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The Philadelphia 76ers have recently become one of the NBA’s more intriguing teams. After a dreadful process era, which featured tons of losing and an ever-changing roster that lacked star power, the Sixers are now recognized as one of the Eastern Conference’s top dogs.

With the 76ers being one of the league’s most exciting squads, they are gaining enough popularity to be scheduled for big games. And for the second time in a few seasons, the Sixers will play on the NBA’s Christmas Day slate, which is a big deal for everybody involved.

Just a few seasons ago, the Sixers tipped off against the Milwaukee Bucks on Christmas Day. Hosting the Bucks for the first time during the 2019-2020 season, the Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons-led Sixers gave the Giannis Antetokounmpo-led Bucks a beatdown.

Fast forward a few seasons later, and a much different Sixers squad will play on Christmas Day once again, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic. Per Charania’s report, the Sixers will pay a visit to the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden for one of the two Eastern Conference matchups on the holiday.

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For Philadelphia’s superstar guard James Harden he’s excited to spend Christmas at “The Garden.”

Harden wasn't around for Philadelphia’s last Christmas Day matchup. At the time, he was donning a Houston Rockets uniform while the Sixers’ backcourt was led by their former All-Star, Ben Simmons.

But after Simmons and Harden grew disgruntled with their situations, they found fresh starts. Harden first left the Rockets via trade during the 2020-2021 season. After getting moved to the Brooklyn Nets, Harden requested another trade the following season.

The Sixers landed Harden by trading away Ben Simmons, Seth Curry, Andre Drummond, and draft picks to Brooklyn. After spending less than half a season with the Sixers, Harden realized the team had unfinished business. Therefore, he re-upped with the Sixers by signing a two-year deal during the offseason. 

The Harden, Embiid-led Sixers are looking to make a run in the Eastern Conference as they prepare for the 2022-2023 NBA season.  

Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for All76ers, a Sports Illustrated channel. You can follow him for live updates on Twitter: @JGrasso_.