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Celtics Look to Extend Win Streak as Nuggets Come to Town

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Denver Nuggets (4-4) at Boston Celtics (8-1)
Regular Season Game #10 – Home Game #6
Friday, November 14, 2008
8:00 PM ET
TV: ESPN, CSN HD, Altitude
TD Banknorth Garden

Game Thread l Chat

Nuggets Blogs Pickaxe and Roll l The Nugg Doctor

The Denver Nuggets are making their only appearance in Boston this season and they come to town with Mr Big Shot as their leaderl. Unlike the Pistons who have struggled since the trade, the Nuggets have played well with a 3 game win streak before their loss last night to the Cavs.

Since the Celtics made defense popular again last season it seems like every team is committing to play defense this season and the Nuggets are no different. They have vowed to be more defensive minded this season and so far are succeeding. For the first time since the 04-05 season, they are holding teams below 100 points per game. The Nuggets are holding opponents to 41.2% from the field and 26% from beyond the arc, both of which are 3rd in the league. Only the Nuggets and the Hawks are in the top 5 in both categories. They are also 3rd in steals.

The Nuggets have a fairly deep bench this season as evidenced by the fact that they are the only team with 9 players averaging 7.5 points per game or more. However, that deep bench has been hard hit by injuries with 5 players on the injured list.

The Celtics and the Nuggets split the series last year with each team winning on their home court. These two teams are 5-5 since the 03-04 season.

Probable Starters
PG: Rajon Rondo vs Chauncey Billups
SG: Ray Allen vs Dahntay Jones
SF: Paul Pierce vs Carmelo Anthony
PF: Kevin Garnett vs Linas Kleiza
C: Kendrick Perkins vs Nene

Boston Celtics
Denver Nuggets
Chucky Atkins (knee) out
Kevin Martin (wrist) questionable
Sonny Weems (groin) out
Chris Anderson (rib) out
Stephen Hunter (knee) questionable

Key Matchups
Rajon Rondo vs Chauncey Billups
This was always a good matchup when BIllups was with the Pistons and it should be no different now that he is with the Nuggets. Mr Big Shot knows the Celtics about as good as any point guard in the league.

Paul Pierce vs Carmelo Anthony
Paul Pierce has been on fire over the past 2 games and with Denver's newfound emphasis on defense look for Carmelo to try to put out that fire.

Honorable Mention
Kendrick Perkins vs Nene
Nene has been playing very well and should be a challenge for Perk.

Team Connections
Brian Scalabrine and Kevin Martin were teammates in New Jersey
Chucky Atkins played for the Celtics in 03-04
Stephen Hunter played for Doc in Orlando from 01-04
Anthony Carter and Eddie House were teammates in Miami
Anthony Carter and Kevin Garnett were teammates in Minnesota
Chauncey Billups was the first round pick (#3 overall) in the 1997 draft and he was a teammate of KG's in Minnesota.

Keys to the Game
Start Strong
Team Defense
Value Possessions
Hit Free Throws

The Nuggets played last night and are on the 3rd game of their road trip and playing in the second of back to back games. The Celtics are playing in their 4th game in 6 nights, but are coming off a day of rest. Just like every other team in the league, they will come in looking to knock off the Champs and will give it their best shot, but they may wear down by the end of the game.