NBA Writer Believes Celtics To Gain ‘Big Advantage’ From Season Start Date

Boston looks poised to hit the ground running

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The NBA community shouldn’t be surprised if the Boston Celtics shoot out of the gate.

ESPN’s Tim Bontemps on Thursday named the Celtics among teams that will benefit most from a pre-Christmas start date for the 2020-21 NBA season. Players reportedly voted Thursday to approve the league’s proposal for a Dec. 22 season tipoff, and Bontemps believes teams that return largely similar rosters to last season will benefit from continuity.

“Teams that are keeping the status quo,” Bontemps wrote. “In a world where there already is so much uncertainty because of the coronavirus pandemic, throwing in a truncated training camp and free agents coming in along the way will make trying to get the new season started a huge challenge for many teams. Groups that are likely to return with minimal changes — such as the Boston Celtics, Denver Nuggets and Miami Heat — will be at a big advantage.”

The Celtics, Heat and Denver Nuggets were three of the last four teams standing in the 2020 NBA playoffs, in which the Los Angeles Lakers ultimately triumphed in the NBA Finals.

The Celtics have three picks in the first round of the 2020 NBA Draft, but most NBA observers believe a lack of space under the salary cap will prevent Boston from dramatically altering its roster.

Bontemps concludes that it’s probably a good thing and he surely isn’t alone in that regard.

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