vs Boston Celtics (6-3) at Denver Nuggets (8-1)
Monday, November 5, 2018
9:00 PM EST
Regular Season Game #10 Road Game #6
TV: NBCSB, Altitude
Radio: 98.5 Sports Hub, 950 AM
Pepsi CenterProbable Starting Matchups
Kyrie Irving vs Jamal Murray Shooting Guard
Jaylen Brown vs Gary Harris
Gordon Hayward vs Torrey CraigPower Forward
Jayson Tatum vs Paul MillsapCenter
Al Horford vs Nikola JokicCeltics Reserves
Daniel TheisTwo-Way Players
Walt Lemon, Jr.
P. J. Dozier
Brad Stevens Nuggets Reserves
Michael Porter, Jr.Two Way Players
Thomas WelshHead Coach
Michael Malone Game Notes
The Celtics travel to Denver to take on the Nuggets on the second stop of this tough 5 game road trip. Boston didn't have a good start to the trip losing to the Pacers 102-101 on a late game three pointer by Victor Oladipo. Boston continued their dominant defensive prowess but just could not generate any offense by going inside or getting to the line. If they continue with their extremely heavy three point offense, scoring inside or by drawing fouls will be a problem all year. They will simply live by the three or die by the three.
The Nuggets have played inspired ball so far this season and have the 2nd best record in the league with key victories over Golden State, New Orleans and Utah. Denver has been great defensively this year giving up the third least points per game and have the third best defensive rating in the league. They are excellent at causing turnovers and are the best rebounding team in the league with a rebounding rate of 54.3%.
Offensively, the Nuggets, one of the younger teams in the league, are led by their back court of Gary Harris and Jamal Murray. But, without a doubt, the best player offensive player on the Nuggets is one of the most unique players in the league, their center, Nikola Jokic. Jokic is averaging 18 points, 10 rebounds and 7.7 rebounds per game. The offense runs through Jokic and besides his excellent passing ability he has great shooting percentages of 52/38/85. Jokic is coming off a game against Utah where he had 16 assists...from the center position. The one area the Denver offense does struggle from is the three point line shooting just 30.6% good for 27th in the league.
For Boston to win tonight, they are going to have to hit on a high percentage of their three point shots, as it appears creating open three pointers has become Coach Stevens go to offense. Denver has good interior defense with Millsap, Plumlee and Jokic patrolling the paint. It will be best if the Celtics can draw those players out to the perimeter by having Horford Morris and Tatum hitting threes early which should open lanes for Hayward, Brown, Irving,Rozier and Smart.
Defensively, Boston has the length and athleticism to bother Denver's outside game but what will be best to contain Denver will be to play Jokic tight when he is out by the three point line trying to create opportunities for his team's. Jokic is Denver's defacto point guard. Limit his play making and you limit the Denver offense.