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 as the 'Bockers struggled with injuries. If you believe the rumors, each team could look quite different by the time Christmas rolls around.
- Miami Heat at Dallas Mavericks, 2:30 p.m. ET, ABC. Yep, the Heat have to stand there and watch the Mavs lift the 2011 NBA Championship banner. Expect on-court brutality in the immediate aftermath.
- 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 Mike Brown's Lakers career. All eyes will be on Kobe Bryant, though, as he still hasn't exactly publicly embraced Brown, who beat out longtime Lakers assistant Brian Shaw for the job.
- 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, but the focus here will be Dwight Howard's future (or lack thereof) 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 must be like a champagne bottle that's been in a paint mixer.
Stay tuned for full schedule analysis on Tuesday.