The NBA released its schedule for the 2013-14 season Tuesday afternoon, and as expected, the Miami Heat will be first up as they receive their rings before starting a quest for a third straight NBA championship.
They'll face a Chicago Bulls squad looking for revenge for a playoff loss last year in the first game of the year on Tuesday, October 29 -- except this time, that Chicago team will have Derrick Rose, who is hoping to play from the very start this year after missing all of last season with a knee injury. The news isn't completely surprising -- the matchup for the year's very first game leaked a tad early.
That game will be at 8 p.m. ET at TNT, part of a double-header whose second game features the crosstown rivalry between the resurgent Los Angeles Clippers and the now-Dwight Howard-less Los Angeles Lakers. That game tips at 10:30 p.m.
The NBA's marquee day is Christmas, and this year the holiday features a slate of five games, again featuring the Heat. The show starts with Kevin Durant's Thunder and Carmelo Anthony's Knicks, but also features matchups between the Bulls and Nets, Heat and Lakers, Rockets and Spurs, and Clippers and Warriors.
Other important dates: a Jan. 26 return to Boston for Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett, and a four-game marathon on Martin Luther King Day, featuring a New York City matchup between the Nets and Knicks, followed by Hornets-Grizzlies, Lakers-Bulls, and Pacers-Warriors.
The games were announced on NBATV, and the full schedule can now be found on NBA.com.