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Preview: Boston Celtics vs. Portland Trail Blazers

12.05.08 at 12:33 pm ET
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On Friday night the Boston Celtics (18-2) will take on the Portland Trail Blazers (14-6) at the TD BankNorth Garden. These are two of the hottest teams in the NBA — the Cs are on a 10-game winning streak while the Trail Blazers have won their last six. The real headline, though, is Greg Oden’s debut at the Garden. After missing all of last season with a knee injury, the Celtic that never-was will play his first game under the 17 championship banners that would not have been possible had the Cs landed the top pick in the 2007 draft.

Perk vs. Oden
Kendrick Perkins and Al Jefferson didn’t want the Celtics to draft Greg Oden. The tight-knit duo were certain they could lead the Celtics to success together, and the addition of Oden would break up their tandem. Now Perk has a new front court partner in Kevin Garnett, posing a formidable challenge for Oden in the paint. Look for Perk to prove the Celtics made the right decision when he goes up against the rookie who once threatened to take his minutes.

Ray vs. Roy
Brandon Roy‘s backcourt versatility makes him one of the trickier guards to defend. If Roy were a traditional point guard the Celtics could put Rajon Rondo on him, but given his size and long-range abilities Ray Allen is the better option to stifle his shooting game. Roy leads the Trail Blazers in scoring with 21.1 points per game and is shooting 50% over the last five contests.

In the last five games …
Celtics:
99.5 ppg, 47% FG, 34% 3PG, 76% FT, 43.1 rpg, 21.1 ast
Trail Blazers: 98.7 ppg, 46% FG, 42% 3PG, 77% FT, 41.1 rpg, 21.6 ast

Check back with WEEI’s Live Game Day Blog for the latest news and updates from the TD BankNorth Garden.

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