Tip: 9PM Court: Rose Garden Watch it: CSN Hear it: WEEI
Referees: Monty McCutchen, Tony Brown and Eric Dalen
Spread: POR -2.0
The Celtics dominated the Trail Blazers early and never looked back during a 96-78 victory on Nov. 30. With Rajon Rondo serving the first of his two-game suspension, Boston rode Jeff Green (19 points and 4 steals) and Jason Terry (17 points) to the win.
Get it to: Jeff Green
The month of February has been awfully kind to Green.
Through 10 games this month, Green is averaging 16.7 points, 4.4 rebounds and two blocks per game in 31.6 minutes a night. He’s also shooting at a 55.3 percent clip from the field and 50 percent from beyond the arc.
But lately, Green has been unconscious.
Over his last three games, he’s averaging 22 points, 5.3 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 2.7 blocks per game in 35 minutes a night. Green is also shooting 24-of-38 (63.2%) from the floor and 6-of-11 (54.5%) from three-point range. That includes his monstrous performance against the Phoenix Suns on Friday—31 points on 11-of-14 shooting, seven rebounds, four assists and five blocks.
Keep feeding the hot hand.
Gotta stop: Damian Lilliard
If there’s been one bright spot for Portland during this losing streak it’s got to be the play of Lillard.
Over his last four games, the rookie has averaged 22 points and 5.3 assists per game. Lillard is also a threat to get to the line, shooting 19-of-20 (95%) from the charity stripe.
Lillard has already demonstrated an ability to take over a game in only his first year in the league. It’s imperative for the Celtics to contain Lillard and force him into making bad decisions. He’s averaging 3.1 per game this season—first among rookies.
The Wild Card: The new guys
Terrence Williams—signed to a 10-day contract—did his best Rondo impression, dishing out four nifty dimes. He also added nine points and four rebounds in 25 minutes.
Newly-acquired Jordan Crawford—traded from the Washington Wizards—debuted with 10 points, three rebounds and two assists in 17 minutes. He shot 4-of-9 from the field and 2-of-5 from distance.
The two provided a spark for the Celtics’ bench and ensured the team didn’t miss a beat when the starters stepped off the floor.
They could also be a key to the game, going up against a Trail Blazers bench that ranks last in the league in bench production with 13.3 points per game.
How we see it goin’ down
It’s easy to bet against Boston in this one.
The team has lost six out of eight on the road and is just 9-17 overall. There’s also the stunning fact that the Celtics have lost all six games played as part of back-to-backs on the road this season.
However, Portland has been a lost team as of late and I don’t see that changing anytime soon.