NBA Reveals Opening Week, Christmas Day Schedules
The Heat will travel to the Celtics on Oct. 26 to open the 2010-11 season in front of a national TV audience on TNT, the NBA officially announced Tuesday. The defending champion Los Angeles Lakers will host the Houston Rockets later that night to complete TNT's doubleheader.
The NBA won't release the entire 2010-11 regular-season schedule until Aug. 10, but the league did reveal its national TV schedule for the opening week, as well as Christmas Day and Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.
Other noteworthy games the opening week include Carlos Boozer and the Bulls traveling to Oklahoma City and Portland taking on the Los Angeles Clippers in Blake Griffin's long-anticipated NBA debut on Wednesday, Oct. 27.
First overall draft pick John Wall's official NBA baptism will occur in Orlando on TNT on Thursday, Oct. 28, one day before Dwight Howard and the Magic travel to Miami for a Sunshine State grudge match on ESPN.
This year's Christmas Day schedule will once again feature five games, starting with Bulls at Knicks and Celtics at Magic before the Heat take center stage in Los Angeles against the Lakers at 5 p.m. ET. The day's action will then be capped off with the Nuggets in Oklahoma City and Trail Blazers at Golden State.
As usual, the NBA will play afternoon games on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, with the Bulls playing in Memphis at 1 p.m. ET on ESPN. The Magic at Celtics and Thunder at Lakers on TNT will complete the holiday's national TV slate.
It's not surprising the NBA opted for the star-studded Miami-Boston match to open the season. The Celtics eliminated James and the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 6 of the second round in Boston in what turned out to be his final game with the Cavs. Adding even more spice to the matchup are reports Tuesday that Shaquille O'Neal, a teammate of James last season, may be close to joining the Celtics.
But perhaps the most anticipated game of the upcoming season won't come until December, when James returns to Cleveland to face the Cavs on Dec. 2, according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer.
Without a doubt, James will be ridiculed by the local Cleveland media and fans. James made the decision last month to leave the team he started his career with to join the likes of Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in Miami.
Cavs owner Dan Gilbert bashed James in a letter hours after James announced he was departing his hometown for South Beach. The large banner of James outside Quicken Loans Arena was removed. James' jerseys have been burnt in the streets of Cleveland.
The Cavs will reportedly also host the Heat on March 29.