The NBA season starts Tuesday, Oct. 18 when the Boston Celtics host the Philadelphia 76ers. The game will be live streamed on SlingTV, which offers 50 percent off the first month.
Nobody can be certain how the Boston Celtics will perform under their third coach in three years, or whether James Harden can flourish in Philadelphia alongside Joel Embiid, or if Ben Simmons’ first season playing with the Brooklyn Nets is already the last chance with Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving.
Talent is spread all over the Eastern Conference. So are the question marks.
It’s easy to see any of those teams, along with Milwaukee, Miami and perhaps others, finishing atop the conference. It’s also easy to see some of them derailed by drama.
For now, everybody is looking at the positives.
“There’s a lot of good teams, a lot of talent in the East, but once the games are being played, that’s when you’ll declare who the best team is,” Durant said. “I think obviously first third of the season, halfway through, you’ll start to figure it out, but everybody feels great about their team around this time.”
Durant didn’t feel great over the summer, telling the Nets he wanted to be traded. At the same time, the Nets were declining to give Irving a contract extension after he was unavailable for so much of last season because he refused to get vaccinated against COVID-19.
But the Nets’ problems were old news by the time the Celtics, coming off an NBA Finals appearance, suspended coach Ime Udoka just before training camp for at least this season for multiple violations of team policies involving a woman in the organization. Assistant Joe Mazzulla takes over for Udoka, who just finished his first season after replacing Brad Stevens.
Despite that, 76ers coach Doc Rivers still looks at the Celtics, along with the Bucks, as teams that start 2022-23 in a strong spot. While his team strives to get the best out of former MVP Harden, who was swapped for Simmons at the February trade deadline, the top players on rival squads (Giannis Antetokounmpo, Khris Middleton and Jrue Holiday in Milwaukee; Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Marcus Smart and Al Horford in Boston) have played plenty of big games together.
“I think as a coach, when you look around, you look at teams that have been together and teams that have an advantage there,” Rivers said. “Milwaukee. Boston, they’ve made some changes, but they still have their core guys, they’re still moving that core around. So those are the teams that a team like us, or teams that have made a lot of changes, you have to put a lot of work in. You have to put more work in, because they do have an advantage.”
When is Celtics-76ers?
The Philadelphia 76ers and Boston Celtics open the NBA season on Tuesday, Oct. 18, at 6:30 p.m. (7:30 p.m. ET).
Will it be live streamed?
The Celtics-76ers will be live streamed on Sling, which offers half off the first month.
Get 31 channels in the orange package, which is half off $35 the first month. You can stream on one device and get up to 50 hours of DVR storage.
Get 41 channels in the blue package, which is half off $35 the first month. You can stream on up to three devises and get up to 50 hours of DVR storage.
Get 47 channels in the orange and blue package, which is half off the $50 the first month. You can stream from one to three devices and get up to 50 hours of DVR storage.
Will the game be televised?
The Celtics-76ers will be televised on TNT.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.