By now, you’ve had some time to check out the Sixers’ 2018-19 schedule.
Which stretches of the slate scare you? What part of the campaign do you think the Sixers should be able to handle with ease?
We’ll get into all of that in a moment. But one thing is very clear about the ’18-19 schedule: it’s completely different than a season ago.
Last season, the Sixers’ grouping of opponents was very cut and dry. They faced the toughest competition of any team in the entire league at the outset. That was only compounded by the fact that 10 of their first 15 games came on the road.
Things took a sharp turn after the All-Star break when the foes on the calendar became much easier to manage. The Sixers also took advantage of 10 of their final 15 contests coming at the Wells Fargo Center.
Compared to that docket, the Sixers’ 2018-19 schedule is a bit more complex.
While there aren’t the major home and road stints like in 2017-18, there are some serious distinguishing characteristics of the upcoming season.
First, the Sixers should be able to get off to a quick start. That’s because 13 of their first 20 games are against teams that failed to make the playoffs last season.
However, the team has a pair of nightmarish gauntlets sandwiched around the All-Star break.
Starting on Jan. 15, the Sixers have a stretch of 14 games before the break that includes eight postseason teams from last season (Minnesota, Indiana, Oklahoma City, Houston, San Antonio, Golden State, Toronto and Boston). Even the squads that didn’t qualify for the playoffs pose a threat, such as two battles with the LeBron James-led Los Angeles Lakers and a pair against the Denver Nuggets, who missed the mark by a single game.
Things don’t immediately get much easier on the other side of the midseason showcase. The Sixers come out of All-Star weekend with five straight clashes vs, playoff teams from a season ago (Miami, Portland, New Orleans, Oklahoma City and Golden State).
The Sixers do get a bit of a breather down the stretch with seven of their final 10 games coming against non-playoff opponents. But that also entails seven out of those 10 coming on the road.
The Sixers are talented enough that they will easily be back in the playoffs and boasting another top-four seed next season. But how they handle the complicated portions during the middle of the season could be the difference in whether they end up walking away with that No. 1 spot in the East.