When the NBA canceled the first two weeks of its season, the assumption was that those games were never coming back and the league would adjust its schedule to feature fewer than the normal 82 games. Cancellation is not postponement.
At least one report suggests that this might not be the case. In fact, if the league reaches a deal with the union soon, it may still play a full schedule. From KC Johnson for the Chicago Tribune:
Another league source said that, despite Stern's cancellation, there still is a possibility an 82-game schedule can be salvaged in a lengthened season that would stretch into July. That is, if progress continues to the point a deal is made this week.
It would be a minor miracle for there to be 82 games, in part because it seems unlikely a deal can be reached that soon. Which, oddly enough, is why I think there's a decent chance it's a negotiating ploy and little more.
The sooner the lockout gets resolved, the more likely it is that ownership will get a deal that favors them considerably (as opposed to one that favors them only a bit). If the league can build critical mass from its fans in favor of a resolution by teasing the possibility of a full season just weeks after it said it couldn't happen, then it'll do it. Eighty-two games is what everyone wants, so why not make everyone think it's a possibility to drive public opinion?