Primetime: The Celtics’ 5 Biggest Games of the Upcoming NBA Season
The NBA offseason is moving along quickly with opening night about 2 months away. With LeBron James heading to LA, the Boston Celtics look like the presumptive favorite in the East. After the release of the NBA schedule, here’s a look at some of the most important and anticipated games of their upcoming season.
Opening Night: Tuesday, October 16 vs. Philadelphia
The Celtics open the season in the Garden with a matchup against Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, and the Philadelphia 76ers. Coming off a 53-win season and a second-round loss to the Celtics, the 76ers are one of the Celtics’ main competitors for Eastern Conference supremacy. Fans will get their first look at a healthy Celtics lineup with Gordon Hayward, Kyrie Irving, Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, and Al Horford since the opening moments of last season while the 76ers will be looking for vengeance after last season’s competitive 5-game series loss to the Celtics in the Eastern Conference semifinals. It should be a fun, lively night in the Garden to get the NBA season off on the right note.
Friday, November 16 vs. Toronto
Already one of the East’s best teams last season, the Toronto Raptors upgraded their best player from DeMar DeRozan to Kawhi Leonard this offseason. This upgrade will be the second matchup between the two division rivals who, along with Philadelphia, will be fighting for the title of the East’s best team (Toronto and Boston play in the first week of the season). With one game behind them and this game being a month into the season, we’ll have an even better idea of how these teams will adjust and match up with one another. After splitting 2-2 last season both teams have improved so there should be some close, exciting primetime matchups between the two this season.
Christmas Day: Tuesday, December 25 vs. Philadelphia
The Celtics hosted a game on Christmas day for the first time in franchise history last season and that’ll become more of a tradition this year as they host the 76ers at TD Garden at 5:30 pm. Celtics fans will have plenty of time for family and friends before and after the game. With one matchup in the books, the Celtics will attempt to send their fans home with the gift of a win over the 76ers.
Saturday, January 26 vs. Golden State
In a possible NBA Finals preview, the Celtics host the defending NBA champion Golden State Warriors. The two teams split in their matchups last season and those two games were decided by a total of 8 points. The Brad Stevens era Celtics have always given the Warriors trouble and while they had Kyrie for both of last season’s matchups (including a phenomenal 37 point performance in Golden State) they’ll have another major piece in Gordon Hayward in their effort to dethrone the Warriors. This’ll be a matchup any NBA fan won’t want to miss.
Thursday, February 7 vs. Los Angeles Lakers
After acquiring LeBron James this offseason, the Lakers have vaulted back to prominence as has the age-old rivalry between the Celtics and Lakers. For his whole career, LeBron has stood in the Celtics’ path to an Eastern Conference title and now they’ll only face him twice all year. It’s sure to be a packed house in TD Garden as Kyrie Irving and LeBron James face off in the latest rendition of Celtics-Lakers.