Some thoughts on the 76ers Season Schedule
On Friday, December 4th the NBA unveiled its schedule for the first half of the 2020-2021 regular season. Following two preseason games with the Boston Celtics and Indiana Pacers, the Sixers will draw a matchup with the new-look Washington Wizards for their very first game on Wednesday, December 23rd. Check out the rest of the Sixers’ first half schedule and subsequent thoughts below.
The Opening Schedule Looks like Cake
The Sixers will be looking to prove they’ve put last season well behind them with victories early in the season. The schedule looks quite amenable to that plan as only two of their first eleven opponents are teams that made it out of the first round of last season’s bubble playoffs (the Toronto Raptors and Denver Nuggets). This early season stretch includes multiple games against the Charlotte Hornets, and other matchups with lackluster teams such as the New York Knicks and Cleveland Cavaliers.
This is a terrific opportunity for the Sixers to gel with new coach Doc Rivers while he figures out how to maximize the talent on their roster. Of course, everyone gets along better when a team is winning so it’s important for the Sixers to capitalize against weaker opponents in the early going of this season.
All Kinds of Back-to-Back Matchups
The scheduling for this NBA season was executed with an eye towards minimizing travel in the hopes of keeping all teams safer as the country continues to navigate life during the pandemic. As a result, there are frequently scheduled back-to-back matchups, where teams face off against each other twice in the span of three days.
This will be an interesting wrinkle to the regular season as it will allow coaches to showcase their ability to make adjustments for an opponent game to game, much like what transpires during the playoffs. The teams with more savvy coaches will surely benefit and the Sixers hope with new hire Doc Rivers, that they are surely counted in that group. Through the first half of the season the Sixers will play in back-to-back matchups with a slew of teams including the Charlotte Hornets, Miami Heat, Boston Celtics, Detroit Pistons, and Toronto Raptors.
A Down Year for Primetime Games
The Sixers have enjoyed the luxury of several primetime matchups the past few years. Their share of those opportunities has taken a dip this year, as the NBA has favored younger teams with exciting stars such as the Dallas Mavericks and New Orleans Pelicans.
Should the Sixers pile up wins and prove they are a team to be reckoned with, it is very likely they will earn more primetime matchups across the second half of the season. Through the first half, their most exciting game looks to be against the Brooklyn Nets as the matchup will feature two teams with sky-high potential in the eastern conference. Other primetime games include dates with the Miami Heat, Boston Celtics, and defending champions Los Angeles Lakers.