Breaking Down the Second Half of the 2020-21 Celtics Schedule
With the first half of the 2020-21 NBA Season already nearing its end, it’s time to take a peek at what awaits the Boston Celtics in the remainder of the campaign.
The league released the second half of its schedule Wednesday afternoon, giving us 36 more games to look forward to beginning after the All-Star break in mid-March.
Just as we did ahead of the first half of the season, we’ve broken down everything you need to know about the remaining Celtics games, as the team prepares to head into a jam-packed final stretch.
Straight From the Break Into the Fire
After wrapping up the first half of their schedule against Toronto on March 4, the Celtics will get a well-deserved six days of rest which will cover the All-Star Break. But once that’s over, it’s right back into the chaos for Boston.
The Celts will open the second half with a matchup in Brooklyn against the new-look Nets, which will be followed by two days off before beginning a stretch of insanity. From March 14 to April 21, the Celtics will never have more than one day off in between games, as they will play 21 contests over a 37-day span.
Fortunately, the majority of those games will be played at home, as they will only have to travel to nine cities during that stretch. But their bodies will be tested nonetheless, just as they have been throughout the past couple of months.
A Historically Late Finish
Only once in franchise history have the Celtics played a regular-season game beyond April, and that was during the 1998-99 lockout-shortened campaign when their regular-season finale arrived on May 5 against Charlotte. No longer will that be a lone instance, however, as Boston is about to eclipse its previous latest matchup date by 11 days.
Due to the league’s late start, the C’s won’t wrap up their regular season until May 16 at New York, which is usually about the time when the conference finals are being played. As for their last home matchup, that will be held on May 11 against Miami as the second part of a two-game home set against the Heat.
Fewer Same-City Sets…
This season, the NBA introduced same-city, two-game sets in an effort to limit travel amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. The Celtics had four miniseries of that nature during the first half of the campaign; however, they will only have two during the second half, with both of them being marquee matchups.
The first same-city series will take place in Milwaukee from March 24-26 with two nationally televised games against the Bucks. Boston will go a month and a half before its next two-game set, which will take place at home against the Miami Heat from May 9-11. That should serve as a nice tone-setter for the Playoffs, which will begin 11 days later.
… But More Back-to-Backs
After being dealt seven back-to-backs during the first half of the season, things are not going to get any easier for the Celtics in that regard. They will have eight back-to-backs during the second half, equaling their total from all of last season in exactly half the amount of games.
Three of those back-to-backs will come during a grueling 12-day span from March 16-27, beginning with a home-road tilt begins in Boston against the league-leading Utah Jazz on the 16th, followed by a matchup in Cleveland on the 17th.
Four days later, they will have another home-away set against Orlando and at Memphis. They will then travel to Milwaukee for a two-game miniseries, the second game of which will act as the front-end of a back-to-back that will wrap up the following night at Oklahoma City.
Boston will have three more back-to-backs in April, with five out of those six games taking place at home. It will have a two-game home tilt against Philadelphia and New York on March 6-7, a home-away back-to-back against Phoenix and Brooklyn on March 22-23, and then another two-game home set against Oklahoma City and Charlotte on March 27-28.
The final four games of the regular season will also be played in back-to-back fashion. The C's will play at home against Miami on May 11th before traveling to Cleveland for a game on the 12th. Then they will have two days off before wrapping up the season with games in Minnesota and New York on the 15th and 16th.
Homestands and Road Trips
One piece of good news that awaits the Celtics in the second half is that they do not have any terribly long road trips, as they will not have to travel to more than three cities in one journey. The longest period time they will be away from home is a six-day stretch from March 22-27, when they will travel to Memphis for one game, Milwaukee for two games, and then to Oklahoma City for one game.
Boston will then have a three-game trip out West from April 11-15 with stops in Denver, Portland, and Los Angeles where they will face the Lakers. Its only other three-game trip happens to cover the final three matchups of the season from May 12-16, when they will travel to Cleveland, Minnesota, and New York, respectively.
The Celtics will enjoy their longest homestand of the season from March 29 to April 9, when they will host New Orleans, Dallas, Houston, Charlotte, Philadelphia, New York, and Minnesota, respectively. During that stretch, they will not have to step on a plane for two full weeks.
If you’re missing Sunday football games, the Celtics have you covered. That is their most common day to play during the second half of the season, as they will play eight on out of a possible 10 Sundays. Added bonus for the non-night owls: at least half of those matchups will be afternoon games.
After Sunday, the second-most common days to play will be Wednesdays and Fridays, which will feature seven games apiece. There will also be five Tuesday games, and three games apiece on Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays.
Remaining in the Spotlight
The Celtics were one of the NBA’s most spotlighted teams during the first half of the season, as they were featured in 17 nationally televised matchups. Not much will change during the second half, as they are currently scheduled for 16 more games in front of a nationwide viewership.
Boston will be featured in seven games on ESPN, five matchups on TNT, three contests on NBATV, and will also host a Sunday night, prime-time ABC showcase against the Golden State Warriors on April 17.