2018-19 Boston Celtics schedule
Under Brad Stevens, the Celtics have established themselves as one of the NBA’s better road teams.
Boston has won at least 19 road games in each of the last four seasons and has finished among the NBA’s top four in road wins each of the last two seasons.
Well, that track record of success will be put to the test early. The Celts, picked by many to emerge as the top team in the East, open at home against Philadelphia but then play four of their next six on the road.
Here’s a closer look at the Celtics’ schedule, month by month.
Oct. 16 vs. Philadelphia: As much as we talk this up as a rivalry, recently it's been anything but: Boston has won eight of its last nine games against Philly. A Sixers victory in Boston, in the opener, would go far in making this a competitive series.
Oct. 19 at Toronto (NBC Sports Boston): The Raptors have been a team with balanced strength for years. Now that balance tilts significantly toward Kawhi Leonard, whose health will go far in determining whether it was worth trading for him.
OTHER OCTOBER HIGHLIGHTS
-- Six of seven games versus East teams
-- Only three of Boston’s opponents this month (Philadelphia, Toronto and Oklahoma City) made the playoffs last season
Nov. 1 vs. Milwaukee (NBC Sports Boston): The Bucks took the Celtics to the brink in the first round of the playoffs before falling in seven games. Giannis Antetokounmpo was brilliant, as was Khris Middleton. Are they better? The C's will find out.
Nov. 3 at Indiana (NBC Sports Boston): The Pacers have a solid core, led by Victor Oladipo, and added some nice role players (Tyreke Evans, Aaron Holiday, Doug McDermott, Kyle O’Quinn). They will be among the teams nipping at Boston's heels.
Nov. 9 at Utah (NBC Sports Boston): Gordon Hayward plays his first game in Utah against his former team.
OTHER NOVEMBER HIGHLIGHTS
-- Boston’s first Western trip begins at Denver on Nov. 5 and ends in Portland on Nov. 11
-- The only set of back-to-back home games (Toronto and Utah, Nov. 16-17)
Dec. 10 vs. New Orleans (NBC Sports Boston): If the Pelicans are floundering, you can bet the Celtics faithful will show Anthony Davis some major, major love. And AD’s No. 1 fan in Boston -- Gary Tanguay -- will have his pom-poms on full display.
Dec. 25 vs. Philadelphia: After Opening Night, one of these teams will looking for payback. We’ll also have a much better read on just how real the rivalry is.
OTHER DECEMBER HIGHLIGHTS
-- Close out the year with games at Houston, Memphis and San Antonio on New Year's Eve.
Jan. 26 vs. Golden State: In what many believe will be an NBA Finals preview, Steph Curry, Kevin Durant and the rest of the Warriors invade TD Garden for what will be one of the most highly-anticipated games in Boston all season.
OTHER JANUARY HIGHLIGHTS
-- Three games against Brooklyn (Jan. 7, 21 and 28)
-- A game on each of the five Wednesdays in the month
-- The first month of 2019 features Boston playing 7 of 8 games at home from the 16th thru the 30th, including 5 straight games at TD Garden
-- Over/under on how many players Boston rests Jan. 19 against Atlanta? I say two
Feb. 3 vs. Oklahoma City: Paul George re-signing with the Thunder was one of the NBA's bigger summer surprises. They still have Russell Westbrook, and added Dennis Schroeder to provide speed and firepower to what was already one of the West's best teams.
Feb. 7 vs. Los Angeles Lakers: Always a highly anticipated matchup, it has an even bigger twist now that LeBron James is a Laker. In all likelihood, it'll remind us why James heading out West is a good thing for Boston.
OTHER FEBRUARY HIGHLIGHTS
-- Final regular-season game against Toronto on Feb. 26
-- An eight-day All-Star break from Feb. 13 to 21
March 3 vs. Houston: The last time the Rockets were at TD Garden the Celtics rallied from a 26-point deficit, fueled down the stretch by a pair of Marcus Smart defensive plays. No matter what the Rockets say, you can count on this being a game they'll be eager to play.
March 5 at Golden State: Boston plays Golden State as well as any team at Oracle Arena, racking up wins in two of their last three visits.
March 9 at LA Lakers: The Celtics meet old friends LeBron James and Rajon Rondo in their new home
OTHER MARCH HIGHLIGHTS
-- The final West Coast trip, from March 5-11
-- Isaiah Thomas returns to TD Garden on March 18, healthy (if he stays that way) for the first time since being traded from Boston to Cleveland last summer
April 1 and April 3, both against Miami (NBC Sports Boston): The Heat are not expected to jockey for one of the top spots in the East, but are someone the Celtics could see in the first round. With two games this late in the season, the winner of the head-to-head series won’t be determined until this time. And for Miami, it could be a huge confidence boost to win the head-to-head if they do meet in the playoffs.
OTHER APRIL HIGHLIGHTS
-- Three of the last four games are on the road, likely against playoff-bound clubs (Indiana, Miami and Washington).
-- After the regular-season finale at Washington on a Tuesday, the Celtics will have at least four days off before their first playoff game.