That much we have known for days. But the NBA has now released the rest of the schedule.
The part the players will love here is that there are multiple two-day gaps on this potential seven-game series. Joel Embiid, James Harden and co. can sleep in their own beds through the first two games Saturday and then again Monday night after that 7:30 PM tip off.
Then they’ll have all of Tuesday and Wednesday to rest up and practice adjustments as the series shifts to Brooklyn, New York on Thursday of next week.
Doc Rivers and his staff are probably strategizing about the ultimate travel schedule. Given the proximity from Philly to Brooklyn, if the team wants, they can return to their own beds following Game 3 at Barclays and then head back to The Big Apple Friday or early Saturday AM.
The other way to play it would be to just stay in NYC through Games 3 and 4, but I don’t suspect they’d prefer the hotel life.
If neither team completes a sweep, then Game 5 is set for Apr. 24, back at Wells Fargo. And then we have another potential two-day gap ahead of the (if necessary) Game 6 back in Brooklyn.
I’m hoping the Sixers can take care of business before a potential Game 7, but if things shook out that way, a high-pressure ballgame would be played in South Philly on Apr. 29. The tip off times for Games 5-7 are not set.
Philadelphia opens as -8 favorites for Game 1 on DraftKings. They’re really big favorites (-900) to win the series. That translates to roughly an 86 percent chance to advance to Round 2, where we expect the Boston Celtics to play host.
So Rivers and the coaching staff have another day and a half before they’ll have to gear up for an unusual 1 P.M. start time for the biggest game (to date) of the year.