Ball Don't Lie - NBA

As I'm sure you know, the NBA suits released the complete 2008-09 game schedule and broadcast schedules today. Yes, yes, it's all very exciting stuff. In fact, it reads just like a Hardy Boys novel. Minus the mystery.

Because I have absolutely nothing better to do, I clicked through the team schedules and counted up the number of national television games (ABC, TNT, ESPN, and one rogue ESPN2 game) each team was allotted. Here's how she breaks down:

20+ nationally televised games: Boston (25), Cleveland (25), Dallas (21), LA Lakers (25), Phoenix (25)

10-to-19 nationally televised games: Chicago (10), Denver (16), Detroit (14), Houston (13), New Orleans (12), Orlando (11), Portland (13), San Antonio (19), Utah (11), Washington (11)

2-to-9 nationally televised games: Golden State (8), Miami (9), Philadelphia (7), Toronto (2, one on ESPN2)

One nationally televised game: Atlanta, LA Clippers, Milwaukee, Memphis, New Jersey, Oklahoma City

Zero nationally televised game: Charlotte, Indiana, Minnesota, New York, Sacramento

Additional thoughts:

• The NBA season tips off on TNT with a doubleheader on Tuesday, Oct. 28, that features Cleveland at Boston, and Portland in LA versus the Lakers. LeBron, Pierce, Kobe, Garnett, Oden's reconstructed knee, and a championship ring ceremony for the C's. Sounds good to me.

• Early game of the year candidate: Nov. 4th, Boston at Houston. The East's Big Three (Garnett, Pierce and Jesus) meet the West's new Isosceles (McGrady, Yao and Artest).

• I'm a little surprised the Knicks didn't land an early-season game on TNT or ESPN. The addition of coach Mike D'Antoni makes them at least a little intriguing, no? 143-136 final scores are always fun. Always.

• Make sure you open your gifts early this year, because you're not going to have much time after lunch. For the first time ever, the NBA's three national television partners will each televise games on Christmas Day. In total? Five games! The crazy line-up, with all times ET: 12pm NOH at ORL, 2:30pm SA at PHX, 5pm BOS at LAL, 8pm WAS at CLE, and 10:30pm DAL at POR. Dear Santa, thanks in advance.

• 21 nationally televised games for Dirk and Jason Kidd seems high. Same goes for Phoenix. They should "swap" exposure with New Orleans and Utah. (What? Utah is a fun team to watch. Seriously.)

Update: This has to be some odd scheduling glitch, but I just noticed that nearly every team in the L is set to play their final game of the season on the road. Impossible, right? Well, yes. And no. The individual team schedule pages show both squads playing on the road in other NBA arenas. Examples: Kings vs. Wolves at the FedExForum in Memphis, TN, and Raptors vs. Bulls at the Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, IN. Again, probably a glitch, but, wow, that'd be a cool way to finish a regular season.

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