Finals MVP Dwyane Wade and the defending champion Heat host Ben Gordon and the new-look Bulls in the tipoff of the 2006-07 season.
(Victor Baldizon/NBAE/Getty Images)

Schedule Highlights: What to Watch | Gallery

NEW YORK, Aug. 1, 2006 -- The NBA today released its complete game schedule and broadcast schedules of ABC, TNT, ESPN, NBA TV and NBA on ESPN Radio for the 2006-07 season.

The league's highly anticipated 61st season commences with "NBA Opening Week...It's Game Time!", a new basketball-themed season launch inspired by the hard work and passion of the players featuring special events and NBA Cares community initiatives in each team market.

The defending NBA Champion Miami Heat tip off “NBA Opening Week…It’s Game Time!” on Halloween, Tuesday, Oct. 31 at 8 p.m. ET on TNT when they host Ben Wallace and the Chicago Bulls at AmericanAirlines Arena. TNT’s coverage of the Heat-Bulls game will feature the ring ceremony for the 2006 NBA Champions. The second game of the opening night doubleheader on TNT, entering its 23rd season of NBA game coverage, features two-time league MVP Steve Nash and the Phoenix Suns as they take on the 2005-06 NBA scoring champion Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers from Staples Center at 10:30 p.m. ET.

ESPN’s game coverage begins on Wednesday, Nov. 1 with a doubleheader featuring rematches of two classic playoff series from last season. In the opener, LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers host Gilbert Arenas and the Washington Wizards at 8 p.m. ET while in the nightcap the Los Angeles Clippers travel to Phoenix to face the Suns at 10:30 p.m. ET.

On Thursday, Nov. 2, TNT presents a doubleheader featuring two rematches of teams that squared off during the 2006 Playoffs. The defending Western Conference champion Dallas Mavericks host the San Antonio Spurs at 8 p.m. ET followed by the Denver Nuggets visiting Los Angeles for a matchup with the Clippers at 10:30 p.m. ET.

“NBA Opening Week…It’s Game Time!” continues on Friday, Nov. 3 with ESPN’s doubleheader featuring Tim Duncan and the San Antonio Spurs hosting the Cleveland Cavaliers at 8 p.m. ET. The second game features the Seattle SuperSonics versus the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center at 10:30 p.m. ET.

NBA TV tips off its 96-game regular season coverage on Saturday, Nov. 4 with a doubleheader featuring an Eastern Conference match-up between the Boston Celtics and the Washington Wizards from Verizon Center at 7 p.m. ET, followed by a Pacific Division face-off between the Phoenix Suns and the Los Angeles Clippers from Staples Center at 10:30 p.m. ET.

On Sunday, Nov. 5, NBA TV features a special match-up between the Houston Rockets and the New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets at New Orleans Arena at 7 p.m. ET, one of six games the Hornets will play at New Orleans Arena during the 2006-07 season. NBA Opening Week concludes on Monday, Nov. 6 on NBA TV as the Pistons travel west to face the Utah Jazz at 9 p.m. ET.

ABC tips off its NBA game coverage on Christmas Day with an East-West showdown between the Miami Heat and the Los Angeles Lakers. The ABC national television schedule consists of 19 regular-season game windows, including game action on 12 consecutive Sundays from Jan. 21 through the end of the regular season. The NBA on ABC will present flexible scheduling throughout the regular season in order to provide the most compelling match-ups to a national audience.

Among other highly anticipated match-ups throughout the regular season:

  • 2005-06 NBA Defensive Player of the Year Ben Wallace’s return to Detroit as his Bulls take on the Pistons at The Palace of Auburn Hills – Feb. 25 (ABC, 12:30 p.m. ET)

  • Two of the game’s most talented young players square off four times as 2006 NBA Finals MVP Dwyane Wade and the Miami Heat take on LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers – Feb. 1 (TNT, 8 p.m. ET), Feb. 9 (ESPN, 8:00 p.m. ET), Feb. 25 (ABC, 3:30 p.m. ET) and April 5 (TNT, 7 p.m. ET).

  • The Miami Heat and Dallas Mavericks meet twice in rematches of the memorable 2006 NBA Finals. The Mavericks travel to Miami on Jan. 21 (ABC, 12:30 p.m.) and the Heat return the trip to Dallas on Feb. 22 (TNT, 9:30 p.m.)

