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Sixers-Celtics, Warriors-Thunder to open up NBA 2018-19 season

The Philadelphia 76ers and the Boston Celtics will tip-off the 2018-19 NBA season on Oct. 16, with the Golden State Warriors taking on the Oklahoma City Thunder to follow, according to Sam Amick of USA TODAY Sports.

The Sixers and Celtics are two of the teams with potential to take over the Eastern Conference crown after LeBron James relinquished his stronghold after 15 years in the East.

Both teams met in the Eastern Conference Semifinals recently, with the undermanned Celtics drawing an easy 4-1 win to move onto the Eastern Conference Finals, falling a game shy of reaching the title series.

Philly hasn’t made any huge additions during this offseason after the Bryan Colangelo scandal took place, but the team is bound to take the next step in its growth by unleashing a healthy Markelle Fultz, while the Celtics finally will trot out a healthy Kyrie Irving and a determined Gordon Hayward. Both players sustained season-ending injuries that kept them out of the team’s postseason run.

The Warriors were already penned for a season-opening appearance as the defending champions, which will include a second consecutive ring ceremony before taking on the Thunder, who went out in the first round of the playoffs.

OKC’s lineup of Russell Westbrook, Paul George, and Carmelo Anthony gave the Warriors a few headaches early in the season, but ultimately rebounded to win the last two games of the regular season series, leaving it tied 2-2.

Golden State will be pushing for the first threepeat in the league since the 2000-02 Lakers pulled one off through the shoulders of Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal.