The NBA released their Opening Week National TV schedule in addition to games played on Christmas Day and Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and the Boston Celtics will tip it all off against a familiar foe.
The Celtics will face off against the Philadelphia 76ers on Tuesday, October 16th at 8PM EST on TNT in Boston in a rematch of the 2018 Eastern Conference Semifinals where Boston defeated Philly in 5 games. Throughout the entirety of the 2017-18 NBA season, from preseason to postseason, the Celtics posted a record of 9-2 against their division rivals.
Boston will go from playing one conference rival in Philly to traveling to Toronto to play the Raptors, last year’s #1 seed in the Eastern Conference. This will be Boston’s first look at the new-look Raptors after they traded away DeMar DeRozan to the San Antonio Spurs in exchange for 2-time Defensive Player of the Year, Kawhi Leonard. This game will be the first of ESPN’s Friday night doubleheader on October 19th at 8PM EST.. Going from facing off against Philadelphia to Toronto will be a good test right out of the gates for a Boston team looking to prove that they’re the team to beat in the East.
If Opening Night isn’t enough for you, the Celtics will face off against the 76ers again on Christmas Day at 5:30 PM EST in Boston once again. It’s a bold move for the league to schedule these two teams to play each other on two of the biggest nights of the season. Many fans were anticipating a matchup against the L.A. Lakers after LeBron James’ signing propelled them back into relevancy, but that won’t be the case this year as they face off against the Golden State Warriors at 8PM EST.
The Celtics will not appear on TNT’s MLK Day triple-header, a day where NBA action typically runs from dusk until dawn. Instead, TNT will showcase a contest between the New Orleans Pelicans and the Memphis Grizzlies at 5:30PM EST, Houston Rockets and the Philadelphia 76ers at 8PM EST and another matchup between the Lakers and the Warriors at 10:30 PM EST.
The full schedule should be released soon, so you’ll be able to finalize your travel plans without too much delay. Which matchups that haven’t been announced yet are you most looking forward to?