All Eyes Will Be on the Boston Celtics in Early December
After multiple teases and a ridiculous amount of leaks, the full NBA schedule was released Wednesday. We already knew the Boston Celtics would be one of four teams kicking off the 2022-23 season by hosting the Philadelphia 76ers on Oct.18. We knew the Milwaukee Bucks were spending the holidays in Boston with a Christmas Day meeting.
What we didn’t know was the rest of the pieces to the puzzle. The Celtics will try to carry the momentum they had late in the regular season and the playoffs into the upcoming season. After an appearance in the NBA Finals, all eyes will be on the Celtics, especially in early December.
The Boston Celtics will have a target on their back
The Celtics will not sneak up on anyone this season. They weren’t considered a serious title contender at the beginning of last season. Even through 50 games, they were 25-25, and visions of a Finals berth were nonexistent.
The previous season, Boston finished 36-36, and the Brooklyn Nets bounced them in the first round of the playoffs. There was no reason to believe the Celtics would be title contenders heading into the 2021-22 season.
Through those first 50 games, there was tension. There was frustration. Marcus Smart publicly called out Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown for not passing the ball. First-year head coach Ime Udoka called out the team, questioning its effort.
Then something clicked in January. They closed the season by winning 26 of their final 32 games. The Celtics faced a grueling playoff stretch but swept the Brooklyn Nets before outlasting the Milwaukee Bucks and Miami Heat in seven games. They met the Golden State Warriors in the 2022 NBA Finals, falling in six games.
In the offseason, Boston solved its biggest problem from last year — depth. They added a pair of veterans in Malcolm Brogdon and Danilo Gallinari that should help provide more scoring off the bench and make Boston one of the deepest teams in the league.
All eyes will be on the Celtics in December
The NBA certainly is capitalizing on the success of the Celtics. As pointed out by Celtics radio play-by-play announcer Sean Grande, Boston will be on national television in 37 of its 82 games this year.
Grande broke it down for us. Five games will air on ABC, while nine more will appear on TNT. ESPN will televise 11 Celtics games, while NBATV will showcase 12 of them.
As previously stated, the Celtics host the 76ers in a season-opening doubleheader. That game will be followed by the Los Angeles Lakers at the Warriors.
The Celtics’ biggest test will come in early December, and all eyes will be on them. The Celtics will be in the national spotlight in a four-game stretch between Dec. 7 and Dec. 13.
The games will take place out West, beginning with a Dec. 7 date at the Phoenix Suns on ESPN. On Dec. 10, they’ll face the Warriors in a Finals rematch on ABC. Then the Celtics will play back-to-back games in LA, with a game against the Clippers on Dec. 12 (NBATV) and then against the Lakers on the 13th (TNT).
The Celtics are playing a big-boy schedule this season as they look to hang Banner No. 18.