  • Eastern Conference Finals rematches between the Miami Heat and the Detroit Pistons – Nov. 30 (TNT, 8 p.m. ET), March 2 (ESPN, 8 p.m. ET) and April 1 (ABC, 12:30 p.m. ET).

  • Western Conference Finals rematches between the Dallas Mavericks and Phoenix Suns – Nov. 9 (TNT, 10:30 p.m. ET), Dec. 28 (TNT, 8 p.m. ET), March 14 (ESPN, 9 p.m. ET) and April 1 (ABC, 3:30 p.m. ET).

  • The NBA and TNT commemorate Martin Luther King Jr. Day (Jan. 15) with a celebration in his honor and a doubleheader featuring the Suns at the Memphis Grizzlies (TNT, 7:30 p.m. ET), followed by Shaquille O’Neal’s Heat versus Kobe Bryant’s Lakers at Staples Center (TNT, 10:00 p.m. ET).

  • Last year’s conference runnerups, the Detroit Pistons and Phoenix Suns, tangle twice again this season. The Suns visit the Pistons on New Year’s Eve (4 p.m.) while the Pistons travel to Phoenix on March 16. (NBA TV, 9 p.m.)

    ESPN network will televise 71 regular-season games which include 24 games on Wednesdays, 36 on Fridays, including 23 double-headers on weekdays, and 10 on Sundays and one on a Saturday.

    TNT will televise 52 regular-season games, 44 as part of Thursday night doubleheaders, six games on Tuesday nights and the two on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. TNT will also carry NBA All-Star 2007 festivities in Las Vegas from Feb. 16-18, culminating with the NBA All-Star Game on Sunday, February 18.

    Along with its most comprehensive regular season schedule ever, NBA TV will also feature all access programming including NBA TV Insiders, NBA TV Daily and NBA Hardwood Classics specials. As part of All Star Weekend, NBA TV will telecast this year’s National Basketball Association Development League All-Star Game, which will be played as part of NBA All-Star Jam Session at NBA All-Star 2007 in Las Vegas. NBA TV is available to 67 million U.S. homes through Comcast Cable, Time Warner Cable, Cox Communications, Cablevision, Bright House, DIRECTV and the DISH Network. NBA TV can also be seen in 41 other countries, including France, Russia, Spain, Israel, the Philippines, Hong Kong and throughout the Middle East.

    NBA TV will air the "NBA Schedule Show" on Tuesday, Aug. 1 (6-6:30 p.m. ET) featuring in-studio guests Charlie Villanueva of the Milwaukee Bucks and Ben Gordon of the Chicago Bulls discussing key games throughout the season.

    The NBA on ESPN Radio’s 30-game regular-season schedule debuts with two games during "NBA Opening Week...It's Game Time!" – opening night with the Miami Heat hosting the Bulls from AmericanAirlines Arena and San Antonio at Dallas on Thursday, November 2 from AT&T Center. The NAB on ESPN Radio will also carry all the events from NBA All-Star 2007 in Las Vegas.

    For the fourth straight season, ABC will exclusively broadcast the NBA Finals, which tip off in June 2007. This season, TNT will be the exclusive home of the 2007 NBA Eastern Conference Finals and ESPN and ABC will exclusively televise the 2007 NBA Western Conference Finals.

    NBA.com will offer day-by-day and team-by-team schedules as well as regular-season telecast schedules of the league’s North American broadcast partners – ABC, ESPN, TNT, NBA TV, and the NBA on ESPN Radio.

    NBA programming currently is seen in 215 countries around the world in 43 languages, reaching a global television audience of more than one billion.

