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Sixers G-League affiliate Delaware Blue Coats announce 2021-22 schedule

NBA: Delaware Blue Coats at Lakeland Magic Mary Holt-USA TODAY Sports

The Philadelphia 76ers are revving up for a new season and so too are their G League affiliate, the Delaware Blue Coats. With less than two months remaining until the start of the 2021-22 G League season, the Blue Coats have announced their schedule. The Blue Coats will tip their season off on their home court (Chase Fieldhouse, Wilmington, DE) on November 6 at 7:00 pm against the Long Island Nets.

More from the team’s press release:

WILMINGTON – SEPT. 14, 2021 – The Delaware Blue Coats, NBA G League Affiliate of the Philadelphia 76ers, today announced the team’s 2021-22 game schedule. The NBA G League schedule will feature an innovative format this season, including a regional Showcase Cup, regular season, and postseason. The Blue Coats open the Showcase Cup on the team’s home court at Chase Fieldhouse (401 Garasches Lane, Wilmington, DE) on Saturday, Nov. 6 at 7 p.m. against the Long Island Nets.

The 14-game Showcase Cup will be followed by a 36-game regular season beginning at Chase Fieldhouse on Tuesday, Dec. 28 at 1 p.m. against the Capital City Go-Go. The G League Playoffs are slated for April 5-16, 2022.

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Season tickets are on sale now and start at just $10 a seat per game. A limited number of VIP seats, including courtside and premium locations inclusive of complimentary food and beverage, are currently available. The Blue Coats are also accepting deposits for group outings for all Showcase Cup and regular season games at Chase Fieldhouse. Details on tickets can be found at SIXERS.COM/BlueCoats. Contact the Blue Coats Ticket Sales and Service team at BlueCoatsTickets@76ers.com and 302-504-7587.

This season will mark the franchise’s ninth year in Delaware. The team has delivered 18 Gatorade Call-Ups to the NBA and accepted 66 assignment transactions over the course of its history. Recent players now in the NBA include Paul Reed, Shake Milton, and Furkan Korkmaz. The Blue Coats are scheduled to host Open Tryouts for the upcoming season on Sunday, Oct. 3, with two sessions available at Chase Fieldhouse. Registration details for Open Tryouts can be found at SIXERS.COM/BlueCoats.

G League basketball isn’t always the most aesthetically pleasing action to take in. But it’s certainly a fun experimentation lab for new NBA ideas as well as a proving ground for fringe NBA talent or young guns looking to break into an NBA rotation. As the press release notes, the Blue Coats alumni includes current Sixers Furkan Korkmaz, Shake Milton, and Paul Reed. It also includes NBA standout Christian Wood, who played for the Blue Coats as recently as 2017-18. Or even a guy like Maalik Wayns, who you might have followed since his high schools days at Roman Catholic.

I mentioned new ideas and according to the team’s release, the G League will mix up their schedule format to be less traditional by NBA standards. The 2021-22 G-League season will start off with a 14-game tournament culminating in the “Showcase Cup” (essentially, a tournament championship during the week of the G League showcase) on December 19-22. More on that from NBA.com:

To play the Showcase Cup, the league’s 29 teams and NBA G League Ignite will be separated into four regional pods, where they will play 12 games against one another in NBA G League markets. The teams with the best winning-percentage in each regional pod, along with the next four teams across the league with the best win-percentages, will advance to compete for the Showcase Cup in a single-elimination tournament during the NBA G League Winter Showcase. The remaining teams will each play two games outside of the Showcase Cup tournament during the event. The Salt Lake City Stars won the inaugural iteration of the Showcase Cup during the 2019-20 season.

Following the Showcase Cup, team records will reset, and the 36-game regular season will tip off on Monday, Dec. 27, bringing each team’s total games played to 50. At the conclusion of the regular season, the top six teams in each conference will qualify for the NBA G League Playoffs. NBA G League Ignite and Capitanes de la Ciudad de México will compete in the Showcase Cup but will not take part in the 36-game regular season.

I love that the G League is looking for ways to make the regular season more interesting. I just don’t totally get the incentives here for competing to win the Showcase Cup. If the NBA were to adopt this format, there needs to be a reason to strive to win an in-season tournament. Professional soccer leagues have in-season tournaments, but those tournaments seem to have a long tradition and winning one has some historical significance to the clubs that compete. However, for the NBA, if the slate is just wiped clean after the tournament and the regular season basically starts over — are players competing to bring home a shiny trophy? In any case, props to the G League for trying new things.

Getting back to the Blue Coats, you’ll have reason to check in on the G League squad this season as a Sixers fan. Grant Riller, who had some NBA Draft Twitter hype going into the 2020 NBA Draft, is on a two-way deal with the Sixers, so he’s a likely candidate for playing time with the Blue Coats. Ditto for Aaron Henry, who went undrafted in the 2021 NBA Draft but had a solid three-year college career at Michigan State.

Interested in the full slate? You can check out the Delaware Blue Coats 2021-22 schedule here.