Much to Jayson Tatum's chagrin, the Boston Celtics aren't heading to Las Vegas this week. But if there's a silver lining, they can experience the comforts of home for the next 12 days.
The Celtics fell to the Indiana Pacers in the NBA In-Season Tournament quarterfinals on Monday night, squandering a chance to advance to Thursday's semifinal round in Vegas. Instead, the Eastern Conference semifinal matchup will feature the Pacers and Milwaukee Bucks, who routed the New York Knicks in their quarterfinal game Tuesday night.
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Boston doesn't get the entire week off, however. Following their quarterfinal loss, the Celtics now will host the Knicks on Friday night at TD Garden at 7:30 p.m. ET in a standard regular-season contest to ensure they play a full 82-game schedule.
That game kicks off a five-game homestand for Boston that runs through Dec. 17. Here's a look at the team's updated schedule over the next two weeks, with all games airing on NBC Sports Boston:
- Friday, Dec. 8: Celtics vs. Knicks, 7:30 p.m. ET
- Tuesday, Dec. 12: Celtics vs. Cavs, 7:30 p.m. ET
- Thursday, Dec. 14: Celtics vs. Cavs, 7:30 p.m. ET
- Friday, Dec. 15: Celtics vs. Magic, 7:30 p.m. ET
- Sunday, Dec. 17: Celtics vs. Magic, 7:30 p.m. ET
That new matchup with New York means the Celtics will play the Knicks five times season, more than any other opponent. The C's are 2-0 against their Atlantic Division foe this season but went 1-3 versus the Knicks last season.
The five-game homestand also features two "mini-series" against the Cleveland Cavaliers and Orlando Magic, with consecutive games against each team. Those Magic matchups could have a little extra juice thanks to Orlando's Cole Anthony and our own Eddie House.
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This stretch is a golden opportunity for the Celtics to get back on track after going 4-3 in their last seven games. It appears they'll also benefit from the return of Kristaps Porzingis, who hinted on Instagram that he's set to return from a calf injury this Friday.