Boston Celtics to rematch with Cavs, Wizards in primetime

BOSTON, MA - MAY 17: Isaiah Thomas
BOSTON, MA - MAY 17: Isaiah Thomas /

The NBA has revealed their Opening Week and Christmas Day national television schedules, with the Boston Celtics featuring in both.

The Boston Celtics will face their final two opponents of the 2016-17 season in national television rematches this upcoming season.

After being eliminated in five games in the Eastern Conference Finals, the Celtics will get another shot at the Cleveland Cavaliers in the season’s first game.

Boston will also take on the rival Washington Wizards on Christmas Day after battling through seven games in the Eastern Conference Semifinals.

The rematch with the Cavs will likely be one of many meetings between the teams, including another playoff matchup. Cleveland is still the power in the Eastern Conference, but things may be falling apart at the seams.

Star point guard Kyrie Irving has requested a trade and may not even be on the team by Opening Night, while rumors have swirled about LeBron James’ intention to sign with a Western Conference team after this season.

A Christmas Day treat

The Celtics will be getting an early shot at proving to be the first real threat to James and the Cavaliers in years. Free agent-prize Gordon Hayward will give Boston fans a taste of what to come, while future stars Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum can give fans around the world a glimpse of the future on national television. The game will be broadcast on TNT as the NBA season opens up on October 17th at 8 PM.

The Celtics will be making their second Christmas Day appearance in a row, though with a tougher

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opponent this time. After defeating the New York Knicks last season, Boston will have to face off with the Washington Wizards.

Several scraps and building animosity eventually led to both teams dressing in black at different times, though the Celtics left with the last laugh on their way to the Eastern Conference Finals.

The Wizards will return the same starting lineup as last season, while the Celtics have replaced Avery Bradley with Hayward and added Marcus Morris to the front court. Morris’ twin brother, Markieff, plays for the Wizards, adding an underlying “brother vs. brother” storyline to the game. It only seems fitting on a family holiday such as Christmas.

The rival teams will square off in the dinnertime slot at 5:30 PM on ABC.

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The rest of the NBA schedule will be released next week. The Celtics will be expected to have more of a presence in national television games this season as they become one of the league’s top teams to watch.