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The Celtics Schedule Is Out So Let's Dive In

 

 

 

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Next to the NBA Draft, there isn’t another time on the NBA calendar that brings such a great deal of hope and promise to fans everywhere quite like Schedule Day. We transition from outrageous claims about how good the newest rookie will be to debates on how many games a team will win months before the season actually starts. It’s almost as if the NBA realizes the entire basketball world yearns for something during this slow month, and this absolutely does the trick. At this time last year, I fought through the idiots calling me a homer and predicted 48 wins (which would later change to an official countdown of 47). Shame on me for underestimating this team, that’s on me and a decision I will have to live with for the rest of my life.

As we stand here right this second, I again believe the Celtics will be flirting with 50ish wins, especially with the additions (and subtractions). This certainly isn’t the hottest take you’ll read on the internet, as I imagine now pundits will want to make up for last year when they predicted high 30s to low 40s in wins. Officially, here at Barstool we are setting the number at #52. This gives the Celts a 4 game improvement from last year’s team, and to me that feels right. The Celtics lost 9 games last year by 4 points or less, and with the upgrade in talent on the roster, this number could very well be cut in half. That’s where I’m getting my number from. There are some interesting nuggets in the 2016 schedule, here are some things that stuck out

Last year, the opening stretch of the season for the Celts was pretty tough. In those first 11 games we saw PHI/TOR/SA/IND/WSH/MIL/IND/ATL/OKC/HOU/DAL. Ten of their first 11 games were against playoff opponents from the year before, and we got a good idea of how the Celts stacked up against good competition. That’s the good news. The bad news is they went 6-5 to start the season. This year, things are much better. For starters, the Celts get to start the season off against BKN, so that’s essentially two wins right there. The only downside, is that the have a back to back for GM2 on the road in Chicago.

Speaking of back to backs, this has sort of been the Celtics sneaky calling card over the last year. That sounds weird, because normally back to backs are supposed to screw you, and yet the Celts went something like 13-6 in 19 chances. This year, they are blessed to only have 17 back to backs, with an interesting set coming in early January with both games being at the TD Garden. It is a bit unfortunate that in their first 5 games, they have two sets of B2Bs. It’s not all bad though, as some of their pairings are against dogshit teams like when they do SAC/PHI back to back, or PHI/WSH later in the year.

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The next part of this schedule that stands out, but really isn’t a surprise is how often the Celtics are on National TV. A total of 22 appearances (not counting whatever games get picked up during the year once they start dominating) is a bump from the 9 they played last year. For me this is a mixed bag, as I always feel like whenever the Celts are on the nations stage, they sort of shit the bed. A 5-4 record last year probably has something to do with that feeling. But of all the big time TV games the one I hate the most is on Christmas. First, it’s the early game (12pm) which is always tough, and second the Celtics historically suck testicles on Jesus’s birthday.

Sidenote: Is that what Christmas is? Jesus’s birthday? They didn’t cover that during my time in Hebrew School.

With an all time record of 12-17 playing on this day, I could have done without this one, even if it is against the Knicks.

The two national games I think we all care about the most, are the two against GS. On paper there’s no way the Celts can hang with this team right? Not so fast! The Celtics and Warriors have played six times since 2013-14 season, and unlike the rest of the league, GS can’t blow them out. Five of those six games were decided by 5 points or less, and three of those five decided by 3 or less. The Celtics always play them tough, mostly because the Warriors strength (guard play) also happens to be our biggest strength (perimeter defense). After the failed recruitment, and telling KD the trade secrets only to see him join the Dubs, this should be must watch TV.

What may be my favorite part of this entire schedule, is how the Celts finish. Starting on March 20th, the Celts will play 12 more games to finish the year. Of those 12, only 3 are on the road, and they finish up the same way they did last year, all against teams they might be battling with for playoff seeding, with a little BKN sprinkled in. You’ll remember last year was tough as we made our way through March, with that brutal West Coast trip towards the end. This year we get that out of the way a little earlier in the month which always helps.

One more game to make sure you get to, is February 5th. That will most likely be the LAST time we see Paul Pierce play, and I can say with certainty I will cry. I cried during his tribute video, and I will cry during this game, even if he doesn’t play and is just on the bench. Be secure in your manhood and let the tears flow.

So that’s it, 2016 should and could be a great year, and as I said at the top, officially start your countdown at #52