Nuggets vs. Celtics NBA Preview

Nikola Jokic #15 of the Denver Nuggets puts up a shot. Matthew Stockman/Getty Images/AFP

Nikola Jokic #15 of the Denver Nuggets puts up a shot. Matthew Stockman/Getty Images/AFP

 

The Celtics have lost four of their last five games and don’t look like a top team in the East. Should bettors continue to fade the Celtics, even at home?

 

Denver Nuggets vs. Boston Celtics

TD Garden

The Boston Celtics will look to get back over .500 with a win against the Nuggets on Tuesday. It’s been a weird season filled with injuries and COVID for the Celtics and they haven’t got in rhythm just yet losing four of their last five games.

On the other hand, the Nuggets have won three straight games scoring over 120 in two of those three wins against teams like the Los Angeles Lakers who they defeated on Sunday.

The Nuggets have scored 117.1 points per 100 possessions and have shot a high effective field goal percentage of 55.7 percent. Denver has dominated the offensive glass bringing down 28.7 percent of rebounds and get to the line at an average rate.

The Nuggets are led by Nikola Jokic who should be a huge factor in this game. Jokic is scoring 26.5 points per game this season and bringing down 11.5 rebounds along with 8.7 assists per game. The center leads the team in every major category and has been dominant around the rim.

Jamal Murray has chipped in with 18.5 points per game along with 4.4 assists and four rebounds per game in 34.8 minutes. Jokic and Murray lead in minutes and have led the team in scoring all season long.

Defensively, the Nuggets are allowing 112.8 points per 100 possessions and have allowed an effective field goal percentage of 54.9 percent. They’ve done well on the defensive glass and are top ten in the NBA when it comes to forcing turnovers.

The Celtics have been solid defensively, allowing just 110.9 points per 100 possessions this season. Teams are shooting a 54 percent effective field goal percentage and are turning the ball over 14.9 percent against the Celtics. But an area where the Celtics could struggle is in the rebounding department.

The Celtics allow offensive rebounds 25.2 percent of the time while the Nuggets tally a very high offensive rebound rate behind Jokic.

The Celtics will rely on Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum in this one. Brown averages 26 points per game while Tatum averages 25.6 points per game. Both combined, average nearly half the points that the Celtics score on a given night. Tristan Thompson is the best rebounder on the Celtics as he averages 8.2 per game but he’ll have a tough task on the defensive glass going up against the Nuggets.

The offense for the Celtics hasn’t been up to par to Boston’s standards. They’re scoring just 112.6 points per 100 possessions and are shooting an effective field goal percentage of just 53.3 percent. The Celtics should turn the ball over about 14 percent of the time as that’s their average.

Boston could win on the offensive glass against the Nuggets as they bring down 27.8 percent of chances but the Celtics aren’t aggressive enough to get to the line and get points from the line.

Times have changed in the NBA. The standings don’t make sense when compared to last year’s standings. The Celtics are scoring just 110.1 points per game and allowing 109.3 points per game when, on paper, the Celtics are stacked.

Boston shoots just 46 percent from the field while the Nuggets are getting higher quality looks and scoring 47.9 percent of their shots. The rebounding in this game will be equal but if the Nuggets are able to get a couple more second chances in this game, I’d have to imagine the Nuggets come away with the outright win.

So we’ll just take the points here on the road.

CBB Pick: Nuggets +2.5 (-110) at Bet 365 

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