(Eds: With AP Photos.) By BRIAN MAHONEY AP Basketball Writer Doc Rivers left home for the holiday, lost the game, and loved every minute of it.
''That was perfect,'' Rivers said, recalling the Boston Celtics' 2011-12 season opener. ''I just think it was awesome.''
A year after the NBA started its season on Christmas out of necessity, Rivers and others think it's something the league should consider doing regularly. The 2011-12 schedule consisted of 66 games, and while even the advocates for the later start aren't certain how many should be played, they believe it's something worth exploring.
''I think starting on Christmas Day would be better and then going later into July, I think that would be better so the start of our season wasn't overshadowed as much by NFL football and college football,'' ABC and ESPN analyst Jeff Van Gundy said. ''If you did that, obviously you'd have to extend into July a lit...