Originally posted on NESN.com  |  Last updated 11/20/12
Unable to truly grab traction at the start of the 2012-13 campaign, the Boston Celtics will get an early-season test against the reigning Western Conference champion, the Oklahoma City Thunder, on Friday. Although the veterans of Beantown have lost a handful of games they probably shouldn’t have, they aren’t ruled out as contenders on the NBA futures. With 25-1 odds of winning the NBA championship, and one of the most dominant young guards on the planet in Rajon Rondo, the C’s have more than enough opportunity to turn things around. All they have to do is get to work. Given the relative uncertainty of the Atlantic Division, Boston’s missteps thus far in November haven’t set them so far back that they’ll be playing catchup to claw their way back into the win column. In fact, mild concerns aside, the Celtics are still a plus-.500 team. With OKC on the slate for Friday night, though, and more to come as the season drags on, the C’s will be hard pressed to breeze through the schedule as they may have three or four years prior. The Thunder, let’s not forget, sit third in the league with 9-2 NBA odds. Expect Rondo at his finest in the bout, as well as any other time during the season. The assist machine of historic proportions has been nothing if not consistent when it comes to distributing the ball. Will Rondo’s traditional point guard skill set be enough to offset Russell Westbrook’s more unconventional approach to the one-spot? Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Jason Terry may not be getting any younger anytime soon, but they could still find a way to out-wit perennial MVP candidate Kevin Durant. With their window likely closing, the Celtics may not demonstrate the sheer power that they may have in the years following the dramatic roster overhaul that brought them their Big Three, but that doesn’t mean they can’t still make noise on the NBA betting landscape. The NBA season is a 82 games for a reason, and nobody takes that to heart more than a veteran. Get odds for the battle of youth vs. experience today.
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