The NBA had to put a lot more consideration into its schedule for the 2020-21 regular season amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Along with having only released the first half of the slate to see if matchups get impacted by the virus, there are a lot more back-to-backs to cut down a bit on travel.
The Boston Celtics face the Indiana Pacers on Sunday, Dec. 27 and Tuesday Dec. 29. Instead of traveling back and forth, they’ll play both contests at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
For a Celtics team with four natives of The Hoosier State, the extended stay works out nicely during the holidays.
?It?s different for me because I?m from here,” guard Jeff Teague on Sunday said in a media availability. “I enjoy being here this long. I?m sure some other guys probably feel a little different.?
That may be true, but some others probably can relate to the Indianapolis native. Along with Teague, coach Brad Stevens, Romeo Langford and assistant coach Jamie Young also are from Indiana.
The quick turnaround on the road makes it feel like a playoff series for Teague, who also played for the Pacers in the 2016-17 season and has a house and family in the area.
“It’s sort of like a playoff setting almost but this whole season has been weird. It’s been difficult or had its challenges, curveballs. But it’s a playoff atmosphere, this team is in the playoffs so it’s kind of like a playoff situation so just take it in and make the most of it.”
The Celtics and Pacers tip off Sunday at 8 p.m. ET.