Celtics

Celtics

There’s still five months until Christmas but the NBA just put a lump of coal in our stockings. 

The Celtics will not get a visit from Kyrie Irving on Christmas Day, as many had hoped, and Boston will instead travel to Toronto to play the now Kawhi Leonard-less world champs, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski

Here's the full five-game Christmas slate, according to reports from Wojnarowski and ESPN colleagues Malika Andrews and Tim MacMahon:

- Celtics at Raptors
- Milwaukee Bucks at Philadelphia 76ers
- Houston Rockets at Golden State Warriors
- New Orleans Pelicans at Denver Nuggets
- Los Angeles Clippers at L.A. Lakers

The NBA’s full schedule is expected to be released later this month and Boston’s first game against Irving will top most must-watch lists, though The Athletic's Shams Charania reports Irving's Nets will visit the Garden on November 27. 

A Christmas game hammers home Boston’s position as one of the marquee teams in the East — one of only four East teams playing that day — but a matchup with Toronto won’t move the needle much here. Even matchups with other East rivals like Philadelphia and Milwaukee would have generated more buzz. 

 

Celtics-Raptors obviously will look a lot different than last season, as Kawhi Leonard took his talents to the Los Angeles Clippers while Boston lost Kyrie Irving, Al Horford, Marcus Morris, Terry Rozier and Aron Baynes to free agency and trades.

This will mark the fourth consecutive year the Celtics have played on Christmas; they defeated the Sixers in overtime on Christmas Day last year.

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