Forget losing out on home-court advantage in the first round of the NBA playoffs. The Boston Celtics' biggest concern should be avoiding having to play on Saturdays.
The Celtics suffered a baffling loss to a mediocre team Saturday night, allowing the 10th-seed Charlotte Hornets to reel off a 30-5 run en route to a 124-117 loss.
If you're feeling a little déjà vu, you're onto something. That ugly 86-point effort at home against the Utah Jazz in November? It came on a Saturday night. A perplexing 10-point road loss to the tanking Chicago Bulls in late February? Also a Saturday night.
And that fateful defeat at the hands of the Orlando Magic that prompted Kyrie Irving to question the Celtics' lack of experience? You guessed it: Saturday night.
The Celtics have played an unusually high number of Saturday games this season -- 17, their most since the 1955-56 season -- and have fared quite poorly. They're now 8-9 in Saturday games, with seven of those eight wins coming against teams currently out of the playoff picture.
Here's a look:
Wins: at NYK, at DET, at MIN, at CHI, at MEM, at ATL, at LAL, vs. ATL
Losses: at IND, vs. UTA, at DAL, at DET, at ORL, vs. GST, vs. LAC, at CHI, at CHA
In Boston's defense, it's a pretty brutal schedule to navigate: 13 of those 17 games have been on the road (it will be 14 of 18 when the C's visit Brooklyn next Saturday), and five were on the second night of a back-to-back.
But here's what makes this trend so baffling: The Celtics thrived in these situations in recent seasons.
In fact, the C's entered the 2018-19 campaign with wins in 17 of their last 20 Saturday regular-season games. They won 9 of 11 Saturday contests in 2017-18 and dropped just one Saturday game in nine tries in 2016-17.
This season has been a completely different story for the enigmatic Celtics, whose lowest winning percentage is in Monday games (5-7) but who shoot worse from the floor (40.6 percent) and have more losses on Saturday than any other day of the week.
Of course, this could all be a coincidence. Boston easily could "flip the switch" and throw its Saturday struggles out the window come playoff time.
But like many of us, it appears the 2018-19 Celtics don't enjoy working on Saturday night.
Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.