- Portland and Boston meet on Sunday in their second game each of the NBA restart
- The Trail Blazers pulled out an OT win in their first contest against Memphis, while the C’s lost by seven to the high-flying Milwaukee Bucks
- Get the odds, preview, and best bet for Sunday’s matchup below
The NBA Restart in Orlando continues on Sunday, with a Western versus Eastern Conference showdown between the Portland Trail Blazers and Boston Celtics at 3:30 pm EST. Portland is currently just 2.5 games out of the last playoff seed in the West, while Boston sits in third place in the highly competitive East. In their lone meeting this season back in February, the C’s beat Portland by 12 points.
Portland Trail Blazers vs Boston Celtics Odds
|Team||Spread||Moneyline||Total at FanDuel|
|Portland Trail Blazers||+4 (-108)||+148||O 229.5 (-110)|
|Boston Celtics||-4 (-108)||-176||U 229.5 (-110)|
Odds taken Aug. 1st
Can Portland Build Off Impressive Start?
The Blazers have had an up and down season, currently sitting out of playoff contention with just seven games to go. But, the postseason is still a very possible reality, especially after beating Memphis on Friday, who currently hold the eighth seed in the Western Conference. It took overtime to beat the Grizzlies, but their main three of Damian Lillard, CJ McCollum, and Carmelo Anthony all showed out. Lillard dropped 29, while McCollum scored a team-high 33 points. Melo was a pleasant surprise, coming up clutch with several three’s to keep Portland in the game, pouring in 21 points on the night.
Terry Stotts’ team has struggled at keeping their opponents at bay this year though, sitting 27th in the league in defensive rating. However, they’re sixth in the association on the offensive end. Sunday’s meeting with Boston will be their first serious test since the restart, with the C’s coming off a hard-fought loss to Milwaukee. The key to success for Portland will be to contain Jayson Tatum, who was limited to just five points against the Bucks after averaging over 28 points per game in 17 contests post-All-Star break. The former Duke standout leads Boston in scoring this season and is quickly turning into their franchise star.
The Blazers have a completely healthy squad heading into Sunday’s game and will be looking to Lillard and McCollum to continue their impressive seasons, where they both lead Portland in scoring with 28.9 and 22.7 points, respectively.
They do have a tough stretch ahead, facing Boston, Houston, Denver, Philadelphia, and the LA Clippers. It’s going to be a grind in order to make a run at the playoffs considering the difficult contests on their remaining schedule, but with experience being one of Portland’s strong suits, anything is possible.
Boston Looking to Bounce Back from Tough Loss
The Celtics were handed a very daunting task in their first game back since the restart, facing Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks. Boston was going toe-to-toe with the NBA’s best team for the majority of four quarters, but the Greek Freak and Khris Middleton hit a couple huge shots down the stretch that gave the Bucks a seven-point victory.
Marcus Smart and Jaylen Brown led the way for the C’s in the loss, dropping 23 and 22 points apiece. Gordon Hayward looked sharp as well, scoring 17 points and grabbing nine boards. Boston is slowly working Kemba Walker back into the lineup after suffering a knee injury, but he still collected 16 points in just 19 minutes on the floor. The Celtics have been a well-oiled machine this season though, ranking in the top ten in offensive and defensive rating. Their performance on Friday proved they can compete with the best of the best in this league and once Tatum gets it going again, Boston will definitely be a team to watch in the playoffs.
They’re currently 3.5 games back of Toronto who is in second place. Boston will face the Raptors later next week, which could prove to be their toughest test yet besides Milwaukee. On the whole, though, the league has handed the Celtics a relatively easy schedule, with the likes of Orlando, Brooklyn, and Washington left to play. Brad Stevens’ squad shouldn’t have any issue locking up the three seed for the postseason.
Although Portland is coming off a big win over the Grizzlies, Boston is going to be hungry to grab their first victory in Orlando. Although Tatum struggled in the opener, I believe he will play a crucial part against the Blazers on Sunday and lead his team to a victory over the Blazers. It will be a close contest, as evident in the Trail Blazers vs Celtics odds, but Boston will come out on top.
Pick: Boston Celtics -4 (-112)
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