Even with Rajon Rondo fit again, the Celtics aren't getting any better...
Two teams with proud histories meet on Friday night but for one of them it’s a long road back to the glory days. Since losing Doc Rivers and seeing their team’s talent age then leave, the Boston Celtics have been rebuilding under a cloud of uncertainty. They still don’t know if star point guard Rajon Rondo will be a part of the project and building through the draft again will take a long time to provide any results.
Chicago, however, are real contenders within the Eastern Conference but that’s only if they can keep everyone fit. Derrick Rose has missed eight games, Pau Gasol has had a niggle and Taj Gibson might miss a few weeks, yet they’ll still have too much for the Celtics. Take them to win by a comfortable 13-16 points at 9/1 and continue their rise to the top of their conference.
Later on Friday evening, the Houston Rockets will host the Los Angeles Clippers in a bout between two potential championship contenders. The Rockets have come out strong, especially on defence where they are really beginning to show their doubters wrong and behind a scorer like James Harden, they are building some real momentum.
The Clippers had an indifferent start but they are growing in stature, they have some real talent that if they can pull everything together, they could get to the NBA Finals. With a player like the ever-consistent Chris Paul combined with Blake Griffin, who’s getting even better, we should see Lob City bring some exciting basketball to Texas and walk out with a win, so go for them to win by a -3 handicap at 91/100.
The final game in our preview will see the Memphis Grizzlies head to Oregon to take on the Portland Trail Blazers. The Grizzlies have been one of the hottest teams in the NBA so far this season, playing stout defence anchored by their big-man pairing of Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph, they’ll want to get a big win against a potential play-off rival.
Portland were the hot team of last season and have been steady so far this season, they’ve yet to hit their stride as the exciting offensive team they showed last year and that doesn’t look like changing in this one. Take Memphis to beat the Trail Blazers at 5/4 despite being away from home, their smash-mouth style is perfect for negating home-field advantage.