Celtics (45-25) vs Nuggets (47-24)
Game time: 7pm, TD Garden. TV – ESPN, CSN. Radio – WEEI-AM (850).
Bos: Pierce – 17.9 Nuggets: Carmelo Anthony – 28.9
Bos: Perkins – 7.7
Nuggets: Kenyon Martin – 9.6
Bos: Rondo – 9.6 Nuggets: Chauncey Billups – 5.7
Who'll go off: Paul Pierce. The captain had a miserable performance in the Celtics 114-105 loss to Denver on Feb. 21. Look for Pierce to attack the basket, especially since Denver's defense will be minus Kenyon Martin.
Who needs to be stopped: Chauncey Billups. He dropped 26 points, 7 assists on the Celtics back in Feb. Has Rondo ever had a good defensive game vs this guy?
The C's will lose if… they don't win the battle of the benches. Denver brings two high-energy guys (Chris Andersen, J.R. Smith). Glen Davis, Nate Robinson and the rest of the second unit need to keep pace.
Miscellany: Kenyon Martin (knee) and Renaldo Balkman (back) are out. Denver owns a 17-18 road record. The Nuggets are coming off a 109-104 loss to the Knicks in NY. George Karl will miss the remainder of the regular season as he undergoes treatment for throat cancer. Denver is 5-3 in games Karl has missed.
Prediction: Celtics 116 – Nuggets 104
Nate Robinson was pretty feisty in that 2006 Knicks/Nuggets brawl, huh?