Al Horford & Marcus Morris out, Kyrie Irving probable vs. Denver Nuggets
The Celtics will be facing the Denver Nuggets tonight, and both teams are banged up. For Boston, Al Horford will miss the game to rest and Marcus Morris will be out of action for a while. The good news is that Kyrie Irving may be back in action after sitting out the Chicago contest with a bruised quad. Irving is the motor that drives the Celtics machine, and his absence is always a problem.
For the Nuggets, the ever-valuable Paul Millsap is rehabbing from wrist surgery and will not play tonight in Boston. Nikola Jokic is questionable for the game and nursing an ankle injury. Jokic and Millsap average a total of more than 30 points a game, and Nikola leads the team in rebounds and assists. He is a vital cog in Denver's system and his presence in the lineup would be a major boost for the Nuggets. He does it all for them.
The Nuggets scoring is very balanced, but the loss of 30 points from the two bigs would be tough to overcome. Will Barton, Gary Harris and Jamal Murray would have to step up, and particularly if Jokic doesn't play, we may see quite a bit of Kenneth Faried. Mason Plumlee has been filling in at center and had a decent game in a win against the Pistons last night, scoring 10 points and hauling down 13 rebounds. Wilson Chandler has been the starter at PF and has scored 18 points in each of the last two contests. Boston was swept last season in their two-game series against the Nuggets.
Jokic vs. Boston last year in the Nuggets' season sweep...
We might expect to see more of Aron Baynes tonight. Increased minutes for Aron seems like a logical move going forward. Kyrie, the motor for the machine, will hopefully be in the lineup. We will be looking for a bounce-back from Jayson Tatum, and always curious about Jaylen Brown's eye- wear-of-the-day, if any at all. Time to end the two-game losing streak against the Nuggets.