After the lockout lopped off 16 games from each team's slate, the NBA will finally tip off its abbreviated 2011-12 season on Christmas with five contests.
TNT will present the first game of the new campaign with the Boston Celtics visiting the New York Knicks at noon (ET). From there it's a Disney day with a 2011 Finals rematch between the Miami Heat and the champion Dallas Mavericks at 2:30 p.m. on ABC; the Chicago Bulls at the Los Lakers at 5 p.m. on ABC; the Orlando Magic and Oklahoma City Thurnder at 8 p.m. on ESPN; and Blake Griffen's Los Angeles Clippers at the Golden State Warriors in the nightcap at 10:30 p.m. on the worldwide leader.
Highlights from the revised 66-game season will be trumpeted on Dec. 6, when NBA TV airs an NBA schedule release show at 7 p.m.
NBA owners and the reconstituted players union were expected to meet Friday to hammer out the final details on a new 10-year labor agreement, which reportedly includes an opt-out provision from both parties after six years. The owners and players -- with a simple majority needed from each side -- will vote separately to ratify the new deal on Dec. 8. Following approbation from both, training camps would open the following day.