TNT's 2011-12 NBA schedule is heavy on the glamour teams, as you'd expect. The revamped 66-game schedule was released on Tuesday, and TNT -- which primarily hosts Thursday doubleheaders, but has some other special occasions mixed in -- will feature the Boston Celtics and L.A. Lakers 10 times each.
TNT will show 45 games this season, beginning with the season's very first match-up at 12 p.m. ET on December 25 between the Celtics and New York Knicks. The Knicks will be featured seven more times on the network.
The Miami Heat, a huge ratings driver last season, will be on TNT nine times, including in the opening slot in the network's first weekday doubleheader of the season on Tuesday, December 27 against Boston. The defending champion Dallas Mavericks have eight appearances on TNT scheduled, with the team debuting on Thursday, December 29 against the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Viewers will note a distinct lack of familiar TNT combatants the San Antonio Spurs and Phoenix Suns. Over the last decade, perhaps no team but the Lakers has been featured on TNT as frequently as the Spurs and Suns. But Phoenix and San Antonio (who finished with the best record in the West last season) have just two appearances each scheduled.
Other teams with multiple scheduled appearances include the Chicago Bulls (seven), Orlando Magic (six), Thunder (six), Portland Trail Blazers (four), Golden State Warriors (four), L.A. Clippers (four), Utah Jazz (two), Memphis Grizzlies (two) and Denver Nuggets (two).