NBA: Allen Can Make History But Celtics Face Tough Challenge

Al Dannity | Thu. Feb 10 2011, 01:02 pm

Ray Allen needs just two 3-pointers against the Lakers to set an All-Time record for the NBA but his Boston team will need to dig deep to pull out a win.

Battered Boston must rotate well
The Celtics enter tonight’s game against the Lakers without the services of Shaquille O’Neal, Jermaine O’Neal, Semih Erden, and Delonte West. That severely reduces Boston’s ability to boss Los Angeles in the paint. Kendrick Perkins, Glen Davis, and Kevin Garnett will have to shoulder the defensive load for the Celtics tonight but Doc Rivers will be wary of tiring out his only healthy big men.

That means the focus for Boston will be on maintaining efficiency on offense. With Ray Allen chasing history, the Celtics will need no motivation to try and repeat their 60.3 percent shooting effort from the January 30 meeting with the Lakers. With Paul Pierce returning from injury, Allen should have enough space to nail the two 3-pointers he needs to break Reggie Miller’s NBA career record of 2,560.

The Lakers, for their part, are 2-0 on this road trip so far and impressed against an improving Memphis team on Monday night. I still remain unconvinced about this team’s ability to consistently deliver against the best in the league. They will get there, the Lakers’ have too much talent not to, but right now I can’t back them to win a road assignment at a contender. Bet on Boston to win as a -2.5 point favorites with Sports Interaction.

Nuggets can raise their game
For all the Melo-drama, the Nuggets remain on course for a trip to the post-season. Last night’s defeat at Golden State stung deep as some poor decision making cost Denver a chance to force overtime. Nene will have been reminded plenty about his game-ending miss and the Brazilian will be eager to immediately erase memories of that error.

The Mavs enter this game on the longest winning streak in the NBA at present, having squeaked out a 102-100 win in Sacramento last night. After 10 straight wins however Dallas look primed for that run to come to a screeching halt. The Nuggets are notoriously tough to beat in the Pepsi Center and the Mavs don’t usually come out on the right end of shootouts. With Denver looking to finish on a high before the All-Star break, we can expect a frenetic offense-heavy contest. Bet on Denver to win as -3.0 favorites with Sports Interaction.