When can we expect the Boston Celtics to rest players on back to backs?

The Boston Celtics might very well have won the 2022 NBA Championship had they simply been better rested heading into the playoffs, their legs betraying them against a Golden State Warriors squad who, while older on the whole, also managed to play considerably fewer postseason games on their way to a six-game Finals victory over the Celtics.

With that in mind, Boston added depth to their bench to make them flexible and to ease the load on often-injured and older players on their roster for the 2022-23 season to come in point guard Malcolm Brogdon and veteran forward Danilo Gallinari.

Back-to-back games in particular are also a place in the schedule where players might rest and others who get less playing time might see theirs bumped up, so let’s take a look at where that might happen in the 2022-23 season now that we know when they’ll be coming.

Oct. 21 (Miami Heat) or Oct. 22 (Orlando Magic)

Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

With the Magic the easier of the two teams, we expect that to be the focus if any rest at all is taken so early in the season.

Nov. 4 (Chicago Bulls) or Nov. 5 (New York Knicks)

Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Still early in the season, it’s likely few if any players rest, but barring a Donovan Mitchell trade, we’d bet it happens with the Knicks.

Nov. 11 (Denver Nuggets) or Nov. 12 (Detroit Pistons)

Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

We might start to see rest being taken more seriously around now, nearly a month into the 2022-23 season, and the Pistons are the obvious choice.

Nov. 27 (Washington Wizards) or Nov. 28 (Charlotte Hornets)

Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

This might be the rare circumstance where it makes more sense to hold players out in the first game against the Wiz, but if so, expect none of them named Jayson to take a night off so long as Brad Beal is suiting up.

Dec. 4 (Brooklyn Nets) or Dec. 5 (Toronto Raptors)

Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

It could go either way here with both teams looking like a potentially tough out, but at least for now, it seems like a home game against the Raptors might be easier to rest big men against.

Dec. 12 (Los Angeles Clippers) or Dec. 13 (Los Angeles Lakers)

Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports

The Lakers might be better than we expect next season despite no major changes to the team, but even still, given the rivalry, we don’t think either game is a rest opportunity given the Clippers contending status.

Jan. 11 (New Orleans Pelicans) or Jan. 12 (Brooklyn Nets)

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Both these teams are likely to be good, and by January, rest will be in order. If the roster holds current with the Nets, the lack of big man depth suggests this could be a night for Al Horford or Robert Williams III to take a night off.

Jan. 23 (Orlando Magic) or Jan. 24 (Miami Heat)

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

While the Magic might be better than they have been in recent seasons by this point in the season, we still expect them to be the easier of the two teams here to beat, so it might be better to rest in Orlando.

Feb. 14 (Milwaukee Bucks) or Feb. 15 (Detroit Pistons)

Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

The Pistons might be done tanking finally, but we don’t expect them to be a match for Boston even sans a few key players, so expect some rest in the Motor City.

Mar. 5 (New York Knicks) or Mar. 6 (Cleveland Cavaliers)

David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

This one could go either way pending trades before the start of the season or at the deadline, but we’re inclined to believe a Knicks home game would be the more probable of the two with the rosters as-is.

Mar. 17 (Portland Trail Blazers) or Mar. 18 (Utah Jazz)

David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

While it might be a reunion of sorts to see Danny Ainge with his new team in Salt Lake City, we don’t expect many of Boston’s best players to take the floor given Utah’s status as a rebuilding squad.

Mar. 30 (Milwaukee Bucks) or Mar. 31 (Utah Jazz)

David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

As with the road game, so with the home game: if you want to see Boston’s stars play big minutes at TD Garden, pick another game than the Jazz tilt on the 31st.

April 4 (Philadelphia 76ers) or April 5 (Toronto Raptors)

John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

This late in the season, BOTH might end up being rest games, but if we had to choose, it’d probably be the Raps, pending potential tie-breaking situations.

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Story originally appeared on Celtics Wire