The 2009-2010 Boston Celtics will be one of the teams legitimately competing for the NBA Championship. Without the services of emotional and defensive leader Kevin Garnett, the Celtics loss in the second round to the Orlando Magic in last year’s playoffs. In this, their third year together, the Big Three of Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett, and Paul Pierce, hope to help the Celtics be the last team standing next June just as they did in their first season together.
To help them accomplish this goal the Boston Celtics signed Rasheed Wallace, who provides them a versatile defensive-minded big man who can post up, shoot the three, and block shots. Wallace will strengthen Boston’s frontline rotation and serve as an insurance policy in case Kevin Garnett does not fully recover from his knee injury. The Celtics also added some size and versatility to their backcourt by signing Marquis Daniels. Daniels’s ability to handle the ball and his 6-foot-6, 200 pound frame make it likely that he will play minutes at both guard positions as well as the small forward position. The versatility of these two players might afford coach Doc Rivers the luxury of reducing the minutes of his aging Big Three. A healthy and rested Big Three, Rajon Rondo, along with Marquis Daniels and Rasheed Wallace may lead the Celtics to a long playoff run.
Here are game-by-game predictions for the 2009-2010 Boston Celtics:
Game 1, Tuesday, October 27th at Cleveland– Boston’s Big Three and company open the NBA season with a loss to LeBron James, Shaquille O’Neal, and the Cavaliers (Record 0-1).
Game 2, Wednesday, October 28th versus Bobcats– Celtics win their home-opener against the Charlotte Bobcats (Record 1-1).
Game 3, Friday, October 30th versus Bulls– Celtics defeat the Chicago Bulls in a game that lacks the excitement of last season’s playoff series (Record 2-1).
Game 4, Sunday, November 1st versus Hornets– Celtics do a good job of defending pick-and-roll to get the victory over the New Orleans Hornets (Record 3-1).
Game 5, Tuesday, November 3rd at Philadelphia– Celtics beat a Sixers team that is still seeking an identity (Record 4-1).
Game 6, Wednesday, November 4th at Minnesota– Celtics get a win over the young developing Minnesota Timberwolves (Record 5-1).
Game 7, Friday, November 6th versus Suns– Celtics control the tempo and the boards to get the win over the high-scoring Phoenix Suns (Record 6-1).
Game 8, Saturday, November 7th at New Jersey– Celtics get the win over the New Jersey Nets in the second game of a back-to-back (Record 7-1).
Game 9, Wednesday, November 11th versus Jazz– Celtics survive a tough physical battle against the Utah Jazz (Record 8-1).
Game 10, Friday, November 13th versus Hawks– Celtics stretch their winning streak to nine with a victory over the Atlanta Hawks (Record 9-1).
Game 11, Saturday, November 14th at Indiana– Celtics drop their second game of the season as they lose to the Indiana Pacers at Conseco Fieldhouse (Record 9-2).
Game 12, Wednesday, November 18th versus Warriors– Celtics destroy the Golden State Warriors to get back on track (Record 10-2).
Game 13, Friday, November 20th versus Magic– Celtics lose their first home game of the season to the Orlando Magic (Record 10-3).
Game 14, Sunday, November 22nd at New York– Celtics beat the run-and-gun Knicks at Madison Square Garden (Record 11-3).
Game 15, Wednesday, November 25th versus Sixers– Celtics get another win over the Philadelphia 76ers (Record 12-3).
Game 16, Friday, November 27th versus Raptors– Celtics get a home win over the Toronto Raptors at TD Garden (Record 13-3).
Game 17, Sunday, November 29th at Miami– Celtics begin a four-game road trip with a win over the Miami Heat (Record 14-3).
Game 18, Tuesday, December 1st at Charlotte– Celtics begin the month of December with a road win over the Charlotte Bobcats (Record 15-3).
Game 19, Thursday, December 3rd at San Antonio– Celtics pull out a tough game against the San Antonio Spurs (Record 16-3).
Game 20, Friday, December 4th at Oklahoma City– Celtics prevail over a young improving Oklahoma City Thunder team (Record 17-3).
Game 21, Tuesday, December 8th versus Bucks– Celtics grab control of the game early and get a convincing win over the Milwaukee Bucks (Record 18-3).
