The 76ers released their regular-season schedule on Monday afternoon, and they will open on Oct. 23 when they host the Boston Celtics in a game that will be televised by ESPN.
The opening-night contest is one of 24 regular-season games the 76ers will play on national television across ABC, ESPN and TNT. The Sixers also will have 12 games televised by NBA TV.
Among the other highlights:
Sixers president Chris Heck said two of the things that stand out for him about the schedule are opening at home against Boston and hosting the Bucks on Christmas.
“The fact we are playing Boston at home to open the season I think speaks volumes about what the league, the networks and the world thinks where this team is going,” he said in a telephone interview.
Last year, the Sixers lost the season opener in Boston, 105-87.
This will be the third straight year the Sixers play on Christmas, but the first time they play at home since 1988. Last year, they lost in overtime in Boston, 121-114. Two years ago they beat the Knicks, 105-98. The last time Philadelphia played on three consecutive Christmas Days was from 1986-88.
“Playing against the Bucks in a prime spot at 2:30 on ABC, that is a big-time game for us," Heck said. "The fact that we haven’t had the ability, whether it was interest in the team or availability of the arena going back to the ’80s, we are so excited to be hosting this game.”
The Sixers open at home, but six of their next seven games are on the road -- a difficult beginning of the season.
After facing Detroit and Atlanta on the road, the Sixers host Minnesota and then embark on a four-game West Coast trip with games at Portland, Phoenix, Utah and Denver.
The Sixers will hit the road for four games immediately following their Christmas Day game: The trip begins Dec. 27 in Orlando, where they may see Markelle Fultz, and continues on to Miami on Dec. 28 to play former Sixer Jimmy Butler and the Heat. Then they head north for a Dec. 31 game in Indiana and south for a Jan. 3 matchup against the Houston Rockets.
The two busiest months for the Sixers are in November and December, when they will play 16 games each. They are home for seven November games and for nine in December. The next-busiest month is March, when they will play 15 games, eight at home.
There will be 13 back-to-back games.
The Sixers are seen as a major Eastern Conference threat after losing to the eventual NBA champion Toronto Raptors in the a seven-game Eastern Conference semifinal last season.
Here is the full schedule: