After a nightmare of a year, that because of the protracted NBA Lockout, the Association played an abridged 66-game schedule that started on Christmas Day; “NBA.com” reported Thursday evening that a full 82-game slate will take place in the upcoming campaign. The regular season will begin on Tuesday October 30, with a triple-header, including two games that will feature the last four teams in the Association to win the Larry O’Brien Trophy.
The Miami Heat will receive their championship rings at home that night, then will face off against their rivals in the recent Eastern Conference Finals, the Boston Celtics. The Celtics lost a 3-2 game margin in the series, sending the Heat to their second straight finals appearance, was the last team from the East to win the title. having captured it in 2008.
The Los Angeles Lakers, who won the title in both 2009 and 2010, will get to test out their renovated back-court; with Kobe Bryant joined by veteran Steve Nash, as they host a Dallas Mavericks squad, that casual fans will not know the players without a program. Other than having Dirk Nowitzki and Shawn Marion on their roster, there are very few signs of the team that took home the O’Brien Trophy in 2011. Although it is doubtful that Dallas could make it back to the Finals next June, G.M. Donnie Nelson has put together a respectable roster in the last few weeks.
The third game of the night will not be televised nationally; but it will feature two young clubs, that both have put together dynamic back-courts for the coming campaign, as the Washington Wizards will take the floor at Quicken Loans Arena to face the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Wizards will team Bradley Beal with their talented young point guard John Wall, while Rookie Of The Year Kyrie Irving’s new running partner is Dion Waiters, a pretty intense matchup to start the NBA careers of Beal and Waiters.
When you are done taking the little one’s for “Trick-Or-Treat” the following evening, you will have a total of nine different games to choose from; including a rematch of the series that sent the Memphis Grizzlies home for the year as they be at the Staples Center to face the Clippers. Another game that will surely provoke interest is when the Indiana Pacers travel north of the border to face the Toronto Raptors. It will be the NBA debut for Raptors new center Jonas Valanciunas, as the Lithuanian big man’s arrival in Toronto has been highly anticipated.
Thursday night November 1, will be the first “TNT-Double-Header” of the season as the Oklahoma City Thunder will be in San Antonio to take on the team they defeated in the Western Conference Finals as they go up against the Spurs. The game in the East, will debut the Brooklyn Nets new state-of-the-art facility, the Barclays Center as they host their now cross-town rivals the New York Knicks.
Christmas Day, has become a huge event for the Association in recent years and this year will be the same as there will be five games beginning at noon EST, as the Celtics will spend their Christmas in Brooklyn. The Knicks will also play a game that starts at noon, however they have the advantage of being in Los Angeles which is three-hours behind the East Coast, as they take the court against the Lakers. A re-match of the recently fought NBA Finals will start at 5:30pm EST as the Thunder will be in Miami; rounding out the day the Rockets will be in Chicago to face the Bulls, while Staples Center workers will have a busy day, as the Clippers host the Denver Nuggets.