2008-09 NBA Schedule is Official

Kevin GarnettGive that man “The Precious”

* Opening Night is Oct. 28, featuring a national TV doubleheader: Celtics/Cavs, where Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and crew get their rings and unveil banner #17, followed by Blazers/Lakers and Greg Oden‘s first game (don’t forget Jerryd Bayless and Rudy Fernandez, too).

* Christmas Day has four national TV games: Magic/Hornets, Spurs/Suns, Wizards/Cavs, and Blazers/Mavs.

* The first Chris Paul/Deron Williams head-to-head is Jan. 7 in Utah. CP and Deron play each other three times next season.

* Derrick Rose makes his pro debut on Oct. 28 at home against the Bucks. His next game is a national TV date with the Celtics on Halloween. Rose’s first head-to-head with O.J. Mayo is on Nov. 1 in Chicago, he gets Mike Beasley on Dec. 26 in Miami, and starting Dec. 13 Rose embarks on a six-game stretch that’ll have him going up against Devin Harris, Ray Felton, Baron Davis, Deron Williams and Chauncey Billups.

* Beasley (and the new-look D-Wade) debuts on the biggest stage possible, at MSG against the Knicks on Oct. 29. The first Beasley/Kevin Durant meeting is on Dec. 6 in Miami. Beasley gets his first “Welcome to the NBA” run earlier, a four-game stretch of Emeka Okafor, Elton Brand, Tim Duncan and David West that starts on Nov. 1.

* LeBron travels to New Jersey for the first time on Nov. 18, then New York on Nov. 25. Take a guess what everyone will be talking about then.

* After some summer roster-switching, the Warriors and Clippers meet up for the first time on Nov. 15 at Staples. Baron Davis returns to the Bay on Jan. 25. What kind of reception will he get from the GS crowd?

* Kobe gets his first chance to show Baron who runs Staples on Oct. 29, a home game for the Clippers, then again on Nov. 5 when the court will be purple and gold.

* Mike D’Antoni and the Knicks go to Phoenix on Dec. 15, where he’ll reunite with Steve Nash and the gang. Assuming D’Antoni hasn’t quit by then.

* Meanwhile, the Suns open the season on a TOUGH stretch: at San Antonio, then home for the Hornets and Blazers, then immediately followed by a four-game Eastern road swing. Shaq returns to Miami on March 4, and gets to tell Kobe to taste his ass in-person on Dec. 20 in Phoenix. And how loudly will Diesel get booed when he visits Kobe’s house on Dec. 10?

* Yi vs. Yao Part III is Dec. 22 in Jersey. Part IV is Feb. 17 in H-town.

* Allen Iverson goes back to Philly on Feb. 18, where he could be getting a first-hand look at a Sixers team that’s significantly better than his Denver squad.

* Houston’s new Big Three (T-Mac, Yao, Artest) makes its debut Oct. 29 at home against Memphis, and gets their first real test the next night at Dallas in a national TV game. Hurry and catch ’em while they’re all standing upright.

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