During the Celtics’ first 13 games, they have 4 back-to-backs, which means that 8 games are involved in back to backs by November 19th. Last year, part of the reason that the Celtics exceeded expectations last year was that they were awesome in back-to-backs due to their depth.
Tonight, Boston takes on the ever-confusing Bulls in Chicago, and it’ll be a good test for the C’s to determine how they fare against an Eastern Conference team that they clearly should beat. Even if the C’s are on the road in the latter half of a back-to-back, they don’t have an excuse for losing to a team like the Bulls.
In fact, the Celtics are on the road for the latter half of all 4 back-to-backs by November 19. They play in Cleveland, Indiana, and Detroit in each of the next 3, all of which will represent tough matchups for the C’s. But tonight’s is the easiest of the quartet of games, and they have to get off to a good start in back-to-backs tonight. (The Detroit matchup looks like it could be easier on paper than a healthy Chicago, but the C’s face the Pistons the night after playing the Warriors in Boston, which will surely leave the Celtics tired.)
I’m not stupid enough to call the 1st or 2nd night of the season a must win. That’s Trent Dilfer’s job. But I am very eager to see tonight’s game, because it’ll be a great litmus test for the Celtics going forward.