Fixture: Boston Celtics vs Denver Nuggets
Date & Time: Friday December 6, 2019, 8:00 PM ET (Saturday, 1:00 AM GMT)
Venue: TD Garden, Boston.
The second best team in the Western Conference travel East to face the second best team over there. The Nuggets come into the game having just recorded the second largest victory in their franchise history. Although it came against the a team that is at the bottom of the league table, the 129-92 victory would be a boost of confidence for their offence. The Nuggets have been heavily reliant on their defence this season, and would like more such contributions going forward. But it would be far from straightforward when they face the Celtics on Friday.
The last time the two teams met was only a fortnight ago, when the game went down to the wire. The Nuggets eventually emerged victorious having scored 96 points to the Celtics’ 92. Since then, the Celtics have won four of their five fixtures. Hosting the team from Denver, they will want to avenge their previous defeat and move ahead in the quest for a Championship place.
Injuries: Romeo Langford (Ankle)- Out, Marcus Smart (Illness)- Questionable, Gordon Hayward (Hand)- Out, Tacko Fall (Right knee)- Out
Expected starting line up: Kemba Walker, Jaylen Brown, Grant Williams, Jayson Tatum, Daniel Theis
Injuries: Bol Bol (Foot)- Out
Expected starting line up: Jamal Murray, Gary Harris, Will Barton, Paul Millsap, Nikola Jokic
Although Nikola Jokic had only six points against the Knicks, he was far from not being influential in the game. He grabbed 10 rebounds without any turnovers in the Nuggets’ crushing victory. His triple double against Celtics in their previous meeting would be fresh in his mind and would want to emulate such a performance again. His 7-foot influence in the field would then provide opportunity for the likes of Jamal Murray and Paul Millsap to improve their scoring.
For the Celtics, Kemba Walker and Jayson Tatum could be on the scoresheet. The main problem for Boston however, would be the difference in physicality. Celtics rely on driving in more than three pointers. This strategy might not necessarily work out against a taller Nuggets side. This is where the Nuggets would be looking to gain an advantage on Friday.