Nuggets at Celtics: Tale of NBA's two hottest teams

Avery Bradley is running the show for Boston with Rondo out. - USA TODAY Sports

An early game today for the Nuggets. Can Denver push their win streak to double digits? If they do, they'll have defeated another of the NBA's hottest teams in Boston.

2012/2013 NBA Regular Season: Game 52
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vs
Boston Celtics (1947 - 1950)
33-18 (11-15 on the road)
0-0
26-23 (18-9 at home)
February 10th, 2013 - 4:00 PM (MT)
TD Garden - Boston, MA
TV Altitude / 950 AM / 104.3 FM The Fan
Probable Starters
Ty Lawson
PG Avery Bradley
Andre Iguodala
SG Courtney Lee
Danilo Gallinari
SF Paul Pierce
Kenneth Faried
PF Brandon Bass
Kosta Koufos
C Kevin Garnett
Notes
Denver Stiffs Blogs Celtics Blog - massive game preview is up!
None Injuries Rajon Rondo (ACL), Jared Sullinger (back) both out
Nuggets are 5-1 on Sunday this season Stat Celtics are 3-3 on Sunday this season

It's a bird, it's a plane, it's the two hottest teams in the NBA! The Nuggets head into Boston late this afternoon as winners of nine straight. Meanwhile, the Celtics currently boast the second best win streak in the league as they've won 6 games in a row.

Captain obvious alert: Doc Rivers' team is playing inspired basketball in the wake of Rondo and Sullinger's season ending injuries.

Captain obvious alert II: According to Ty Lawson ...

Approximate figures of total snowfall in the Boston area ... I have no clue. Today it's expected to be about 34-degrees for a high, but lucky for Lawson and his teammates: tonight's game will be played indoors.

Key Matchup: Avery Bradley vs. Ty Lawson

In Denver's last 10 games, Lawson is averaging 19.1 points on 48% shooting and 7.6 assists. Since returning to the lineup on Jan. 2nd, Bradley is averaging just 8.2 points in 25 minutes per game, but Bradley is a key for Boston on the defensive end. He's a relentless defender who will be tasked with sticking with Lawson tonight.

Should be fun to see if Bradley can slow Lawson down, as Denver's point guard has been a key component on this current win streak and for the past two months as well. Ty's offensive game has been fun to watch as he is hitting threes, pull-up jumpers, and getting to the rack.

Denver's bench mob: Andre Miller, Corey Brewer, Wilson Chandler, and JaVale McGee scored a combined 40 points last night in Cleveland. Chandler might not go this evening due to it being a back-to-back, so Karl may have to dig a bit deeper into the bench or the eight man rotation might have to really step up.

McGee played a brilliant offensive game against the Cavs. They just didn't have anybody that could cover the talented big man as he went 6-7 from the floor for 13 points and recorded 4 blocks in 18 minutes. If Chandler can't go, McGee should go from 18 min. to about 25 minutes tonight if he can avoid foul trouble and stay focused.

Rested Celtics: Boston hasn't played since they demolished the Lakers (yes!) on Thursday (Feb. 7th), 116-95. Small ball is the order of the day Rivers. Boston has an undersized bench that features Jeff Green, Chris Wilcox, Jason Terry, and Leandro Barbosa. I would expect Wilcox to get some run tonight, but he has played spot minutes for Boston in the past six games since returning to the lineup.

How I see this one going: As is the case on the road, the Nuggets have to keep it close early and it'd be awesome to see Denver play with a lead. I am expecting this to be a fourth quarter game and think it should come down to the final five or six minutes tonight.

Give me the Nuggets to win it: 102-98.

***

Denver Nuggets Tickets

Nate_Timmons on Twitter
ntimmons73@yahoo.com

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