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2011-2012 NBA Schedule: Season Will Start On Christmas Day

With the NBA lockout over and a tentative agreement on a new collective bargaining agreement reached, the Cleveland Cavaliers are set to play regular season basketball within a month. A 66-game regular season will start on Christmas Day and will run until April 26, 2012. The playoffs are scheduled to begin on April 28, 2012.

Each team will play 48 in-conference games and 18 non-conference games. The full breakdown of these games is as follows, via NBA.com:

Conference Games: 48

• Play 6 teams 4 times (2 home, 2 away)

• Play 4 teams 3 times (2 home, 1 away)

• Play 4 teams 3 times (1 home, 2 away)

Non-Conference Games: 18

• Play 3 teams 2 times (1 home, 1 away)

• Play 6 teams 1 time at home

• Play 6 teams 1 time away

Back to Back to Backs: All teams with at least 1; no more than 3

Playoff Back to Backs: Possible in second round

The heavier dose of in-conference games might work in Cleveland's favor considering the Central Division was the worst in the NBA last season outside of Chicago and the Eastern Conference is generally considered to be weaker than the Western Conference. Further, Cleveland's youthful roster might benefit them during the more condensed NBA schedule.

The official, full team schedules have not been released, but the Cavaliers were originally scheduled to host the Toronto Raptors on Dec. 26 and it is possible that they will still do so.

Photographs by spatulated, Triple Tri, and chrischappelear used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.