The NBA released the full schedule for the 2018-19 season on Friday, and the countdown has officially begun to the start of the regular season. The Sixers specifically will be heavily featured on national television in 2018-19. Let’s run through the Sixers’ schedule and point out the most notable takeaways.
The Sixers Have a Favorable Start to the Season
The Sixers will kick off the NBA season on October 16th in Boston. That obviously will be a tough game. But 13 of Philadelphia’s next 18 games will come against lottery teams. It will be important for the Sixers to take advantage of that easy schedule out of the gate, as things get tougher in the winter (we’ll get to that in a minute). The Sixers should ideally win around 14 of their first 20 games.
The Toughest Part of the Schedule is a 12-Game Stretch in Late January into February
This will be the gauntlet of the Sixers’ season. Ten of these twelve games will be on national TV, and for good reason. Those 12 games are against:
That’s a brutal stretch. If the Sixers can win six or seven of those games, that would be a massive win. This stretch will be the difference between a 56-58 win season and a 50-52 win season.
The Sixers Will Have an Easy Stretch to Close the Season Again
The Sixers had a very easy finish to the season in 2017-18. They took advantage of it, winning their final 16 games and clinching the 3rd seed in the East. They will have a similar opportunity in 2018-19. Seven of their final 10 games will be against non-playoff teams. The Sixers will also play the Chicago Bulls two times in the final week of the season. Philadelphia will need to have a similar finish to 2017-18 in 2018-19. This time, they could be going on a late surge to clinch a top two seed.
The NBA Loves the Sixers
The Sixers got a whopping 27 games on national TV this season. Only Golden State, Houston, and the Los Angeles Lakers will have more. The NBA clearly views the Sixers as one of their main draws. We should get used to this, as the number of national games the Sixers get will only increase as time goes on.
When are the Notable Home Games?
If you are looking for the notable home games for the Sixers this year, here they are:
- The Sixers’ home opener is Thursday, October 18th against the Chicago Bulls at 8:00 PM.
- Donovan Mitchell will face off against Ben Simmons for the first time since the “Rookie” hoodie incident on Friday, November 16th at 7:00 PM.
- Kawhi Leonard will visit Philly for the first time as a Raptor on Saturday, December 22nd at 7:30 PM.
- Russell Westbrook will continue to be bothered by Joel Embiid on Saturday, January 19th at 3:30 PM.
- The MVP James Harden and the Houston Rockets will visit Philly for the only time this year on Monday, January 21st at 8:00 PM.
- LeBron James will visit Philadelphia for the first time in a Laker uniform on Sunday, February 10th at 3:30 PM.
- The Celtics will visit Philly twice this season: Tuesday, February 12th at 8:00 PM and Wednesday, March 20th at 7:00 PM.
- The Sixers’ home schedule will be bookended by the Chicago Bulls. The Bulls’ second visit to Philly will be the final game of the year, Wednesday, April 10th at 8:00 PM.