The NBA released its hypothetical new schedule today, which pits the Celtics against the Cleveland Cavaliers on opening night. If this were 2007 and Lebron James had not yet Crane Kicked the entire city of Cleveland, that would be fun. But this is 2011, meaning two things:
1) The matchup probably won’t even happen. #lockout
2) If the matchup does happen, the Celtics will play one of the NBA’s worst teams. Optimistically, we’ll get the first glimpse of Kyrie Irving. Pessimistically, the Celtics will hypothetically open the season against the Cleveland Effing Cavaliers, marking today’s second sign that my earlier theory may be correct — the Celtics no longer get full respect from the NBA.
Chris Forsberg broke down the schedule, noting that 12 of Boston’s first 19 games will be on the road, the C’s will play 24 nationally televised games, and the Celtics will play 20 back-to-back games (16 of which will end on the road).
Here are Forsberg’s important dates to circle, assuming a season occurs as scheduled (which seems about as likely as J.J. Redick winning the dunk title):
CIRCLE THESE MATCHUPS
Nov. 2: Cleveland at Boston (Opening night for the new season)
Nov. 16: Boston at Miami (Back to where the 2010-11 season ended)
Dec. 1: Miami at Boston (Heat’s first visit to the Hub)
Dec. 25: Boston at New York (Christmas in the Big Apple)
Jan. 11: Dallas at Boston (First meeting with the world champs)
Jan. 16: Oklahoma City at Boston (Kendrick Perkins back in the Garden)
Feb. 9: L.A. Lakers at Boston (Rematch in L.A. on March 11)
Feb. 12: Chicago at Boston (First meeting with Bulls; ABC Sunday broadcast)
Feb. 22: Boston at Oklahoma City (Jeff Green’s return to OKC)
April 18: Orlando at Boston (Regular-season finale at Garden)