On Friday, the Celtics released their full schedule for the upcoming season, which opens Oct. 20 at Madison Square Garden against the Knicks and former Boston point guard Kemba Walker.
Here are some takeaways.
· Perhaps the top highlight of the calendar is the March 13 game against the Mavericks in Boston. The matchup between young stars Jayson Tatum and Luka Doncic will be an entertaining draw, but more importantly, the Celtics will retire Kevin Garnett’s No. 5 jersey that day. The ceremony was supposed to take place last season but was postponed.
· The Celtics will be part of 22 national broadcasts, including four on ABC, seven on TNT, and 11 on ESPN.
The four ABC games are all in the afternoon. The first is a 2:30 p.m. Christmas Day showdown against the Bucks in Milwaukee. On Feb. 13, the network will pick up the Celtics’ 2 p.m. home game against Trae Young and the Hawks. Kyrie Irving and the Nets return to TD Garden March 6 at 1 p.m. Finally, ABC will have Garnett’s jersey retirement March 13 at 3:30.
The ESPN games include matchups against the Knicks (Oct. 20), Lakers (Nov. 19), Suns (Dec. 10), Warriors (Dec. 17), Sixers (Jan. 14), Hornets (Jan. 19), and Heat (March 30).
The road game against the Lakers Dec. 7 is one of the marquee TNT matchups.
· Walker returns to TD Garden with the Knicks Dec. 18 — the second night of a back-to-back set following a game against the Warriors. The Knicks also visit the Celtics Jan. 8 as part of a home-and-home.
Expect potential Celtics trade target Bradley Beal to get plenty of positive attention from Garden fans when the Wizards visit Boston Oct. 27 (and astute fans might treat Zach LaVine’s first game against the Celtics the same way when the Bulls take the court Nov. 1).
Two exciting young stars will visit the Garden for back-to-back games Jan. 17 and 19: Zion Williamson with the Pelicans, then LaMelo Ball with the Hornets. The Pistons, who took Cade Cunningham with the No. 1 pick in this year’s draft, will be in Boston Feb. 16 and March 11.
· The first long road trip of the season spans Dec. 3-10, as the Celtics face the Jazz and Blazers in back-to-back games Dec. 3-4, followed by two days off in Los Angeles before back-to-back games against the Lakers and Clippers. The trip concludes against the Suns Dec. 10.
The second trip west runs from March 16-21, when the Celtics take on the Warriors, Kings, Nuggets, and Thunder.
· The Celtics close the season with a three-game road swing through the Midwest, taking on the Bulls (April 6), Bucks (April 7), and Grizzlies (April 10). November is a road-heavy month as well, with two three-game trips and a bizarre scheduling of San Antonio (Nov. 26) followed by Toronto (Nov. 28).
· The Celtics are slated for a tough five-game home stand in December that includes the Bucks, Warriors, Knicks, 76ers, and Cavaliers. They also spend most of January at home, with 10 of their 16 games at TD Garden. February makes up the difference, however: Seven of 11 games on the road, including a Brooklyn-Detroit-Indiana swing immediately after the All-Star break.