Fans protesting the NFL season may feel a sports shortage in the dog days of August. But the new NBA season is just months away. And the league is building anticipation by releasing its schedule for the 2018-2019 regular season.
There are plenty of storylines to follow this year, including the Warriors’ quest for a three-peat with new addition DeMarcus Cousins, LeBron James’ first year with the Lakers, and Toronto’s “all-in” gamble on Kawhi Leonard. Here are just some of the matchups to keep an eye this season.
Sixers at Celtics on 10/16
With James out of the East, there’s a bit of an old-school vibe to the new power structure of the conference. Boston and Philadelphia are rivals that have battled for conference supremacy from the days of Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain, to Larry Bird and Julius Erving. The teams will link up for the first of four regular season matchups on the league’s opening night. The Celtics defeated the Sixers 4-1 in a chippy Eastern Conference Semifinals series.
With the Sixers poised to be one of the Celtics’ biggest obstacles to a Finals appearance, there will be no love lost when these teams faceoff. Especially after Boston’s Jaylen Brown insisted there was “no doubt” the Celtics were coming out of the East this year. The opening matchup will also be a chance for Boston to resume the Gordon Hayward experiment after the former All-Star broke his ankle in the season opener against the Cavs last season.