Boston Celtics vs. Portland Trail Blazers - 11/23/14 NBA Pick, Odds, and Prediction
Portland Trail Blazers (9-3) at Boston Celtics (4-7)
NBA Basketball: Sunday, November 23, 2014 at 6:00 pm (TD Garden)
The Line: Boston Celtics +5 -- Over/Under: 214 See the Latest Odds
TV: CSNE, CSNW
The Portland Trail Blazers visit the Boston Celtics for an interconference matchup on Sunday night at TD Garden in Boston.
The Portland Trail Blazers are off to an impressive 9-3 start although they’ve only played thrice on the road with a mark of 1-2. Both of the losses did come against solid Western conference teams in the Kings and Clippers though, so we probably shouldn’t expect a stumble on the road here against a Celtics team that simply lacks the same level of personnel quality. LaMarcus Aldridge is performing at a high level with 21.4 points and 8.1 rebounds per game and Damian Lillard is averaging 21 points, seven assists and six rebounds as the two all-stars pace the Portland attack. Wesley Matthews and Robin Lopez have been solid complements to Aldridge and Lillard but the piece that’s been missing of late has been Nicholas Batum, who has been recovering from a knee injury. The Blazers rank 6th in the league in both points scored and points allowed, averaging 104.4 points while conceding 95.2 as one of the more balanced teams in the NBA.
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The Boston Celtics are 4-7 entering this contest and the obvious shortfall of this team has been a porous defense that concedes 108.4 points per game. That deficiency was in full effect on Friday night as the Celtics fell 117-100 to a Memphis team that’s not typically known for scoring 117 points against any opponent – the Celtics could have their hands full here against another Western conference opponent. Scoring the ball hasn’t been a huge issue for Boston as Rajon Rondo averages 11 assists per game to get the offense involved, and Jeff Green (18.4 ppg) and Jared Sullinger (15.7 ppg) have been consistent producers. The Celtics still lack much identity though as a young team with a young head coach with Brad Stevens in just his second year in the NBA. I think it’s fair to expect some exciting offensive output from this team which could very well translate into wins against average teams in the East, but Boston didn’t instill much confidence with their performance against the Grizzlies on Friday.
I won’t rule out the possibility of a narrow win for the Blazers here, but given that I expect Portland to win I’m also taking them to cover as I don’t have much respect for the Celtics defense this season.