Pregame Post-Ups: Xmas 2017 is a Day of Firsts in Boston

Monday, Dec. 25 - Wizards at Celtics

Pregame – Christmas 2017 is a Day of Firsts in Boston

BOSTON – The Boston Celtics have participated in 30 Christmas Day games in franchise history, but they have never hosted a holiday classic of their own in Boston. The C’s have been the home team twice on Christmas, but both of those games were held at a neutral site.

That changes today, when the Celtics welcome the Washington Wizards for their first-ever Christmas spectacular at TD Garden.

“It’s an honor,” big man Al Horford said ahead of tip-off. “The fact that we’re playing and we’re playing here in front of our fans, it’s a big deal. So we’re very excited.”

To Brad Stevens, it’s an honor to play on this day because the Christmas matchups are mostly reserved for the league’s top teams. This marks Boston’s second consecutive Christmas Day game during Stevens’ five-year tenure as head coach. Prior to last season, the team had not made a Christmas appearance since 2012, so that offers evidence that the team is heading in the right direction.

“I don’t take it for granted,” Stevens said, “because of our tradition and our history and the Celtics name; but also being able to be a little bit better the last few years, having not played on this day a couple of years ago, it makes you appreciative for this chance to play today.”

Being at home gave the Stevens family a chance to celebrate on Christmas morning, but the afternoon ball game is what they were truly looking forward to most.

“As much fun as it is to be with family, this is what our family does,” said Stevens. “We’ve been in gyms for most Christmases of our lives, so it’s really fun to get a chance to compete on Christmas Day.”

Perhaps the most excited person in the building is Celtics forward Marcus Morris. The veteran newcomer has had this game circled on his calendar since early July when he was traded to Boston, because it would mark his first opportunity of the season to face off against his twin brother, Markieff.

Morris has been sidelined for a couple of weeks with a knee injury, but he will be available to play. This means he and Markieff will become the first twins in NBA history to face off on Christmas Day.

Christmas 2017 will be a day filled with firsts and a day full of celebration at TD Garden, so sit back with the family and enjoy the festivities that are about to unfold in Boston.

- Taylor Snow