With soft schedule ahead, the time is now for Celtics to close gap in East

(Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)

A tough schedule over the first two months of the regular season was not the main reason for the Celtics’ slow start, but it was a contributing factor. Boston dipped to the seventh spot in the Eastern Conference at one point in late November, thanks to a 10-10 record which featured underwhelming home losses to the likes of the Knicks and Magic along with a heavy slate of Western Conference road matchups (8).

An ugly loss to the Knicks on the night before Thanksgiving served as a defacto turning point over the past two weeks though, with Boston winning four of their last five contests (including three on the road) since Brad Stevens wondered aloud whether his team was ‘all that good’ after playing so inconsistently over the first month and the C's have responded to that challenge.

The timing can’t be much better for this group to turn a corner, particularly when it comes to making up ground with their schedule. Through 23 games, no Eastern Conference team has played more road games than the Celtics (14), and while a home-heavy slate won’t arrive until next month, the degree of difficulty on the schedule is taking a friendly turn in Boston’s favor over the next few weeks.

Here’s a look at what is coming up next for the C’s: