The Miami Heat got primetime treatment from the NBA schedule-makers.

No shit.

With the release of their partial schedule, the new-look Miami Heat open their season October 26th on national television against the team that knocked them out last season, Eastern Conference champs Boston Celtics, while the NBA Finals MVP Kobe Bryant and his NBA champs the Los Angeles Lakers tip off their season after the ring ceremony against  last season absentee Yao Ming and the Houston Rockets.

Christmas day will have continue to have the “five live games”  with the main event being the awaited match-up between the trio of Dwayne Wade, LeBron James and Chris Bosh of the Miami Heat vs. the NBA champs, preluded by a rematch of the ’10 Eastern Conference finals, the Boston Celtics and the Orlando Magic.

It is rumored that LeBron James will be making his long awaited return to Cleveland on December 2nd as the second game of a back-to-back games for the Miami Heat.

Other must- see games:

October 27th:

Chicago Bulls vs.Oklahoma City Thunder: Two of the top six teams in the NBA will be facing each other on Day 2 as the revamped Bulls with former Utah Jazz players Carlos Boozer and Kyle Korver and new coach Tom Thobideau facing the stable Thunder who had a quiet offseason.

Portland Trailblazers vs. Los Angeles Clippers: Both teams had to go through the agony of seeing their #1 Draft picks miss their first season due to injury. Will Greg Oden of the Blazers and Blake Griffin of the Clippers play this game and how good will they be?

October 28th:

Washington Wizards vs. Orlando Magic: Two big reasons to watch the game: First, this will be the awaited debut of the 2010 #1 Draft pick John Wall for the Washington Wizards, and the second big reason will be the Orlando Magic’ debut in their new Amway Center.

Phoenix Suns vs. Utah Jazz: After going through major makeovers, including both teams losing big-name power forwards this summer, this matchup could be an interesting one with the Suns acquiring Hedo Turkoglu and Josh Childress after losing Amare Stoudemire and the Utah Jazz trading for Al Jefferson after losing Carlos Boozer.

October 29th:

Orlando Magic vs. Miami Heat: The Miami Heat will be playing their first home game against their state rivals Orlando Magic. While the Miami Heat have the Miami Thrice, they do not, however, have a big center to defend Dwight Howard. Will the Magic take advantage?

Los Angeles Lakers vs. Phoenix Suns: Rematch of the 2010 Western Conference finals, although it won’t be the same after the departure of Stoudemire but with all that it will remain to be an interesting game.

Full partial schedule that was released (Note: Schedule taken off ESPN.com):

2010-11 NBA Opening Week Schedule

Date Matchup Coverage Time
Tuesday, Oct. 26 Heat vs. Celtics TNT, ESPN Radio 7:30 ET
Tuesday, Oct. 26 Rockets vs. Lakers TNT 10:30 ET
Wednesday, Oct. 27 Bulls vs. Thunder ESPN, ESPN3.com 8 ET
Wednesday, Oct. 27 Blazers vs. Clippers ESPN, ESPN3.com 10:30 ET
Thursday, Oct. 28 Wizards vs. Magic TNT 8 ET
Thursday, Oct. 28 Suns vs. Jazz TNT 10:30 ET
Friday, Oct. 29 Magic vs. Heat ESPN, ESPN3.com 8 ET
Friday, Oct. 29 Lakers vs. Suns ESPN, ESPN3.com 10:30 ET
Date Matchup Coverage Time
Saturday, Dec. 25 Bulls vs. Knicks ESPN, ESPN3.com Noon ET
Saturday, Dec. 25 Celtics vs. Magic ABC 2:30 ET
Saturday, Dec. 25 Heat vs. Lakers ABC, ESPN Radio 5 ET
Saturday, Dec. 25 Nuggets vs. Thunder ESPN, ESPN3.com 8 ET
Saturday, Dec. 25 Blazers vs. Warriors ESPN, ESPN3.com 10:30 ET

2011 Martin Luther King Jr. Day Schedule

Date Matchup Coverage Time
Monday, Jan. 17 Bulls vs. Grizzlies ESPN, ESPN3.com 1 ET
Monday, Jan. 17 Magic vs. Celtics TNT 8 ET
Monday, Jan. 17 Thunder vs. Lakers TNT 10:30 ET
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