- Green Street - http://greenstreet.weei.com -

Celtics-Blazers Game Blog: First Quarter

Looks like Greg Oden [1] is going to be a go tonight. It will be interesting to see if he’s limited by his ankle. Donny Marshall just pointed out that Kendrick Perkins [2] has better numbers than Oden, which is true. Perk’s emergence has been dwarfed by Rajon Rondo’s rise, but I don’t think it’s a stretch to call him one of the best young centers in the league.

There is good news for the Celtics [3] before it even begins. The Miami heat [4] just hung a nine-point loss on Cleveland, despite 38 points by LeBron James [5]. Florida is apparently the new Bermuda Triangle for NBA teams.

Lots to look forward to in this one tonight. It’s a fitting way to cap what has been a memorable 2008 for the Celtics.

FIRST QUARTER WRAP: After a slow start, the Celtics kicked it into gear and have a 23-13 lead after one. Portland has been dreadful so far, shooting just 33 percent (6-for-18). Not having Brandon Roy [6] is a problem, but the Blazers are settling for jump shots. Good start for the C’s. Time for another bench check.

First Quarter Observations

— KG and LaMarcus Aldridge are already dropping elbows on each other. No question, KG is the villain thanks to the Jarryd Bayless incident.

— My prediction rate is atrocious, but I’m fairly confident in this one: The Celtics will make a shot tonight.

Steve Blake [7] is what Billy Hoyle, the Woody Harrelson character in White Men Can’t Jump could have been if hadn’t hurt his knee.

— The Blazers are not bashful about hoisting 3’s, they average 20 a game. Unless they pull a Golden State and make about 50 percent that won’t help them tonight.

— Timeout by Portland with the score, 10-9, Celtics. Garnett is off to a solid start and has that baseline jumper working. The Blazers are a different team without Brandon Roy (obviously). Everyone besides Oden and Batum, who doesn’t look to shoot at all, is jump shot-oriented.

— Rondo’d.

— Donny just made a good point that Perkins is going to the basket much more aggressively lately (i.e. not bringing the ball down to the floor before he makes his move.

— Rondo’d, II.

Joel Przybilla [8] didn’t waste any time getting into it with Perkins, apparently. Years ago when he was a rookie, young Joel came into the Target Center and talked some junk, to which KG responded: I hate a fake thug [9]. So there’s a little history there.

— Stat geeks have been waiting for Ike Digou for years to make an impact. We’re still waiting.