NBA Draft? Check. Free agency? Check. Regular season schedule? Check.
Some things to note in the NBA’s schedule release today:
- Celtics will face Eastern Conference opponents three times this year, Western Conference teams twice for a total of 72 games
- Teams will play 37 or 38 games in the first half of the season that ends on March 4th (Celtics play 38) with the All-Star break scheduled March 5-10
- In order to reduce travel, the schedule features baseball-style series in a single city or area.
Here’s how Boston starts 2020-2021 courtesy of our friends at NBC Sports Boston:
Although the 2020-2021 season will be shortened by ten games, it’s also compacted due to the late start. In the first half of the year, the Celtics will face six back-to-backs, all requiring travel between cities. They’ll play five “series” where they’ll play consecutive games against the same team in the same city, starting with a trip to Indianapolis in the Celtics first road trip; Gordon Hayward will not play for either team. Boston’s first trip out west is in early February with five games in eight nights. Here’s the Celtics national television schedule:
Celtics national TV games— Celtics on CLNS (@CelticsCLNS) December 4, 2020
12/23 MIL TNT
12/25 BKN ABC
1/6 @ MIA ESPN
1/20&22 @ PHI ESPN
1/30 LAL ABC
2/2 @ GS TNT
2/5 @ LAC ESPN
2/9 @ UTA TNT
2/21 @ NO ABC
2/23 @ DAL TNT
2/26 IND TNT
3/2 LAC TNT
3/4 TOR TNT
As previously reported, the Celtics open up the season hosting the Milwaukee Bucks on the December 23rd and Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant in a primetime Christmas Day game two days later. Marquee matchups also light up the schedule from the end of January through to the All-Star break in early March. Keep in mind that Kemba Walker isn’t expected on the floor until at least early January. However, there is talk from the NBA’s Competition Committee of rosters being expanded from 13 players to 15 and there are now fewer restrictions (50 games on the active roster vs. 45 days total) on two-way players shuttling between the G-League and the big club. With Walker out to start the season and Romeo Langford rehabbing after wrist surgery, that could mean going deep into Boston’s bench early and calling up Tacko Fall and Tremont Waters often.