Heat-Celtics tip-off NBA 2012-13 season, Lakers-Mavs also in opener
New York, NY, United States (4E Sports) – After the lockout-adjusted season, the NBA is back to its more interesting full-fledged 82-game schedule, with LeBron James and the rest of the Miami Heat tipping off their title defense on Opening Night, on Oct. 30.
In the 2012-13 NBA schedule unveiled Thursday night, Miami will host the Boston Celtics.
Apart from the Heat getting their championship rings and hoisting their second banner at home, the other storyline will be Ray Allen going up against his former Celtics team, in a rematch of last year’s East finals.
Allen joined Miami via free agency this offseason just weeks after the Celtics failed to hold on a 3-2 edge in the conference finals, getting bounced in the playoffs by the eventual NBA champs Heat.
Also on Opening Night, new Laker point guard Steve Nash will be teaming up with Kobe Bryant as Los Angeles hosts Dirk Nowitzki and the 2011 NBA champion Mavericks. Nash, a two-time league MVP, was acquired in a sign-and-trade with the Suns several weeks ago.
The next day, Oct. 31, top draft pick Anthony Davis will strut his talent as the New Orleans start their season at home against the San Antonio Spurs.
Jeremy Lin will not play in the Nov. 1 clash between the Knicks and the Nets, who are kicking off their first season at their new home since moving from their arena in Newark, New Jersey. Instead, the former Knicks phenom Lin will make his return to Madison Square Garden on Dec. 17.
Christmas Day will feature five games, with the Heat and Oklahoma City Thunder highlighting the slate with a rematch of the NBA Finals.
The Celtics will try to further liven up the Yuletide as they collide with the Brooklyn Nets.
There will be a doubleheader at Staples Center in Los Angeles on Dec. 25, with the Lakers hosting the Knicks and the Denver Nuggets playing the Clippers in the nightcap.
The Houston Rockets and Chicago Bulls will precede the holiday nightcap of the Nuggets- Clips matchup.
The NBA will celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, on Jan. 21, starting with the Indiana Pacers slugging it out with the Grizzlies in Memphis. Other nationally televised games on that day include the Spurs at Philadelphia and Lakers at Chicago.
Meanwhile, Houston will host the 2013 NBA All-Star Game on Feb. 17.
The regular season of the 67th edition of the NBA will end on April 17 with 15 games, and the playoffs will start on Saturday, April 20.