgency that has been lacking in many games this season.  They need to keep their focus on tough defense and continuing to communicate on the defensive end. 

Focus for 48 Minutes - The Celtics can't afford to let up against a team like the Nuggets.  Any loss of focus against the Nuggets would open the door for them to make a big run.  The Celtics must come out strong and not let up until the final buzzer sounds.

Rebound    The Celtics must improve their rebounding.  The Nuggets have some very strong rebounders on their team and the Celtics have got to attack the boards in order to prevent second chance points and fast breaks by the Nuggets. 

X-Factor
The Air Up There
It is hard for visiting players to adjust to the thinner air in Denver while the Nuggets' players are used to it. How the Celtics adjust to the Denver altitude will be a big factor. 

Re: Celtics (35-18) at Nuggets (36-19) 2/21
« Reply #1 on: February 20, 2010, 09:31:51 PM »

Offline Atzar

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Sheed will have to be the difference in this game, especially if Birdman is out.  They have nobody who can guard him off the bench.

Re: Celtics (35-18) at Nuggets (36-19) 2/21
« Reply #2 on: February 20, 2010, 09:38:30 PM »

Offline BASS_THUMPER

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we been rollin pretty smooth...like a lac

"diamond in the back....sun roof top"...lol


gonna be a fun game to watch..


Re: Celtics (35-18) at Nuggets (36-19) 2/21
« Reply #3 on: February 20, 2010, 10:19:08 PM »

Offline celticinorlando

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gotta limit melo and get the boards
“The rim is looking bigger and bigger every game.”

 Paul Pierce

Re: Celtics (35-18) at Nuggets (36-19) 2/21
« Reply #4 on: February 20, 2010, 11:15:35 PM »

Offline MF Doom

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Yes Sheed needs to actually try tonight in order for us to win. hes well rested after blowing off the past few games.

And I assume Landry is going to suit up?

Re: Celtics (35-18) at Nuggets (36-19) 2/21
« Reply #5 on: February 21, 2010, 12:30:07 AM »

Offline Larry33Legend

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How sweet it would be to get this win and sweep the biggest road trip of the season.Go C's!!

Re: Celtics (35-18) at Nuggets (36-19) 2/21
« Reply #6 on: February 21, 2010, 10:21:15 AM »

Offline Drucci

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This game is definitely the toughest of this road-trip!

The Nuggets are really hard to beat in Denver. There is only two matchups in our favor in this one, Ray vs Afflalo, and KG vs Martin. I just don't like the Billups vs Rondo matchup (Rajon struggles against bigger PG's, and Billups is a smart player with a great shooting touch), the Pierce vs Melo matchup (Pierce is still bothered by his knee and Melo is hot right now... it could get ugly for Paul).

Perkins vs Nene is an OK matchup I guess, Perk will be able to limit Nene, but not to beat him offensively.

Sheed is definitely a key guy in this game, the Nuggets have nobody off their bench to defend him so let's hope he plays in the post and gets us easy buckets. I think he will, I'm confident. Marquis needs to step up offensively too, he has been way too shy the last two games.

I fear that Ty Lawson could kill us, a la Collison two weeks ago... but hopefully the Celtics will limit him.

Anyway it should be a great, physical and competitive game. It starts a 9:30 pm here so it's cool!

TP FL and let's go Celtics! Sweeping the road-trip would be great (4-0... wow), but 3-1 would be really good too. With that said, I really want to see the C's perform well in Denver tonight.

Re: Celtics (35-18) at Nuggets (36-19) 2/21
« Reply #7 on: February 21, 2010, 12:25:52 PM »

Offline ManUp

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A win here would do wonders for my confidence in this team.

We've been pretty bad against good teams, I'd like to see that start to turn around.

Re: Celtics (35-18) at Nuggets (36-19) 2/21
« Reply #8 on: February 21, 2010, 12:30:10 PM »

Offline GreenFaith1819

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How sweet it would be to get this win and sweep the biggest road trip of the season.Go C's!!

TP for your Avatar, Larry33Legend - I like the effects.

TP for FLCeltsFan for the post as well.

The one who really concerns me in this game is Chauncey Billups. He always has solid games against us, and tries to take smaller PGs into the post.

As long as we continue to play like we have over the last week or so, we pull this one out, too.

Re: Celtics (35-18) at Nuggets (36-19) 2/21
« Reply #9 on: February 21, 2010, 12:35:07 PM »

Offline fairweatherfan

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This will be a tough, tough game - we pounded Denver by 38 the last time we played them, and I'm sure they remember that very well.  They'll come out swinging in front of their home crowd, and we're gonna have to fight a natural lack of focus in the last game of a big road trip. 

Re: Celtics (35-18) at Nuggets (36-19) 2/21
« Reply #10 on: February 21, 2010, 01:07:13 PM »

Offline P2

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I'll just tell you this: If KG and Rondo have solid games, we win. Plain and simple.

Re: Celtics (35-18) at Nuggets (36-19) 2/21
« Reply #11 on: February 21, 2010, 01:09:45 PM »

Offline Mike-Dub

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Forward Marcus Landry, the other player received from the Knicks in a deal that sent Eddie House, J.R. Giddens, and Bill Walker to New York, also took his physical Friday, but has an ankle sprain and will be sidelined for a few days as well.

Just a heads up FLCeltsFan from Chris Forbe's ESPNBoston article on Robinson making his debut on Tuesday.
"It's all about having the heart of a champion." - #34 Paul Pierce

Re: Celtics (35-18) at Nuggets (36-19) 2/21
« Reply #12 on: February 21, 2010, 01:14:54 PM »

Offline twinbree

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I can't wait for this game to start. I'm happy it's well before my bedtime and I can watch the whole thing live. I'd love a win but really I just want to see our guys play well and stay healthy. TP FLCF. Go Celtics!
Tommy: He's got a line about me. Tell him the line.

Mike: Everybody 60 or over knows Tommy as a player. Everybody 40 or over knows Tommy as a coach. Everybody 20 or over knows Tommy as a broadcaster. And everybody 10 or under thinks he's Shrek.

Re: Celtics (35-18) at Nuggets (36-19) 2/21
« Reply #13 on: February 21, 2010, 01:51:59 PM »

Offline Thruthelookingglass

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I almost feel like a win in Denver is too much to ask for after LA and Portland.  But I'll ask anyway.   ;D  C'mon, let's go Celtics!

Re: Celtics (35-18) at Nuggets (36-19) 2/21
« Reply #14 on: February 21, 2010, 03:05:11 PM »

Offline Surferdad

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The way I see it, a lot rides on this game if C's win, but it's not a disaster if they lose.  Winning will send a message to entire league that the C's are still a very dangerous team that can beat anybody.  Losing merely means coming back home with a 3-1 record against four tough opponents on the road.