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|Even though Rajon Rondo has been stellar this season, posting monster assist and steals numbers, I'm really feeling Andre Miller tonight. Miller has played very well lately, especially with Brandon Roy out. Miller will be in charge of shooting and dishing and I believe he'll be better than Rondo in this game.
Brandon Roy is out for this game and possibly much more. That leaves a rejuvenated Jerryd Bayless and a healthy Rudy Fernandez—not bad fill-ins. But they have the task of defending a slightly slower but still dangerous Ray Allen. In Boston this is going to be tough for our guys, Bayless is undersized and Portland's perimeter defense is already bad enough. Celtics win it.
This could be the most frustrating matchup to watch. Paul Pierce gets away with everything, so I picture him running down Martell multiple times and getting all the calls. But besides that, Pierce is still a solid player and will most likely be the leading scorer for Boston tonight. Pierce is averaging well over 20 ppg against Portland in the last few years. Martell needs to get back on track after a brutal game Wednesday, but it won't be enough.
Kevin Garnett is expected to return against Portland, so the fake thug will be there to try to mess with LaMarcus and Jerryd. They won't be having any of it, especially LA. I think Aldridge has another big game as KG tries to shake the rust.
As far as dual threat match-ups go, the Celtics present a lot of problems for Portland. Kendrick Perkins is a beast and will work the interior while Rasheed Wallace will stay planted on the three point line. I don't see the Blazers stopping them whatsoever. The front line will be the back-breaker for the Blazers. They can't win in Boston.