Tip: 9PM Court: Pepsi Center Watch it: CSN Hear it: WEEI
Referees: Mike Callahan, Pat Fraher and JT Orr
Spread: DEN -8.5
The Celtics topped the Nuggets 118-114 for a thrilling, triple-overtime victory on Feb. 10. Paul Pierce paced Boston with his second triple-double in seven games with 27 points, 14 rebounds and 14 assists.
Get it to: Brandon Bass
Yes, it says Brandon Bass. Your eyes aren’t deceiving you.
In his last outing against the Chicago Bulls, Bass went 6-of-13 from the field for 14 points and nine rebounds. He also registered the second-best plus/minus on the team at +7.
For the first time all season, Bass displayed confidence with the ball. He was aggressive to the hoop, took his open shots and made smart decisions with the basketball.
It’s time to strike while the iron is hot.
Anything to try and get Bass to perform at the level he did during the 2011-12 season and get away from the mediocre stat line he’s currently producing (7.6 PTS and 5.1 REBS).
Gotta stop: Ty Lawson
The loss to the Celtics has seemed to rejuvenate Ty Lawson.
Over his last three games, the 25-year-old has averaged 28 points, nine assists and two steals per game. He’s also been unconscious from the floor, shooting 33-of-53 (62.3%) from the field and 9-of-14 (64.3%) from beyond the arc.
Boston’s going to have to hope Avery Bradley is on his A-game defensively tonight.
The Wild Card: Boston road woes vs. Denver home success
The Celtics have lost four of their last five games away from Boston. Furthermore, their road record of 8-15 is the worst mark among the 16 teams in the league that are currently in playoff position.
On the other hand, Denver currently holds the third-best home record in the league. The team has won seven straight at the Pepsi Center. You’d have to go back to Jan. 18 for the last time the Nuggets fell in front of their home crowd.
It all adds up to what should be a rather easy victory for the home team. Except, we’ve come to realize that nothing is as it seems when it comes to this Boston team.
Will that theory hold true tonight?
How we see it goin’ down
Sure, Denver might be one of the hottest teams at home in the league. But they’ve also lost three-straight games, while giving up an average of 112 points per night.
With a full five days of rest, expect the Celtics to come out strong and jump out to an early lead.
The only question is (as it is every time they take the court): Can they hold onto a lead?