Boston Celtics (35-18 SU 21-31-1 ATS) at Denver Nuggets (36-19 SU 25-28-2 ATS) Pepsi Center, Denver, CO 3:30 PM EST Sunday February 21, 2010 on ABC
by Jason Green at Predictem.com
Point Spread: Celtics +4 / Nuggets -4
Unlike the Celtics and many other teams in the league the Nuggets did not pull the trigger on any trades. The Nuggets did have a great first half and are in 2nd place in the Western Conference, but they are coming off a loss and are only 5-5 in their last 10 games. Tonight they host a Boston team that has won 3 straight road games and will get their best defensive player back in the lineup.
The Celtics retuned from the All Star break on a road trip where they have won 3 in a row including beating the defending champion Lakers in L.A. Not only that they picked up scoring PG Nate Robinson in a trade with the Knicks AND Kevin Garnett is back after missing time with his troublesome knee.
Robinson, as well as new pickup Marcus Landry, will not suit up for the Celtics until Tuesday’s game.
Denver is not happy to see KG back, especially Carmelo Anthony
(29.3 ppg), who has only averaged only 19.3 ppg on 38.7% shooting in 3 games
against Garnett in a Celtics’ uniform.
The team that can play their style will win tonight, as if the Celtics can make this a defensive low scoring game they will win, but if the Nuggets can light up the scoreboard and get out and run they will win.
Ray Allen (16.2 ppg) has been on fire lately averaging 22.5 ppg and in his 4 games against Denver while with Boston he has averaged 23.5 ppg.
In their last game on Friday night the Nuggets lost to the lowly Washington Wizards 107-97 in the Nation’s Capital. The high scorer for Denver in the game was Chauncey Billups going for 28 points on 9/15 shooting. For the game the Nuggets shot 32/72 from the floor for a FG% of 44.4%. On defense the Nuggets allowed the Wizards to shoot 40/87 for a FG% of 46%.
The Celtics won their last game beating the Portland Trailblazers 96-76 also on Friday night. The high scorer for Boston in the game was Ray Allen going for 21 points on 9/14 shooting. The Celtics shot well in the game going 39/73 from the floor for a FG% of 53.4%. The Celtics really clamped down on D holding the Blazers to only 22/65 shooting for a FG% of only 33.8%.
This season the Nuggets rank 3rd in the league in scoring (107.3 ppg) and the Celtics rank 19th (98.4 ppg). On defense the Celtics rank 1st in points allowed (93.2 ppg) and the Nuggets only rank 22nd (102.5 ppg). Both teams are pretty even on the boards, as the Nuggets have a rebounding differential of -0.5 rpg and the Celtics are at -0.8 rpg.
According to the Sagarin NBA ratings the Nuggets rank 5th (94.44) and the Celtics rank 7th (94.25).
Boston is 4-11-1 ATS in their last 16 games, 8-2-1 ATS in their last 11 games as a road underdog of 0.5-4.5, and 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games following an ATS win.
Boston has an Under record of 6-0 in their last 6 games and an Under record of 5-0 in their last 5 road games.
Denver is 5-1 ATS in their last 6 home games against teams with a winning road record and 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games as a favorite.
Denver has an Over record of 5-0 in Nuggets last 5 games against teams with a winning percentage above 60% and has an Over record of 7-2 in their last 9 games against teams in the Eastern Conference.
In the last 8 meetings between these 2 teams the total has gone Over 6 times and in the last 5 meetings the favorite is 4-1 ATS.
On the injury front SF Paul Pierce, SG Tony Allen, and PG Nate Robinson are day-to-day for Boston and SF Carmelo Anthony and PF Kenyon Martin are day-to-day and Renaldo Balkman is Out for Denver.
Jason’s Pick: OK, so the Nuggets have a great home record and can light up the scoreboard, but today they will be facing a Celtics’ team that looks like they are regaining their championship form. The Celtics will play good D in this game and that will be the difference, as they will win their 4th straight on the road. Take the Celtics to win this game in a minor upset.