The Celtics' newest All-NBA point guard Kemba Walker. Photo vis Brian Babineau
The 2019-2020 NBA season officially starts on October 22nd and the Celtics have a few big games crammed in before the start of November.
On the 23rd, Boston will face off against their former all-star forward Al Horford and conference rivals the Philadelphia 76ers. This will be the first of four regular-season matchups between the two teams and with the Sixers have big expectations for next year, this opener will serve as a really good jumpstart for this young Celtics team.
The Celtics will face off against former teammate Al Horford and Eastern Conference rival the Philadelphia 76ers in their season opener on October 23rd. Photo via Bill Streicher
Two of the three October games remaining for the Celtics are no slouches either. In only their second game of the season (October 25th) and their home opener, Boston will face off against the defending NBA champion Toronto Raptors in the TD Garden. This will be a great preview for the big Christmas day game where the two teams will meet again in Canada.
The Celtics' final game in October is the day before Halloween, and it's certainly a scary one. On October 30th, defending MVP Giannis Antetokunmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks will come to town for their first rematch since the 2019 Eastern Conference semi-finals. With the Bucks getting deeper and Giannis only getting better with age, this will certainly be a tough game to close out October of the 2020 season.
There are a few big games in November for sure, but there's one in particular that stands out from the rest. The earliest of note will be Kemba Walker's first game back in Charlotte when the Celtics and the Hornets face-off on November 7th. Having played his whole career so far in a Charlotte uniform, Walker's return should prove to be an emotional one for players and fans alike.
The Celtics' next big game will take place in Los Angeles, as Boston will face off against the new-look Los Angeles Clippers on November 20th. Adding all-stars Kawhi Leonard and Paul George in the offseason, the Clippers will look to live up to their reputation as the newest powerhouse team in the NBA. This should be one of the biggest tests of the season for Boston, so keep an eye out for that.
While there are certainly a lot of highly anticipated games next season, the month of November closes out with arguably the biggest one of all. The night before Thanksgiving (November 27th), former Celtics' point guard Kyrie Irving and the Brooklyn Nets will be coming to Boston in his first return to the Garden since leaving the team this past July. Who knows if Kyrie will actually play, but it won't be too long before Celtics fans get to see him again as Boston will travel to Brooklyn and play the Nets on the 29th as well, the day after Thanksgiving. Surely, these will be the games every Celtics fan HAS to watch, and hopefully things like "injuries" or "load management" won't spoil the excitement.
Former Celtics point guard Kyrie Irving and the Brooklyn Nets will come to Boston on November 27th. Photo via Charles Krupa
The month of December has a few big rematches up its sleeve, all taking place in Boston. The Philadelphia 76er's will play at the TD Garden on December 12th, while the Charlotte Hornets and Terry Rozier will make their first appearance on the parquette on the 22nd.
While those two are definitely marquee games, perhaps the most-watched matchup will be on Christmas day when the Raptors and theCeltics face off as previously mentioned in Toronto. Not too long after, the two teams will play again for the third time when the Raptors return to Boston on the 28th.
The Celtics and the Raptors will play in Toronto on Christmas day. Photo via Tom Szczerbowski
After the turn of the new year, the Celtics have some primetime events in Boston against a few western conference foes.
The first of which is on January 11th, when first overall draft pick Zion Williamson and the young New Orleans Pelicans rush into town. If you're looking for a high pace and energetic game from both sides, this would be the one to watch. Both teams are young, fast, lengthy, and athletic so there will undoubtedly be a few highlights through all four quarters. Plus, with Williamson being arguably the biggest draft pick since LeBron James, his game in Boston is certainly a must-see event.
Speaking of LeBron James and must-see events, the greatest rivalry in basketball will add another chapter to their historic legacy on November 20th. James and his newest all-star teammate Anthony Davis will be coming back to the TD Garden for the one and only time next season. Along with them will be former Celtic's point guard Rajon Rondo, who hit a game-winning shot in the garden when the two teams faced off last season, something I'm sure the Celtics and their fans do not need reminding of.
January closes on a high note for Boston as they play against the Golden State Warriors at home. Coming off the end of a dynasty, the Warriors will not nearly be as good as they have been in recent years. In the past few months, they lost superstar Kevin Durant in free agency and one of their two splash brothers Klay Thompson to injury, who will most likely be out for at least all of the regular season. However, the Warriors will still be a very good team lead by MVP candidate Steph Curry and all-star caliber players like Draymond Green and D'Angelo Russell, their newest acquisition.
In February, the Philadlehipia 76ers (February 1st), the Los Angeles Clippers (February 13th) and the Houston Rockets (February 29th) will all be in Boston for their last (and in some cases only) regular-season visits of the year. So if you want to check these teams out, this will be your final chance.
Other than those games, the Celtics will be traveling for most of the month, visiting places such as Portland to challenge Damian Lillard and the Trail Blazers, Texas to see Russell Westbrook and the Houston Rockets, and Los Angeles for their final game against the Lakers. So lookout for some late western conference games in the month of February.
March - April
The final month and a half of the regular season is kind of lackluster for the Celtics when it comes to big-name matchups. With the exception of Brooklyn's (March 3rd), Portland's (March 27) and Milwaukee's (April 5) return to Boston and another away game in Toronto, a lot of the Celtics' opponents are against lower-level teams who most likely won't make the playoffs.
Jayson Tatum and CJ McCollum will face off again on March 27th. Photo via Steve Dykes
However, with the postseason starting in April, this could be a good warm-up stretch ending into the playoffs. I would rather avoid having to play these big blockbuster games that can wear you out that close to the end of the year. Instead, this could end up being a really good opportunity for these new-look Celtics to get a run going before they will really have to kick it into gear come playoff time in late April.
So, what's your most anticipated Celtics' game of the season? If you could go to just one of them in Boston, which one would you choose? Let me know in the comment section down below.