Boston Celtics begin preseason play at home Monday against Hornets

CANTON, MA - SEPTEMBER 25: Kyrie Irving
CANTON, MA - SEPTEMBER 25: Kyrie Irving /

The new-look Boston Celtics will take the court in a game for the first time Monday night at TD Garden as they host the Charlotte Hornets in preseason action.

When the Boston Celtics tip-off against the Charlotte Hornets tonight, it will truly begin a new era of basketball in the city.

This season, the NBA has shortened the preseason so that the regular season can begin a bit earlier. This is so teams across the league can have more standard days off in between games. The added rest days should mean that we see superstars sitting games out less often if at all.

The Celtics have had 8 practices together over the last 8 days, including a trip to Salve Regina in Newport, RI. Now though, they’re ready for something different.

"“It’s going to be really nice getting a chance to see where we are, play against a different team, have some fun, too,” said Gordon Hayward. “I feel like we’re getting better each day, each practice. (Tonight) is going to be great for us to see where we’re at, see what we need to do a lot better. It seems like it’s coming at us really fast. I can’t believe (tonight’s) our first preseason game, but I’m glad that it’s here.”"

Boston had an hour-long practice at the TD Garden last night before holding an open event for season ticket holders. Jayson Tatum won the team’s 3-point contest and Marcus Smart won the skills competition.

The team is starting to really come together, and the more time they spend together on and off the court the better they will be. Only 4 members of last year’s Boston Celtics team are returning, so there are 11 newcomers. Marcus Smart is the longest tenured Celtics player, followed by Terry Rozier, Al Horford, and Jaylen Brown. Who’s new? Well, a lot of guys. Here’s a list.

More from Boston Celtics

G Kadeem Allen

C Aron Baynes

  • F Gordon Hayward
  • G Kyrie Irving
  • G Shane Larkin

    F Marcus Morris

    F Abdel Nader

    F Semi Ojeleye

  • F Jayson Tatum
  • F Daniel Theis

    F Guerschon Yabusele

    Head coach Brad Stevens, who has improved the Celtics’ record each year he’s been with the team, is hoping to get this team playing with some more tempo.

    "“Faster can be a number of things,” Stevens said. “For us, pace is the word. Pace can be up the floor, but it can also be when you get into the half court, being able to move and cut and play together.”"

    Boston will look to run this season, getting down the court quick, making strong cuts, and creating open shots for themselves and their teammates. Monday night, the Celtics will have their first chance to do just that.

    Next: Al Horford is the Celtics most important player

    While it’s not nearly the same as a regular season game, there should be plenty of energy in TD Garden as Irving and Hayward play their first game in a Boston uniform. Bench players will be rotated in a ton to get some looks for them as well and to evaluate just who should be on the opening night roster on the back end. The game will tip-off at 7:35 Monday night and we’ll have postgame coverage available for you here on Chowder and Champions!