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The Road Awaits the Celtics

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The Celtics were fortunate to be able to spend Thanksgiving at home this season, but the holiday is over and tonight's game in Miami marks the start of a brutal 32-day, 15-game stretch, with 11 of those 15 games being played in a city not named Boston. This isn't exactly a road trip, as much as it is a road stretch, seeing as the Celtics will be in and out of Boston on a few select occasions throughout the next month. But the majority of December will be spent on airplanes, in hotels and in opposing teams' arenas. But fret not, for the Celtics have been the NBA's best road team thus far and in the spirit of this cross-country affair, here are 15 stats for the 15-game stretch the C's are about to embark on:

  • Including Boston, the Celtics will travel to 12 different cities during this stretch.
  • The Celtics currently sport the league's best road record in terms of win percentage, with a 5-1 mark away from the TD Garden.
  • Nine of the 15 teams the Celtics will face are under .500 for the season.
  • The Celtics are 10-1 against opponents under .500 so far this season.
  • During this 15-game stretch, the C's will need to deal with only two back-to-back scenarios (Thursday, December 3 at San Antonio and Friday December 4 at Oklahoma City and Sunday, December 27 at Los Angeles (Clippers) and Monday, December 28 at Golden State). 
  • The Celtics have already played eight of the 15 teams this season and hold a 5-3 record against them. 
  • Of the 11 teams the Celtics will play on the road, only two are below .500 at home this season.
  • The 11 teams the C's will see on the road have a combined home record of 53-29.
  • Six of the 15 teams are currently on losing streaks of two or more games.
  • The Celtics are just 2-3 in games they've played on Friday nights this season, but fortunately, only three of the next 15 games will be played on Friday nights. 
  • Eight of the next 15 will be against Eastern Conference opponents and the C's currently boast an 8-3 record against conference foes. 
  • Seven of the next 15 will be against Western Conference opponents and the C's currently hold a 4-1 record against the West. 
  • The Celtics' average margin of victory in road games this season is 10.2 points per game.
  • Eight of the 15 teams currently allow more points than they score.
  • The C's can dole out some payback for some early season losses, as they'll see the Magic, Pacers and Suns during this stretch. 
  • Much has been made of the Celtics' shortcomings this season, but being on the road provides a team with an opportunity to form cohesiveness, to rally around one another and in some cases, find its identity. The Celtics know what they are up against in the next month, but I'm holding out hope that this challenge will mark something of a turning point for this season. If the Celtics can come out of this stretch with at least 10 wins (which is very possible), I think we'll see a more poised, polished and professional team at the start of 2010.