The NBA schedule has arrived and the 76ers’ full schedule has dropped. The NBA has returned to a full 82 game schedule and the Sixers have some games that should be circled on your calendar. The anticipation for some of the games could change based on how the Ben Simmons trade saga concludes. Here are ten must see matchups for the upcoming season:
October 22nd vs. Brooklyn Nets
The Sixers’ home opener this season is against the vaunted Brooklyn Nets and Wells Fargo will be rocking. The 76ers and Nets fought all last season for first place in the Eastern Conference with the Sixers eventually locking up the number one seed. It seemed like a collision course for the Eastern Conference finals but both teams flamed out in the second round. With this being early in the season, both teams should be at full strength in this matchup. These two teams will be fighting for the top seed in the East this year as well and this will be round one of a tough battle.
October 30th vs. Atlanta Hawks
The Sixers will get their first crack to avenge their second loss to the Atlanta Hawks when they roll into Philadelphia the day before Halloween. The Hawks will be very confident coming into town because they won three games in Philadelphia during their second round matchup. There is no doubt that the Sixers will be amped for this game and so will the crowd. If the Sixers come out early with their foot on the gas, it could get spooky for the Hawks.
November 1st vs. Portland Trailblazers
The buzz of this game will be through the roof if a Ben Simmons/Dame Lillard trade actually happens before the start of the season. A potential game with Dame playing his former team and Simmons returning to Philly would be bananas. It remains to be seen if a trade will take place but even with just the trade rumor buzz, this game will be intriguing.
November 9th vs. Milwaukee Bucks
The Sixers get their first crack at the defending NBA Champion Bucks. Although it is early in the season, the Sixers will be ready for this one. The fans won’t forget when Giannis Antetokounmpo sat on the court after he hit the game sealing shot in their lone trip to Philadelphia last season. The boos will be out early and often for the Greek Freak and the Bucks.
November 16th at Utah Jazz
This is the first matchup of the season between Joel Embiid and Rudy Gobert. Embiid dominated the 2021 Defensive Player of the Year in their only matchup of the season (Embiid missed the matchup in Utah last season). If Ben Simmons is still on the 76ers, this will also be a matchup of the DPOY and runner-up. Ben Simmons scored his career high 42 points against the Jazz last season and could be motivated to show he can have that type of scoring output again, especially if he wants to be traded.
November 18th at Denver Nuggets
Joel Embiid continues his revenge tour against 2021 MVP Nikola Jokic and the Denver Nuggets on November 18th in Denver. Embiid was the runner-up for MVP last season and many believe he would have won it if he played in more games. Jokic played every game last season and helped lead the Nuggets to the third best record in the West Conference. Joel missed both matchups last season against the Nuggets and will be ready for this match up. Embiid is 4-1 against Jokic in career and will be motivated to add to his series lead.
December 11th vs. Golden State Warriors
This game could have a lot of intrigue based on the outcome of the Ben Simmons trade saga. It has been reported that the Golden State Warriors are interested in Simmons and have had many conversations with the Sixers to try to work out a deal. If Simmons is traded to the Warriors, this would be his return to Philly. If Simmons is still a Sixer or on another team, this game will still be must see TV. This will be a Saturday night primetime ABC game with Steph Curry and Klay Thompson coming to town.
January 21st vs. LA Clippers
Doc Rivers’ former team will be coming to town and with the way his tenure ended in LA, this game will be circled on his calendar. Kawhi Leonard may still be out with his knee injury but Paul George can still lead the Clippers to victory if the Sixers don’t take care of business.
January 27th vs. LA Lakers
This will be the first meeting with the Lakers and their trio of LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and Russell Westbrook. We still don’t know how that team will gel but it will still be a tall task to defeat the Lakers. Many are predicting the Lakers to be the best team in the west, so it could be a preview of an NBA finals matchup. This will be a primetime matchup on TNT and all you can hope is that both teams will be a full strength. These two teams have had some classic games the last few years, and you can expect this game to fall in that same category.
March 29th vs. Milwaukee Bucks
This is another matchup with the defending champs later in the season that could determine playoff seeding. These two teams will be fighting for the top seeds with the Brooklyn Nets and the season series’ results will determine tiebreakers. This game comes after a tough road stretch against the Lakers, Clippers, and Suns. Being back at home after that tough road trip should have the team and crowd energized.
These are just ten of the many anticipated games on the schedule this upcoming season. What other games are you looking forward to?
Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire