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Jayson Tatum: Celtics star TROLLS 76ers ahead of season opener | Other | Sport

The new NBA season gets underway tomorrow night with two cracking games from both the Eastern and Western Conference.

Defending champions, the Golden State Warriors, will face off against the Oklahoma City Thunder later in the evening.

But the first game of the new campaign will see the Celtics take on the 76ers, a repeat of the Eastern Conference semi-finals.

The two east-coast rivals played each other 11 times last season, twice in preseason, four regular season games and five times in the playoffs.

Their postseason series provided plenty of heated match-ups with neither team holding anything back.

Boston went on to win the series 4-1, giving them bragging rights heading into the new season.

And Tatum, who worked out with Joel Embiid during the summer, joked about how he tried to rile up the Cameroonian.

“I just kept reminding him that we almost swept them,” said Tatum.

“We should have swept them but we let them win one game.”

While Tatum and Embiid are likely on good terms having worked out together in the season, there is no love lost between the two teams when on the court.

Their rivalry dates back to the days of Wilt Chamberlain and Bill Russell and the two teams have the most meetings in the NBA playoffs, playing in 21 series.

They’re among the favourites to come out of the east this season to make the NBA Finals, and Tatum can see some of that rivalry reigniting.

“Definitely some animosity,” he said.

“We won, so they are probably a little more fired up or angry than we are, but we’re excited to play.

“We had a lot of good match-ups with them last year, a lot of great battles, especially in the playoffs.

“We’re excited, they’re excited – everyone’s going to be watching.”

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