Boston Celtics vs. Denver Nuggets Tuesday NBA Preview & Free Pick

Celtics vs Nuggets NBA Handicapping

Should we call this one the Usain Bolt Invitational?

Coming off the All-Star break rested and ready to make a serious run for a high seed in the Western Conference playoffs, the Denver Nuggets have played 16 consecutive games in which one team (and most often both) has scored in triple digits.

Boston Celtics (28-24) at Denver Nuggets (33-21)
Tuesday, Feb. 19
Pepsi Center, Denver
9 p.m. EST
Spread – Nuggets -8 from Bovada
O/U – 203

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The Nuggets come at you hard and unapologetically.

If you can run with them, OK. But the pace will be quick, especially in Denver.

Tonight the Celtics come to town, and the Nuggets will see a far different Boston team than the one which used intense defense to win one NBA title, get to The Finals another time and push the Heat to seven games in the Eastern finals last spring.

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Absent Rajon Rondo, Boston coach Doc Rivers has given the green light to the team to push the ball, and the result has been a 8-1 sans-Rajon Rondo streak, the only loss being a head-scratching defeat at Charlotte.

That loss to the gutter-dwelling Bobcats came the night after the Celtics and Nuggets took it to three overtimes in a wild game in Boston in which the teams combined for 48 points – after regulation play.

Denver has made hay this season the same way the Celtics had hoped to before injuries robbed them of Rondo, rookie big Jared Sullinger and bench energy guard Leandro Barbosa.

Eleven different Nuggets average at least 10 minutes a game, and coach George Karl has used his deep roster to guide Denver to a 22-3 record at home this season (only Miami and San Antonio are better at home). [ad-6571516]

The Denver game is the first of a five-game Western swing for the Celtics, who will play 7 of the next 8 and 9 of the next 11 on the road. It comes as trade rumors are swirling around the team’s big names (Garnett, Pierce and Rondo).

Seven of the eight games in Boston’s recent surge have come at home. If they can hang tough on the road, they may be able to avoid the Knicks or Heat in the first round of the playoffs.


– Denver’s losses at home this season have been to Miami (OK), Washington (not OK) and Timberwolves (also not OK).

Karl has always been able to get his teams up for games at the Pepsi Center, where they have won 75 percent of their games in recent years. Boston has to keep something in the tank for the rest of the trip – the Celtics play four times in six days, including Wednesday night against the Lakers.

The number looks way too aggressive, though, and Boston should cover in a game that should go over the 203 posted number.

By Lawrence Paul

Lawrence Paul is back in the saddle as a regular contributor to the Cappers Picks Blog. He's got an AMAZING knack for predicting when a team will have a letdown! Stick with our resident gambling experts sports betting tips all season long!