I, like Jeff over at Celticsblog tend to view the 1st 20 games of a season critical to which direction the teams will go. Injuries do play a key role. Last year I expected the Celtics to start well because they had a lot of bottom feeders at home. It all went wrong the 1st night against Oklahoma and they struggled to find wins even before the injuries hit. Last years team was a complete bust.
This offseason came the remarkable remake in Boston. All those young assets and draft picks were turned into Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett. House and Posey quickly walked through that door. The rest of the east got stronger top to bottom while quite frankly, the west got weaker overall. So it will be a balanced battle in the East but Boston should quickly establish themselves as a contender.
Nov 2 vs Washington 8:00 pm ESPN, CSN (Must win opening night)
Nov 4 at Toronto 2:30 pm (tough battle but the C's prevail)
Nov 7 vs Denver 7:30 pm (Control the pace - limit TO's - W)
Nov 9 vs Atlanta 7:30 pm (Young team - Must Win)
Nov 10 at New Jersey 7:30 pm NBA, YES (Send message - W)
Nov 13 at Indiana 7:00 pm FSIN (This could bite us - Should be a W but)
Nov 14 vs New Jersey 7:30 pm YES (I'm sick of Joisee - Beat em again)
Nov 16 vs Miami 7:30 pm SUN (Perkins breaks Blounts nose - W)
Nov 18 at Orlando 6:00 pm NBA (This maybe a designated game)
Nov 21 vs Golden State 7:30 pm FSBA (Whoa Nellie gives us a tough time but keep the pace slow and get a W)
Nov 23 vs LA Lakers 7:30 pm KCAL (Must W - Lakers will stink this year)
Nov 24 at Charlotte 7:00 pm (Historically not a friendly place to us - L)
Nov 27 at Cleveland 7:00 pm NBA, FSOH (Another toughie - L)
Nov 29 vs New York 8:00 pm TNT, MSG (Must blow these bastards out)
Nov 30 at Miami 8:00 pm (Depends on D Wade)
Dec 2 vs Cleveland 12:30 pm FSOH (Home Win)
Dec 5 at Philadelphia 7:00 pm CSNP (Road Win)
Dec 7 vs Toronto 7:30 pm (Home Win)
Dec 8 at Chicago 8:30 pm WGN (Show down goes to the Bulls
Dec 12 vs Sacramento 7:30 pm KXTV (Must Win)
I peg us to get to 14 wins and 6 losses - good for a 2 or 3 game lead in the Atlantic Division. There will be Fire Doc chants on the message board. If it is 12-8 and we are a close second, I will still be fine. 10-10 or worse is troubling because I see this as an easier part of the schedule.