The NBA got it right.
In the 36 hours before Tuesday’s announcement of the league’s season-opening and holiday slate, rumors swirled about potential opening-night matchups. No game made more sense to kick off the 2010-11 season than Boston Celtics vs. Miami Heat and that’s exactly what the NBA delivered.
The Miami Thrice visit the Big Three on Tuesday, Oct. 26, 7:30 p.m. on TNT. Let the hype begin.
The Celtics-Heat clash highlighted NBA's hourlong special Tuesday night, but it was just one of three games announced for the Celtics.
Boston will once again travel to Orlando for a Christmas Day showdown with the Orlando Magic (a rematch of the Eastern Conference Finals). That game will be televised on ABC at 2:30 p.m. as part of the league's five-game showcase (the rest of the schedule: Bulls at Knicks, noon; Heat at Lakers, 5 p.m.; Nuggets at Thunder, 8 p.m.; Blazers at Warriors, 10:30 p.m.)
The Magic will trek to Boston for another battle on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Jan. 17 at 8 p.m. on TNT.
One report Monday indicated the Heat would start the season in Orlando, where the Magic are set to open their sparkling new $480 million Amway Center. Another report suggested the Celtics would dance with the Cavaliers on opening night for the third straight season. Both matchups lacked the pizazz of a Celtics-Heat battle and the NBA made the right decision in pitting the defending Eastern Conference champions against the preseason favorite to steal that crown.
The full 2010-11 NBA schedule will be released on Aug. 10.