Alright, everyone take a minute and officially start your timer. Set it at 64 days, which will bring us to Tuesday, October 18th, 2022. It is that night that we will see our beloved Boston Celtics kick off the 2022-23 NBA season with the first game of the night, at home against the Sixers. For a second there I thought we teleported back to 2017-2020 when I saw this Shams tweet, I didn't know we were still doing PHI/BOS anymore but hey that's fine by me. This will mark the 3rd time in the last 5 seasons that these two will face off in their opener, with each side snaging a win so far. The Celts first at home in 2018-19 when we saw this happen
in a 107-85 Celtics blowout with Tatum going fot 23/9/7 and Kyrie a stellar 2-14 from the field. Sadly, that ended up being the season from hell when it was all said and done. The Sixers got their win the very next season in the opener to the tune of 107-93, and it was actually Ben Simmons who was their best player on the court that night. Remember when Ben Simmons played basketball?
We don't need to ask Sixers fans how that season ended, we all remember the Celts 4-0 sweep.
These two split the season series last year, but played only once after the trade deadline and it was before Harden hit the floor so it's not exactly the same. The Sixers started Maxey/Thybulle/Green/Harris/Embiid and lost 135-87 on their own floor, but we shouldn't pretend like that's the Sixers team we're going to see on Opening Night in 2022. Shit, the Celts roster isn't the same and that's even without whatever might happen in the next few months.
Both teams enter next season with a pretty huge amount of pressure, but their type of pressure is not the same. The Sixers haven't gotten over the hump yet, no matter what combination of talent they've tried. The Process has had no fewer than 50,000 versions and each one has lost in the first or second round. Prime Embiid years are being wasted like they grow on trees. Daryl Morey rebuilt the 2018 Rockets in hopes that they'll finally get over the hump and make an ECF. Their fans talk about titles and the Finals and all this hilarious bullshit, but they need to actually make an ECF first. They need to shake this idea that they are a regular season hero and a postseason zero. Less crying about not winning the MVP and more postseason series wins.
For the Celtics, this is easily one of the biggest seasons in recent memory and even my life if we're going to be real about it. They choked away a title. Up 2-1, just 2 wins away from immortality and they shit their pants. They enter the season not just as contenders, but as betting NBA title favorites. That alone comes with a different level of pressure. The Celts have moved from the hunter to the hunted in that regard. People say their run was a fluke. They got lucky and had the benefit of injuries, like that's somehow different from any deep playoff run that has ever existed. They essentially need to back up EVERYTHING we saw over the last 4+ months of the season and 95% of the playoffs where they were the best basketball team on the planet. They kicked the shit out of everyone they faced. Fighting that Finals loss hangover is not going to be easy.
Whenever these two teams face off, there's always a little extra juice to them no matter when they happen. Could be Opening Night, could be a random night in January, or it could be late in the season with seeding on the line. Each have gone into the other's building and pulled off huge wins. Each side has star power. It should come as no surprise that these two teams are kicking the season off.
Just get to October 18th already. This wait is fucking killing me