Sixers: 5 most compelling games on 2022-23 schedule

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(Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)

The NBA released its full schedule on Wednesday, finally providing us with the full picture of Philadelphia’s 2022-23 season. The Sixers will play 23 nationally televised games, setting them squarely in the national spotlight after a summer of significant moves.

With James Harden gearing up for his second season with the franchise and several new arrivals joining the rotation, expectations are once again very high for the Sixers. Many have dubbed this the best team of the Joel Embiid era. If Doc Rivers can’t lift his team to the conference finals or beyond, it could get ugly next summer.

Here are five games on the 2022-23 schedule that stand out as Philadelphia attempts to mount its first championship run since 1983.

Sixers schedule — @ Boston Celtics, Oct. 18

Philadelphia will open the NBA season — literally, the first game of the entire season — on the road in the TD Garden. The Celtics are a tricky matchup with a lot of history. Boston has been a thorn in Philadelphia’s side ever since Embiid arrived, and that probably won’t change next season. The Celtics have the best defense in the NBA, along with one of the best individual Embiid defenders on the planet in Al Horford.

The Sixers have proven in the recent past that they can, in fact, play at or above Boston’s level. Embiid has improved in his greatest areas of weakness, to the point where even Horford and Boston’s swarming defense will lose the battle more often than not.

Opposite Embiid, the Celtics will run out one of the league’s premier rising stars in Jayson Tatum. The Sixers have beefed up their perimeter defense — Matisse Thybulle, P.J. Tucker, Danuel House, and Tobias Harris can all take turns checking Tatum on the wing. That said, there’s also Jaylen Brown to worry about, with Malcolm Brogdon coming off the bench and a litany of quality depth pieces filling out the rotation to boot.

The difference between teams on opening night and at the end of the season is always drastic. We probably won’t learn too much from one game this early on, but it’s exciting to see Philadelphia kicking off the new season.

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