Friday, November 30, 2012

Previewing the Blazers

The Portland Trailblazers come to town tonight to face the Celts, a team that Boston has had control over in recent history. The Celtics have won five straight against the Blazers, and have taken the last eight games in Boston against Portland. In order to keep that streak alive, Doc Rivers will have to rely more on veterans Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett to step up in the absence of the suspended Rajon Rondo. A tough task with the way that Rivers has been managing both of his aging stars minutes thus far in the season.

Leandro Barbosa is expected to make the start at point guard in Rondos place, robbing fans of the expected showdown at the position between Rondo and Portland's top rookie Damian Lillard. Lillard was taken sixth overall in the NBA draft by the Blazers out of little known Weber State, and has displayed the ability to be a heavy contributor right away. Barbosa will now draw the matchup with Lillard, who is averaging 19.1 PPG and 6.1 APG so far in his campaign for Rookie of the Year. Portland has a 6-9 record on the young season, but have displayed the ability to pick up big wins. To make matters worse for Boston, forwards Jeff Green (knee) and Chris Wilcox (illness) are both questionable for tonights contest. If the Celtics are going to continue their recent trend against the Blazers, they are going to need their Veterans to step up and play well tonight.

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