NBA London Game 2018 – Boston Celtics v Philadelphia 76ers
The NBA has been trying to expand its global brand by playing games overseas for decades, initially focussing on China and Japan, since 2011 it has made a duel push into Europe and Latin America.
On January 11th 2018, London’s O2 Arena once again hosts NBA basketball as the Boston Celtics face the Philadelphia 76ers.
London has hosted seven fairly low-profile regular season games before, and when this game was announced last August, few predicted that London would be hosting two of NBA’s most exciting teams.
But days later, the Celtics made a sensational trade, moving popular point guard, Isaiah Thomas, to the Cleveland Cavaliers, replacing him with sharpshooting Kyrie Irving.
Meanwhile, after years of mediocrity, Philly are now a hot ticket, led by center, Joel Embiid, and high-flying rookie Ben Simmons.
Who are the stand out Celtics players?
Kyrie Irving has joined a good Celtics team and looks to be slowly transforming it into one with huge potential – this despite losing All-Star forward Gordon Hayward to a devastating broken leg in the opening game of the season.
Irving is proving that the decision to leave Cleveland could be a good one, and has been joined by young running mates Jaylen Brown and the rookie Jayson Tatum. Boston picked Tatum third in the NBA draft from Duke University, after swapping its first pick with the Sixers
Who are the stand out Sixers players?
Markelle Fultz, Philly’s top pick in the 2017 draft, has been sidelined with a shoulder injury for most of the season, but Ben Simmons, their number one pick of 2016, is running away with the Rookie of the Year award. Simmons is showing the NBA what it missed last year after breaking his right foot before the start of last season.
Joel Embiid has also been taking NBA by storm, posting averages worthy of comparisons to past legendary centers like Patrick Ewing and Shaquille O’Neal.