The Celtics play their final game on a 5 game west coast trip tonight in Denver. Despite 2 tough losses to the Lakers and Suns, both of which are mediocre teams, the Celtics could not be flying higher. Two nights ago, the Celtics had a huge fourth quarter against the Warriors to win 99-86.
Kelly Olynyk had a huge game for the C’s off the bench. He scored 17 points to go along with 5 boards and assists. This was one of Kelly’s best games on the season. Jae Crowder also had himself a game, making 2 big 3 pointers in the fourth to bury the Warriors.
Oracle Arena has become one of the hardest arenas to play in the NBA the last few years. The Celtics, however, are 2-0 in Oakland the last 2 seasons. The rest of the NBA has only 6 wins during that time.
The Celtics will matchup with the Nuggets, who are on the fringe of making the playoffs in the Western Conference. They are a half game up on Portland for the eight seed. Danilo Galinari is expected to return to the Nuggets lineup after missing one game. Nikola Jokic is questionable to suit up and big man Kenneth Farried has already been ruled out to play.
Despite cooling off in recent games, Isaiah Thomas is still second in the NBA in scoring, and still leads the league in fourth quarter scoring. With games down the stretch becoming more important, teams are finding ways to shutdown the little guy. Another player to watch tonight is Jaylen Brown. Brown played great ball while the C’s were battling injuries in recent weeks. With the Celtics back to full health, hopefully Brown can still crack the floor for some well-earned minutes.