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Celtics find NFL's big day to be super, too

1/31/2015

WALTHAM, Mass. -- While most NBA teams steer clear of scheduling games on the biggest day on the NFL calendar, the Boston Celtics have embraced the role of Super Bowl appetizer.

The Celtics will play on Super Bowl Sunday for the seventh consecutive season on Sunday when they host the Miami Heat in a 1 p.m. matinee at TD Garden. It's one of just two games on the NBA calendar -- the Lakers and Knicks joust at 2 p.m. -- and will offer a diversion for Boston sports fans left anxious by the crawl to the 6:30 p.m kick off of Super Bowl XLIX between the New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks.

"We like the date for a number of reasons: Our Sunday matinee games are really popular with families and the Super Bowl Sunday games in particular give fans a good primer while they're waiting for kick off," said Celtics team president Rich Gotham. "We're usually done by 3:30, so people have plenty of time to get to wherever they're going to watch the game. We think it's a great double header for fans and a nice tradition."

Maybe more so than any other day of the year, the Celtics locker room will clear out quickly after Sunday's tilt. Players are typically sprinting off to Super Bowl parties, particularly when they have a rooting interest -- like Tacoma, Wash.-native Avery Bradley has with the Seahawks in each of the past two Super Bowls.

This year, the weather will add a layer of difficulty to the Celtics' party planning. With snow set to invade the region on Monday, Boston is expected to travel to New York on Sunday in advance of Tuesday's game against the Knicks.

"Obviously, all of us want to watch [the Super Bowl]," admitted Celtics coach Brad Stevens. "There’s obviously a great deal of interest. We’re finding out exactly when we’re going, but it sounds like we may have to travel to early because Monday is supposed to be nasty around here."

A short flight could allow the Celtics to trek to New York immediately after Sunday's game and still be settled for kickoff. Stevens said he'll be sure to conference with noted Patriots superfan Gerald Wallace about the team's plans.

Before turning their attention to pigskin, the Celtics are hoping to maintain their Super Sunday success against a Miami team that's nearby in the Eastern Conference standings. Boston has produced a 5-1 record in their recent Super Bowl matinees.

Celts on Super Bowl Sunday

A look at how the Boston Celtics have fared while playing on Super Bowl Sunday in recent seasons.