The NBA released its full schedule on Tuesday, and as each individual franchise began releasing its official agenda to the public, there seems to be one matchup that is making just about every headline.
In past seasons, the highlighted contest normally came against the defending NBA Finals champion, but this year, 29 teams are buzzing about the Boys of Summer, the new Big Three. Everyone is looking forward to the day when the Miami Heat come to town.
The Heat are pulling off exactly what they set out to do, and that is to garner as much media attention as possible. Ever since Dwyane Wade, LeBron James and Chris Bosh began conspiring to "take their talents to South Beach," their every move has been written, photographed and tweeted, and the schedule announcement is no different.
Miami will receive the maximum amount of nationally televised games this season, as they are currently on the docket for 29 games on TNT, ESPN, ABC or NBA TV. They will likely receive more national broadcasts on NBA TV throughout the season, for the "fans' choice" games on Tuesday nights.
The Boston Celtics will be the first official hosts for Miami, sizing up the new Big Three against the older Big Three. Bosh, James and Wade will face off against Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce at the TD Garden on Oct. 26. The highly anticipated matchup will be the first indicator of just how many boos the Heat will hear this season.
In addition to airing their season-opener in Boston, TNT will broadcast LeBron's return to Cleveland on Dec. 2. A game that is sure to drive ratings through the roof, Cleveland fans will be undoubtedly merciless against their own version of Benedict Arnold, who left them high and dry without their promised championship.
Christmas Day will also bring the Heat, pairing off with the Los Angeles Lakers for the first time of the season at 5 p.m., following the Celtics-Magic tipoff at 2:30 p.m.
Like it or not, the Miami Heat will be a national story throughout the 2010-11 season, with speculation centering around if they can live up to the hype they've built for themselves. Their offseason antics have earned them a stacked schedule under the spotlight they've demanded. Now the question remains if they can fill that spotlight with on-court talent.