It's time to get excited, Boston Celtics fans. We're only one day away from the resumption of the 2019-20 Celtics season.
The C's concluded their scrimmages Tuesday and are set to play their first meaningful game in four months on Friday night. They'll be faced with a difficult task right off the bat as they'll take on Giannis Antetokounmpo and the first-place Milwaukee Bucks.
As daunting as that matchup may seem, it could actually end up working in Boston's favor. On the latest episode of the Celtics Talk Podcast, A. Sherrod Blakely, Chris Forsberg and Kyle Draper discuss Friday's anticipated Celtics-Bucks matchup and whether it could be beneficial for the C's to restart the season against the NBA's best.
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Blakely believes going toe-to-toe with Milwaukee is a great measuring stick for Boston after the four-month layoff.
"If you are a basketball fan, if you are a Celtics fan, this is exactly what you want," Blakely said. "You really have no idea where your team stands at this point. And to put yourself up against the best team record-wise in the NBA right off the bat, it's a great litmus test."
Draper notes that Friday's matchup isn't about the final result, it's about how the C's look in their first official game back.
"It's not about if they win or lose. It's how the game unfolds," Draper said. "Can they stop Giannis from getting downhill? Can the Celtics get into the paint and finish around the rim?"
Forsberg points out the defense as what Celtics fans should keep an eye on throughout the game following a rough showing in their three scrimmages.
"We shouldn't overreact [to Friday's game], but we will," Forsberg said. "The one thing I came away saying from the scrimmage games was, 'Man, the defense stunk.' ... I'm terribly intrigued to see how they do. I do think the matchup with Giannis is fascinating.
"One of the biggest fears of Celtics fans is how will their big men hold up against powerful front lines ... There's little things that will give us an idea of how good the Celtics can be, and certainly, we shouldn't think of them as a finished product."
Also discussed on the latest episode of the Celtics Talk Podcast: Besides Jayson Tatum, who has to be great for the C's to succeed? Who can be the unsung hero? And just how wide open is the Eastern Conference?
Don't miss NBC Sports Boston's coverage of Celtics-Bucks, which begins Friday at 5:30 p.m. with Celtics Pregame Live followed by tip-off at 6:30 p.m. You can also stream on the MyTeams App.