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August 11, 2016

Sixers release 2016-17 schedule, will open up on national TV against OKC

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According to Sixers.com’s Brian Seltzer, the Sixers have not played a game on national television since the 2012-13 season. Unfortunately, zero national exposure was one of the byproducts of “The Process.” That will change on opening night (Wednesday, October 26th), as the Sixers will host Russell Westbrook and the Oklahoma City Thunder on ESPN at 8:00 pm.

ESPN apparently made it a priority to televise Ben Simmons’ professional debut. We’re kind of in a time crunch before the Eagles kickoff, but here are five abbreviated thoughts on the rest of the Sixers schedule, which you can view on the team’s website:

•    The Sixers’ two other nationally televised games will be Thursday, November 17th at the Minnesota Timberwolves and Friday, December 16th against the Los Angeles Lakers. Just like with the opener, ESPN seems to be focusing on big games involving the top rookies. Those will be the first Simmons vs. Brandon Ingram/Kris Dunn matchups. The two NBATV games will be in November, vs. Utah (11/7) and at Houston (11/14).

•    After disastrous starts the past two seasons, the schedule makers are giving the Sixers every chance to build some confidence early on. A whopping 16 of the team’s first 22 games will be played at the Wells Fargo Center.

•    The annual Ice Capades trip is fairly manageable, too. The Sixers will only play four games from December 23rd to December 30th against teams that aren’t exactly the Western Conference’s elite (Phoenix, Sacramento, Utah, and Denver).

•     Golden State will come to Philly on Monday, February 27th in a rematch of one of last season’s most fun games. And your two chances to see LeBron James will come in November, as the defending champs will be in town on the Saturday the 5th and Sunday the 27th (1:00 p.m. game, with the Eagles on Monday Night Football).

•    In case you’re wondering where the schedule will even out, the Sixers will play a bunch of road games in February and March, twice making five-game road trips.


Follow Rich on Twitter: @rich_hofmann

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