The NBA week continues with a massive game on the cards tonight at Denver, where the reigning champions host the league-leading Boston Celtics in a star-studded matchup that may well be a Finals preview. In an unexpected twist of events, both teams are coming off a pretty surprising loss. Boston blew a fourth quarter 20-point lead at Cleveland (with no Donovan Mitchell), while Denver lost in overtime at home to a resurgent Suns team led by Kevin Durant. Therefore, this game takes on even more importance, as one of the two main contenders will go on a two-game losing streak after tonight.

This game promises to be action-packed, as these two teams have probably the best staring fives of anyone in the league. The last encounter between Nuggets and Celtics came on January 19th in Boston, with Denver outlasting the hosts for a close two point win in which Jokic nearly dropped a 34-point triple double. While this is numerically a more important game for Denver, as Boston have all but clinched first place in the East, the Celtics have something to prove against Western Conference opposition. Boston has in fact lost at least once to Denver, Minnesota, OKC and the Clippers – the four atop the West. Conversely, Denver need to win to continue chasing first place in the Western Conference, which they’re just a game behind.

While this will likely be a tight contest, and Denver have only lost at home six times in thirty games this season, I narrowly favour the Celtics. If Denver wants to have a chance to win, they will undoubtedly need to limit Boston from the three-point line, where every single one of their starters can get hot from. I also expect Jokic to score in this game, as Porzingis struggled against him in Boston – the Joker to score over 26.5 points is listed at 1.93. I also believe both sides will be much more mindful in defence, as this is almost a playoff game: the Under 220.5 is listed at 1.92. Whether this is indeed a preview of the NBA Finals we’ll have to wait and see, but in the meantime let;’s enjoy this juggernaut clash!

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Denver Nuggets to Win – 1.95

Boston Celtics to Win – 1.90