The topic of the Celtics projected record got me to thinking about a topic that Sean Grande and Cedric Maxwell brought up on their Celtics Summer Cooler program this weekend. The first month of the season could very well prove to be brutal for this team.
The Celtics have a whopping 19 games in the first month of the season (if you count the game on Oct. 30). For comparison, there's only 12 games in December. That includes 6 back-to-backs and 11 road games (h/t RA). Most weeks have games on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. When you factor in travel, when exactly is the team supposed to practice?
Brad Stevens is a whipsmart basketball mind that will have all of training camp to get this team geared up and hopefully buying into his gameplan. But once the games start, there's not a lot of time to run extensive practices. He'll have to adjust to all the games and focus his effort on tweaks and changes in walk-throughs before games or flights.
Another thing to keep an eye on is Rajon Rondo's health. He may not be at full speed or even playing yet in November. Add it all up and it could be a very long month.
Look no further than the Wizards of last year to see how a young team without their star point guard can struggle to open a season. I'm not saying the Celtics will start out 0-12 and I know that there are plenty of differences between this year's Celtics and last year's Wiz. But I think it serves as a cautionary tale about a team that had high (playoff) hopes and had the season snowball in the wrong direction in a hurry.
|@ Toronto||Wednesday, October 30 2013||7:00 PM EDT||coverage|
|Milwaukee||Friday, November 01 2013||7:30 PM EDT||coverage|
|@ Detroit||Sunday, November 03 2013||6:00 PM EST||coverage|
|@ Memphis||Monday, November 04 2013||8:00 PM EST||coverage|
|Utah||Wednesday, November 06 2013||7:30 PM EST||coverage|
|@ Orlando||Friday, November 08 2013||7:00 PM EST||coverage|
|@ Miami||Saturday, November 09 2013||7:30 PM EST||coverage|
|Orlando||Monday, November 11 2013||7:30 PM EST||coverage|
|Charlotte||Wednesday, November 13 2013||7:30 PM EST||coverage|
|Portland||Friday, November 15 2013||7:30 PM EST||coverage|
|@ Minnesota||Saturday, November 16 2013||8:00 PM EST||coverage|
|@ Houston||Tuesday, November 19 2013||8:00 PM EST||coverage|
|@ San Antonio||Wednesday, November 20 2013||8:30 PM EST||coverage|
|Indiana||Friday, November 22 2013||7:30 PM EST||coverage|
|@ Atlanta||Saturday, November 23 2013||7:30 PM EST||coverage|
|@ Charlotte||Monday, November 25 2013||7:00 PM EST||coverage|
|Memphis||Wednesday, November 27 2013||7:30 PM EST||coverage|
|Cleveland||Friday, November 29 2013||7:30 PM EST||coverage|
|@ Milwaukee||Saturday, November 30 2013||9:00 PM EST||coverage|