2011 NBA Christmas Day Schedule Released

The 2011 NBA Christmas Day schedule is out, and there are five games ready to take place on the big day. It's doubling as the first day of the 2011-12 NBA season, and quite a few basketball fans are going to get a really nice present.

10 teams will debut on Christmas Day this year, and it's a great way for the NBA to break free of the drama that surrounded the league during this summer's lockout. The last two games of the night do not have start times yet, but will when the official NBA schedule comes out on Tuesday, Dec. 6.

2011 NBA Christmas Day Schedule

Boston Celtics vs. New York Knicks (12 p.m. ET / ESPN)

Two of the best teams from the Atlantic Division face off on the first day of the season. It is an important game for both the Knicks and the Celtics, because it could set the tone for how the early part of the regular season goes for both franchises. Boston won the Atlantic in the 2010-11 season, but New York is ready to compete with Carmelo Anthony on board.

Miami Heat vs. Dallas Mavericks (2:30 p.m. ET / ABC)

This is the re-match of the 2011 NBA Finals, with the Mavericks trying to show that they are the team to beat this year as well. Miami needs to start out better than last year, especially with even more eyes on the team this time around.

Chicago Bulls vs. Los Angeles Lakers (5 p.m. ET / ABC)

The Lakers are looking for another NBA title and the Bulls are trying to prove that their 2010-11 record (62-20) was no fluke. Watching Kobe Bryant and Derrick Rose take the court could make this a very highly watched game on Dec. 25.

Orlando Magic vs. Oklahoma City Thunder (TBD)

Dwight Howard and Kevin Durant lead their respective teams in a huge game for both franchises. Getting off on the right foot this season is extremely important for the Magic and Thunder. For Oklahoma City, this is a season that could see the team join the elite of the NBA and for Orlando its time to prove that Howard should indeed sign a contract extension.

Los Angeles Clippers vs. Golden State Warriors (TBD)

Blake Griffin gets the last game of the night, and gets to play against the young Warriors. Klay Thompson will make his debut for the Warriors, a team that is trying to finally get back into the NBA Playoffs with a new cast of characters.

Sources:

NBA Adds Games to Dec. 25

2010-11 NBA Standings

Note: This article was written by a Yahoo! contributor. Sign up here to start publishing your own sports content.

Updated Friday, Dec 2, 2011