The NBA is in the midst of a lockout with no end in sight, but today the league still announced its schedule for the 2011-12 season. While it may take something miraculous by the league and the players to resolve their deep division on labor issues, we are still a long way away from the league having to cancel games. Here are some highlights on the NBA schedule, whether or not the games actually do happen as scheduled.
-November 1: Chicago Bulls at Dallas Mavericks: The defending NBA Champion Dallas Mavericks raise their title banner on Nov. 1, hosting reigning NBA MVP Derrick Rose and the Chicago Bulls. Good choice to open the season.
-November 2: Miami Heat at New York Knicks: Thirteen games are on the schedule for Nov. 2, none of which are more exciting than the Heat visiting Madison Square Garden to take on the Knicks to open both teams’ seasons.
-November 16: Knicks at Denver Nuggets: This would be the first time Carmelo Anthony returns to Denver after forcing his way out to become a member of the Knicks. ’Melo will surely get the LeBron-in-Cleveland treatment.
-December 15: Lakers at Mavericks: Kobe Bryant and the Lakers will look to exact a little revenge for the Mavericks’ thrashing sweep of LA in the second round of the Western Conference playoffs last season.
-Christmas Day, December 25: Boston Celtics at Knicks, Heat at Mavericks, Bulls at Lakers: Let’s hope the labor issues are resolved so that this savage triple header can actually happen. The league clearly has made Christmas Day its banner regular season day, and these three games feature six of the top draws in the NBA. It’ll be a nice present to basketball fans for this day to come to fruition.
-January 19: Bulls at Heat: The first rematch between the two Eastern Conference finalists.
-April 18: Toronto Raptors at Washington Wizards: The last day of the regular season, and this game is on national television. Why on earth is this game on ESPN? Maybe this is some kind of joke by David Stern and the NBA, because they already know there won’t be a season.