Tuesday 16th October 2018

Event of the Day: NBA Opening Day - Celtics v. 76ers

Our event of the day is the Opening Day of the 2018-19 NBA season. Four teams are in action tonight. The Boston Celtics host the Philadelphia 76ers at TD Garden while the defending NBA Champions, the Golden State Warriors, face the Oklahoma City Thunder at the Oracle Arena. The Celtics come into the 2018 season as a team that could win the championship this season as they hunt for their first banner since 2008. Meanwhile, the 76ers are coming off their first 50-win season since 2000-01 and will be looking for revenge after the Celtics knocked them out of the 2017-18 playoffs in the Conference Semi-finals. A showdown between two eager teams hungry for a championship is the perfect start to the NBA season. The Boston Celtics lost a heart-breaking 7-game Eastern Conference Finals to the Cleveland Cavaliers to deny them their first finals appearance since 2010. After a number of years of rebuilding, the 2018-19 team maybe the team to bring the championship back to Boston. The team is stacked with talent. There’s the explosive Kyrie Irving, who is deadly from the field and handles the ball like few others in the league. Jayson Tatum is a smooth and fluid small forward who can dissect a defence with minimal effort. Backing up the likes of Irving and Tatum is Marcus Smart. His defensive prowess, spot-on passing and calm assessment of the court makes him the ideal point guard. Calling the shots is Brad Stevens, who has coached the Celtics since 2013. Stevens watches the court like a hawk and always seems to have his finger on the pulse. If anyone can topple the contemporary dynasties of the Warriors and Cavaliers, it’s the Celtics.

Meanwhile, the 76ers come into the 2018-19 season after a whirlwind offseason. GM Bryan Colangelo left the organisation after a scandal tarnished his reputation. Then came the draft - the 76ers drafted popular hometown star Mikal Bridges before trading him less than an hour later. A fruitless free agency followed, leaving the 76ers with uncertainty going into the regular season. The team is talented - Joel Embiid continues to improve and will be a potent piece of the 76ers offence. Ben Simmons was key in the 76ers 14-0 end to the 2017-18 regular season with his pacing and shooting. However, questions remain as to whether the 76ers can live up to the lofty expectations placed upon them. A strong Opening Day for either side could be a marker for the rest of the season.

Honourable mentions around the globe to the UEFA Nations League, where France face Germany at the Stade de France. The two teams play in Group 1, the closest group of League A. France currently leads the group with a draw and win while Germany sits at the bottom of the 3-team group with a draw and a loss. With three games left to play, the group is anyone’s for the taking. Elsewhere, in the NHL, the New Jersey Devils look to continue a perfect start to the season as they host the Dallas Stars at the Prudential Centre. On the ATP World Tour, the Intrum Stockholm Open continues in Stockholm.

Whatever you’re watching, enjoy!

Fixture

Photos by NBA

 

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