The Boston Celtics are preparing for the 2023-24 season and shifting their focus to their training camp and preseason preparation.
With that in mind, we take a look at their preseason schedule and the opponents they will face heading into the start of the season in late October.
Like most NBA teams, the Boston Celtics will open their training camp on Oct. 3. Only teams that play preseason games outside the United States will open their training camps a week earlier, on Sept. 27.
After the start of training camp, the Celtics will begin preparation for the start of the new season.
In between, the franchise will play five preseason games within 11 days. This is the most preseason games the Celtics will have played over the past seven years. The last time it happened was in 2016.
Their first preseason game will take place at TD Garden on Oct. 8, as the Boston Celtics will host the Philadelphia 76ers. A day later, they will travel to New York to take on the Knicks at Madison Square Garden.
Boston will play the Sixers and the Knicks twice in the preseason. On Oct. 11, coach Joe Mazzulla and his players will travel to Philadelphia to face the Sixers at Wells Fargo Center, while a week later, they will host the Knicks at TD Garden (Oct. 17).
Their preseason preparation will come to an end two days later, on Oct. 19, when they travel to Charlotte to play the Hornets at Spectrum Centre.
After that, the Boston Celtics will shift their focus to the start of the season and their opener against the Knicks at TD Garden on Oct. 25.
Boston Celtics' preseason schedule - Games, Dates
Kristaps Porzingis a key to Boston Celtics' success this season
After an NBA Finals run in 2022 and a trip to the Eastern Conference finals in 2023, the Boston Celtics aim at nothing but another deep run in the playoffs this season.
Boston saw Marcus Smart and Grant Williams leave this summer, breaking the team's core, but their offseason was highlighted by the addition of Kristaps Porzingis and the creation of a Big Three with Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown.
The status of Kristaps Porzingis (out with plantar fasciitis), who has become injury-prone over the years, will be crucial for Boston's success.
"Kristaps seems to be in a really good place," Brad Stevens, Celtics' president, said in an interview with WEEI’s Adam Jones and Meghan Ottolini last week. "He’s focused on what matters. He’s coming here to do his part to help us win and that’s what’s was very clear in communicating with him when he came for his (introductory) press conference."
The Celtics have announced a four-to-six-week timetable for Porzingis' return, which means he will be back in time for the start of training camp in the first days of October.
Once this happens, the team should ensure Porzingis will stay healthy during the season, because his presence will be pivotal alongside Tatum and Brown. If he misses time with injury, Boston will likely struggle to cover his gap.
Meanwhile, Brad Stevens believes the most important thing for his team will be to be consistent during the season and avoid major upsets, like the 0-3 deficit to the Heat in the Eastern Conference finals.
"We think this team will be in the mix again," Stevens said. "But being in the mix is only part of it. You’ve got to be able to play your best when your best is needed. I think we had a couple of bad weeks last year and the worst one was in May (leading to a 0-3 start to the Eastern Conference finals against Miami).
"We just can’t let that happen if we’re gonna be what we want to be."
With Porzingis healthy and a consistent performance throughout the season, the Boston Celtics could be in a position to challenge for the NBA championship for another season.