The schedules for NBA teams participating in the league’s restart dropped Friday evening and the seeding round ended up shaking out fine for your team, your town, your Philadelphia 76ers:
Man, the Sixers schedule isn't bad at all. pic.twitter.com/U0uG0sgbQQ
— Russ Joy (@JoyOnBroad) June 26, 2020
The sixth-seeded Sixers’ first game will take place on August 1 against the Indiana Pacers (39-26), who were level on record, but held the tiebreaker over Philly for the fifth seed.
The team will then face the San Antonio Spurs (27-36) -who arguably don’t belong in Orlando anyway- on Monday, August 3.
Two days later the Sixers will face another team that has no business being around a postseason tournament in the Washington Wizards (24-40), who will be without sharpshooter Davis Bertans, who has opted to stay home and preserve his health ahead of what should be a lucrative free agency.
On Friday of that week, the Sixers will face the team ahead of Washington in the standings: the Orlando Magic (30-35). Let’s all feel the hype as we watch Markelle Fultz jack up some ugly jumpers.
Sunday, August 8 will feature a game that could be the most entertaining as the Sixers will face Damian Lillard and the Portland Trail Blazers (29-37). It’s an interesting matchup for the Sixers in that Portland will enter the seeding round battling for the eighth and final seed in the Western Conference. It’s possible that the game will be meaningless if Lillard can’t keep his team in contention that far into the seeding round.
Two days later the Sixers face the second-worst team in Orlando as they take on the Phoenix Suns (26-39). Phoenix has little-to-no shot of doing anything meaningful and this should be a walk in the park for the Sixers.
The second half of the Sixers’ lone back-to-back will see them take on the Toronto Raptors (46-18). This should be intriguing as Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons look for a bit of revenge ahead of what could be a playoff matchup.
The Sixers’ final game will come against the Houston Rockets (40-24), who present one of the most intriguing matchups for Philly. They can’t possibly match up PJ Tucker or Robert Covington on Joel Embiid, can they?
If you’re thinking to yourself that the schedule as a whole seems pretty light, you’re right. The Sixers have the league’s second-easiest remaining strength of schedule. With that in mind, it’s totally within reason to expect the Sixers to rack up five or six wins.
As for national TV, the Sixers will play four of their games in front of a national audience:
The following teams are scheduled to play on NBATV twice: Clippers, Rockets, Blazers, Grizzlies, Thunder, Sixers, Nets, Kings
These teams will play on NBATV once: Bucks, Pelicans, Nuggets, Raptors, Jazz, Mavs, Heat, Pacers, Magic, Spurs, Suns, Wizards
Zero: Lakers and Celtics
— Kevin O'Connor (@KevinOConnorNBA) June 26, 2020
I’ve never been one to care about. The NBA TV schedule, but a nationally televised game is a nationally televised game.
Regardless, it’s just good to know basketball is just around the corner.