The Portland Trail Blazers will attempt to break a season-high seven-game losing skid against an opponent in the Boston Celtics who have beaten the Trail Blazers six consecutive times, the Trail Blazers' longest active losing streak versus any NBA team.
To make matters worse, the Celtics (29-26) have defeated the Trail Blazers (25-30) 13 out of their last 14 meetings.
The Trail Blazers have slipped to the 11th seed and are four and a half games back of the Houston Rockets who are holding down the eighth and final playoff seed in the Western Conference standings.
In hopes of giving this Trail Blazer team a jolt of energy, the team acquired backup point Eric Maynor from the Oklahoma City Thunder on Thursday. Tonight will be his first game in uniform and after one practice, Trail Blazers Head Coach Terry Stotts has appointed Maynor the team's backup point guard.
That decision by Stotts was unbeknownst to Nolan Smith, who for a short spell was the team's backup. The quick promotion of Maynor yesterday after practice caught the two-year guard a little by surprise.
“I didn't know that he (Stotts) would say that, but if that's what it is, that's what it is,” Smith said. “Some things you can't control.”
Smith had to have known this was coming when they brought Maynor onboard. He was asked him if he has reached a new level of frustration with the news of him being relegated back to the backup to the backup point guard.
“Not really,” he said. “Not at this point. I'm beyond getting frustrated. Things change. Now I'll just laugh, smile, live life. It's a business, man. I talked to my teammates, it's a business.
“They know there's some things you can't control. But when you step on the court, you compete, work hard and you get better. There's 27 games left to see what happens and play basketball. We're preparing for the Celtics now.”
The Celtics are playing its fourth game of a five-game West Coast road trip and haven't fared too well thus far dropping their first two games to the Denver Nuggets and Los Angeles Lakers before finally getting a win in Phoenix on Friday.
The team is a different beast without their floor general Rajon Rondo who is done for the year. But they still have future Hall of Famers Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce who are playing at a high level and trying to get the C's above that seventh seed they're currently sitting at in the Eastern Conference.
Nonetheless, these are two teams who have something to play for and has all the makings of being a very entertaining game this evening.
Tonight's game will be televised on KGW at 6 p.m. and on 1190 AM/102.3 FM KEX radio.