Monday, November 26 – Celtics at Pelicans

Pregame – Celtics Are Looking Forward to Friendlier Schedule

NEW ORLEANS – The schedule is about to become far more friendly to the Boston Celtics.

Boston has not had back-to-back days off at home all season. That will change after tonight’s matchup with New Orleans, and it will change in a big way.

The Celtics will fly home postgame tonight and then have three straight non-game days before hosting the Cavaliers Friday night. Then, after a back-to-back Friday and Saturday, the C’s will have four straight non-game days before hosting the Knicks on Dec. 6.

That two games in nine days.

Brad Stevens isn’t looking past tonight’s game against the Pelicans, but he’s certainly looking forward to a friendlier portion of the schedule than what Boston has experienced during its first 21 games.

“Sure, I think that that’s a part of it,” he said of this portion of the schedule affecting the team, “and this has been a really challenging stretch. And at the same time we haven’t always met our expectations of how we want to play. So anytime you get a chance to be together and practice and work on what you do is probably good.”

Stevens plans to give his guys some time off during the upcoming light stretch, but he also plans to work them hard when they do make it onto the practice court.

“Probably on those days where we don’t have a game the next day (we’ll go hard),” said Stevens. “So we’ll take Tuesday off this week, Wednesday’s practice will be probably pretty lively, and then Thursday will probably be a little more normal in-season practice.”

The coach insinuated that he’ll take a similar approach to the open stretch of schedule next week as well.

Surely, Boston won’t complain about the open dates on its schedule. After tonight’s contest in New Orleans, the C’s will have played 13 of their 21 games on the road, and 13 of the 21 games have been played against teams that are currently at or above the .500 mark.

That is, as Stevens called it, a really challenging stretch. The next week and a half following tonight’s game? Not so much.

– Marc D’Amico

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