The Sixers (just like 29 other NBA teams) play 82 regular-season games in 2019-20 and, if we're being honest with ourselves, some of them will be more worth watching than others.
The team's full schedule is below. All times listed are local start times.
Here are eight games that figure to be among the best:
Oct. 23: Sixers vs. Celtics, 7:30 p.m.
When these two teams played on opening night last year, Dario Saric, Robert Covington and Markelle Fultz combined for 19 points and 8 for 25 shooting in a 105-87 loss. The Sixers have replaced those three players with Josh Richardson, Tobias Harris and Al Horford. Though the Sixers’ new starting five likely won’t gell immediately, another blowout loss would be a stunner.
Nov. 25: Sixers at Raptors, 7:30 p.m.
Nobody associated with the Sixers needs a reminder of the bitter conclusion to last season. Kawhi Leonard, the man who made that painful, high-bouncing shot, has departed, but Kyle Lowry, Marc Gasol and Pascal Siakam haven’t gone anywhere. Unlike in May, the Sixers should have a healthy Joel Embiid, and a backup center who’s in a different class than the combination of Greg Monroe and Boban Marjanovic they tried to scrape by with in that second-round series.
Dec. 25: Sixers vs. Bucks, 2:30 p.m.
The Sixers’ first home Christmas game since 1988 should be a good one. It’s a matchup between what appear to be the two best teams in the Eastern Conference, two teams who lost to the Raptors in last year’s playoffs and don’t have to worry this season about Leonard’s playoff heroics — unless they meet the Clippers in the Finals.
How will the Sixers handle defending Giannis Antetokounmpo? While the MVP averaged a staggering 48.5 points in the teams' final two matchups last season with Embiid as his primary defender, the Sixers won in Milwaukee on March 17 and led with less than two minutes left in an April 4 loss at Wells Fargo Center. Despite significant roster turnover for the Bucks, Antetokounmpo is still surrounded by shooters, including new additions Wesley Matthews and Kyle Korver.
Jan. 3: Sixers at Rockets, 7 p.m.
Embiid has some history with both James Harden and new Rocket Russell Westbrook. After Embiid and Harden each picked up double technical fouls for an incident on Jan. 22, the big man said, “I’m always having fun and a lot of guys take it seriously. Especially when it comes to that, we just had one guy our last game that was acting crazy.” That guy who was “acting crazy” happened to be Westbrook, who Embiid said is “always in his feelings” following the then-Thunder guard taking exception to a hard foul by Embiid.
Jan. 20: Sixers at Nets, 3 p.m.
Kevin Durant will be rehabbing from his ruptured Achilles tendon, but there are still plenty of compelling storylines for this Martin Luther King Jr. Day game. The Sixers ended the Nets’ 2018-19 season with a Game 5 win in Philadelphia that was over well before halftime. There won’t be any sparring, verbal or otherwise, between Jared Dudley (now a Laker) and Ben Simmons, but Spencer Dinwiddie, Joe Harris and Caris LeVert are among the supporting cast still in Brooklyn. The star they’re now supporting, of course, is Kyrie Irving.
Jan. 25: Sixers vs. Lakers, 8:30 p.m.
LeBron James; Anthony Davis; A colorful collection of role players that includes Rajon Rondo, DeMarcus Cousins and JaVale McGee. Regardless of how you feel about them, the 2019-20 Lakers are going to be must-watch television. Embiid has a career 3-1 record against Davis and dominated the six-time All Star on Nov. 21, 2018, outscoring him 31-12 as the Sixers held on for a 121-120 win.
Feb. 11: Sixers vs. Clippers, 7 p.m.
There’s been so much change around the league that it’s hard to confidently project much about next season, but it seems safe to say the Clippers and Sixers will be two of the NBA’s best defensive teams in 2019-20. In addition to another matchup vs. Leonard, this game should feature former Sixers Landry Shamet and Lou Williams, as well as a six-time All-Star who averaged 28 points per game and led the league in steals in 2018-19 in Paul George.
March 7: Sixers at Warriors, 5:30 p.m.
The Warriors are still the Warriors. Sure, they no longer have Kevin Durant and Andre Iguodala, and Klay Thompson will be working his way back from a torn ACL. Stephen Curry, D’Angelo Russell and Draymond Green still sound like a highly entertaining trio, though. Another note of interest for Philly basketball fans is that Golden State now has two Villanova products, rookie Eric Paschall and Omari Spellman. Simmons averaged 25.5 points, 11.5 rebounds and 8.5 assists against Golden State last year, making 20 of 28 field goal attempts.
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