The Boston Celtics are set to tip off the first mini-series of their unique 2020-21 schedule tonight in Indianapolis.
These mini-series are a new wrinkle the NBA has added in for each team during this season’s condensed, 72-game schedule. The goal is to limit travel while knocking out as many road games in one city as possible for the visiting team.
For Boston, its first mini-series of the season will be played in Indianapolis against the Pacers. The Celtics traveled Saturday to Indianapolis and will play the first of two straight games there at 8 p.m. tonight, before playing a rematch Tuesday night.
The mini-series will result in this being the only trip the C’s will take to Indianapolis this regular season.
‘It’s kinda like a playoff feel,” Tristan Thompson said following Sunday’s shootaround. “You’re here for four days.”
Some members of the team, including Jeff Teague, very much enjoy that fact.
Teague is an Indianapolis native who played for the Pacers during the 2016-17 season. He owns a home and has family in the area. This trip was perfectly timed for him, as it brought him home in the middle of the holiday season.
“it’s different for me because I’m from here. I enjoy being here this long,” he said Sunday. “I’m sure some other guys probably feel a little different.”
Three other members of the team are in the same boat as Teague when it comes to enjoying the extra time in Indianapolis. Brad Stevens is also an Indiana native who hails from Zionsville, which is less than a half-hour drive from Indianapolis. Stevens also began his coaching career at Butler University, which is located in the state’s capital.
Romeo Langford and assistant coach Jamie Young were also born and raised in the state of Indiana. However, their hometowns are each a one- to two-hour drive from Indianapolis.
Following this trip, only one other member of the team will be able to enjoy a similar stay in their hometown during the first half of Boston’s season. Assistant coach Jerome Allen will also receive four days in his hometown of Philadelphia when the Celtics play a mini-series there against the 76ers in late-January.
The only other mini-series to be played on the road during the first half of Boston’s season will tip off later this week in Detroit. That trip will not double as a homecoming for any player or coaching staff member for the Celtics.
For now, however, it’s all about Indy, where Teague, Stevens, Langford and Young hope to add some extra joy to their stay back home with a win tonight against the Pacers.