The first game of the 2011-2012 NBA season is a great one, between Atlantic Division rivals Boston Celtics and New York Knicks will face off, rekindling a rivalry that produced a sweep by the Celtics in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs last season, but four very entertaining regular season games.
The Knicks have added Tyson Chandler to their Carmelo Anthony-Amare Stoudemire superstar duo, looking for an interior defensive presence to help stop Kevin Garnett and Rajon Rondo from scoring in the pain. Though Chauncey Billups' typically stout perimeter defense went to Los Angeles by way of the amnesty clause, there's little doubt that the Knicks improved in the offseason.
On the contrary, with another year of age and the loss of forward Jeff Green to a heart condition, there's general consensus around the league that the Celtics will be on the decline. Though that will more likely surface as the condensed season wears on, the first game will be a good indication to how much the C's shallow bench will hurt them.
Game Date/Time: Sunday, Dec. 25, 12 p.m.
Location: Madison Square Garden, New York, N.Y.
TV: TNT (National)