10 highlights from Celtics’ 2015-16 schedule release
|08.12.15 at 10:43 pm ET|
Start ’em up: The Celtics have a great opportunity to carry the moment from the end of last regular season into 2015-16, as they host the ever-tanking 76ers in the season opener on Oct. 28 and play six of their first eight games at TD Garden (albeit against four returning playoff teams). They also have a nice little three-day break from Nov. 7-9 that should allow for some much-needed practice time.
All my troubles: While the league average for back-to-back games dropped by 1.5 games, the Celtics play 18 such contests, same as last season. Andy the C’s play on the road on the second night in 11 of those back-to-backs. The good news: They play just one stretch of four games in five nights, from Jan. 12-16 (Knicks, Pacers, Suns and Wizards), thanks to the league’s effort to reduce those situations by 60 percent.
On holiday: The C’s don’t play on Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas, New Year’s Eve, New Year’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day or Easter Sunday, so you might have to spend time with your family this season. They do play on Veterans Day (Pacers), Martin Luther King Day (at Mavericks), Groundhog Day (at Knicks) and Super Bowl Sunday (Kings).
It’s showtime: In what might be their final two games against Kobe Bryant, the C’s host the Lakers on Dec. 30, and then visit their arch rivals in L.A. on April 3. Easy on those MVP chants, people.
Come at the king: In a rematch of their playoff sweep, the Celtics host the Cavaliers on Dec. 15 in LeBron James‘ only trip to Boston in 2015-16. The C’s visit Cleveland on Feb. 5 and March 5. The defending champion Warriors make their only tour through Boston on Dec. 11, and the Celtics visit Golden State on April 1. Start getting that David Lee tribute video ready now.
Revolution will be televised: Seeing an uptick in interest outside Boston, the C’s play seven national TV games this year: Nov. 24 on TNT (at Hawks), Dec. 9 on ESPN (Bulls), Jan. 7 on TNT (at Bulls), Jan. 13 on ESPN (Pacers), Feb. 19 on ESPN (at Jazz), March 16 on ESPN (Thunder) and April 1 on ESPN (at Warriors).
Boston, you’re my home: Speaking of Rondo, he will play in Boston for the first time as a member of the Kings on Super Bowl Sunday. Likewise, Kevin Garnett makes one trip to the Garden as a member of the Timberwolves on Dec. 21, and then Clippers Doc Rivers and Paul Pierce come to town on Feb. 10. Brandan Wright, of course, makes his long-awaited return as a member of the Grizzlies on March 9.
West Coast represent: The Celtics have just two road trips longer than three games. Their annual West Coast trip is March 26 to April 3, traveling through Phoenix, L.A. (Clippers), Portland, Oakland (Warriors) and back to L.A. (Lakers). Their longest home stand is shortly before that trip, as they host the Bucks, Heat, Jazz, Blazers and Knicks from Feb. 25 to March 4. That should help offset the mileage on that jet between Nov. 29 and Dec. 7, when they visit Orlando, Miami, Mexico City (Kings), San Antonio and New Orleans.
This is the end: Following the extended All-Star break from Feb. 11-18, the Celtics have a brutal end of the season. Seriously, look at their final 24 games: Bucks, Heat, Jazz, Blazers, Knicks, at Cavaliers, Grizzlies, Rockets, at Pacers, Thunder, at Raptors, at 76ers, Magic, Raptors, at Suns, at Clippers, at Blazers, at Warriors, at Lakers, Pelicans, Bucks, at Hawks, Hornets and Heat. Those last nine games, in particular, could mean the difference between a playoff seed and the lottery.
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