Daryl Morey spent this past offseason tweaking the Philadelphia 76ers’ roster, supplying it with depth, versatility, and toughness with the additions of P.J. Tucker, De’Anthony Melton, and Danuel House, Jr. Sixers fans certainly won’t have to wait long to see how the new group stacks up against the elite tier of the Eastern Conference. After beginning the season on the road in Boston on October 18, the Sixers will play their initial home game two nights later on Thursday, October 20, against Milwaukee.
Two more notable early-season games on 2022-23 NBA schedule, sources say:— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) August 16, 2022
- Bucks and Giannis Antetokounmpo open the year on road vs. 76ers, Oct. 20
- Celtics at Heat on Oct. 21 in rematch of the Eastern Conference finals https://t.co/pJU7gGf0Jk
After winning the title in 2021, the Bucks are now looking to bounce back from a tough seven-game series defeat to the Celtics in last year’s Eastern Conference Semifinals. That loss came without All-Star Khris Middleton, who suffered an MCL sprain in the first round of the playoffs and missed the remainder of the postseason. Middleton also underwent wrist surgery this offseason, but is expected to return around the start of the regular season. Whether or not Middleton can join two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo, Jrue Holiday, and the rest of a deep roster for Milwaukee’s opening night, the Bucks will undoubtedly be looking to come out showing they’re still the class of the Eastern Conference.
These two games are about as difficult a way to start the season as you could script. Boston and Milwaukee are clearly regarded as the top two teams in the East. There are a couple different ways things could play out. Philadelphia could sputter out of the gate, falling to two teams who you could fairly say are better overall teams. An 0-2 start would bring all the doom-and-gloom negadelphians out of the woodwork. Or, Philadelphia could pull off the road upset in Beantown, then handle business on their home hardwood in front of an absolutely pumped-up sell-out crowd at the Center. Suddenly, the national media 24/7 news cycle starts running “Are the Sixers the best team in the East?” chyrons and the “This is the Year!” bandwagon gains a full head of steam in the City of Brotherly Love.
How will things play out? We’ll find out in just over two months.