Wednesday, November 9, 2007 TD Banknorth Garden, 7:30 PM TV: Comcast Sports Net, League Pass Ch 755, Altitude 2 RADIO: WEEI 850 AM
Tonight's game will be another big test for the Celtics, or maybe the first big test. The Nuggets come into the Garden with their own Big Three of Iverson, Melo and Camby. Add to that Kenyon Martin and they will give the Celtics new found defense a run for their money. The Nuggets played last night and lost to the Knicks in NY in a hard fought game so we have the advantage in that they may face some fatigue by the end of the game.
They have a big front line that is very good at rebounding. We will have to keep Camby, Nene, Najera and Melo off the glass while trying to corral the rebounds which is where Perk is going to be crucial to block out their rebounders while the other 4 Celtics grab the rebounds. He has to stay out of foul trouble so as to play big minutes in this game. Pollard off the bench is also going to be important as bringing in Scal to play back up center won't cut it in this game.
Matchups are going to be crucial in this game. Here are some key matchups to watch out for:
Perk vs Camby is going to be a battle. Both are strong inside players and both take pride in their interior defense. Camby is quicker and more mobile and Perk has problems with those type centers so hopefully the team defense continues to impress to give him some help with Camby. Perk's ability to block out on rebounds will allow Garnett some room to operate in the paint.
Pierce will have his hands full with Carmelo. He will need to show that new found defense that he has been talking about. If Pierce struggles against Melo defensively, we will probably see Posey on him early. Pierce will also struggle offensively as Melo defends him on the other end. Hopefully Pierce will defer to his teammates instead of trying to force things.
KG vs KMart should be a good matchup with some defensive battles inside as well, with KG having an advantage in this matchup. Martin sat out Tuesday's game in the hopes that he could play tonight against the Celtics. Martin is on the comeback trail from knee surgery and the Nuggets aren't playing him in back-to-back games at this point in his recovery.
The C's will have to find a way to slow down Iverson. Rondo has the speed to keep up with Iverson and will need to bounce back after struggling against TJ Ford in the Raptors game to guard yet another very good PG. Rondo will also have to be ready to take the shot to keep Iverson from doubling off of him.
Another key matchup will be the benches as the Nuggets have some good players coming off the bench and the Celtics will need to show some depth in this one. I would love to see Powe get some run in this game as his strength and energy could be important off the bench in matching up with Denver's bigs off the bench. It should be a great game tonight. Join us on Celtics Green for the play by play as well as some game time decision.