The 2013-2014 season will be Mike Gorman and Tommy Heinsohn's 33rd year broadcasting Boston Celtics games but it'll be the first time in quite awhile they will announce every single regular season game. Since the Celtics only have six games airing nationally, every game will be carried by Comcast SportsNet New England. Here is my analysis of the Boston Celtics schedule.
Boston vs. Brooklyn Matchups
Thankfully Brooklyn is only a short four-hour bus trip away from the Boston area because I don't know if I'll be able to wait until January 26th to see Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett play in person, because that's the first time they will return to the TD Garden.
The Celtics will travel to Brooklyn on Tuesday, December 10th and Friday, March 21st, but the two marquee matchups are when Pierce and KG actually return to the city of Boston, on Sunday, January 26th and Friday, March 7th. Emotions will be high in the TD Garden that night and I'm sure many years will be shed by fans. I would expect there to be a number of highlight reels shown on the jumbotron before the game as well. Be there if you can.
Doc Rivers will return to Boston on December 11th for the Los Angeles Clippers only visit to the TD Garden next season. I look forward to seeing the crowd's reaction to Doc and I would assume there will be a mix of cheers and boos. Despite all we know about the situation, we'll never really find out what really happened.
I'll cheer for Doc if I attend the game. He deserves it, and I was a big supporter of him before The Big 3 Era. I remember listening to WEEI back in the mid-2000's and so many callers wanted him out of town. I decided to call in one time and felt like I was the only person defending him. He was one of the best at calling plays after timeouts and his ability to develop young players will always hold a special place in my heart.
Opening and Closing
The Celtics open up their season on the road against the Toronto Raptors and their home opener is two days later on November 1st against the Milwaukee Bucks. Fast-forwarding to April, game number 82 will be at home against the Washington Wizards. The fun part about that matchup is it could very well determine the 8-seed for the playoffs or the worst record in the league. Both the Celtics and Wizards have talent but it remains to be seen how it will develop on the court.
Tough Road Games in November
A team with a rookie head coach in Brad Stevens and a predominately young roster will be tested early with 13 of it's first 23 games on the road. In November the Celtics will have road games against challenging opponents like the Pistons, Grizzlies, Heat, Rockets, and Spurs. It doesn't get easier in December since their first two road games are against the Knicks and Nets. With all the talk about the Celtics being a potential lottery team, the early schedule does them no favors.
Only Six National TV Games
Every single regular season game will be broadcasted on CSNNE, but here are the six that will also air nationally:
|Friday, December 6, 7:30 PM||vs. Denver Nuggets||ESPN|
|Monday, December 16, 7:30 PM||vs. Minnesota Timberwolves||NBATV|
|Sunday, January 26, 6:30 PM||vs. Brooklyn Nets||ESPN|
|Sunday, February 9, 6:00 PM||vs. Dallas Mavericks||NBATV|
|Friday, February 21, 10:30 PM||@ Los Angeles Lakers||ESPN|
|Sunday, March 9, 6:00 PM||vs. Detroit Pistons||NBATV|
I'm very surprised that the Celtics' December match-ups versus the Nets and Clippers will not be on ESPN or NBATV. Both games obviously have interesting story lines and I believe they deserve national attention.
New Year and All-Star Break Road trips
November isn't the only difficult month on the road for the new-look Celtics; in January they will play 10 of 17 games on the road, including a week where they will play five games in six days against the Thunder, Nuggets, Clippers, Warriors, and Trail Blazers. In my opinion, this stretch of games is the most difficult for the Celtics over the course of the season.
After the All-Star break in mid-February, the Celtics will head to the west coast for a four-game stretch against the Suns, Lakers, Kings, and Jazz. While these opponents aren't very problematic, west coast road trips are always hard, especially after shutting things down over All-Star Weekend.
Alert, Patriots Fans!
For those of you that are also fans of the New England Patriots, the Celtics have three games that interfere with the Patriots' schedule. Luckily, each game has a slightly different start time:
|Sunday, November 3||@ Detroit Pistons||6 PM||vs. Pittsburgh Steelers||4:24 PM|
|Sunday, December 8||@ New York Knicks||12 PM||vs. Cleveland Browns||1:00 PM|
|Sunday, December 22||@ Indiana Pacers||6 PM||@ Baltimore Ravens||8:30 PM|
Looking far ahead to Super Bowl Sunday on February 2nd, the C's will play a 1PM game against the Orlando Magic. Instead of watching 10-plus hours of pre-game, you can take a two-to-three hour break and watch some Boston Celtics basketball.
Jeff Clark wrote about the best times to take a vacation and miss a few Celtics games, but there's one week when you don't have to miss any. There will be no games from Monday, December 23rd through Friday, December 27th. The Celtics have played on Christmas every year since the 2008-2009 season but I am happy they aren't this year. That week looks like a good one to spend as much time as I can with my friends and family.
Click here for a link to the full schedule. What games are you looking forward to the most? Comment below with your thoughts!