The Philadelphia 76ers went into the 2022 offseason with a plan to build a better contender for next year.
Just one season after earning the first seed in the Eastern Conference and coming up short in the second round of the 2022 playoffs, the Sixers took a step back as they fell to the fourth seed and came up short in the second round again.
The Sixers knew they had to add better veteran help to complement their stars. With the draft and the start of free agency in the rearview, the Sixers seem to believe they are much stronger going into the 2022-2023 season.
As expected, the Sixers are viewed as playoff contenders heading into next season. And some might go as far as saying they are potential championship contenders.
While it will take a while to truly find out, the Sixers are expected to be battle-tested early in the year as they are reportedly set to face not one but two possible championship contenders to begin the season.
On Monday night, Shams Charania of The Athletic reported that the Sixers are expected to be involved in one of two matchups on the league’s opening night. Along with the Los Angeles Lakers and the Golden State Warriors, the Sixers are reportedly slated to face the defending Eastern Conference Champions, the Boston Celtics.
After facing the Celtics for their season-opener on the road in Boston, the Sixers are expected to return home to supposedly face the Milwaukee Bucks for their home-opener in South Philly, according to Charania on Tuesday.
That’s quite a two-game stretch to start the year. While two games in October definitely won’t define the Sixers’ 82-game season in 2022-2023, their first two opponents are far from a walk in the park as they will go head-to-head with the last two Eastern Conference Champions right away.
Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for All76ers, a Sports Illustrated channel. You can follow him for live updates on Twitter: @JGrasso_.