National Basketball Association releases 2019-20 schedule, doubleheaders to tip off earlier

Boston Celtics schedule 2019-20: Celtics open home slate against Toronto Raptors, plus five things to note

"I feel like we're underestimated. under-rated team, because we have a lot of veteran guys who may be young".

And changes are definitely coming.

The champs will be busiest on Wednesdays (18 games) and Sundays (14) and though the number of back-to-back contests have been reduced by the National Basketball Association for the fifth consecutive year as a whole (from an average of 13.3 to an average of 12.4), Toronto will actually play 13, up one from 2018-19. The league average is 12.4 back-to-backs this season, down from 13.3 last year and 36 percent down from the average of 19.3 five years ago.

The key Raptors dates for Season 25: October 22 - Zion Williamson and New Orleans open the season on championship banner and rings night. For instance, the Lakers have LeBron James and Anthony Davis, while the Clippers have Kawhi Leonard and Paul George. Eastern nationally televised midweek games that will otherwise be largely avoided this season.

The next time the team faces the Raptors will be on Christmas Day - the fourth-straight year and 33rd time in franchise history that the Celtics will play a December 25 game. The other Christmas matchups (all times Eastern): Milwaukee at Philadelphia, 2:30 p.m.; Houston at Golden State, 5 p.m.; Clippers at Lakers, 8 p.m.; New Orleans at Denver, 10:30 p.m.

"Hopefully, we can add on to their portfolios by adding to the team, and get back to what Boston is known as, a team that is championship caliber, players every single year, and just fighting for that next banner that will make us even further away from the competition."

The schedule features 48 games - 24 on Saturdays, 24 on Sundays - that will air in prime time in Europe. (This brings to an end Boston's two-year run of hosting a yuletide game.) Not to be forgotten, Aron Baynes and Phoenix will visit Boston on January 18.

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