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NBA schedule 2012: Celtics' first back-to-back faces Bucks, Wizards

The Boston Celtics are looking for their first win of the year as they play a pair of winnable games on back-to-back nights, opening their home schedule against the Milwaukee Bucks before heading to Washington to take on the injury-riddled Wizards.

Steve Mitchell-US PRESSWIRE

The Boston Celtics look to move on from a season-opening loss against the NBA's defending champions with a pair of winnable games.

It would have been nice for the Celtics to open the year with a statement victory over the team that beat them in the Eastern Conference Finals, but the Miami Heat were the league's best last year and very well could be again this year. Boston's defense needs some tweaking after allowing 120 points, but there was a lot of room for optimism with players like Leandro Barbosa chipping in positive performances and keeping the game closer than it could have been. But now, the team needs to show why they're expected to be one of the top teams in the Eastern Conference and win some games against teams that haven't won any NBA Finals recently.

First, the team opens its home slate with a matchup against the Milwaukee Bucks. Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis make a strong scoring backcourt on a team that could make the postseason for only the second time in seven years, but if Boston can limit their ability to penetrate their defense shouldn't have a night like Tuesday.

Then, they head to Washington to face a Wizards team that's more or less being left for dead without John Wall and Nene in the lineup. There's talent there, but not enough to win many games without their star point guard and his pick and roll partner in the lineup.

How Boston manages its minutes will be interesting, as the Celtics often opted to rest their older players on preseason back-to-backs, but that could change now that the games count.

Here's the C's weekend schedule:

Friday: Milwaukee Bucks vs. Boston Celtics, TD Garden, 7:30 p.m., CSN

Saturday: Boston Celtics vs. Washington Wizards, Verizon Center, Washington, DC, 7 p.m., CSN