Game 22, Thursday, December 10th at Washington– Celtics beat the Washington Wizards to get their ninth straight win of the season (Record 19-3).
Game 23, Saturday, December 12th at Chicago– Celtics fail to get the necessary stops to close out the game and lose to the Bulls (Record 19-4).
Game 24, Monday, December 14th at Memphis– Celtics beat the Memphis Grizzlies to close out a short three-game road trip (Record 20-4).
Game 25, Friday, December 18th versus Sixers– Celtics defeat the Philadelphia 76ers again taking a 3-0 season series lead (Record 21-4).
Game 26, Sunday, December 20th versus Timberwolves– Celtics defeat the Minnesota Timberwolves and get their fifth consecutive home win (Record 22-4).
Game 27, Tuesday, December 22nd versus Pacers– Celtics defeat Indiana to avenge an earlier loss (Record 23-4).
Game 28, Friday, December 25th at Orlando– Celtics fail to extend their winning streak to five as they lose to the Orlando Magic (Record 23-5).
Game 29, Sunday, December 27th at Los Angeles Clippers– Celtics get a win at the Staples Center over the Los Angeles Clippers (Record 24-5).
Game 30, Monday, December 28th at Golden State– Celtics lose the second game of a back-to-back to the fast-paced, high-scoring Warriors (Record 24-6).
Game 31, Wednesday, December 30th at Phoenix– Celtics do not control the tempo as well this time around and lose to the Phoenix Suns as they give up 110+ points (Record 24-7).
Game 32, Saturday, January 2nd 2010 versus Raptors– Celtics defeat Toronto to get back on the right track (Record 25-7).
Game 33, Wednesday, January 6th at Miami– Celtics get another win over Dwyane Wade and the Miami Heat (Record 26-7).
Game 34, Friday, January 8th at Atlanta– Celtics lose a closely played game to the Atlanta Hawks (Record 26-8).
Game 35, Sunday, January 10th at Toronto– Celtics beat the Raptors (Record 27-8).
Game 36, Monday, January 11th versus Hawks– Celtics beat Atlanta to avenge the loss they suffered just days earlier (Record 28-8).
Game 37, Wednesday, January 13th at New Jersey– Celtics get a double digit victory over the young New Jersey Nets (Record 29-8).
Game 38, Thursday, January 14th versus Bulls– Celtics get their 30th win of the season as they convincingly defeat the Chicago Bulls (Record 30-8).
Game 39, Monday, January 18th versus Mavericks– Celtics defeat the Dallas Mavericks to extend their winning streak to five (Record 31-8).
Game 40, Wednesday, January 20th at Detroit– Rasheed Wallace goes to the Palace for the first time in a Celtics uniform and helps lead Boston to a victory (Record 32-8).
Game 41, Friday, January 22nd versus Blazers– Celtics continue to roll as they defeat the Trail Blazers (Record 33-8).
Game 42, Monday, January 25th versus Clippers– Celtics beat the Los Angeles Clippers by double digits (Record 34-8).
Game 43, Thursday, January 28th at Orlando– Celtics lose to the Magic for the third time this season (Record 34-9).
Game 44, Friday, January 29th at Atlanta– Celtics rebound from loss and defeat the Hawks for their 35th win of the season (Record 35-9).
Game 45, Sunday, January 31st versus Lakers– Celtics lose another tough game to an elite opponent (Record 35-10).
Game 46, Monday, February 1st at Washington– Celtics, who are playing their fourth game in five nights, lose to the Washington Wizards (Record 35-11).
Game 47, Wednesday, February 3rd versus Heat– Celtics defeat Miami for the third time this season (Record 36-11).
Game 48, Friday, February 5th versus Nets– Celtics dominate the New Jersey Nets (Record 37-11).
Game 49, Sunday, February 7th versus Magic– Celtics avoid the season sweep by finally getting a victory over Orlando (Record 38-11).
Game 50, Wednesday, February 10th at New Orleans– Celtics go into the All-Star break with a win over the New Orleans Hornets (Record 39-11).
Game 51, Tuesday, February 16th at Sacramento– Celtics get their fifth win in a row by defeating the Sacramento Kings (Record 40-11).
Game 52, Thursday, February 18th at Los Angeles Lakers– Celtics lose another close game to the Lakers (Record 40-12).
