The NBA preseason is in full swing and that means the regular season draws closer by the day. In order to get you prepared for the first month of the season, here’s a projection for every Boston Celtics’ game during November, complete with wins and losses. It’s still strongly advised you watch the games however, as psychic readings can be off at times.
November 2, Milwaukee Bucks – W
The Celtics make their Garden debut against the Bucks, who narrowly missed out on the playoffs last year. Milwaukee has an explosive backcourt with Monta Ellis and Brandon Jennings, but the Celtics are not going to lose their first game in front of the Garden crowd. Look for the Celtics to pound the ball inside where the Bucks are vulnerable. The only fear in this game is if the Celtics are emotionally worn from a road game against Miami three days before.
November 3, @ Washington Wizards – W
The Celtics are never good on back-to-backs but this is the Washington Wizards. The match up against John Wall, a Kentucky product, should be able to hold Rajon Rondo’s, another Kentucky product, attention long enough to carry the Celtics to a fast start. With the Celtics’ added depth, the second unit let down should no longer be a concern. Washington DC native, Jeff Green, will look to show that he is back to full form after heart surgery. The Celtics will improve to 2-0 in November.
November 7, Washington Wizards – W
After four days off, the Celtics will be well rested to hand the Wizards another early season loss. The Celtics are tough to beat at home and while the Wizards did upgrade their roster this offseason, they still don’t have enough firepower to beat the Celtics. Role players tend to play better at home, so this could be a breakout game for the bench.
November 9, Philadelphia 76ers – W
The Celtics will receive their first true test of November. This will be a rematch of the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals, in which Boston came out victorious. The 76ers will be looking for revenge, but Andrew Bynum’s knee and conditioning remains a concern. This will be a defensive scrap it out game but with the Celtics’ new weapons, they’ll have a few more scoring punches than last playoffs. This one could come down to the fourth quarter, when the Celtics will make a few more plays at home.
November 10, @ Milwaukee Bucks – L
The Celtics suffer their first loss of November here. This will be the Celtics’ third game in four days, and they will be playing on back-to-back nights, coming off a tough Philadelphia game. The Bucks will be looking to avenge their Nov. 2 loss in Boston. This is poised for the classic letdown game, which has become a signature of the Celtics’ regular season the past several years.
November 12, @ Chicago Bulls – L
The Celtics drop two consecutive games for the first time this season. The Celtics lost both games they played in Chicago last year, and that was with the Bulls missing Derrick Rose. Tom Thibodeau’s squad seems to have an upper hand against Boston due to their rebounding advantage. The Celtics will once again fail to control the glass, and that will lead to a Boston loss.
November 14, Utah Jazz – W
The Celtics halt their two game losing streak against the feisty Utah Jazz, who are much improved from last year. Boston will be angry for a win after dropping two straight on the road. Rondo should have a field day against Utah’s guards who will be unable to stay in front of him. Although the Jazz can hold their own in the paint, the Celtics’ plethora of guards will be too much for the Jazz to handle.
November 15, @ Brooklyn Nets – L
Another back-to-back for the Celtics results in a loss. They’ll travel to Brooklyn for the first time this regular season. This will be a good Atlantic Division battle with potential playoff indications. The Nets will be fired up to welcome the Celtics, who have won five consecutive division titles, to the new Barclay’s Center. The matchup of Rondo and Deron Williams will be must see TV. Tired legs will become an issue for the Celtics late in the game. Brooklyn has a deep bench itself, and that will give them the edge this night.
November 17, Toronto Raptors – W
Coming off a loss to a divisional opponent, there is no better way to recover than beating another divisional opponent. The Raptors are the weakest team in the Atlantic and the Celtics shouldn’t have much trouble getting a victory here. Kevin Garnett should be up for this one with foe Jose Calderon coming to town. Andrea Bargnani will have a tough time stopping the Celtics from setting up camp in the paint. Celtics win this game big.
November 18, @ Detroit Pistons – W
The Celtics will have to fly out directly after their game against the Raptors, to take on Detroit the next night. This raises concerns of fatigue but Detroit will be too young to seriously compete with the Celtics. Doc Rivers will need to make sure his team avoids coming out flat. This may take one of the stars stepping up and raising everyones’ energy level for the game. After a slow start, the Celtics will pull away in the second-half and secure a win.
November 21, San Antonio Spurs – W
This is one of two marquee games during November. The San Antonio Spurs, like the Celtics, came up just short of the NBA Finals. In their only meeting last year, the Celtics dropped a close game by one point. This will be a chance for the Celtics to make a statement, and there is no doubt they have this game circled on the calendar.
We will get another matchup against two of the greatest power forwards to ever play this game. Tim Duncan and Garnett should go at each other from the tip. Paul Pierce and Manu Ginobli will feature two of the craftiest scorers in the game. Expect both of them to post 20 plus points. Rondo will be granted the opportunity to slow down Tony Parker. Rondo tends to raise his game against other All-Star guards, so a triple double is not out of the question. If you like coaching matchups, this will also be a good one too, with the two best coaches in the NBA squaring off.
Ultimately this will be a game the Celtics desperately want. With the season three weeks in, Boston should finally be coming together as a single unit. The Spurs struggled with the Thunder’s athleticism in the playoffs, and the Celtics’ insertion of athletes into their lineup will prove pivotal in this game. With the Boston crowd behind them, the Celtics win a hard fought game and prepare for their Thanksgiving dinner the next day.
November 23, Oklahoma City Thunder – L
After playing their first true marquee game of November two days before, the Celtics take on the Thunder in another matchup of championship contenders. Boston will welcome the NBA’s three-time scoring champion, Kevin Durant, to the Garden. Durant alone is worth admission.
The Celtics have struggled against the Thunder the past couple of seasons and this would give Boston a chance to quiet some skeptics. Rondo should love the opportunity to play against Russell Westbrook, with the winner furthering the claim as the best point guard in the league.
This will also be a homecoming for Kendrick Perkins who will undoubtedly receive a standing ovation. Jeff Green will be up against several of his former teammates, and will be needed to cover Durant. Despite the Celtics’ new additions, this will be a tough game for the Celtics to pull out. The Thunder are perhaps the most athletic team in the NBA, something the Celtics have struggled with for a long time. The Thunder will take down the Celtics in an up and down track meet, which could serve as an NBA finals preview.
November 25, @ Orlando Magic – W
Boston will get back on the winning track in Disneyland. After trading away Dwight Howard for Mickey Mouse and Mini, the Magic stand to be one of the worst teams in the NBA. Look for Doc Rivers to play his starters limited minutes in attempt to rest them. The Celtics could arguably win this game by starting their bench.
November 28, Brooklyn Nets – W
The Celtics will get some pay back for their earlier loss to Brooklyn. Boston will be coming off three days rest so physically there should be no real concern. Boston will be a full month into the season by this game, and their defensive rotations should be nearly down pat. With the defense clicking and offense gelling, the Celtics will be rounding into form. This also has Pierce written all over it, as he lives for big game matchups. The Celtics will approach this game with a playoff like intensity, sending a message to the Nets that they still own the division.
November 30, Portland Trailblazers – W
The Celtics will finish November with a three-game winning streak. This will be Portland’s fourth game of an East Coast road trip. The exhausted Trailblazers will not be able to muster enough energy to give the Celtics a fight. It will be a blowout, as Rondo teaches rookie Damian Lillard a few tricks of the trade. Portland leaves Boston defeated, wishing to go back home. Unfortunately they’ll be on a plane to Cleveland.
Overall November Record : 11-4