The NBA released the 2017-18 regular season schedule today. We found out yesterday that the Boston Celtics will begin their year with a road game against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Tuesday, October 17, and we now have the full scheduling details of what should be one of the more entertaining, interesting, and important seasons of the team’s recent history. We’ve compiled the most intriguing aspects of it below.
Time for Rest and Recuperation
The NBA made a conscious effort to build more time for rest into every team’s schedule this year. Take a look at our very own Simon Pollock’s overview of what that means for the Celtics here.
Part of the process includes reducing the number of back-to-backs teams play and the frequency with which they play five games in seven nights. Boston clocks in with 14 of the former, and two of the latter (these instances actually overlap in a stretch of eight games in twelve nights). That’s fewer back-to-backs than the league average of 14.9, per Brian Windhorst, but more than the league average of 1.3 sets of four games in five nights.
As noted above, the Celtics will have their first matchup with Eastern Conference Finals foes, the Cleveland Cavaliers, on opening night. The opening match will be followed by two subsequent games on January 3rd and February 11th. All three games should serve as an early barometer for just how much Boston has closed the gap between the two teams.
Star free-agent addition Gordon Hayward will face his old team, the Utah Jazz, for the first time on December 15th in Boston, and once more on March 28th in Utah.
For what it’s worth, spurned big man and former fan favorite Kelly Olynyk will make his triumphant return to the Garden on December 20th.
Other exciting games of note include clashes with the defending NBA Champion Golden State Warriors on November 16th (Home) and January 27th (Away), a Christmas day affair with the Washington Wizards, and Avery Bradley’s first game in Boston on November 27th after being traded for Marcus Morris.
Life on the Road
Boston’s longest road trip of the year will come between January 23rd and January 29th out West and will include four total games. Boston has another four-game road trip in the West between March 23rd and March 28th. The West coast road trip will prove to be the toughest stretch since the games include the Warriors, Clippers, and Nuggets in three straight meetings.
A Bit of Home Cooking
The Celtics’ longest home stand will take start on November 27th and end on December 6th. The home stand will last five games against some pretty weak opponents but will feature contests against Phoenix and Philadelphia. The Celtics passed on both of these team’s first-round selections in Markelle Fultz and Josh Jackson.