The return of the NBA is finally starting to feel real.
All 22 teams heading to Orlando, Fla. for the resumption of the 2019-20 NBA campaign have been given their eight-game schedules for the remainder of the regular season. The Boston Celtics are set to open with a July 31 matchup against the No. 1 seed Milwaukee Bucks. You can check out their full schedule here.
On a new episode of NBC Sports Boston’s “Celtics At Home,” A. Sherrod Blakely chatted with Kyle Draper and Brian Scalabrine about how coach Brad Stevens and the C’s are feeling as they look ahead to the season restart.
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“This season for them feels like a restart. And when you think about the fact that last time we saw those guys play was pre-St. Patrick’s Day back in the middle of March and here we are already in summer, it certainly has that feel,” said Blakely. “The one thing I thought was very encouraging was the fact that the players who have been tested recently, none of them have tested positive for coronavirus which means they’re going to go in there with their full allotment of players available …
“So the Celtics team that we would have liked to have seen fully healthy, that’s the team that we’re going to see going into the bubble.”
One player who wasn’t healthy when the season was halted was Kemba Walker, who was dealing with a nagging knee injury. The league’s four-month hiatus has been a blessing for the C’s guard as he’s been able to recover from the injury.
“I think Kemba’s going into this thing with a double-down mindset of redemption,” Blakely said. “He didn’t like the way he was playing near the end of the season, and part of that had to do with the fact that that knee just wasn’t right.
“So for him, I think that is going to be added motivation for him to be effective. And the elephant in the room when it comes to Kemba, what’s he going to do in the playoffs? It’s not like he’s been there a ton of times. I think those two things are really going to drive Kemba to play some of the best basketball we’ve seen from him as a Boston Celtic.”
This episode of “Celtics at Home” also included another entertaining game of “Celtics Census” with Abby Chin and Kendrick Perkins taking on Kyle Draper and Brian Scalabrine. You can check out the full show below: