The Boston Celtics, alongside the rest of the NBA, released their 2019-20 schedule on Monday afternoon, but of course, some games stick out more than others.
Kyrie Irving returns to TD Garden with the Brooklyn Nets on Nov. 13, while Al Horford and the Philadelphia 76ers come to Boston on Dec. 12. With the most nationally televised games of any Eastern Conference team (25), there’s sure to be plenty of can’t-miss matchups on the Celtics schedule.
ESPN’s Baxter Holmes and Ohm Youngmisuk discussed the regular season games they can’t wait to see, and the C’s made multiple appearances on the list.
Celtics vs. 76ers: Oct. 23, 7:30 p.m. ET
Horford’s first matchup with the Celtics headlines the list, as Boston opens the season in Philadelphia. Holmes says that, despite the loss of Irving and Horford, Boston still remains among the East’s elite.
“A recent resurgence of top talent has helped awaken this dormant Eastern Conference rivalry, one of the best in NBA history,” Holmes writes. “And though this year’s rivalry will be without Jimmy Butler and Kyrie Irving, both the Celtics and 76ers have more than enough talent to remain in contention in the East — and to keep these matchups spicy.”
Celtics vs. Charlotte Hornets: Nov. 7, 8 p.m. ET
Two reunions in one night!
Kemba Walker returns to Charlotte, where he led the Hornets for eight seasons, while Terry Rozier faces the Celtics for the first time in his career. Walker’s return to Charlotte will be much different from Irving’s in Boston.
Nets vs. Celtics: Nov. 27, 7 p.m. ET
Irving’s return to Boston likely is circled on everyone’s calendars.
To say the All-Star point guard’s tenure in Boston ended on a bad note would be putting it lightly. The boos will be out in full force on Thanksgiving Eve at TD Garden, and they will all be directed toward Irving.
Celtics vs. Lakers: Feb. 23, 3:30 ET
Boston vs. Los Angeles. The circumstances often don’t matter when these two storied franchises get together, but now the Celtics will face Anthony Davis and LeBron James.
Davis, of course, was a longtime target of Danny Ainge’s, but the former New Orleans Pelicans big man ended up in LA. The matchup now serves as a nice opportunity for Boston’s youth.
“The Celtics and Danny Ainge long coveted Davis, collecting a boatload of assets to pursue the New Orleans big man once he became available,” Youngmisuk writes. “But Davis wanted to become a Laker, and now Ainge has to stomach the sight of him in purple and gold. This, though, will be an opportunity for some Celtics, such as Jayson Tatum, to remind people it was a good thing Boston didn’t trade them away.
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