With the NBA’s full schedule being released this past Friday, discussions of holiday lineups, back-to-backs, and marquee matchups are all the rage right now. After all, it is August, which isn’t exactly primetime for NBA news.
So what else can we talk about while looking ahead to the 2018-19 season? Reunions!
Former Boston Celtics return to TD Garden every season donning new uniforms, but every year some instances stick out more than others. Rajon Rondo coming into Boston with the Los Angeles Lakers will be quite weird, and Isaiah Thomas’ return in a Denver Nuggets jersey will be marked down on calendars everywhere. Let’s take a look at some of the TD Garden reunions that’ll occur during this season.
Denver Nuggets – Isaiah Thomas – March 18
The Celtics will face Isaiah Thomas and the Nuggets at Pepsi Center on November 5th, but Boston fans will have to wait until March to see IT return to the TD Garden floor. This will be one of the most anticipated reunions of the season, especially with the recent news of Thomas reaching out to Danny Ainge about a potential second stint in green. The former Boston point guard did not play in either of his meetings with the Celtics last season when the Cavaliers were in town.
Los Angeles Lakers – Rajon Rondo – February 7
The new-look Lakers come into TD Garden for a Thursday night TNT matchup in early February this season. Rondo did play in Boston last season as a member of the New Orleans Pelicans, but a Lakers jersey adds in a brand new element to this relationship. Let’s not forget, this will be LeBron James’ first game at TD Garden since defeating the Celtics in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals, too.
Los Angeles Clippers – Avery Bradley – February 9
Two days after facing LeBron, Rondo, and the Lakers, Boston welcomes in another former guard in Avery Bradley. The pesky 27-year-old played two games at TD Garden last season, one with the Clippers and the other with the Detroit Pistons, and came out victorious in both matchups.
If you’re local to the Boston area, Clippers rookie Jerome Robinson might be of interest to you. This will be the Boston College product’s first professional game at TD Garden. Expect a large BC contingent to be on hand for this one in support of the first round pick.
Toronto Raptors – Greg Monroe – November 16
The Celtics face the Raptors on the road in their second game of the 2018-19 season, but don’t welcome their division rival into Boston until a month later on November 16th. Greg Monroe’s stint with the Celtics was one of only 26 games, but Moose will return to Boston alongside Kawhi Leonard one month into this season’s slate.
Miami Heat – Kelly Olynyk – January 21
In his first game back at TD Garden last season, Olynyk put up 32 points in a Heat victory over the Celtics. It was quite the return for the 7-footer, but we’ll see if he can top that performance this time around.
Houston Rockets – Gerald Green (and maybe RJ Hunter!) – March 3
The Houston Rockets will be another marquee game on the Celtics 2019 calendar this season, and Gerald Green will be a part of the matchup once again. The high-flying swingman played 11 minutes for Houston in their one-point loss at TD Garden.
RJ Hunter finished last season on two-way contract with the Rockets and will be fighting for a roster spot once again this year. This former Celtics first round pick played for Houston’s Summer League team this July, and will look to lock up a spot on what should be a terrific Rockets team.
Golden State Warriors – Jonas Jerebko – January 26
Forget Kevin Durant, Steph Curry, and Klay Thompson, Jerebko is back at the Garden for the second straight season! Last year, the Swedish forward posted a season-high 17 points in a Utah Jazz win over the Celtics.
Other Notable Returns to TD Garden:
Evan Turner, Portland Trail Blazers, February 27
Jeff Green, Washington Wizards, March 1 – Not very noteworthy due to his time in Cleveland, but he’ll be wearing a new Eastern Conference jersey this season.
Tyler Zeller, Milwaukee Bucks, November 1
MarShon Brooks (!!!), Memphis Grizzlies, January 18
Abdel Nader, Oklahoma City Thunder, February 3