CAMDEN – The games won’t count for anything in the standings, but the first chances for 76ers fans to see their bolstered, youthful team in action have been set.
Thursday, the Sixers revealed their pre-season itinerary for the upcoming 2017 – 2018 season. The slate – which this fall will feature only five games to account for the NBA’s new mid-October regular season start date – will give the club a double dose of a successful division rival, and also be marked by two trips to non-league venues.
Having added the likes of top prospect Markelle Fultz and veteran sharpshooter JJ Redick this summer to a promising nucleus already rife with blue chip talent like Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, and Dario Saric, the Sixers open exhibition play at home Wednesday, October 4th versus Marc Gasol, Chandler Parsons and the Memphis Grizzlies.
The team will then be back on the floor at The Center Friday, October 6th, hosting the Boston Celtics, last season’s Atlantic Division and Eastern Conference regular season champs. The Sixers and C’s will square off again the following Monday, October 9th, this time with the Celts serving as hosts. Boston, of course, has been plenty active in recent months, acquiring No. 3 pick Jayson Tatum in the draft, and All-Star Gordon Hayward via free agency. The Celtics are the former squad of Sixers’ free agent pick-up Amir Johnson as well.
The Sixers will punctuate their pre-season docket with a pair of appearances in cities absent NBA franchises. First up will be a Wednesday, October 11th battle with the Brooklyn Nets at historic (and recently-revamped) Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum on Long Island.
The final tune-up for Brett Brown and Co. will come Friday, October 13th against the Miami Heat at Sprint Center in Kansas City, where the Kings used to play before relocating to Sacramento in 1985. The Sixers, which visited Miami last pre season, will be the designated home team, and be making their farthest trek west for an exhibition tilt since heading to Phoenix and Monterrey, Mexico in 2009.
The Sixers, in conjunction with the rest of the league, are slated to announce their regular season plans later this month.