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Portland Trail Blazers vs Boston Celtics Prediction & Match Preview – January 21st, 2022 | NBA Season 2021-22

Without Damian Lillard, the visiting Portland Trail Blazers are hoping to split the season series against the Boston Celtics on Friday. [Photo: Boston.com]
Without Damian Lillard, the visiting Portland Trail Blazers are hoping to split the season series against the Boston Celtics on Friday. [Photo: Boston.com]
Michael Macasero
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The Portland Trail Blazers will face the Boston Celtics in the second-to-last matchup in an exacting six-game road trip. They lost to Boston in their first meeting Dec. 4 and will be hoping to even the season series.

Portland is 2-2 on its current road swing but is 4-2 in its last six games. The Blazers have been quietly resilient since losing Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum to injuries. While McCollum has returned, they continue to battle without their top scorer.

Anfernee Simons’ sudden emergence has kept the Blazers competitive, and he will form another impressive backcourt tandem with McCollum. Jusuf Nurkic, who has been playing great the last few weeks, gives the team an interior presence to rely on.

The Boston Celtics’ roller-coaster season continued with a Wednesday loss at home to the Charlotte Hornets. Jayson Tatum had another poor shooting night, which has been the case since the start of the year. He finished with 12 points on 19 shots and was the missing link in yet another disappointing loss.

Terry Rozier was out in full force tonight, as the Hornets edged past us with a 111-102 finish. https://t.co/c8wXlCoqQw

Without Robert Williams in the lineup due to the birth of his child, the Celtics were outrebounded, including a few crucial plays. In a back-and-forth battle, the extra possessions they allowed the Hornets was a critical reason for the 111-102 loss. They look to rectify that with their talented center back against Portland.


Match Details

Fixture: Portland Trail Blazers vs Boston Celtics | 2021-22 NBA season

Date & Time: Friday, January 21st; 7:30 PM ET (Saturday, January 22nd; 6:00 AM IST)

Venue: TD Garden, Boston, MA


Portland Trail Blazers Preview

Enter captionEnter captionEnter captionEnter captionEnter captionEnter captionEnter captionEnter captionEnter captionEnter captionEnter captionEnter captionEnter captionEnter captionEnter captionEnter captionEnter captionEnter captionEnter captionEnter captionEnter captionEnter captionEnter captionEnter captionEnter captionEnter captionEnter captionEnter captionEnter captionEnter captionEnter captionEnter captionThe Portland Trail Blazers have leaned on two surprising players to stay competitive. [Photo: Oregon Live] The Boston Celtics are still looking for conistency past the midway point of the season. [Photo: Chowder and Champions]
Enter captionEnter captionEnter captionEnter captionEnter captionEnter captionEnter captionEnter captionEnter captionEnter captionEnter captionEnter captionEnter captionEnter captionEnter captionEnter captionEnter captionEnter captionEnter captionEnter captionEnter captionEnter captionEnter captionEnter captionEnter captionEnter captionEnter captionEnter captionEnter captionEnter captionEnter captionEnter captionThe Portland Trail Blazers have leaned on two surprising players to stay competitive. [Photo: Oregon Live] The Boston Celtics are still looking for conistency past the midway point of the season. [Photo: Chowder and Champions]

Anfernee Simons is undoubtedly one of the biggest breakout players in the NBA this season. He was back at it again in the loss to the Miami Heat. The Portland Trail Blazers' combo guard lit up the Heat with a game-high 27 points to go with three assists and seven rebounds. It’s amazing how he has improved since getting more opportunities.

Jusuf Nurkic is another player who has played much better since their main scoring options went out. He has been averaging a double-double all season but has turned into a solid threat in the paint. McCollum’s return has only made Portland stronger.

Key Player – Anfernee Simons

If not for injuries, Simons could still be looking for more playing time and a bigger role on the team. As soon as he got those, he did not let up, giving the Portland Trail Blazers a welcome problem to have once Damian Lillard returns. Simons is only 22 years old despite being in the NBA for four years. He is likely only going to get better.

Anfernee Simons this month:26.3 points per game7.9 assists per gameYOUNG STUD. 😤 https://t.co/CfPhIuJTwg

The Trail Blazers are 5-5 since Simons took over the main playmaking duties. Both the eye test and the numbers confirm the team is playing much better when he quarterbacks the plays. His emergence is one of the few shiny spots in the Blazers’ shabby season.


Portland Trail Blazers Predicted Lineup

G - Anfernee Simons | G - CJ McCollum | F - Nassir Little | F - Robert Covington | C - Jusuf Nurkic


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Boston Celtics Preview

The Boston Celtics are still looking for conistency past the midway point of the season. [Photo: Chowder and Champions]

The Boston Celtics have been consistently inconsistent this season. They resemble legit playoff contenders in some games while looking like a lottery-bound squad in some days. The nine-point loss to the Hornets was a lot closer than the score suggested. In so many different ways, the game could have ended differently.

Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, the Celtics' biggest stars, had a nightmarish time from beyond the arc. They shot a combined 2-for-18 from 3-point range and often deflated possessions with ill-timed attempts. Watching them can be very frustrating at times, and the loss to the Hornets provided a perfect example of that.

Key Player – Jayson Tatum

The jumpers struggled like nobody’s business against the Hornets. Tatum labored to tally 12 points. When his long-range shots were not falling, he just refused to put his head down and go for the higher-percentage shots. Settling for long-range bombs when they’re not falling produced another disappointing performance from someone with All-NBA talent.

Boston’s Al Horford ‘not worried’ about Jayson Tatum’s shooting slump celticswire.usatoday.com/lists/nba-bost…

Tatum has to be aggressive in going to the basket to create for himself and his teammates. His shot selection was just head-shaking considering how the Boston Celtics needed someone to change things following their shooting struggles.

The Boston Celtics will continue to lean heavily on him despite their so-so season.


Boston Celtics Predicted Lineup

G - Dennis Schroder | G - Jaylen Brown | F - Jayson Tatum | F - Al Horford | C - Robert Williams


Blazers vs Celtics Match Prediction

The Portland Trail Blazers will be playing their fifth game in eight nights on the road, which is just brutal. On paper, the Boston Celtics are heavy favorites. If the Celtics play to their potential, they could win over the road-weary Blazers.

Boston won the first meeting 145-117 on Dec. 4 in Portland. The scoring total was Boston's season high.


Where to watch the Blazers vs Celtics game

The NBA League Pass will stream the game live. Local coverage of the matchup is available via NBC Sports Boston and ROOT Sports.


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Edited by Joseph Schiefelbein
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