Boston: 97.7 points/100 possessions (25th)
Portland: 102.6 points/100 possessions (8th)
Boston: 96.2 points allowed/100 possessions (3rd)
Portland: 99.1 points allowed/100 possessions (11th)
Probable Blazers starters: Raymond Felton (PG), Nicolas Batum (SG), Gerald Wallce (SF), LaMarcus Aldridge (PF), Marcus Camby (C)
View from the Opposing Bench: Portland Roundball Society
In what may be the last home game for this current roster together, with a long road trip and the trade deadline looming next week, the C’s host another reeling opponent in Portland. Per usual, I got together with the guys over at ESPNBoston to throw around some thoughts about the Blazers and C’s. You can check out the full post at ESPNBoston.com
Greg Payne: Getting into a run-and-gun style shootout. Portland has too many offensive weapons for the Celtics to overcome if they try and get by tonight without playing any real defense. The Blazers have a legitimate (and still underrated) All-Star in Lamarcus Aldridge, athletic wing players in Gerald Wallace and Wesley Matthews, a point guard capable of pushing the pace in Raymond Felton, and a true offensive force off the bench in Jamal Crawford, who has made some of the most ridiculous shots the league has seen over the last several years. An offensive-oriented game won’t favor the Celtics tonight. Defense has to be the main priority, even more than usual.
Robb: Just like Philadelphia, they are a desperate team right now having dropped four of their last five games. There are plenty of trade rumors swirling in the Pacific Northwest as the Blazers have dropped out of the top 8 spot in the Western Conference, making this pit stop in Boston even more crucial than normal. This roster has plenty to prove if they want to stay together and plenty of athletic talent as well which could give Boston fits. Look for Portland to come out hungry Friday night.
Chris Forsberg: Portland’s in last place in the Northwest Division. They’d be a playoff team in the East. They truly are one of those sneakily deceptive teams. Look at their stats and you’ll wonder how they’re not five wins better than their record reflects. About the only thing the Blazers don’t do better than average is rebound and that shouldn’t exactly be a concern against Boston. Not that past success matters much, but the Blazers haven’t won in Boston since 2004 and have been one of the league’s worst road teams this season. That said, the Celtics know how daunting a desperate team could be. If the Blazers are clicking offensively, this one will be a grind for Boston.