Portland Trail Blazers (6-2, 2-1 away) at Boston Celtics (4-5, 2-2 home)
TD Garden at 7:30 p.m. on CSNNE – For Tickets Click Here
Officials: Marc Davis, Derrick Collins, Haywoode Workman.
Line: Portland -3
The C’s look to bounce back from a tough loss to the Charlotte Bobcats on Wednesday night that ended their 4-game win streak. Coming in at 4-5 overall, Boston is currently the No. 8 seed in the east and has surprised many in the early stages. They need all hands on deck, however, if they’re going to beat the Blazers.
PG: Jordan Crawford
SG: Avery Bradley
SF: Jeff Green
PF: Brandon Bass
C: Kelly Olynyk
PG: Damian Lillard
SG: Wesley Matthews
SF: Nicolas Batum
PF: LaMarcus Aldridge
C: Robin Lopez
Rajon Rondo (OUT) – Knee
Jared Sullinger (In) – Knee
CJ McCollum (OUT) – Foot
WHAT TO WATCH FOR
· After missing Wednesday night’s game with a knee injury Jared Sullinger is back. Sully missed only the one game after injury his knee taking a charge against the Orlando Magic on Monday. It is nice to have the second-year big man back, given the height Portland has.
· Defense has been the story all year long for Brad Stevens’ squad. The Celtics are at the bottom of the league in points, rebounds, and assists heading into tonight’s game, but have given up only 95.6 points-per-game thus far. That number is seventh best in the entire NBA.
· Can the Crawford/Bradley tandem continue to impress? Sliding Bradley to the SG spot and making Crawford the team’s primary ball-handler has worked for the first five games, but will it continue to have success?
· Kelly Olynyk and Vitor Faverani have been nice additions to Boston’s frontcourt this season. Olynyk is averaging 8.7 points and 6 rebounds per game, while Faverani is posting 6 points and 5.7 rebounds. The two have added some nice depth and skill to the Celtics rotation of big men early on.
· Brandon Bass is key. Bass has had five games total where he shot over 40% this season, and four of them have been victories for Boston. The Celtics have not won a game where “all-I-do-is-ball” Bass failed to eclipse the 40% mark.
· For those of you wondering, the Celtics (4-5) currently sport a better record than the Nets (2-5), the team that acquired Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett from the C’s.
· This one is going right down to the wire. The nitty-gritty C’s will catch Portland on a bit of an off night, though, and sneak away with a win at home. The Celtics defense will make the difference in this one.
Boston Celtics 94, Portland Trail Blazers 91.