Celtics take on Trail Blazers for Tuesday night NBA action!
The Boston Celtics travel to Portland tonight to take on the Trail Blazers. The Celtics have won their last three games in epic fashion and will look for another W tonight. Meanwhile, the Trail Blazers are 1-2 in their last three games and are hoping to get back on track tonight hosting the Boston squad. Can the Boston team keep trending up the Eastern Conference standings, or will the Trail Blazers knock them off course? You know what time it is, the breakdown shakedown!
Odds: POR -1, BOS +1
Tip-Off: April 13th, 10:00 p.m. EST, Moda Center
The Boston Celtics pulled off an epic comeback over the daunting Denver Nuggets on Sunday afternoon. After a mega 4th-quarter contribution all across the board, the Celtics find themselves in excellent position to rise up the Eastern Conference standings. As for injuries, Evan Fournier remains OUT due to Health and Safety Protocols, but other than that, it is full strength ahead for the Celtics as they take on the Trail Blazers tonight.
On the offense, we continue to see the dominance of the core four (Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Marcus Smart, and Kemba Walker) progress each competition. Overall the offense ranks 15th in total score, 12th in FG%, 10th in 3-point %, and 15th in total rebounds. The 4th-quarter game has increased dramatically as the C’s battled their way up to 15th in scoring, when they were 28th just a couple weeks ago. Their last head-to-head with the Trail Blazers was back in the beginning of August, and the Boston team squeaked out a 128-124 victory. Can the core four and the Celtics super-loaded bench notch another W on the road?
The defense will be tasked to cover the dominant court presence of Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum. Lillard dropped 30 on the C’s back in August, and McCollum posted 17 as well. As for defending former Celtics big-man Enes Kanter, the Celtics will need Robert Williams III and Tristan Thompson to bring their A-game. The last impactful name to mention and who has burned the Celtics before, is Norman Powell. The Celtics defense has played well recently, with Marcus Smart continuing to showcase his full court capabilities. Overall, the Boston team ranks 10th in total score, 12th in FG%, 17th in 3-point%, and 6th in total rebounds.
PORTLAND TRAIL BLAZERS
The Trail Blazers host the Celtics tonight in a prime matchup between two competitive and playoff hungry teams. The Portland squad has some ground to make up though as they are 2-4 in their last six games. Damian Lillard will look to bounce back after his poor performance against the Miami Heat on Sunday night. As for injuries, the only reported OUT designation remains to be Zack Collins.
On the offense, the Trail Blazers are fully loaded with Damian Lillard, CJ McCollum, Norman Powell, and former Celtics big-man Enes Kanter. Lillard leads the pack averaging nearly 29 points per game, and McCollum posts around 24 points per game. The Portland team overall ranks 7th in total score, 26th in FG %, 7th in 3-point %, and 18th in total rebounds. The first and fourth-quarter game are where the Trail Blazers typically play their best as they are ranked #1 for total points scored in the first, and 4th for total points scored in the fourth quarter. The Trail Blazers will need a complete performance tonight at home if they want to knock off the soaring Celtics.
As for the defense, the Portland squad will be tasked to defend the Core Four of the Celtics (Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Marcus Smart, and Kemba Walker) while also the emerging and rather impressive big-man duo of Tristan Thompson and Robert Williams III. In their last matchup against the C’s, it was Tatum and Brown that racked up a combined 64 points for their Boston team. Recently, the Celtics have been taking more shots from the 3-point range and unfortunately for the Trail Blazers they are 18th against those shots. Even if the Portland team can contain the Jay’s, they need to watch out for Walker and Smart who can heat up and absolutely tear it up from all shooting spots on the court. Overall, the Trail Blazers are in for a high-scoring matchup tonight.
ANALYSIS AND BEST BETS
Tonight’s matchup is gearing up to be a good one as the Boston Celtics and Portland Trail Blazers are both loaded on offense and physical on the court. I anticipate both teams to start fast with players like Jaylen Brown and Damian Lillard racking up easy points early on. Considering how close the last head-to-head was for these teams, I would also say we are in for a nail biter tonight. NBA fans are you ready for some East Coast vs. West Coast action?
My first best bet is for Marcus Smart to post OVER 13.5 points tonight. Smart is trending in the right direction as he has racked up 14, 24, and 17 points in his last three matchups. Also, Smart is notorious for getting to the free-throw line and averages 13.4 points per game. I am confident Marcus Smart will rack up the necessary points tonight for his Celtics squad.
My second best bet is for CJ McCollum to post OVER 3.5 3-pointers tonight. McCollum is shooting over 40% from the 3-point range and is primed up to drain 3’s tonight at home.