The Sixers better get ready for their closeup.
The NBA announced a limited release of the upcoming 2018-19 schedule on Wednesday and the Sixers will be featured in four national television games for their season opener, home opener, Christmas Day and Martin Luther King Day.
The team won’t have to wait long to see its top rival as the Sixers will travel to face the Boston Celtics in a season-opening matchup on Oct. 16 (8 p.m./TNT). The Sixers clashed with the Celtics 11 times last season between the preseason, regular season and postseason and walked away with just two wins.
The Sixers will get back to business in front of fans at the Wells Fargo Center when they host the Chicago Bulls in their home opener on Oct. 18 (8 p.m./TNT). The Sixers haven’t won a home opener since the 2013-14 season, Brett Brown’s first campaign as head coach.
The Sixers are also part of the league’s prized Christmas Day lineup for the second consecutive season. In their first appearance on the holiday in 17 years a season ago, they were able to notch a 105-98 win over the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden to snap a five-game skid. They'll take on the Celtics again in Boston, at 5:30 p.m. on ABC.
Martin Luther King Day has become a major event for the NBA as the league uses its platform to continue spreading the message of the civil rights pioneer. The Sixers will host the Houston Rockets on Jan. 21 in an MLK Day tilt (8 p.m./TNT). The team has won two straight games on the holiday, including a 117-111 home victory over the Toronto Raptors last season.
Those matchups should only be the beginning of a large amount of national television appearances for the Sixers. In the 2017-18 regular season, the team played in 15 nationally televised games.
Fresh off a 52-win season and a first-round playoff series victory, expect to see plenty more of the Sixers in primetime during 2018-19.
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On this episode of Sixers Talk, Danny Pommells and Paul Hudrick react to Joel Embiid getting on the NBA's Second Team All-Defense. Did he get disrespected at all?
How far away are the Sixers from winning the Eastern Conference? Which players do they need to bring back?
The guys disagree whether Tobias Harris should get offered a max contract. Also, how much belief is there in Elton Brand?
1:00 - Embiid getting disrespected on the All-NBA teams?
4:30 - Who should be First Team All-NBA?
10:00 - Can getting snubbed help Embiid?
15:00 - How far away are the Sixers from winning the East?
19:00 - Which players do the Sixers need to bring back? Is Harris worth max money?
24:00 - Biggest offseason priorities (after Jimmy Butler).
40:00 - How much faith do you have in Brand?
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Kevin Hart is somewhat polarizing around the Philadelphia sports scene. You like him because he's "from here" and pulls for our squads but you hate him because he's something of a mush.
Fans had petitioned him to stay away from the Sixers during their playoff run — which he mostly obliged — but he still took some blame for who-knows-what-exactly after Philly fell to the Raptors in seven.
Anyway, Hart visited "Live with Kelly and Ryan" this week and they spoke at length about the tough series loss to the Toronto Raptors and also the roll Drake played in it.
"[Drake] wanted to bet on the series and I didn't because he doesn't pay," Hart said. "I think my frustrations from the past is probably what brought some of the negativity into this series. If I had a bet, we probably would have won. Because I didn't bet, he reversed me. He hit me with a reverse-woo."
"You know what's bad," Hart continued. "I didn't even go to the series. I didn't go to no games because I'm so superstitious. I went to games last year and then we lost to Boston."
Then they discussed Drake "cursing" the Sixers by wearing a pair of 76ers shorts during the series.
"[Drake] wore our team shorts because he's a jerk," Hart said. "He put the reverse on himself because everybody was saying whoever he roots for loses. I should have done the same thing, I should have put on a Toronto Raptors uniform and I didn't. I let my city down. I let my city down."
The segment ended with Kelly and Ryan asking Hart to share a message directly with Drake, who watches regularly. You can watch the whole segment and Hart's very colorful parting message below.
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