  • NBA TV
    Chicago's Ben Gordon and Milwaukee's Charlie Villanueva stopped by Tuesday as NBA TV looked at the new schedule with the NBA Schedule Preview Show.
    Preview Show: Frank Isola's breakdown
    Charlie V blogs: Words | Video
    Ben Gordon blogs: Words | Video
    THE SCHEDULE
    Monthly: Complete Schedule
    Network: ABC | TNT | ESPN | NBA TV
    Network: Complete national TV slate
    SCHEDULE HIGHLIGHTS
    October 31: Banner Day for the Heat
    Chicago at Miami, 8 p.m.* TNT

    November 1: No. 1 for No. 1
    Toronto at New Jersey, 7:30 p.m., LP

    November 2: Two for Texas
    San Antonio at Dallas, 8 p.m., TNT

    November 4: Rookie Watch, Part I
    Minnesota at Portland, 10 p.m., League Pass

    November 5: On the Bayou
    Houston at NO/OKC, 7 p.m., NBA TV

    November 18: Rookie Watch, Part II
    Charlotte at Orlando, 7 p.m., League Pass

    December 11: Battle of the Beasts
    Phoenix at Orlando, 7 p.m., League Pass

    December 25: Holiday Tradition
    LA Lakers at Miami, 2:30 p.m., ABC

    January 21: REEEEMAAAATCH!!
    Dallas at Miami, 1 p.m., ABC

    February 1: The King and the Ring
    Cleveland at Miami, 8 p.m., TNT

    February 25: Big Ben Chimes in Detroit
    Chicago at Detroit, 1 p.m., ABC

    More Key Dates for the 2006-07 season...
    *All times Eastern

    TEAM-BY-TEAM BREAKDOWN
    MOST NATIONAL TV APPEARANCES
    10 -- Cleveland Cavaliers
    10 -- Dallas Mavericks
    10 -- Detroit Pistons
    10 -- L.A. Lakers
    10 -- Miami Heat
    10 -- Phoenix Suns
    9 -- Chicago Bulls
    9 -- Cleveland Cavaliers
    9 -- Dallas Mavericks
    9 -- L.A. Lakers
    9 -- Miami Heat
    9 -- Phoenix Suns
    5 -- Cleveland Cavaliers
    5 -- Detroit Pistons
    5 -- L.A. Lakers
    5 -- Miami Heat
    5 -- Phoenix Suns
    TEAM SCHEDULES 2006-07
    Atlanta Hawks
    Home opener: Nov. 3 vs. New York
    Boston Celtics
    Home opener: Nov. 1 vs. NO/OKC
    Charlotte Bobcats
    Home opener: Nov. 1 vs. Indiana
    Chicago Bulls
    Home opener: Nov. 3 vs. Sacramento
    Cleveland Cavaliers
    Home opener: Nov. 1 vs. Washington
    Dallas Mavericks
    Home opener: Nov. 2 vs. San Antonio
    Denver Nuggets
    Home opener: Nov. 3 vs. Minnesota
    Detroit Pistons
    Home opener: Nov. 1 vs. Milwaukee
    Golden State Warriors
    Home opener: Nov. 1 vs. L.A. Lakers
    Houston Rockets
    Home opener: Nov. 4 vs. Dallas
    Indiana Pacers
    Home opener: Nov. 3 vs. NO/OKC
    L.A. Clippers
    Home opener: Nov. 2 vs. Denver
    L.A. Lakers
    Home opener: Oct. 31 vs. Phoenix
    Memphis Grizzlies
    Home opener: Nov. 1 vs. New York
    Miami Heat
    Home opener: Oct. 31 vs. Chicago
    Milwaukee Bucks
    Home opener: Nov. 4 vs. Sacramento
    Minnesota Timberwolves
    Home opener: Nov. 1 vs. Sacramento
    New Jersey Nets
    Home opener: Nov. 1 vs. Toronto
    New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets
    Home opener: Nov. 5 vs. Houston*
    New York Knicks
    Home opener: Nov. 4 vs. Indiana
    Orlando Magic
    Home opener: Nov. 1 vs. Chicago
    Philadelphia 76ers
    Home opener: Nov. 1 vs. Atlanta
    Phoenix Suns
    Home opener: Nov. 1 vs. L.A. Clippers
    Portland Trail Blazers
    Home opener: Nov. 4 vs. Minnesota
    Sacramento Kings
    Home opener: Nov. 6 vs. Minnesota
    San Antonio Spurs
    Home opener: Nov. 3 vs. Cleveland
    Seattle Sonics
    Home opener: Nov. 1 vs. Portland
    Toronto Raptors
    Home opener: Nov. 3 vs. Milwaukee
    Utah Jazz
    Home opener: Nov. 1 vs. Houston
    Washington Wizards
    Home opener: Nov. 4 vs. Boston

    * In New Orleans