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The Best Matchups From The Newly Released NBA Schedule

By 07.19.11

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It’s hard to describe the feeling.

You know that girl you’ve secretly liked for the past six months but haven’t told anyone about. The one you comb your hair for, even though the class you have with her is at eight in the morning. The one you change your traditional walk-back-from-class route for, just so you can see her and say “hi.”

Yea, well imagine your best friend just started dating her.

It’s kinda like that.

You’re happy, because he’s your best friend and she’s out of his league. But your devastated, because he’s your best friend and she’s out of his league.

Same goes with the release of the 2011-2012 NBA schedule. Your ecstatic, but still skeptical. Elated, but still weary. No one knows how long this lockout is going to last. Which means no one knows which games we’re actually going to see.

Anyway…

The 2011-2012 NBA schedule was announced today – a calendar that will feature games broadcast on ABC, TNT, ESPN and NBA TV. The season will open on November 1st as part of Kia Motors NBA Tip-Off 2011, with two games on TNT. In the first game, the Chicago Bulls take on the Dallas Mavericks, a game that will air at 8 p.m ET. Before the game, TNT will televise the championship ring ceremony. In the second game of the doubleheader, the Oklahoma City Thunder travel to Los Angeles to take on Kobe Bryant and the Lakers at 10:30 p.m. ET.

TNT announced today they will air 52 primetime games this coming season, 19 of which consist of the NBA Champion Dallas Mavericks, the Miami Heat, the L.A. Lakers, the Boston Celtics, and the Chicago Bulls. 44 of the games will be part of TNT’s Thursday night exclusive doubleheader.

The most anticipated roster of NBA analysts has been finalized. NBA on TNT will feature two-time Emmy Award-winning host Ernie Johnson, Magic Johnson, Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith, and Shaquille O’Neal. Chris Webber with make selected studio appearances.

NBA TV will feature 96 live games during the 2011-2012 regular season. Fan Night, the networks highly successful fan interaction segment will take place for the fourth consecutive year. The awarded games will be aired nationally on NBA TV every Tuesday night during the season. Fan Night will be hosted by Ernie Johnson and Chris Webber.

But without further ado, the most anticipated games of the 2011-2012 NBA season.

*** *** ***

November 1st, 2011: Dallas vs Chicago
A fascinating what-will-they-look-like-a-year-later opening night matchup. One team defending, the other team adjusting. One team riding high, the other at a plodding ascent. One team fighting father time, the other fighting to prove they’re elite. A year will tell a lot, let’s just pray that it gets the chance. An underlying side note for this game (and for the rest of the season): Caron Butler (if he re-signs) and Rudy Fernandez. Should be interesting to see how Rick Carlisle fits these two pieces into the puzzle.

November 2nd, 2011: Miami vs New York
Opening night in New York, against LeBron. Does it get any bigger? A star studded display with enough talent to make fans drool. With LeBron, Wade, Bosh, ‘Melo and STAT on the floor at the same time, anything can happen. Expect points, dunks, more points, and an abundance of Spike Lee. The biggest stage for the biggest stars. Count me in.

November 2nd, 2011: Cleveland vs Boston
Kyrie Irving, the number one pick, makes his NBA debut against Boston, one of the best defensive teams in the league (funny how these things work out). Welcome to the NBA!

November 16th, 2011: New York vs Denver
With the ‘Melo-drama finally over, it’s time to see how Denver really feels. And between me and you, I hope it’s angry.

November 18th, 2011: Miami vs Cleveland
Round one was incredible. Round two was forgettable. Round three is up to them. LeBron should be on the top of his game for this one, as will the fans in Cleveland. “Quitness” signs and “Queen James” posters are expected, but I’m hoping for something new – something we haven’t seen. Delonte-Gloria was so 2010.

December 25th, 2011: Dallas vs Miami
Merry Christmas NBA fans – an NBA finals rematch for you. Santa was nice this year and gift-wrapped the game we all wanted to see (or the game I wanted to see). Miami gets another crack at Dallas, and Dallas get another chance to prove whether or not “team” beats “talent.” Personally, I can’t wait.

December 26th, 2011: Memphis vs San Antonio
Goliath gets his revenge against David. Except, Memphis is really good, and San Antonio is really old. Maybe San Antonio is David and Memphis was Goliath all along. Maybe San Antonio secretly knew all along they were David. I’ll just stop because my head is starting to hurt.

January 30th, 2012: Sacramento vs Utah
Beiber Fever.” Please. Just wait until “Mormon-Mania.” The streets of Salt Lake will be empty that night, as droves of the Jimmer faithful pile into Energy Solutions Arena. 14-year-old girls lining the entrances – hoping and praying Jimmer’s feeling generous. A signature, and a hand slap, anything to tell their friends about. Regardless of his mood, expect a couple threes. Jimmer’s a crowd pleaser, and I have a feeling he’s not going to disappoint.

March 4th, 2012: Miami vs Los Angeles
LeBron vs Kobe. Another match-up for drunk college kids to almost get in a fight about. LeBRON IS A BETTER ALL-AROUND PLAYER!!!!!! KOBE HAS FIVE RINGS!!!!!! Mom, if your reading this, I’ll be studying that night. I swear.

What games are you most looking forward to?

Follow Scott on Twitter at @scott_horlbeck.

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TOPICS#CHICAGO BULLS
TAGSdallas mavericksDimeMagJIMMER FREDETTELatest NewsLOS ANGELES LAKERSOKLAHOMA CITYRick Carlisle

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