Before we know it, NBA basketball will be back. Training camps are set to open early next week, and now we have the schedule for the preseason as well.
The Boston Celtics will play just two tune-ups before the regular season starts in late December:
· at Philadelphia 76ers – Tuesday, December 15 – 7:00 PM ET
· vs Brooklyn Nets – Friday, December 18 – 7:30 PM ET
This preseason is unique in that teams will have just nine days of warmup games. The preseason starts on Friday, December 11 and ends on Saturday, December 19. Teams will play between two and four preseason games.
The NBA regular season is set to begin on Tuesday, December 22. At this time, the regular season schedule has not been released. Teams will play a 72-game slate, featuring 42 intraconference games (three against each of the other 14 teams in the same conference) and 30 interconference game (two against each of the 15 teams from the opposite conference).
The NBA schedule will be released in halves this year. This will allow for flexibility to reschedule postponed games that could need to be moved due to COVID-19 concerns. The first-half schedule is expected to be released within the next week or so.
Boston playing only two preseason games comes as little surprise. In recent years, the Celtics have deemphasized preseason games, playing the league minimum of four games in the last three preseasons. As they’ve tended to feature younger rosters, often with lots of turnover, Brad Stevens prefers the additional practice time for teaching and installing concepts and systems.
This year, the Celtics will add at least four new faces to the roster. Boston drafted Aaron Nesmith and Payton Pritchard and agreed to contract terms with free agents Jeff Teague and Tristan Thompson. Given that training camp will last for approximately three weeks, the approach of practice time vs game time will suit the new additions well.