With so many injuries to so many key players this is a tough game to call, keep your eyes on our live updated NBA betting odds.

The Boston Celtics (16-4 SU, 11-8-1 ATS) missed a big piece of their puzzle in Rajon Rondo Sunday night as he removed himself from the starting lineup, suffering the lingering effects of a strained hamstring, only moments before the Celts were to tip off against the Nets.  But capable understudy Nate Robinson put the jig saw back together and scored more than anyone on the hardwood that night with 21 points and 6 dishes en route to a 100-75 blowout of New Jersey. 

The Celtics may yet again face the prospect of doing without the services of Rondo for tonight’s showdown with the Nuggets as well as contending with the possible Ray Allenabsence of the big man himself, Shaquille O’Neal, currently nursing a sore right calf. 

Back to back games

The Denver Nuggets (13-7 SU, 6-12-2 ATS) had their 7 game winning streak snapped by the Charlotte Bobcats last night and now must fly to Beantown to battle one of the hottest teams in the league. 

In an 82 game season, back to back games can be particularly brutal for a team on the road.  It’s one thing to play and then drive to the comfort and safety of your own home after the game, only to show up the next day at your home court, in front of friendly fans, to do it all over again. But when you’ve just left your blood, sweat and tears on foreign soil only to shower up, scramble to the airport, fly into another strange city late at night and then face another opponent in yet another hostile environment, well it ain’t easy.  

Big Green streaking but hurting

Aside from the Dallas Mavericks who have won 10 straight, Boston is the hottest team in basketball, winning 7 consecutive games and 8 of their last 10. Boston is not only winning games but their bench is now deep enough to give the Big 3 a chance to catch their breath. Shaquille has been exactly what they needed this year and what they’ve lacked in the past. He is no longer the immovable force of yesteryear but he has given them an imposing presence and contributing over 11 points a game in his limited role. Big Baby Glen Davis left practice on Tuesday with an undetermined illness and is questionable as well for Wednesday. With starting center Kendrick Perkins yet to see action this season due to offseason ACL surgery and Jermaine O’Neal sidelined himself with a knee injury, you have to wonder who will be playing center if Davis or Shaq can’t go. 

Who wins?

This is a very difficult game to handicap at press time as there are so many uncertainties with the Celtics big bodies and the availability of the quarterback of the team, Rajon Rondo.   

The Nuggets may feel the lingering effects of a late rally against Charlotte that went awry as Chauncy Billups last second shot was unable to tickle the twine and Denver walked away empty handed. If Rondo doesn’t go and neither Davis nor O’Neal can suit up, this game will most definitely be circled if not pulled off the board entirely. However, if we get any combination of Davis, Rondo, and Shaq or if the luck of the Irish smiles down upon the Green and grants them all three, then my money is on the hot team over the tired team. 

Free NBA Pick: Play the Celtics at home on Wednesday night.