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The Philadelphia 76ers have become quite a popular team in recent years. Despite going through a rough patch known as “The Process,” which featured a lot of losing and a lack of stars on the roster, the Sixers eventually improved their brand.

Now, Philadelphia has an MVP-caliber center in Joel Embiid, who has become one of the most beloved stars in franchise history. And although it didn’t work out with the former first-overall pick Ben Simmons, the Sixers swapped the three-time All-Star with the future Hall of Famer James Harden just last year.

Then, there is Tyrese Maxey, who looks like a budding All-Star after getting selected in the first round of the 2020 NBA Draft by the Sixers. It’s unclear if the 76ers are going to be a better team in 2022-2023 or not, but they are certainly gaining a ton of hype behind them.

Over the weekend, it was reported that the Sixers are expected to be one of four Eastern Conference teams featured on the NBA’s famous Christmas Day slate. The Sixers are expected to face the New York Knicks, while the Milwaukee Bucks will battle the Boston Celtics.

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In addition to gaining a Christmas Day game for the first time in a few years, the Sixers are expected to help open up the 2022-2023 NBA season in one of two matchups on prime time in mid-October according to Shams Charania of The Athletic

Before Monday night, it was already reported that the Los Angeles Lakers and the Golden State Warriors were set to battle it out on the opening night slate. Now, it looks like the Sixers and the Celtics could be the first two teams to battle it out at the start of the 2022-2023 season.

Last year, the Sixers had moderate success against Boston. When the two teams met in Boston back in December, the Celtics picked up a tight one-point win. Then, the Sixers got revenge in the next two games before garnering a blowout loss at home to end the regular-season series.

As we know, the Celtics found more success in the 2022 NBA Playoffs as they went as far as the NBA Finals. While their run ended without a Larry O’Brien trophy to show for, they are still expected to be a contender in the East for the upcoming season. 

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