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Boston Celtics

Rivalries headline opening night of the 2018-19 NBA season

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76ers @ Celtics, Thunder @ Warriors (NBA Getty Images)

The 2018-19 NBA season begins on Oct. 16 with two of the biggest rivalries in the league. Representing the Eastern Conference will be the Philadelphia 76ers and Boston Celtics. Representing the Western Conference will be the Oklahoma City Thunder and Golden State Warriors.

From what time the games start to what's at stake, here's everything you need to know about opening night...

76ers at Celtics

Game 1 - 8:00 PM ET

Now that LeBron James is in the Western Conference, Philadelphia and Boston are expected to be two of the best teams in the Eastern Conference next season.

This version of the 76ers and Celtics are very familiar with each other. The two met in the second round of last season's playoffs, with the Celtics advancing to the Conference Finals in five hard-fought games.

Led by Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid, expect the 76ers to come out strong looking to prove themselves as the team to beat in the East on opening night.

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For the Celtics, this will serve as an opportunity to see how Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward fit in with the team that pushed LeBron and the Cleveland Cavaliers to the brink of elimination last season.

Thunder at Warriors

Game 2 - 10:30 PM ET

The Thunder enter next season with an almost identical roster as last season, which bodes well for their matchup with the Warriors. Oklahoma City split its season series with Golden State in 2017-18, winning both of their games in dominant fashion.

The biggest difference since the end of last season is the Thunder have replaced Carmelo Anthony with Dennis Schröder. While Schröder won't fill Anthony's spot in the starting lineup, the German point guard has the potential to transform one of the least productive benches in the league. It could be what the franchise needs to make the jump from making the playoffs to contending for a title.

The Warriors are expected to be without their biggest acquisition this offseason on opening night, but DeMarcus Cousins will likely be on sight to watch his new team receive their championship rings after they swept the Cavaliers in the 2018 NBA Finals.

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