Celtics finally get some rest; will enjoy favorable schedule moving forward
Does it seem like the Celtics were playing a game every other night since the start of the season? Well, it's because they did. The Boston Celtics had an action-packed start to the 2017-18 season, playing more games than any team in the NBA.
The Celtics have had four days off now, and they've still played the most games in the league. They've played 43 games in 82 days. In other words, they literally did play, on average, a game every other night. That's a crazy schedule to play, especially for such a young team that relies on so many rookies. The Spurs and the Suns, who have each completed 42 contests, are the next closest (and, again, Boston hasn't played in four days).
The London trip marks the first time this season where the Celtics have had an extended break and moving forward, they'll have a more spread out schedule as a whole:
The Celtics went 33-10 while playing 43 games in 82 days to start the 2017-18 season.
If the Celtics finished this hectic early-season schedule with a three-game lead for the No. 1 seed, then I can't see them regressing in the second half with a more relaxed schedule. Although the C's have clearly done well despite the fatigue, the stats show that they play best with at least a day of rest in between games:
Because you undoubtedly were wondering about the Celtics' performance this year in back-to-back games...and because Max and I stayed up very late crunching numbers, here you go... pic.twitter.com/TiyWAVyV5e
“You focus on the next day,” Stevens said. “That’s it. You don’t get your mind too far away from that.
“Obviously, as a coach, you need to have the whole big picture in mind. And we start in August. When the schedule comes out, we plan the whole thing. But you need to make sure that we’re alert to how our guys are feeling physically and mentally, and do we need to get away or do we need to work a little bit more.”
After their London game on Thursday, Boston will get to head home for another four days of rest before their next matchup with the Pelicans. They do have to adjust to a five-hour time difference, but playing just one game in 10 days should more than make up for it. In addition to their spread-out schedule, five of their next six opponents have a .500 record or under.
Coach Stevens may opt to give stars more minutes, knowing that there will be more rest on the horizon. Either way, extended amounts of breaks should bode well for Boston.