The 2018-19 season is closer than you think, and Friday’s release of each team’s schedule only makes it feel more real. For Celtics fans, it puts a face to the teams they daydream of falling to a healthy Boston lineup that will include both Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward.
We already know the Philadelphia 76ers will be in town on opening night, and again on Christmas Day, but there are plenty of other important games to look forward to as well.
Click here for the full schedule.
January 26 (Home); March 5 (Away)
Though they’re just a pair of match-ups strewn across an 82-game schedule, there’s always a little more at stake when the Warriors come up on the docket. Some see it as a measuring stick game that will give them a better idea of where the Celtics stand in the grand scheme of things, and others just want to see Golden State lose.
The two sides split the season series last year—each winning their respective home game—and it will be interesting to see how it plays out this coming season. Both teams are gushing with All-Star-level talent and the environments at TD Garden and Oracle Arena add fuel to the fire.
February 7 (Home); March 9 (Away)
You don’t need me to tell you how deeply the rivalry between the Celtics and Lakers runs. But things got a lot more interesting this summer when LeBron James decided to sign with Los Angeles, accelerating the rebuilding process out on the West Coast.
Toss in the inevitable comparison of Jaylen Brown and Brandon Ingram, as well as Jayson Tatum and Lonzo Ball, as long-term prospects and you’ve got a recipe for some entertaining battles between the two winningest franchise’s in NBA history.
October 16 (Home); December 25 (Home); February 12 (Away); March 20 (Away)
Another one of the NBA’s most storied rivalries was renewed this past season as the Celtics and Sixers proved to be two teams on meteoric rises in the East. This year should be even better. Boston will add Hayward to an already-talented group, while Philly will hope to get much more out of 2017 No. 1 overall pick Markelle Fultz.
Much like the Lakers match-ups, the storyline surrounding young guys Fultz and Jayson Tatum should continue to be a talking point. Tatum showed he has what it takes to be a star in this league while Fultz remains a mystery. The fact they were traded for each other on draft night will only make things more interesting.
October 19 (Away); November 16 (Home); January 16 (Home); February 26 (Away)
A lot has changed in Toronto this offseason. Former franchise face DeMar DeRozan is now with the San Antonio Spurs, replaced by two-time Defensive Player of the Year Kawhi Leonard, and instead of Dwane Casey, it will be new head coach Nick Nurse stalking the sidelines.
It’s a shame these two teams don’t have a game scheduled toward the end of the season, as it’s very likely they’ll be battling for supremacy in the Eastern Conference. Nonetheless, the changes the Raptors made are enough to add a totally different feel to this Atlantic Division rivalry.
There are obviously a ton of other games you can point to on the 2018-19 schedule. What are some that you’re personally looking forward to?