The 2022-23 schedule for all 30 NBA teams has finally been released, and it allows fans the opportunity to start marking their calendars and planning around the can’t miss games on the schedule. While not every team shares the same goals for the 2022-23 season, they all have games where fans will be circling dates and trying to make sure they’re in the building for or at least able to watch on TV, and here we are going to highlight five such games for each team.
Here, we’ll look at the reigning Eastern Conference champion Boston Celtics, who spent their offseason addressing the biggest weakness that was exposed in their Finals run by getting another ball-handling option in Malcolm Brogdon (without having to give up a rotation player in the deal). While it wasn’t all smooth sailing in the Celtics offseason — the trade rumors connecting them to a Jaylen Brown for Kevin Durant swap that might not be totally dead takes a bit away from the great vibes they ended the year with — they enter this year as the favorites in the East for good reason.
October 21, 2022: at Miami Heat (7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN)
After a season opener at home against Philly (which will be a big one, obviously), the Celtics hit the road to face the Heat team they narrowly escaped in the conference finals. Miami has had a quiet offseason to this point and that’s kept them from being a focal point of discussion, but this is still a team that will provide a stern test and knows how to frustrate Boston’s offense.
December 12/13, 2022: at Los Angeles Clippers/Lakers (10:30 p.m. ET/10:00 p.m. ET, NBCSN/TNT)
I’m going to cheat here a bit and combine two games. This is the end of a brutal road trip that goes Brooklyn-Toronto-Phoenix, then their first matchup with Golden State, before this back-to-back in L.A. to cap off a rather miserable 9-day road trip. The Clippers very well could be a top-2 seed in the West, while the Lakers are looking to bounce back into being a title contender themselves. In any case, how the Celtics respond at the end of a long road trip against two good teams might tell us a bit about their fortitude a year after a Finals run.
December 25, 2022: vs. Milwaukee Bucks (5:00 p.m. ET, ABC)
The Celtics get to host a Christmas Day game this year by virtue of being the East champs and get a rematch of last year’s Christmas showdown in Milwaukee against the team many think represents their biggest challenge in the conference. These two teams, as we saw last year in a thrilling playoff series, matchup incredibly closely and it makes for great basketball, and this could be a gem in the middle of the Christmas lineup.
January 19, 2023: vs. Golden State Warriors (7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN)
This is the second game for the Celtics against the team that beat them in the Finals, with the first coming in the middle of that hellacious road trip mentioned earlier. This one will be festive in Boston, and the Celtics have a couple days off beforehand so they might be in better shape than the first meeting. In any case, they’ll have this one circled as a chance to send a message prior to the All-Star break.
April 4, 2023: at Philadelphia 76ers (8:00 p.m. ET, TNT)
The last big road game of the year sends Boston to Philly for what could be a game with real seeding implications. For all the Sixers postseason struggles, they’ve been a fixture atop the East standings in recent years and if Boston’s going to nab a top-seed, they very well may need this game. It also is the last really big game (with all due respect to a back-to-back with Toronto and a finale against Atlanta) on the regular season schedule for the Celtics, and could be a spot where they ramp it up one last time, even if seeding isn’t in doubt.