After dropping two straight the Denver Nuggets were anxious to get back on the right side of the win column and did just that last night by trouncing the New York Knicks. The Nuggets led throughout and ended up winning by 35 points, allowing them to rest their starters the entire fourth quarter. That rest will be needed because the Nuggets are in Boston tonight to take on the Celtics to finish out the back to back.

The Celtics have yet to lose on their home court this season and like the Nuggets have only lost five overall. With Kyrie Irving now in Brooklyn, the Celtics are led by their dynamic wing duo of Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown as well as Irving’s replacement Kemba Walker. Those three combine for over sixty points a game on their own but are also bolstered by solid depth even with a player like Gordon Hayward sidelined by injury. The Celtics are one of the best teams in the league once again and will be looking for revenge for their loss in Denver earlier this season.

The Basics

Who: Denver Nuggets (14-5) at Boston Celtics (15-5)

When: 6:00 PM MST

Where: TD Garden, Boston MA

How to watch/listen: Altitude TV and KKSE Altitude Radio 92.5 FM…but really just get on down to Brooklyn’s for the watch party tonight.

Rival Blog: CelticsBlog

Position Nuggets Celtics Advantage
PG Jamal Murray Kemba Walker Celtics
SG Gary Harris Jaylen Brown Celtics
SF Will Barton III Jayson Tatum Even
PF Paul Millsap Grant Williams Nuggets
C Nikola Jokic Daniel Theis Nuggets
Bench Monte Morris, Malik Beasley, Juancho Hernangomez, Jerami Grant, Mason Plumlee Semi Ojeleye, Robert Williams, Marcus Smart, Brad Wanamaker Even

Injured players: Marcus Smart – game time decision (oblique), Gordon Hayward – out (hand), Tacko Fall – out (knee), Romeo Langford – out (ankle)

Key matchup: Jayson Tatum vs Will Barton

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Barton and Tatum bring a lot of similar things to the table. They both are dynamic scorers, both are great at creating off the dribble, both are great slashing to the rim, both are solid shooting the ball. Really there’s not a ton different about them offensively other than Tatum shoots it a little more often. Barton is perhaps someone not generally considered to be on the same level as Tatum but he’s having the best season of his career and is the more efficient player this season. He’s also stepped up his defensive game tremendously. Still, Tatum is one of the brightest young talents in the NBA and the type of player who might just drop 50 on you any given night. The Nuggets are going to need the best out of Will on both ends to get the victory.

Key thing to watch for: Back to back

Amazingly, the Nuggets have played just one back to back thus far this season. It…did not go well. The second game of that back to back would be the night Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks ran over the Nuggets on their own court. The Nuggets travel should be fairly short to get to Boston and they’ll have an extra hour before tip off in comparison to the Knicks game, plus the starters got to rest last night. All that being said, a good team like Boston knows how to make a tired team pay late in the game. Tonight will truly be a test of Denver’s mental toughness.

Opening thought: get to Brooklyn’s!

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We’ve teamed up with the Nuggets once again this year to host watch parties with the best fans in all the league, you guys and gals! Ryan Blackburn, Jena Garcia, myself and more of the Stiffs staff will be there along with Super Mascot Rocky, the Nuggets Dancers and the whole arena crew. There’s going to be ticket give aways, shwag, the whole works. The fun starts at 5:30 at Brooklyn’s (literally across the street from the Pepsi Center) which, if you’ve never been there, is a fantastic venue with lots of space and TVs for everyone to watch the game. We hope to see everyone out there and make sure to come say hi!