After Sunday night's debacle, opponents are now averaging 111.8 points per game against Boston, the second-worst in the National Basketball Association (only Phoenix is worse at 113.3 points per game). Staying above.500 during this stretch could end up making a difference in what should be an incredibly tight race in the eastern conference. With Horford on the court this season, the Celtics have an excellent defensive rating of 99.7 in the 88 minutes he has played.
After Saturday night's loss in Detroit, coach Michael Malone vowed to change his starting lineup in response to the Nuggets lack of energy and poor play to start games.
There's no line yet with Wilson Chandler and Barton questionable for Denver.
The Celtics made a brief spurt in the third, closing to 84-69, but the Nuggets scored 14 of the next 19 points en route to a 103-83 edge after three. "That's on me. I have to play the guys that are more physical".
The Nuggets emphasized getting off to a quick start after falling behind by 17 after one quarter against Detroit.
Will a backcourt player please stand up?The Celtics certainly have matchup issues in this one and the Celtics need to contain the Nuggets in those areas, so they can take over where they are strong.
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Substitutes: Aaron Ramsey (for Coquelin, 64) 7, Olivier Giroud (for Iwobi, 70) 6, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (for Walcott 70) 7. The 20-year-old will be hoping that this is just a minor blip in his season and he can improve from here on in.
It's unlikely that Gary Harris is ready to return to full-time starting duties right now, especially on a back-to-back. The Nuggets will try to impose their size on the Celtics, and if they are not able to get comfortable with Brown at the four and Smart at the three, then they will be forced to overcome the Nuggets' maximum impact on the interior.
"So I'm doing what I gotta do to get back on the court as soon as possible". Take of that what you will.
"I was trying to be as aggressive as I can be", Mudiay said. In the first 12 minutes to start the year, the Nuggets have a plus/minus of -37, with the last positive quarter coming in the home opener against the now 0-6 New Orleans Pelicans.
Every team struggles at one point or another. Stevens noted the team's physicality against the Nuggets. I thought Kenneth Faried diving on the floor at 3:57 left in the fourth quarter was a great example of that.
Mudiay's 24 points was the most in a quarter for a Nuggets player since Ty Lawson hit that many in a game against Minnesota in April of 2011. Celtics guard Avery Bradley shot 1 for 5 from beyond the arc despite entering the game connecting on 40 percent of his 3-point field goals. This lineup hasn't worked well together so far this season. "It nearly looks like they're disinterested to start the game and if we're going to go down, we're not going to go down like that". Because the Celtics are down a couple of key players, the Nuggets could win this one, but for me, it's about getting back to playing the right way.