The NBA won’t unveil its full revamped 2011-12 schedule until Tuesday, but the league did formally announce its opening day slate. The 2011 NBA Christmas schedule includes five national TV games featuring many of the biggest stars in the game.
- Boston Celtics at New York Knicks, 12 p.m. ET, TNT. These two teams met in the first round of the NBA playoffs last April, with Boston taking a sweep. The Knicks are looking to add some firepower before the season starts with either Chris Paul or Dwight Howard.
- Miami Heat at Dallas Mavericks, 2:30 p.m. ET, ABC. NBA Opening day rematch for the 2011 finals. The Christmas gift for the Miami Heat is to get to watch the Mavericks lift the Championship Trophy. Should make for a great game.
- Chicago Bulls at L.A. Lakers, 5 p.m. ET, ABC. Reigning MVP Derrick Rose will waltz his Bulls into STAPLES Center for the first game of the Mike Brown’ era. It will be the 14th Christmas Day game for the 16 year vet Kobe Bryant.
- Orlando Magic at Oklahoma City Thunder, 8 p.m. ET, ESPN. The league added the final two games to the schedule since the lockout ended last week. Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook are great fun to watch, this could be a preview of the Finals if Dwight Howard’s future is still in Orlando.
- L.A. Clippers at Golden State Warriors, 10:30 p.m. ET, ESPN. This is the equivalent of a Christmas gift to true heads saddened by the lockout. Oracle Arena is one of the best environments in pro sports, and Blake Griffin is looking to make the top 10 highlight reel on a national level.