Game 53, Friday, February 19th at Portland– Celtics get a victory over the up-and-coming Trail Blazers (Record 41-12).
Game 54, Sunday, February 21st at Denver– Celtics defeat the Denver Nuggets in a hotly contested game (42-12).
Game 55, Tuesday, February 23rd versus Knicks– Celtics get another victory over the New York Knicks (Record 43-12).
Game 56, Thursday, February 25th versus Cavaliers– Celtics win a close game over the Cleveland Cavaliers (Record 44-12).
Game 57, Saturday, February 27th versus Nets– Celtics get their 45th win and complete the sweep of the New Jersey Nets (Record 45-12).
Game 58, Tuesday, March 2nd at Detroit– Celtics beat up on the Pistons to stretch their streak to six (Record 46-12).
Game 59, Wednesday, March 3rd versus Bobcats– Charlotte gives Boston a scare but the Celtics pull out the win in the end (Record 47-12).
Game 60, Friday, March 5th at Philadelphia– Celtics lose to a Sixers team that is finally starting to find itself (Record 47-13).
Game 61, Sunday, March 7th versus Wizards– Celtics get right back on track with a win over the Washington Wizards (48-13).
Game 62, Tuesday, March 9th at Milwaukee– Celtics get a fairly easy victory over the Bucks (Record 49-13).
Game 63, Wednesday, March 10th versus Grizzlies– Celtics defeat the Memphis Grizzlies and pick up their 50th win of the season (Record 50-13).
Game 64, Friday, March 12th versus Pacers– Celtics beat the Pacers by slowing Danny Granger down in the fourth quarter (51-13).
Game 65, Sunday, March 14th at Cleveland– Celtics win a tough battle against the Cleveland Cavaliers (Record 52-13).
Game 66, Monday, March 15th versus Pistons– Celtics lose a trap game to the Detroit Pistons (Record 52-14).
Game 67, Wednesday, March 17th versus Knicks– Celtics rebound from a disappointing loss with a win over New York (Record 53-14).
Game 68, Friday, March 19th at Houston– Celtics beat the Rockets to kick off a short three-game road trip (Record 54-14).
Game 69, Saturday, March 20th at Dallas– Celtics fall to the Mavericks and fail to complete the Texas Two-Step (Record 54-15).
Game 70, Monday, March 22nd at Utah– Celtics complete a disappointing 1-2 road trip with a loss to the Utah Jazz (Record 54-16).
Game 71, Wednesday, March 24th versus Nuggets– Celtics get their 55th victory in a physical match up with the Denver Nuggets (Record 55-16).
Game 72, Friday, March 26th versus Kings– Celtics beat the lowly Sacramento Kings (Record 56-16).
Game 73, Sunday, March 28th versus Spurs– Celtics prevail over the Spurs in a defensive battle which just may be a Finals preview (Record 57-16).
Game 74, Wednesday, March 31st versus Thunder– Celtics finish off March with a win over the young Oklahoma City Thunder (Record 58-16).
Game 75, Friday, April 2nd versus Rockets– Celtics defeat the Houston Rockets and pick up their sixth consecutive home win (Record 59-16).
Game 76, Sunday, April 4th versus Cavaliers– Celtics lose a hotly contested game to Cleveland (Record 59-17).
Game 77, Tuesday, April 6th at New York– Celtics get their 60th win of the season by beating the Knicks in Madison Square Garden (Record 60-17).
Game 78, Wednesday, April 7th at Toronto– Celtics lose to the Raptors on the second night of a road back-to-back (Record 60-18).
Game 79, Friday, April 9th versus Wizards– Celtics lose to the Washington Wizards in their penultimate home game (Record 60-19).
Game 80, Saturday, April 10th at Milwaukee– Celtics defeat the Milwaukee Bucks in their next to last road game of the season (Record 61-19).
Game 81, Tuesday, April 13th at Chicago– Celtics lose their final road game of the season at the United Center (Record 61-20).
Game 82, Wednesday, April 14th versus Bucks– Celtics beat the Milwaukee Bucks to win their final home game of the year (Final Record 62-20).
Prediction: The Boston Celtics will win their third consecutive Atlantic Division while stringing together their third straight 60-win season. They will also be one of the few teams that will realistically compete for the NBA Championship.
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Information from ESPN.com and NBA.com was used for this article.