The NBA opens the season in South Beach with a rematch of the Eastern Conference finals. The Celtics obviously fell to the eventual champs in that matchup, but they hold a 6-2 record over the Heat in the regular season in the two years since LeBron James joined the team.
2 of 15Garrett W. Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images
Nuggets at Sixers
Andre Iguodala spent eight seasons in Philadelphia before being shipped to the Nuggets this offseason in the Dwight Howard megatrade. On Oct. 31, he returns to the City of Brotherly Love with his new team. Will the Sixers' fans welcome back their one-time franchise cornerstone? Remember, this is the city that once booed Santa Claus.
3 of 15David Dow/NBAE via Getty Images
Knicks at Nets
The Nets will be playing for more than just a season-opening win when they face the Knicks on Nov. 1. Now in Brooklyn, the Nets are battling for the hearts and minds of New York City. A victory over their Manhattan rival would go a long way for a franchise that finished 22-44 a season ago.
4 of 15D. Clarke Evans/NBAE via Getty Images
Thunder at Spurs
On Nov. 1, Kevin Durant and Co. head to San Antonio for a rematch of the Western Conference finals. The Spurs pushed the Thunder to six games before falling in that series, but an exhilarating Thunder team is now a year older and a year wiser while the Spurs are just another year older. This should serve as an interesting, early glimpse of the pecking order out West.
5 of 15Robert Seale/SI
Rockets at Knicks
Sources said the Knicks would match any offer for Jeremy Lin, but when it came down to it, the team chose not to match Houston's three-year, $25.1 million offer. On Dec. 17, Lin returns to the city where Linsanity was born. Will this be the first of many opportunities for the 24-year-old to show New Yorkers what could have been?
6 of 15Issac Baldizon/NBAE via Getty Images
Thunder at Heat
A rematch of the NBA finals -- it doesn't get much better on Christmas Day. There's no doubt the Thunder already have this date on the calendar circled.
7 of 15Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images; Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images
Sixers at Lakers
You could argue that the Sixers received the second-best haul in the Dwight Howard trade. On New Year's Day, that trade will be put to the test as Andrew Bynum faces off against his former team and its new center. On paper, few teams match up better with the Lakers than these new-look Sixers.
8 of 15Layne Murdoch/NBAE via Getty Images
Hornets at Celtics
There were rumors that the Celtics were attempting to move up to draft Doc Rivers' son, Austin, but the younger Rivers ultimately went to New Orleans at No. 10. On Jan. 16, father faces son when the Hornets travel to Boston. As if that wasn't enough intrigue, the game also pits Anthony Davis against a player he's often compared to, Kevin Garnett.
9 of 15Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images
Heat at Lakers
A possible Finals preview? We've been waiting for a Kobe-LeBron matchup for years and we may get it this season. The Lakers would appear to have the edge given their size up front, but no one can match up with LeBron. We'll see how it plays out on Jan. 17.
10 of 15Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images
Clippers at Timberwolves
Two of the brightest young power forwards in the league go head-to-head when the Clippers visit the Timberwolves on Jan. 17. Blake Griffin held the scoring edge over Kevin Love in their matchups last season (a 24-point average to a 22-point average), but the Timberwolves won three of those four games. If we're lucky, this game will also feature a point guard duel between Chris Paul and Ricky Rubio, who is recovering from a torn ACL suffered last spring.
11 of 15Issac Baldizon/NBAE via Getty Images
Heat at Celtics
The second Heat-Celtics clash should be much more interesting than the first. Ray Allen, who helped the Celtics capture their 17th title in 2008, moved from Beantown to South Beach this offseason amid rumors of a feud with star point guard Rajon Rondo. The signs "welcoming" Allen back to Boston are reason enough to tune in.
12 of 15Stephen Dunn/Getty Images
Lakers at Suns
Before joining the Lakers this offseason, Nash treated Phoenix fans to three trips to the Western Conference finals, two MVP seasons and one of the most exciting offenses the desert has ever seen. Lakers players rarely receive ovations in Phoenix, but Nash should be the exception.
13 of 15Harry How/Getty Images
Lakers at Magic
Dwight Howard tortured Orlando fans off the court for months with his trade demands, and he returns in March in hopes of torturing a depleted Magic squad on the court. Lakers fans are hoping Howard doesn't follow in the footsteps of Shaquille O'Neal, who sat out his first game back in Orlando with an injury.
14 of 15Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images
Knicks at Nuggets
Carmelo Anthony met his former team in the Garden last year, but a lockout-shortened season precluded the Knicks' forward from returning to the city where he played the first seven seasons of his career. Given the time that's passed, Anthony should be more worried about a young, athletic Denver team than the reaction he'll receive from the crowd.
15 of 15Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images
Grizzlies at Mavericks
The Southwest has belonged to the Mavericks and Spurs for many years now, but the Grizzlies are a rising power. With Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph in the frontcourt, and with Rudy Gay manning the wing, the Grizzlies have made two straight postseason trips. When Dallas and Memphis meet on April 15, there will no doubt be playoff implications.
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