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BOSTON CELTICS AT PORTLAND TRAILBLAZERS--JANUARY 27, 2011 7:35 PM PACIFIC
The Boston Celtics take the Eastern Conference's best record on the road for a four game West Coast swing starting at the Rose Garden in Portland, Oregon against the hometown Blazers. By now everyone knows about the Blazers horrible run of injuries this season which has most recently claimed superstar shooting guard Brandon Roy (out indefinitely with his bad knees) and veteran forward Marcus Camby (out for at least a couple more weeks after arthroscopic surgery on his knees). The good news for the PDX faithful is that despite the injuries the Blazers have continued to play hard every night. LaMarcus Aldridge has been playing inside more and raised his game to an All Star level. Smooth veteran Andre Miller has been a valuable contributor as have younger players like Nicolas Batum and Wesley Matthews.
Boston ripped the Blazers by 20 points in their last trip to the Pacific Northwest, but Portland played the Celtics very tough in their trip to the TD BankNorth Garden both this year and last. The Blazers lost by 3 as +10' road underdogs in January 2010 and lost by 4 as 7 point underdogs on December 1, 2010. Celtics have been fairly consistant at grinding out their straight up wins, but they've struggled against the pointspread--they've covered only 5 of their last 18 games with 13 ATS losses and a push. In their last outing they beat up on hapless Cleveland at home, winning by 17 but failing to cover as -18 favorites. That dropped the Celtics to only 15-20 ATS as a favorite this year, but the blowout win puts them in a very dubious spread category--Boston is only 3-12 ATS this year after a win by 10 or more points.
Portland coming off a listless home loss to Sacramento which broke a six game winning streak, but they've had two full days off since then. Blazers have continued their strong play at home this season despite their spate of injuries and are currently on a 12-3 ATS run on the Rose Garden court. From a strictly practical standpoint, its hard to see Boston 'circling' this game with Phoenix on deck tomorrow night and the Lakers up ahead on Sunday. We'll look for another feisty effort from the tenacious Blazers--the Celtics may escape with the outright "W" but we anticipate a fight throughout.
PLAY PORTLAND TRAILBLAZERS +4' OVER BOSTON CELTICS