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Quirks of the C’s Schedule, Part II

 

A few more observations about Boston’s 2011 schedule:

• The first 10 games are brutal. The C’s start with Miami, and after a three-game respite (@Cleveland, New York, @ Detroit), the next six games go like this: Milwaukee, Chicago, @Oklahoma City, @Dallas, @Miami, @Memphis. Those first 10 games include three back-to-backs, including the Thunder and Mavs games.

The C’s started 27-2 in ’09 and 23-5 last season. Don’t be shocked if they are 5-5 after their first 10 games in 2011.

• Even so, the schedule is mostly back-loaded. If the C’s want to fatten up their record, they should do so between games #10 and the halfway point of the season. After Boston’s first 10 games, the C’s will play 20 of 32 at home, and many of those games are against the mediocrity of the league.

After that? It gets much tougher.

In a totally imprecise way of analyzing the schedule, I like to find road games against teams that won at least two-thirds of their home games the previous season—or teams that didn’t but are likely to in the coming season (i.e. the Heat and Bulls). Beating an elite home team in their place is a tough thing to do.

Here are the the teams that pass this test for 2011, along with their 2010 home records:

Lakers (34-7)

Magic (34-7)

Hawks (34-7)

Bucks (28-13)

Bobcats (31-10, and this is not a typo)

Mavericks (28-13)

Suns (32-9)

Nuggets (34-7)

Jazz (32-9)

Spurs (29-12)

Thunder (27-14, which works out to a winning percentage of 65.8%, so we’re rounding up)

Bulls (24-17, giving them the benefit of the doubt in 2011)

Miami (24-17, and, yeah, they get the benefit of the doubt for 2011)

The Celtics play 17 road games against these teams. Of those 17 games, 10 come after the halfway point of the season and 7 come in the 27 games after the All-Star break. In other words: Back-loaded schedule.

• The C’s play 9 games combined against the Magic, Heat and Lakers, the three teams considered (along with Boston, if you like) the favorites for the 2011 title. Five of those 9 games come after the All-Star break.

• One break the C’s catch: Every season, to make the 82-game thing work, each team will play a couple of teams in its conference three times instead of four. The C’s get the reduced number of games against the Hawks, Magic, Bucks and Cavs. Three out of four ain’t bad.

• The C’s have four different blocks of four consecutive road games, up from three such blocks last season. Both of the team’s main West coast trips (four games each) come after the All-Star break.

  • JA

    Ok

  • complexity

    lol, I agree with Ja, this analysis is a bit too much for me.

  • complexity

    By the way. Am I the only one who wants the one feature added to this site to be editing to some extent?

  • ball on the floor

    great post, zach. let’s sit back and relax for a moment: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yBxs4Q8hhzg

  • dasein

    KG in a pair of skates? Noooooooooooooo!

  • JP

    Being optomistic, a backloaded schedule could be good for this team. It could mean that the better teams will win games against the C’s right before the playoffs, when the Celts will basically do what they did last year and not care near the end of the regular season. This could give a psycological edge to the C’s knowing that these teams can only beat them when they arent trying…

    …or something

  • celtics freak

    hopefully we come out strong and defeat anything that stands in our way like last yrs 1st half of the season

  • Jeff

    I would be absolutely SHOCKED if the C’s were 5-5 after their first 10 games.

    The Hawks are a broken team and will not be the problem they were in last years regular season.

    Fear the Deer? Not with Shaq and JO to take care of Bogut.

    There’s no way the C’s start the year with a loss to MIA. That game is going to be a time for them to let MIA know…”We’re the EC champs…NOT you”.

    As for the road games, the only ones who seem to give the C’s trouble out of those teams are the Jazz and the Suns but that was when the Suns had Amare.

    All those games are winnable.

    I think the C’s will adjust their offense to play more post with Shaq and JO early in the year to try and keep the other guys legs fresh.

    Midseason, when the bench really starts playing cohesively (hopefully), they will give more PT to the bench to give the starters a little more rest and recover from any injuries, then maybe one last little push to get the record up, then a shut down until the playoffs.

    My guess is they get about 56-58 wins this year. 2nd in the East.

    Magic will have a slight drop off because of MIA and WAS improving.

    LA will drop off as well. I’d say 55-57 wins because they will get injuries after two title runs.

    MIA will get about 67 wins I think, even in the south.

    Hawks will definitely drop off. I’m guessing 46-48 wins.

    CHI I see getting near the 50 mark but not making it. 46-49.

    Jazz will stay the same.

    Nuggets, Thunder and Mavs will have around 55 wins.

    And the Rockets (if Yao comes back healthy) should be around the 50 win range.

    Spurs and POR will be the other two playoff teams.

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