For a time, it seemed there would be just one team dealing with a massive shakeup playing at Denver's Pepsi Center tonight. Now, there will be two.
Fresh off completing three separate trades that cost them Kendrick Perkins, Nate Robinson, Semih Erden, Luke Harangody and Marquis Daniels, the Celtics will take on the new-look Nuggets Thursday night out in the Rocky Mountains. The Celts will be very short-handed for the game given today's wheeling and dealing and the rash of injuries in the front-court, leaving them with just eight players. Glen Davis will likely get the start at center, while Von Wafer, Delonte West and Avery Bradley will be all the C's have in reserve while they wait for forward Jeff Green and center Nenad Krstic, the players they got back from the Oklahoma City Thunder in exchange for Perkins and Robinson, to arrive, likely in time for Saturday night's game at the L.A. Clippers.
Denver, which traded superstar Carmelo Anthony and point guard Chauncey Billups to the Knicks on Monday night, is expected to have all of the players they received in return from New York -- guards Raymond Felton and Wilson Chandler, forward Danilo Gallinari and center Timofey Mozgov -- available for the game.
The Celts will be looking to win their fourth straight game, including their second in a row on this current West coast swing. On Tuesday night, they exploded out of a 60-60 halftime tie to blow away the Golden State Warriors behind 24 points and 12 rebounds from Kevin Garnett and 19 points and 15 assists from Rajon Rondo. In a 105-89 win over the Nuggets at TD Garden on Dec. 8, the Celts were led by Ray Allen's 28 points as well as 13 assists from Rondo and 16 points off the bench from Davis. The Nuggets Ty Lawson, now their starting point guard with Billups in New York, finished with 24 points, seven assists and three steals in the loss.
The Celtics (41-14) look to continue their winning ways out West in Denver against the Nuggets (33-25) tonight at 10:30 p.m. EST, on TNT.