When the NBA released each team's schedule for the upcoming 2015-16 season Wednesday night, one thing that stood out is that the league expects there to be an uptick in interest in the Boston Celtics this season. After only having the privilege of appearing on national TV once all of last season, the Celtics will be featured in 7 national TV games.
Boston will make five appearances on ESPN this season: Dec. 9 vs Chicago, Jan. 13 vs Indiana, Feb. 19 at Utah, March 16 vs Oklahoma City and April 1 at Golden State.
The Celtics also get a pair of games on TNT: Nov. 24 at Atlanta and Jan. 7 at Chicago.
Boston won't get to appear in one of the marquee games on Christmas Day, but according to Sean Grande, they came close.
Just FYI, as recently as ten days ago, giving the Celtics their first Christmas Day home game since 1964 was under serious consideration.— Sean Grande (@SeanGrandePBP) August 12, 2015
Some of the best news that comes from this year's calendar is that the Celtics will only be forced into one grueling four games in five nights stretch this year. They face the Knicks, Pacers, Suns and Wizards between Jan. 12 and 16, with the middle two games coming at home. At least they won't need to travel far during the busiest part of the schedule.
Here are some more key dates for this upcoming season:
- Oct. 28 vs Philadelphia: The Celtics should get off to a good start this season facing the lowly Sixers on Opening Night to kick off a three-game set at home.
- Nov. 4 at Indiana: The first road game of the season brings coach Brad Stevens back to his native Indiana.
- Dec. 11 vs Golden State: The defending champs come to town for their only trip this season.
- Dec. 15 vs Cleveland: The team that swept the Celtics in the first round of last year's playoffs comes to town. The C's face LeBron and Co. three times this season, but only once in Boston.
- Dec. 21 vs Minnesota: Anything's possible!! Even Celtics fans getting to see Kevin Garnett back on the parquet floor again, even if just for one more night.
- Dec. 30 vs Los Angeles Lakers: One of the league's best rivalries may have lost some of its luster with LA tanking their way to the bottom, but a visit from the Lakers is always noteworthy. Plus, who knows how many more times we'll get to see Kobe Bryant in person?
- Feb. 7 vs Sacramento: Rajon Rondo comes to town with his new team for a matinee game on Super Bowl Sunday.
- Feb. 10 vs Los Angeles Clippers: Doc Rivers and Paul Pierce stop by to visit the city they won a title together in.