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February schedule should label Celtics as buyers or sellers

It's time for my semi-regular and semi-pointless look at the upcoming month's schedule. As you're all aware, the shortened season has caused for some crazy stretches in the schedule, and February is no different for the Celtics, who have a brutal two-week stretch in the middle of the month. Let's take a look:

2/1, 7:30: vs. Toronto

2/3, 8:00: vs. Knicks

2/5, 12:00: vs. Memphis

2/7, 7:30: vs. Charlotte

2/9, 8:00: vs. Lakers

2/10, 7:00: @ Toronto

2/12, 3:30: vs. Chicago

2/15, 7:30: vs. Detroit

2/16, 8:00: @ Chicago

2/19, 6:00: @ Detroit

2/20, 8:00: @ Dallas

2/22, 7:00: @ Oklahoma City

2/28, 7:00: @ Cleveland

2/29, 7:30: vs. Milwaukee

Ouch. Fourteen games in 29 days. The only extended break is the All-Star Break, which likely will be a break for most (or all) of the Cs at this point. And we should hope for it, because the stretch from the 9th to the 22nd is brutal.

Obviously, the Bulls, Lakers, and Mavs are the toughest four (two for Chicago) matches in that stretch, but even the easy games might not be walkthroughs. Friday night at Toronto immediately after hosting the Lakers on the TNT game — and immediately preceding a Sunday afternoon battle on ABC with Chicago — has trap game written all over it. 

Meanwhile, the two games against the Pistons both precede away games with juggernauts (Chicago and Dallas). You can easily see the Cs looking ahead in the schedule on those nights.

Danny might be happy with this schedule, actually. If you believe that he wants to blow up the current roster and restock for the future, a rough February might give him the public approval to do so. If the Celtics reel off some wins against some tough competition (and in sticky situations) and push themselves back into a top seed in the East, it might cause him to be more aggressive heading into the March 15 trade deadline, and potentially look to add some veterans.

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  • Tonight begins another chance to take advantage of a favorable home stand schedule, and perhaps run the table. They should dispose of the Raptors and Bobcats. NY will be playing off a back-to-back (Chicago @ MSG), the Grizz are without Zebo and have problems scoring the ball, and the Lakers are 2-7 on the road.
    Pierce has rounded into shape, Ray’s eFG is 64%, and Garnett and JO can still clog the paint. So if RR is healthy they should be able to reach for 11-3 or 9-5 at worst.
    The Sixers have played the softest schedule in the league, so perhaps they can inch closer to the lead in the Atlantic. Given that March will be an incredible grind it is important they pile up wins now, but what really matters is that they are healthy and are playing consistent come April because if they’re not February will be only a distant memory.