Philadelphia 76ers announce 2023 preseason schedule

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Philadelphia 76ers’ Joel Embiid (21) dribbles the ball against Brooklyn Nets’ Nic Claxton in the first half during Game 1 in the first round of the NBA basketball playoffs, Saturday, April 15, 2023, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Derik Hamilton)

As NBA fans continue to labor through the doldrums of August, the Philadelphia 76ers have given a reason for hope after announcing the team’s preseason schedule for the upcoming season.

While preseason action can’t quite fill the void of regular season ball, or especially postseason play, It’s the first true taste of basketball since the Summer League, and this year provides some exciting matchups as well.

Boston Celtics

The Philadelphia 76ers will begin their preseason with a home-and-home matchup against the Boston Celtics. The first matchup will be in Boston on Sunday, Oct 8, at 6 p.m. ET while the second will take place on Wednesday, Oct 11, back in Philly at 7 p.m.

Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid (21) shoots at the basket as Boston Celtics center Al Horford (42) defends during the first half of Game 7 in the NBA basketball Eastern Conference semifinal playoff series, Sunday, May 14, 2023, in Boston. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

Last season’s Eastern Conference Semifinals are still fresh in the minds of all the returning Sixers. Philadelphia took the heavily favored Celtics to Game 7; however, they infamously rolled over in Games Six and Seven, going out with a whimper in embarrassing fashion.

While this game won’t have the implications of a postseason matchup – or even a regular season one at that, there will still be some semblance of energy to look forward to between the two storied rivals

Brooklyn Nets

After their first two games against Boston, the Sixers will then travel up to Brooklyn to face off against former Sixers Mikal Bridges (technically, yes), Ben Simmons, and the Brooklyn Nets on Monday, Oct 16, at 7:30 p.m. ET.

Philadelphia 76ers’ Joel Embiid (21) celebrates with De’Anthony Melton (8) after the team’s win over the Brooklyn Nets in Game 3 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series Thursday, April 20, 2023, in New York. The 76ers won 102-97. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

Last season, the Sixers achieved the rare double sweep against the Nets, going 8-0 between the regular season and playoffs. During that time, Brooklyn’s roster saw dramatic change as both Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving were traded in separate blockbuster deals

Now with somewhat of a more precise direction, the Nets will look to rebound after the Sixers knocked them out in the first round of last year’s playoffs. With Ben Simmons allegedly as healthy as he’s been since he last played for Philadelphia, the Brooklyn Nets could be on the verge of building a solid playoff contender, assuming he can return to form.

Atlanta Hawks

In their final matchup of preseason action, the Philadelphia 76ers will host Trae Young and the Atlanta Hawks on Friday, Oct 20, at 7 p.m. ET. Last season, the Sixers won the series three games to one as they proved to be on another level over the Hawks.

Philadelphia 76ers’ Tyrese Maxey drives against Atlanta Hawks’ De’Andre Hunter during the second half of an NBA basketball game Thursday, Nov. 10, 2022, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Hakim Wright Sr.)

While the Sixers and Hawks haven’t been much of a rivalry outside of the year Atlanta shocking knocked Philadelphia out of the Eastern Conference Semis back in 2021, the Hawks are hoping to bounce back after a disappointing season, and after trading away John Collins and enduring another year of development, they will aim to compete with the Sixers for home court advantage once again.