The schedule for the Celtics’ first half of the 2020-21 NBA season was released on Friday.
As it was announced earlier this week, the Celtics will start the season at home on Dec. 23 against reigning two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Bucks. They will also host the Nets two days later, welcoming Kyrie Irving into town on Christmas Day.
With the COVID-19 pandemic still ongoing, the NBA wants to limit travel this season and will have teams play consecutive games in the same city. The Celtics’ first instance of that will come right after Christmas when they travel to Indiana to take on the Pacers on Dec. 27 and again on Dec. 29.
Another one of those instances will be when the Celtics travel to Philadelphia to face the 76ers and play them on Jan. 20 and again on Jan. 22.
Cleared for takeoff 🛫☘️
The 2020-21 season starts on 12/23 ⬇️
— Boston Celtics (@celtics) December 4, 2020
The first rematch of last season’s Eastern Conference Finals will come on Jan. 6, when the Celtics travel to Miami to take on the Heat. The Celtics will host the Heat just four days later on Jan. 10. Boston lost the series to Miami in six games.
Two days before their first matchup against the Heat, the Celtics will face the Raptors for the first time since they beat them in the Eastern Conference Semifinals last season. Because of the Canadian government’s COVID-19 restrictions, the Raptors will play their home games in Tampa Bay to start this season. The first Celtics-Raptors game will be there on Jan. 4. The Celtics welcome the Raptors to Boston on Feb. 12 and March 4, which is their last game prior to the All-Star break.
The Celtics will face the defending champion Los Angeles Lakers in Boston on Jan. 30. The game between the two teams in Los Angeles will happen in the second half of the season.
Other notable matchups for the Celtics in the first half of the season include games against the Clippers on Feb. 5 (in Los Angeles) and March 2 (in Boston) and the Warriors in San Francisco on Feb. 2.
Due to the pandemic, the league is breaking the schedule into two halves to allow extra dates for any possible postponements. The schedule for the second half of the season, which begins on March 11, will be announced at a later date.
You can see the Celtics’ full schedule for the first half of the season here.
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