Because of the uncertainty inherent with COVID-19, the NBA has only released first-half schedules for the 2020-21 season. Here are some of the highlights from the Sixers’ early schedule, which you can see in full here.
Dec. 23 vs. Wizards (Opening night)
Get your popcorn ready. Joel Embiid vs. Russell Westbrook is one of the NBA’s most fun (and completely random) personal rivalries and we get it on opening night. Westbrook has dunked on Embiid before and will undoubtedly be looking for any chance to make a statement in his Wizards debut.
The Sixers have an excellent opportunity to get off to a hot start, with six of the first eight games against teams who didn’t make the playoffs last season.
The 2-Game “Series”
To limit travel due to COVID-19, the NBA has implemented some two-game series this season, where teams play each other twice in the same city in a three-day span.
The home “series” are vs. Charlotte (Jan. 2 and Jan. 4), Miami (Jan. 12 and Jan. 14) and Boston (Jan. 20 and Jan. 22).
The home series should all be entertaining. We’ll get our first look at LaMelo Ball with Charlotte, while Jimmy Butler against the Sixers is always must-see TV, and you know the Sixers would like to send a message to the Celtics after last season’s playoff sweep in Orlando.
The road “series” are at Detroit (Jan. 23 and Jan. 25) and against Toronto (Feb. 21 and Feb. 23). The Raptors will open their season in Tampa Bay due to COVID-19.
Jan. 7 at Nets
Brooklyn is one of the teams expected to battle with the Sixers for one of the top four spots in the East. Their first matchup of the season should answer some questions. Will Ben Simmons spend the most time guarding Kevin Durant? Who guards Kyrie Irving for the Sixers? Will Brooklyn play any defense?
It will be fascinating to see how the two teams stack up. The Nets also travel to Philadelphia on Feb. 6.
Jan. 17 at Thunder
Al Horford revenge game, anyone? We’ll see if Embiid has anything extra for Horford, who takes over at center in Oklahoma City for Steven Adams.
Jan. 27 vs. Lakers
Can I sell you on Lebron James vs. Ben Simmons? That sounds like fun basketball.
How about Anthony Davis vs. Joel Embiid?
Embiid dominated Davis in their matchups during Davis’ days with New Orleans but Embiid missed both matchups against the Lakers last season.
Jan. 29 at Timberwolves
Let's get ready to rumble!
Embiid scrapping with Karl-Anthony Towns is one of the enduring images from last season. There’s no doubt that each big man will try to embarrass the other in the first matchup since their fight last October.
Feb. 25 at Dallas
Sign me up for Seth Curry vs. Josh Richardson in a double-revenge game. Richardson has made it clear that the Sixers' roster was a bad fit for him last season and he’ll be out to prove his point.
Plus, we get Luka Doncic vs. Ben Simmons and Kristaps Porzingis vs. Joel Embiid. It doesn’t get much better as a basketball fan.
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