The NBA’s 2018 London Game – The Philadelphia 76ers v the Boston Celtics

Basketball fans will be flocking to London’s O2 Arena tomorrow to watch the only NBA regular season game to be held in the UK in 2018. The game, which starts at 8.00 p.m., will see the Philadelphia 76ers try to prevent the Boston Celtics from capitalising on their first place standing in the Eastern Conference league. So why is the NBA coming to London, how important is the event and where can you watch the action?

The NBA in the UK – The History of “the London Game”

While most NBA games are held within the United States, the UK has hosted regular season games on an annual basis in recent years. As a result, “the London Game” has become a well-known fixture on the sporting calendar. The event gives UK-based fans the chance to see teams battling to boost their chances of winning the USA’s most coveted basketball trophy.

Seven regular season games have been held in London so far, although the UK has hosted pre-season games in years gone by. The first regular season games to be held in London took place at the 02 Arena on 4 and 5 March 2011. The New Jersey Nets beat the Toronto Raptors by 116-103 on the first day and, in a triple-overtime thriller, by 137-136 on the second.

Since then, crowds attending regular season games at the O2 Arena have witnessed:

• the New York Knicks beat the Detroit Pistons by 102-87 (January 2013);
• the Brooklyn Nets defeat the Atlanta Hawks by 127-110 (January 2014);
• the Milwaukee Bucks triumph over the New York Knicks by 95-79 (January 2015);
• the Toronto Raptors narrowly defeat Orlando Magic by 106-103 (January 2016);
• the Denver Nuggets beat the Indiana Pacers by 140-112 (January 2017).

The Philadelphia 76ers v the Boston Celtics – What Can We Expect to See?

On paper, the favourites to win the London Game would certainly be the Boston Celtics. Currently flying high at the top of the Eastern Conference table, the 17-time championship winners have managed to get their 2017-18 campaign off to a superb start. 

The Boston Celtics are captained by Kyrie Irving, a four-time NBA All-Star who helped the Cleveland Cavaliers to win the championship in 2016. Al Horford, another four-time NBA All-Star, is also hoping to be fit to take part, although a knee injury forced him to miss the Celtics’ clash with the Brooklyn Netters last Saturday. Other Boston players to look out for include youngsters Jayson Tatem and Jaylen Brown.

The Philadelphia 76ers, currently lying mid-table, haven’t had such an impressive season as their opponents so far. However, they are a young, exciting team with plenty to offer and are already being tipped for future success. With a line-up featuring the likes of Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons and Robert Covington, they could be capable of securing a surprise victory.

How to Watch the Philadelphia 76ers v the Boston Celtics Live

If you were hoping to pick up some last-minute tickets for the game, unfortunately you’ll almost certainly be disappointed. They sold out within hours of going on general sale.

However, if you’re a BT sports subscriber, you won’t have to miss out on the action. The London game is being broadcast live on BT Sport 2 at 20:00.

Are you a basketball fan? Will you be watching “the London Game”? Which team do you think will win the famous basketball trophy this season?

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