Originally posted on Fox Sports Southwest  |  Last updated 7/26/12
NEW YORK (AP) -- Miami's championship defense will begin where they won last season's title, and the first game for the Brooklyn Nets will be at home against their now-crosstown rival. LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and the Heat will raise their title banner at home on Oct. 30 against the Boston Celtics as part of an opening-night tripleheader, meaning Ray Allen's first game with Miami will come against his former club and in a rematch of last season's seven-game Eastern Conference finals. Also on opening night, Washington visits Cleveland (technically the season's first game, starting an hour earlier than the Boston-Miami matchup) and Dallas plays at the Los Angeles Lakers, Steve Nash's debut as Kobe Bryant's teammate. "We all know this season is a very important one. We'd like to get back on top as a team," Lakers forward Pau Gasol said Thursday in London, where he and the Spanish national team were wrapping up preparations for the start of the Olympics. The Nets, having now moved from New Jersey, will open the year Nov. 1 at home against the New York Knicks -- whose Manhattan home is about 6 miles north of Brooklyn's Barclays Center. And NBA finalist Oklahoma City starts the season that same night, playing at San Antonio in a Western Conference finals rematch. Jeremy Lin won't be in that Knicks-Nets opener -- his return to Madison Square Garden comes Dec. 17. The Knicks play in Houston on Nov. 23. As for the NBA Finals rematches, both will get national-television treatment. The Thunder visit the Heat as part of a five-game slate on Christmas Day (to be aired on ABC), and the Heat will head to Oklahoma City on Feb. 14, a game to be shown on TNT. The All-Star Game is in Houston on Feb. 17. The regular season ends April 17. While Miami might be the site of the marquee matchup on Dec. 25, Los Angeles will get a Christmas doubleheader: The Lakers play host to the Knicks, and five hours or so after that game ends, the Clippers will get a visit from the Denver Nuggets. Reigning NBA MVP LeBron James spent seven seasons chasing a title in Cleveland, then finally won one in his second season with Miami. But the season will be winding down by the time he and the Heat head to Cleveland again: Miami is set to play there on March 20, and then again on April 15 in the regular-season road finale for the champions. Miami guard Dwyane Wade will be spending his birthday in Los Angeles, a secret he tipped his Twitter followers off to earlier this week: The Heat wrap up a six-game road trip against the Lakers on Jan. 17, the day when Wade turns 31. The NBA has an eight-game schedule on Jan. 21, commemorating Martin Luther King Jr. Day with four national TV matchups -- Indiana at Memphis, the Nets at the Knicks, the Spurs at Philadelphia and the Lakers at Chicago. Maybe the game's most storied rivalry resumes in February: The Lakers are in Boston on Feb. 7, and the Celtics go to Los Angeles on Feb. 20. Top draft pick Anthony Davis and the New Orleans Hornets start their season at home on Oct. 31 against San Antonio. Another Hornets game that will almost certainly get some attention is scheduled for Jan. 16 in Boston -- where New Orleans rookie Austin Rivers would be facing a Celtics team coached by his father, Boston's Doc Rivers. Meanwhile, one NBA star who was widely expected to change teams and still has not -- Dwight Howard -- would have his season-opener with the Orlando Magic on Nov. 2 at home against Denver. Among other matchups of note involving players who changed teams in recent weeks: -- Nash will play in Phoenix, the city where he won two MVP awards, as a visitor again on Jan. 30. -- Joe Johnson returns to Atlanta for the first time with the Nets on Jan. 16. -- Brandon Roy joined Minnesota this offseason, so he'll get his first view of the visiting bench in Portland on Nov. 23. -- Jason Terry's return to Dallas would be March 22, when the Celtics make their trip to play the Mavericks.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER:
Is Anthony Davis really the best big man from UK in the NBA?
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Kevin Garnett offered coaching position with the Cavaliers

Dwight Gooden on Tim Tebow: I would’ve eaten him alive

Josh Gordon entering rehab

NFL announces Randy Gregory suspended another 10 games

Khris Middleton expected to miss six months after surgery

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Cowboys worried about Bryant's 'irresponsible' actions

Seahawks expecting Russell Wilson to play this week

Ryder Cup heckler wins $100 off Euro players by draining putt

Report: ‘Slim’ chance J.J. Watt returns to Texans this season

Senator introduces anti-online gambling bill to Congress

SCOTUS petitioned to block $1B NFL concussion settlement

NBA winners and losers: Gregg Popovich as a voice of reason

WATCH: Will LSU have to sell its soul to find its next head coach?

The clubhouse leaders for MLB Rookie of the Year

Goodbye, Ted: 20 years of highs and lows at Turner Field

Forza Horizon 3 review: Going Top Gear

NFL Kickoff Week 4: Guess what? The NFL is dying again

Box Score: 9/29 - Sparks, Scherzer and Jaso

How the BoSox went from fringe contenders to AL East champs

WNBA semifinals preview: Will the rust show for Lynx, Sparks?

Breaking down baseball’s Cy Young ballot

TailGreater: 'Sterngating' with the Huskies

Can anyone challenge the Cavs in murky Eastern Conference?

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

NBA winners and losers: Gregg Popovich as a voice of reason

WATCH: Will LSU have to sell its soul to find its next head coach?

The clubhouse leaders for MLB Rookie of the Year

Goodbye, Ted: 20 years of highs and lows at Turner Field

Forza Horizon 3 review: Going Top Gear

NFL Kickoff Week 4: Guess what? The NFL is dying again

WNBA semifinals preview: Will the rust show for Lynx, Sparks?

Breaking down baseball’s Cy Young ballot

TailGreater: 'Sterngating' with the Huskies

Can anyone challenge the Cavs in murky Eastern Conference?

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker