The Boston Celtics are in the midst of their most brutal five-game stretch of the 2022-23 season so far, having lost four of their last five games — all to teams that are currently in Eastern Conference postseason slots.
A chance for redemption comes March 8 with a matchup against a middling Trail Blazers team that is missing key contributors and coming into Wednesday with three wins in their last eight games.
Given that the Bucks have been pulling away in the east, desperation could soon start to set in as the creeping possibility of regression from last season’s finish under Ime Udoka is revealing itself at the most inopportune time. Things could either turn around soon, or the national media will be mock-trading the likes of Jaylen Brown and Payton Pritchard at a dizzying rate.
Portland Trail Blazers: 7th (ORtg), 27th (DRtg), 23rd (Pace), 23rd (NRtg)
Boston Celtics: 3rd (ORtg), 4th (DRtg), 19th (Pace), 2nd (NRtg)
Boston Celtics Projected Starting Lineup
PG – Marcus Smart, SG – Derrick White, SF – Jaylen Brown, PF – Jayson Tatum, C – Al Horford
Portland Trail Blazers Projected Starting Lineup
PG – Damian Lillard, SG – Cam Reddish, SF – Matisse Thybulle, PF – Jerami Grant, C – Drew Eubanks
Boston Celtics vs Portland Trail Blazers Injury Report
Celtics C Robert Williams III (hamstring) – Out
Celtics PG Payton Pritchard (heel) – Questionable
Trail Blazers C Jusuf Nurkic (calf) – Questionable
Trail Blazers PG Ryan Arcidiacono (back) – Out
Trail Blazers SG Anfernee Simons (ankle) – Out
Boston Celtics vs Portland Trail Blazers Prediction
A turn must come to a team that continues to lose in such heartbreaking and mind-numbing ways as the Celtics have in the past few weeks. The post-All-Star break portion of the schedule has been brutal for Boston, but the light is near.
The Trail Blazers are too injury riddled at the moment to hang with a healthy (less Robert Williams III) Celtics team that should have a serious chip on its shoulder due to recent results.
They won’t cover the spread, but the Celtics will get things done Wednesday.
Celtics 134 Trail Blazers 126