There are always fireworks when Jimmy Butler faces his former team and one-time best friend Joel Embiid. Those two guys never stopped loving each other. Oh, what could have been … okay, enough of that dream turned nightmare. The Sixers will travel down to South Beach for a holiday showdown against Butler and the Miami Heat on Christmas Day at 8 p.m. on ESPN. It will mark the first of four contests between the two Eastern Conference title contenders.
The other ones are scheduled for February 14 (7 p.m. in Philly), March 18 (7:30 p.m. in Philly), and April 4 (7:30 p.m. in Miami). Expect brotherly hugs that linger at halfcourt between Butler and Embiid who wish they were still on the same team — and maybe one day they will be reunited and feeling so good.
The Sixers and Celtics battle on the following dates: November 8 (7 p.m. in Philly), November 15 (7:30 p.m. in Philly), December 1 (7:30 p.m. in Boston), and February 27 (7:30 p.m. in Boston).
Sticking in the Eastern Conference, they will face the Boston Celtics four times next season. The bullies from Beantown won three of the four games last season, then knocked the Sixers out of the playoffs in seven games to close out the Eastern Conference Semifinals.
This is supposed to be one of the most heated and storied rivalries in professional basketball, but it sure hasn’t felt that way. The Celtics have dominated the series in recent years, especially not in the postseason where Philly hasn’t defeated Boston in a playoff series since 1982.