Team Records: Boston (13-26) at Portland (31-12)
Game Info: 7 p.m., TV on KGW, Radio on 620 AM
Vegas Line: Portland -7.5
Refs: Jason Phillips, Kevin Cutler, Mark Lindsay
The Skinny: Oh hi there Celtics, your crappy team is just what the doctor ordered as the Blazers look to bounce back from Wednesday in Phoenix. Although obviously LMA’s injury is making us far more nervous than anything else. Boston is 2-8 this month and
Last Time They Met: It took a while to get going but the Blazers did, taking the lead over the Celtics in the second half and holding on to win 94-88. Portland has beaten Boston five straight times.
Projected Celtics Lineup:
PF: Jared Sullinger (Ohio State, 3rd season) – 13.9 PPG, 8.1 RPG, 2.2 APG
SF: Jae Crowder (Marquette, 3rd season) – 5 PPG, 1.8 RPG, .7 APG
C: Tyler Zeller (North Carolina, 3rd Season) – 9.2 PPG, 5.3 RPG, 1.4 APG
SG: Avery Bradley (Texas, 5th season) – 12.8 PPG, 2.6 RPG, 1.4 APG
PG: Evan Turner (Ohio State, 5th Season) – 8.9 PPG, 4.5 RPG, 4.2 APG
Player to Watch: Evan Turner (pictured at right) – Just because you’re a good college player doesn’t mean that you’ll necessarily make it in the pros. Such is the case for Evan Turner, who was a very good college player but has struggled mightily in the NBA. Turner has just never really gotten comfortable at this level. He was okay at best his first few years in the NBA and now has seemingly settled into a state of permanent below average play. Turner is capable of shooting from deep but lacks consistency and with an increased load in Boston he has seen his turnovers go up as well. He’s a good player to have if you want to lose games, though, as Boston does, so that’s good for the Celtics if not for Turner.
Did You Know?: Boston is the only team to have a winning record against Portland in Portland. The Celtics are 27-25 all-time in Rip City.
Song of the Day: “More Than a Feeling” by Boston-This classic song written by a band that, yes, as you guessed from the name, is from Boston. Enjoy:
Portland: Out – C Robin Lopez (Hand), PF/C Joel Freeland (Shoulder), Doubtful-PF LaMarcus Aldridge (Thumb)
Boston: Out – SG James Young (Illness)
Re-Evaluating Boston: Rebuilding Machine
Well, Boston is at it again, blowing up Boston but seemingly only to rebuild it quickly. Boston has a ton of first round picks, not to mention some nice pieces they could, in theory, build around. If the Celtics are able to stay bad and get a few more top picks on their own, the stay at the bottom of the NBA will be brief for one of the league’s most storied franchises.
The Bottom Line:
Portland wins if: Hold Boston under 100 points. Boston shouldn’t be able to stop Portland from hitting the century mark, so if Portland can hold Boston below 100 they should win.
Boston wins if: They limit Portland’s 3 point makes,. Boston’s biggest weakness is their three point defense, allowing opponents to shoot nearly 41% from deep. If they can hold Portland well below that, they might have a shot.