NBA Schedule 2010-11: Key Matchups You Need to Know About
The league opener is sure to be full of drama as the revamped Miami Heat travel to Beantown to play the Celtics and their most recent addition, Shaquille O'Neal, which will tip at 7:30 p.m. ET and will be broadcast on TNT.
Other notable early season games include a matchup of the Florida teams as Orlando travels to South Beach to play the Heat on Oct. 29 at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN.
In a rematch of the 2009 Western Conference finals, the two-time defending champion L.A. Lakers will play in Phoenix against the Amare-less Suns in Game 2 of ESPN's double-header the night of Oct. 29th.
Speaking of Stoudemire, his return to Phoenix isn't until Friday, Jan. 7, and as of now, it is not scheduled for national broadcast.
The much anticipated return of LeBron James to Cleveland is Dec. 2, as he, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh travel to Quicken Loans Arena for what is sure to be one of the most highly anticipated games of the season.
Christmas Day, never to be denied an influx of great NBA action, will once again feature five games, highlighted by Miami's trip to Hollywood to take on the Lakers at Staples Center. The game will tip at 5 p.m. ET and will be televised on ABC.
The Finals rematch between the Celtics and Lakers is set for Jan. 30 on ABC, and will also be held at Staples Center. It will be Shaq's first appearance against the Lakers wearing Celtic green.
Carlos Boozer's return to his former employer will be Feb. 9 as the Bulls take on the Jazz in Salt Lake City.
Meanwhile, Chris Bosh won't have to wait long to play the Raptors because Toronto travels to Miami on Saturday, Nov. 14. Raptors fans however, aren't quite as lucky, and will have to wait until Wednesday, Feb. 16 to shell out the boobirds CB4, as the Heat don't make the trek up north until the second half of the season.
Out west, one of the marquee teams to watch is the ever-improving Oklahoma City Thunder, who are led by last season's NBA scoring champ Kevin Durant, and who took the Lakers to a nail-biting sixth game in their first-round playoff series last year. The Thunder take on the Lakers on Jan. 17 in LA at 10:30 p.m. ET on ABC. The Lakers will then travel back to Oklahoma City on Sunday, Feb. 27 to play a matinee game which begins at 2:30 p.m. ET and will be televised on ABC.
The NBA will also be going global this season, as the Raptors will take on the New Jersey Nets in London at the O2 Arena on both March 4 and 5. The Nets feature one of the top rookies in this year's class in former Georgia Tech standout, Derrick Favors.
Washington's John Wall, the first pick in the draft, will be in action playing in Orlando on Thursday, Oct. 28 at 8 p.m. ET on TNT, while last year's No. 1 pick Blake Griffin will see his first real game experience (he missed all of 2009-10 due to injury) on opening night, Wednesday, Oct. 27 at 10:30 p.m. ET against Portland on ESPN.
The Sacramento Kings, who feature last season's Rookie of the Year in Tyreke Evans, as well as potentially this season's in No. 5 overall pick DeMarcus Cousins, are not scheduled to play any games on national TV.