The NBA released the complete schedule for the 2022-23 NBA season Wednesday afternoon, and naturally, the eyes of Philadelphia were drawn to their beloved Sixers.
Philadelphia has an impressive 34 games scheduled to be nationally televised, a sign that expectations are high this season for the Sixers.
There are plenty of matchups to watch for the 2022-23 NBA season, but here are a select few for Philadelphia 76ers fans to pay close attention to:
Matchups to watch
Opening night: October 18th, 2022 @ Boston Celtics (7:30 PM | TNT)
The team has the honor of opening up the new league year against the NBA Finals runner-ups Boston Celtics. After an impressive 2021-22 season, the Celtics have found a way to improve even more after adding veteran guard Malcolm Brogdon to their fold.
It will certainly not be a way to open the season, but the Sixers consider themselves to be championship contenders. They certainly understand that nothing will be easy this season; it’s just a matter of if they’re ready for it.
The home opener: October 20th, 2022, vs. Milwaukee Bucks (7:30 PM | TNT)
They immediately follow up opening night against Boston with another highlight game, this time against Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks. The Sixers and Bucks have had an understated rivalry over the past few years. However, it reached peak notoriety when Giannis famously sat on the Sixers’ court after closing out an overtime game in March of 2021.
Milwaukee boasts the better of the two over the past five seasons with a record against Philadelphia of 11-5. The Sixers will be heavily motivated to do what they can to get that number closer to even.
Ben Simmons returns to Philly: November 22nd, 2022, vs. Brooklyn Nets (7:30 PM | TNT)
If there was one game expected to be sold out this season, one match that Sixers fans would have circled on their calendar, it’s Tuesday, November 22nd. After all of the frustration of last season (and even before), November 22nd is projected to be Ben Simmons‘ first appearance in The Center since that fateful Game 7 back in June of 2021.
This admittedly may not be the game to bring children to, but it’s one Sixers fans won’t want to miss live if possible. No matter if you’re in person, on the couch, or anywhere else, however, this game is simply a must-watch for Sixers fans.
There also remains the slight (extremely slight) possibility that current Net Kevin Durant could be playing for Philadelphia come that time, making the event all the more interesting.
Christmas day at the Garden: December 25th, 2022, @ NY Knicks (12:00 PM | ESPN)
This season, the Philadelphia 76ers receive the honor of playing on Christmas day. This privilege is often made privy to some of the best teams in the league. While Sixers fans may have been hoping for a higher tier like the Bucks, Celtics, or the Denver Nuggets, the Knicks have a chance to turn into just as exciting opponents.
Of all the teams in the NBA, the New York Knicks have been most often connected to one of the top names on the trade market, Donovan Mitchell. If New York can pull off a deal for the Utah star, the excitement around the game will surely intensify.
Embiid/Jokic face-off: January 28, 2023, vs. Denver Nuggets (3:00 PM | ABC)
The battle of the giants is set to resume on January 28th, 2023. Two-time MVP Nikola Jokic will face off against two-time MVP runner-up Joel Embiid in one of the most exciting positional rivalries in the entire NBA.
Despite the media love Nikola Jokic has seen in recent years this debate remains one of the most divisive in the league. Fans are split on the matter (understandably siding with their home favorite), while many players sided with Joel Embiid. There will likely never be a perfect way to answer this question, yet each and every matchup between the two equals that of a heavyweight title fight.
There was Russell and Chamberlain, then Duncan and Garnett, and now Nikola Jokic and Joel Embiid.
Playoff revenge: February 27, 2023, vs. Miami Heat (7:00 PM | NBATV)
Finally, the Sixers will face the team responsible for their 2022 playoff exit at the end of February 2023. It’s a long time to wait for revenge, but it’s only going to make Philadelphia more and more hungry for vengeance. With P.J. Tucker jumping from Miami to Philadelphia, expect that desire for vengeance to be two-sided, making for an intense and likely spectacular event.
Sixers 2022-23 record prediction
Prediction for the 2022-23 Sixers season: 52-30
The over/under for the Sixers this season is set at 49.5, according to DraftKings. Considering the improvements the team made and the negative steps taken by teams like Brooklyn and Miami, Philadelphia will have a chance to beat a bit more heavily on their fellow teams in the Eastern Conference this season.