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NBA Lockout Is Over: Schedule To Be Reworked In Advance Of Christmas Openers

Assuming everything goes according to plan from here, the end of the NBA lockout will mean that a 66-game season will begin on December 25, Christmas Day. The old 2011-12 schedule had three games scheduled for Christmas: Celtics vs. Knicks, Heat vs. Mavericks in an NBA Finals rematch and Bulls vs. Lakers. NBA commissioner David Stern indicated that the triple-header would survive in a new schedule, though no one would be surprised to see the league add another game or two to make it a full day (and night) affair.

How the rest of the 66-game slate will play out remains a mystery. One can assume the league prefers to have every team play every other team twice -- those bumps in Indianapolis from a Lakers' visit are worthy quite a bit. So a home-and-home with every team accounts for 58 games, leaving eight on the table.

That would allow for two additional games against division foes, or one more against division foes and one against teams from another division in the same conference.

The post has been corrected.