Sunday, March 1, 2015

Sixers Rising with the West

Sixers open their season against a Western Conference team.

Sixers Rising with the West

(Michael Perez/AP)
(Michael Perez/AP)

What used to be a common occurence for the 76ers, and then became a rarity, has re-emerged — opening their season against a Western Conference team. Wednesday night, it will be the Denver Nuggets helping the Sixers set off the season's fireworks.

In the 1960s and early '70s, they opened quite frequently against the West, which was the "Western Division" for a lot of those years. But before last season, when they christened the abbreviated 66-game slate in Portland, they had debuted with a Western Conference team just three times since 1979.

Loyal reader and contruibutor Greg Frank asked about — and then did most of the research for — this item, so many thanks to him. If anyone has any ideas for Sixers-related items, please email them along (

Here are the 76ers' season openers and leading scorers against the West:

 Day  Date  Opponent  Result  Sixers Leading Scorer  
 Wednesday   Oct. 16, 1963   at Pistons  W 117-115   Hal Greer (26)
 Friday  Oct. 16, 1964  Pistons  W 125-113  Hal Greer (32)
 Wednesday  Oct. 18, 1967  Lakers  W 103-  87  Billy Cunningham (20)
 Friday  Oct. 18, 1968  Lakers  W 114-  96  Hal Greer (35)
 Friday  Oct. 17, 1969  Lakers  W 131-126  Hal Greer (40)
 Wednesday  Oct. 14, 1970  Bulls  W 110-107  Billy Cunningham (24)
 Tuesday  Oct. 12, 1971  at Bulls  W 114-100  Archie Clark (29)
 Tuesday  Oct. 10, 1972  at Bulls  L    89-  95  Fred Carter (22)
 Friday  Oct. 24, 1975  at Bulls  W 110-103  Doug Collins (26)
 Friday  Oct. 13, 1978  Lakers  W 110-102  Julius Erving (22)
 Friday  Nov. 4, 1988  Clippers  W 129-110  Charles Barkley (33)
 Tuesday  Nov. 2, 1999  at Spurs  L    76-  89  Allen Iverson (28)
 Tuesday  Oct. 30, 2001  at T'wolves   L    74-  83  Speedy Claxton (20)
 Monday  Dec. 26, 2011  at Blazers  L  103-107  Lou Williams (25)
 Wednesday  Oct. 31, 2012  Nuggets  —  —
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Boop – who goes by Bob Vetrone Jr. when he is undercover or paying bills – has been at the Daily News since 1982, after working for five years at the Philadelphia Bulletin up to its closing. Along with helping to build the sports scoreboards most nights, he has had great input into the papers’ special sports pullouts – March Madness, Broad Street Run, Record Breakers, Greatest Moments – as well as its day-to-day, award-winning event coverage.

A 1980 graduate of North Catholic, he took some evening college courses. Those lasted right up until the first conflict with a Big 5 doubleheader.

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He has been immersed in sports statistics since the early 70s, when his father (long-time sports writer, broadcaster and the Daily News’ Buck The Bartender), would take him into the Bulletin newsroom overnight in the summer and let him update the Phillies statistics in a little, black spiral notebook. But things have changed tremendously in the decades since … He now uses a big, black spiral notebook.

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