10 Can’t Miss Home Games Of 2005-06

When The Rookies Come
Check out when some of the NBA's top rookies are making their first appearances in Boston.
Andrew Bogut (Milwaukee)
December 16 & March 10
Marvin Williams (Atlanta)
January 6
Chris Paul (New Orleans)
January 23
Deron Williams (Utah)
December 21
Raymond Felton and Sean May (Charlotte)
November 25 & January 4

Another season of Celtics basketball is right around the corner, and the Celtics will once again be looking to make the TD Banknorth Garden one of the toughest places for opponents to visit. In 2004-05, the Celtics matched their best-ever home record in the building, going an impressive 27-14, including 19-5 in their last 24 home games vs. Eastern Conference opponents.

So with training camp approaching, and the Celtics once again looking for a huge home court advantage, Celtics.com thought it would a good time to take a look at 10 games you won't want to miss at the Garden this coming season.

Wednesday, November 2

This game is a "must see" as former Detroit Pistons Head Coach Larry Brown begins his reign at the helm of the rival New York Knicks. The Knicks are hoping Brown can take an athletic roster that features Stephon Marbury, Quentin Richardson and Jamal Crawford to the playoffs. Another player to watch is Knicks rookie point guard Nate Robinson. Robinson is just 5'9" but is lightening quick and can usually get the crowd off their feet a few times per game.

Friday, November 4

This Friday night matchup with the two-time defending Eastern Conference Champions wraps up an exciting week of Celtics basketball at the TD Banknorth Garden. The Pistons return nearly their entire roster, including Chauncey Billups, Richard Hamilton and the Wallace's, but they do have a new head coach which should spice things up a bit. Flip Saunders, who led Minnesota to the Western Conference Finals two seasons ago, will take over for Larry Brown as the Pistons look to return to the Finals for the third straight season.

Friday, November 11

The Spurs have won two out of the last three NBA titles, but for a team that in the past has been known as all business, they've added some exciting players. Yes, the champs still revolve around Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker, but San Antonio went out and stabilized their bench by adding Michael Finley from Dallas and Nick Van Excel from Portland. Finley should give San Antonio the dead-eye outside shooter they've been searching for years, while with Van Excel and the returning Robert Horry the Spurs now have two of the most clutch players in the NBA.

Sunday, November 13

There's always a team or two that come into a new season in which it's time for expectations to be realized, and during the 2005-06 season that team may be the Houston Rockets. Houston shot out of the gate last season, but faded a bit towards the end of the season and fell to the Dallas Mavericks in seven games in the first round. But now Yao Ming enters his fourth season, Tracy McGrady his second with Houston and the team went out and finally got the power forward they've been looking to play alongside Yao with Stromile Swift. So the Rockets are expecting to make that next move to the upper echelon of teams in the NBA.

Wednesday, November 30

The Philly-Boston series is always a heated one, and the Sixers finally feel that they have the right head coach with Maurice Cheeks now running the show. Expect Cheeks to use Chris Webber in a more effective way, while also allowing Allen Iverson to continue to enjoy his freedom out on the perimeter. Philly was also able to lock up Samuel Dalembert and Kyle Korver to long-term contracts this summer.

Wednesday, December 14

Indiana may be the Celtics biggest rival at this point. The two teams have met in each of the last three playoffs, with Indiana defeating the Celtics the last two seasons. The Pacers are showing no signs of letting up as they'll have Ron Artest returning this season, and added one of the most sought after players from Europe, Sarunas Jasikevicius. The Pacers are fully expecting to challenge both Detroit and Miami for the Eastern Conference Championship.

Wednesday, February 14

This is another highly anticipated game, as LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers visit the Garden. Cleveland is once again expecting to finally make that leap into a serious playoff contender. New GM Danny Ferry worked hard over the offseason as the Cavs re-signed center Zydrunas Ilgauskas. Ferry also increased the talent level surrounding LeBron James by adding perimeter shooting and athleticism with free agents Larry Hughes and Damon Jones, while also solidifying the front court with veterans Donyell Marshall and Alan Henderson. The Cavs should be ready to make a run with a much more talented and experienced squad.

Wednesday, March 1

Miami has had another eventful offseason. After landing the big prize last summer with Shaq and making a run to within a game of the NBA Finals, the Heat once again made a splash by adding former Celtic Antoine Walker, along with Jason Williams and James Posey. All three are exciting players, and Miami is hoping they'll be the missing pieces to the Finals puzzle. But if that's not enough to get you to the Garden for this matchup, then Dwyane Wade is all you need. Wade had a breakout season in his second year and is quickly making people wonder if LeBron James was indeed the best player in the draft two years ago.

Monday, March 20

This matchup is still Paul Pierce vs. Kobe Bryant, but it did get a lot more interesting when L.A. decided to bring back Phil Jackson as the man to right their ship. Jackson has already won three championships with the Lakers, but this will definitely be his toughest test. Whether Jackson is up to the challenge or not will be answered in due time, but however that plays out it's still Celtics-Lakers and a game you don't want to miss.

April

With so many great games to choose from, we had a tough time picking the final game for this list, so we decided to go with the whole month of April. Check out this lineup: you have an up and coming team in Washington, Larry Brown and the rival Knicks, Jason Kidd, Vince Carter, Richard Jefferson and the Nets, as well as the final two games of the season with LeBron and the Cavs and Shaq and the Heat visiting the Garden. With the playoff chase on, April should be a very exciting month in Boston, what more could you ask for?!?

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