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By The Numbers: The Celtics on Opening Night

This man looks excited for opening night.

The new-look Celtics will begin the 2013-14 regular season campaign at the Air Canada Centre, which marks the third consecutive season that the green will play their opening night game on the road. The only other time in the last 50 years in which Boston had three straight seasons of road openers was in the mid-1980’s. With the uniqueness of this occurrence, I would like to have some fun with the numbers behind the Celtics on opening night.

It seems that the NBA schedule makers recently wanted to change things up for a Celtics franchise that has started more than 60 percent of their seasons at home. In fact, over the last three decades, they have hosted almost three-fourths of their first games of the season. The Celtics have had tremendous success in these types of contests on Causeway Street.

In the 42 opening games played at home, Boston has won 29 of them, which makes for a whopping .690 winning percentage. To put this number in perspective, the teams in the NBA to top that percentage with their overall record last season were the Heat, Thunder, Spurs and Nuggets.

That 29-13 record in this type of situation is impressive especially when comparing it to the Celtics’ record in road openers: 12-13 (.480). In addition, they have a positive point differential of 8.5 in those 42 games. The only team accomplish that feat in the 2012-13 season was the Thunder.

I do understand that combining these numbers does not show much other than the Celtics having had a tremendous run as a basketball franchise. With this being a small piece of the team’s success over the years, I thought it would be interesting to share the details of their strong performance at home on opening night. With that being said, I would like to communicate the importance of the October 30 game in Toronto as a first impression to those who bleed green.

In fewer than two months, the Celtics start the season with a 19-game stretch in 32 days, which includes just one break of two or more consecutive off days. For a Brad Stevens’ team that will most likely not have Rajon Rondo until after the first one-fourth of the season, it will be tough for a completely remodeled roster to survive the first full month. However, the Celtics will try to buck history as they hope to begin the season with a road victory.

For more Celtics coverage and pertinent statistics, follow Celtics Hub and Stats Adam Lowenstein on Twitter: @CelticsHub and @StatsAdam

  • hax

    Tanking and high draft picks doesn't give rings. LeBron/Durant/Shaq/Howard/Paul/Westbrook/Anthony/etc. 0 rings by the team that drafted them. Rings are made by trades and free agency.

    2008 Celtics – Trades for Big 3, free agency for depth.
    2009 & 2010 Lakers – Trade for Gasol, Artest, returning Fisher.
    2011 Mavs: Traded for Kidd, picked up Chandler and Marion and Terry, etc. as well.
    2012-2013 Heat: Free Agency

    • bill

      Durant has a ring with the team that drafted him

    • hydrofluoric

      Duncan's team tanked to get him and he has 4 rings. The Heat picked Wade #3 after being a s*** team and he has 3 rings (and he was "the man" for one of them).

      The Lakers and Mavs didn't intentionally tank to get Bryant or Nowitzki, but they still got 6 rings out of their respective superstars.

      Even with the Celtics, we drafted a superstar in Paul Pierce. Cleveland and Orlando were unable to hang onto their #1 lotto picks (and OKC lost Harden), but drafting a superstar is clearly step 1 to building that championship team. You ALSO need luck in trades/free agency (much easier if you're a marquee team/market) and injuries (superstars in their prime are usually healthier).

      Additionally every team you listed there has had a big GM advantage in ADDITION to drafting the superstars: Boston's inside track with McHale, Lakers' inside track with West, Mark Cuban's endless pockets (pre-lockout CBA), no state taxes + South Beach + Pat Riley's blatant mafia-style deals.

      Unless there are any other generous-feeling former Celtics out there with disgruntled superstars, you can't hope for something like the KG heist again.

  • CelticsBIG3

    Site doesn't even have anything to say about Avery Bradley who lost his mom yesterday. Nice.

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