Boston: 104.9 points/100 possessions (13th)
Portland: 105.1 points/100 possessions (12th)
Boston: 106.5 points allowed/100 possessions (23rd)
Portland: 109.0 points allowed/100 possessions (29th)
Probable Blazers starters: Damian Lillard (PG), Nicolas Batum (SG), Wesley Matthews (SF), LaMarcus Aldridge (PF), J.J Hickson (C)
View from the Opposing Bench: Portland Roundball Society
Brendan Jackson caught up with the guys at Portland Roundball Society to go 3-on-3 on the matchup tonight. Here’s one of Brendan’s answers for a sampling:
1. Kevin Garnett has shifted over the last year almost exclusively to the center position. The Blazers also start a center out of position in J.J. Hickson. Do you predict Garnett will spend most of his time guarding Hickson or on LaMarcus Aldridge?
Garnett will almost definitely be guarding Aldridge, however the Celtics switch picks a lot and often pick up different men in transition so it’s not likely to be a huge factor. Brandon Bass, the other alternative, is just not suited to defend really tall guys that have good turn around post moves and can shoot over him. Aldridge is one of the best in the biz and needs to be held to his averages if the Celtics have a shot. Garnett gives them the best chance to do that.
Check out the full post at Portland Roundball Society
Other Items of Note:
Courtney Lee will get the start at guard alongside Jason Terry tonight in place of the suspended Rajon Rondo. Here were my thoughts on the arrangement from earlier today:
You can likely pencil Lee into the shooting guard spot for tonight to matchup with Wesley Matthews, but I’ll be curious to see whether Doc trusts Terry or Barbosa to handle the shifty rookie for the bulk of tonight’s minutes. If neither is up to the job, Doc could also place Lee on Lillard and attempt to hide Terry or Barbosa on Matthews, not an ideal situation given Matthews’ height advantage on both players, but still a possibility.
Either way, the C’s catch somewhat of a break tonight given the fact that Portland has a very underwhelming bench in the backcourt, so they won’t be able to exploit Terry and Barbosa as much with Rondo sidelined, although that reality may change tomorrow night against the Bucks explosive backcourt.
Chris Wilcox (illness) and Jeff Green (knee) also plan on playing tonight, so look for Doc to stick with a nine-man rotation featuring Barbosa, Green, Sullinger and Wilcox off the bench against a weak Portland second unit that Boston should be able to take advantage of.
Prediction: Celtics 99, Blazers 90