Looks like Greg Oden  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  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  before it even begins. The Miami heat  just hung a nine-point loss on Cleveland, despite 38 points by LeBron James . 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  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  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.
— 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  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 . 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.