Sixers Release Schedule: A Look at the Fun Times Ahead

Sixers Release Schedule: A Look at the Fun Times Ahead

The schedules for all 30 NBA teams were released today, with the release of the news packing its usual "oh yeah, I guess there's really nothing that exciting to be learned here" punch. I haven't counted to make sure, but it seems like the Sixers will indeed play 82 games this season--41 home, 41 away, most likely--and before you ask, no, none of them appear to be against the Miami Marlins. In fact, most of them appear to be against teams that are better than the Sixers, because as we all know, all teams are going to be better than the Sixers next season.

Anyway, some of the games are going to be a little more interesting than others, maybe. Here are the few worth-knowing things to glean from the sched:

1. For the second time in the LeBron era, the Sixers will begin their season at home against the Miami Heat. This sucks, of course, but at least Sixers fans won't care so much about the inevitable loss this time around, as it will merely be Step One in Sam Hinkie's 82-step tanking program.

2. The Sixers play seven of their first nine games at home this year. From looking at the list of opponents, it's my guess that they'll lose every one of them, and probably the two on the road as well, as well as the two on the road to follow. By my estimation, their first legitimately winnable games come in games #12 and #13, when they face off against the Raptors and Bucks on November 20th and 22nd. Long as you get one W by Thanksgiving, right?

3. Couple old faces return to Philly early this year, as Andrew Bynum's Cavaliers visit first on November 8th, and Jrue Holiday's Pelicans swing by on the 29th, about two weeks after we visit Jrue's new stomping grounds in Nawlins. Bynum's return visit, especially if it actually ends up in him playing on the Wells Fargo Center court for literally the first time since we traded for him last summer, might inspire the most (only?) passionate fan turnout and response of the season.

4. The Sixers will have exactly one nationally televised game, which will come November 2nd against Chicago, in Derrick Rose's revenge game against the team he tore his ACL playing two post-seasons ago. Experts agree we were lucky to get the one.

5. Philly also finishes the season against the Heat--this time in Miami--because clearly we will not have suffered enough indignities as a team or fanbase by that point.

The 2013-14 Philadelphia 76ers: Get your tickets now! First 99 purchasers entered into a rally to win the chance to coach the team opening night!

Draymond Green says what we all really think about Joel Embiid

Draymond Green says what we all really think about Joel Embiid

Joel Embiid has caught the eye of a Golden State Warrior.

At Golden State's shootaround Sunday night at the Sixers' practice facility in Camden, New Jersey, Warriors power forward Draymond Green said what we all think about Joel Embiid.

"He has a chance to be really f------ good," Green said.

Green and the Warriors will miss Embiid Monday when they tip off against the Sixers at the Wells Fargo Center. Embiid will miss two more games to minimize the risk of aggravating his left knee injury. The Sixers are targeting Friday against the Knicks for his return (see story).

Embiid hasn't played since the Jan. 27 game against Houston and has missed 16 of their last 17 games. Still, the 22-year-old has shown, when healthy, he's a special player that Sixers can build around.

In 31 games -- with minute restrictions and missing 27 games, too -- Embiid is averaging 20.2 points, 7.8 rebounds, 2.5 blocks and 2.1 assists. He's shooting 46.6 from the field, and 36.7 percent from beyond the arc. Despite running a tremendous Twitter campaign for the NBA All-Star Game, he missed out being an All-Star in his first year. He won the NBA's Rookie of the Month for October, November, December and January. Yeah, we all agree with Green.

But how much of Embiid has Green seen?

"I haven't had a chance to watch him," Green said. "I think he has a chance to be damn good. He's figuring it out. He's versatile. He can do a lot of things."

For more from the Warriors on the Sixers' potential, watch the video above.

Best of NHL: Sergei Bobrovsky ties career high with 32nd win as Blue Jackets top Rangers

Best of NHL: Sergei Bobrovsky ties career high with 32nd win as Blue Jackets top Rangers

NEW YORK -- Cam Atkinson and Alexander Wennberg each scored twice to lead the Columbus Blue Jackets to a 5-2 victory over the New York Rangers on Sunday.

Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 28 shots to tie his career high with his 32nd win. Josh Anderson also scored and Oliver Bjorkstrand had two assists to help the Blue Jackets win for the fourth time in five games.

Columbus won for the second time in two days after its bye week and moved past the Rangers into third place in the Metropolitan Division.

The Blue Jackets won three of five in the season series -- including both games at Madison Square Garden -- after losing seven straight meetings coming in.

Rick Nash scored a tying goal for the Rangers early in the first period. Jesper Fast scored in the final second, and Henrik Lundqvist finished with 26 saves (see full recap).

Surging Blackhawks beat Blues on late Anisimov goal
CHICAGO -- Artem Anisimov scored with 5:20 left in the third period to lift the Chicago Blackhawks over the St. Louis Blues 4-2 on Sunday night for their fourth straight win and ninth in their last 10.

Anisimov beat Jake Allen on the glove side from the right edge of the crease for his 22nd goal after taking a pinpoint cross-ice pass from linemate Artemi Panarin. Tanner Kero added an empty-netter with 2.6 seconds left.

Patrick Kane assisted on Anisimov's winner and scored a power-play goal. Jonathan Toews also had a goal and an assist for surging Chicago, which pulled one point behind first-place Minnesota in the Central Division and Western Conference.

Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith had an assist for his 500th NHL point.

Magnus Paajarvi and Alex Pietrangelo scored for the Blues, who played their first game following their bye week and lost their third straight (see full recap).

Gaudreau's 2 goals helps Flames down Hurricanes
RALEIGH, N.C. -- Johnny Gaudreau had two goals and an assist to help the Calgary Flames beat the Carolina Hurricanes 3-1 on Sunday.

Micheal Ferland also scored for the Flames. They have earned at least one point in six straight games, going 5-0-1 in that stretch to move into playoff position in the Western Conference.

Victor Rask scored on the power play for Carolina. The Hurricanes have lost six of seven to fall into last place in the Metropolitan Division.

Brian Elliott made 34 saves for the Flames, with his best coming with roughly 15 minutes to play when he stopped Jeff Skinner from point-blank range.

Eddie Lack finished with 21 saves. He made his second straight start for Carolina (see full recap).

Turris, Anderson lead Senators past Panthers
SUNRISE, Fla. -- Kyle Turris scored the tiebreaking goal in the second period and Craig Anderson stopped 37 shots to lift the Ottawa Senators over the Florida Panthers 2-1 on Sunday night.

Zack Smith had an early short-handed goal for the Senators, who have won four of six.

Jonathan Marchessault scored for Florida, and James Reimer made 31 saves. The Panthers have lost three straight after sweeping a five-game road trip, and dropped their last four home games overall.

Turris put Ottawa ahead when his wrist shot went over Reimer's glove at 9:58 of the second for his 21st goal of the season.

The Senators took a 1-0 lead on a short-handed goal by Smith. Reimer blocked a shot from Erik Karlsson, but Smith grabbed the rebound and poked in the puck at 6:28 of the first. Smith has 12 career short-handed goals (see full recap).