And the season schedule leaks begin: Orlando to open new arena against Heat Oct. 28


Thumbnail image for new-orlando-magic-logo.jpgAs it always does, the NBA has grand plans — they are going to unveil their opening games and the highlights (such as Christmas Day) on an NBATV special Tuesday night (7pm Eastern, if you want to set your DVR).

But as our own Matt Moore noted at the time, it’s going to be hard for the NBA to keep a lid on the games that always leak out from teams in advance of the announcement.

The first: The Sports Business Journal is reporting the Orlando Magic will open the new Amway Arena in a game against the Miami Heat on Thursday, Oct. 28 in a nationally televised game on TNT. That according to Don Muret of the Sports Business Journal (via the Sporting News).

It makes sense, buildings are usually opened against a rival and a big draw. Right now in Florida, there is no bigger rival, no more sure sell out than Miami. LeBron James and Dwyane Wade vs. Dwight Howard and Jameer Nelson. The Amway Center also will host the All-Star Game in 2012.

Expect more leaks over the next day and a half leading up to the big show on NBATV. 

Looks like Donovan to keep Andre Roberson, Steven Adams as starters

Los Angeles Clippers v Oklahoma City Thunder
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Billy Donovan was given the head coaching job in Oklahoma City to bring their offense into modern times — and it seems to be working, Russell Westbrook said he feels a lot more space in the system.

But if the Thunder are going to contend for a title, they need a top 10 defense as well — and to do that Donovan is going to keep a Scott Brooks move and continue to start  Andre Roberson and Steven Adams. Check out the starting lineup for their first preseason game Wednesday.

There also was this report via Anthony Slater in the Oklahoman yesterday about a scrimmage at practice.

Durant, Russell Westbrook, Serge Ibaka and Andre Roberson all started for the White team. Nick Collison joined them, but that was only because Steven Adams sat out with back soreness….

Donovan said the teams weren’t split by accident. That’s how they’ve been divided in practice. So at this point, it seems Roberson is this team’s starting shooting guard and Adams is the team’s starting center.

This is the smart move. Last season the lineup of Westbrook, Roberson, Durant, Ibaka and Adams was +13.4 points per 100 possessions over their opponents. Roberson and Adams are there for defense — neither brings much offensive game to the floor, but when you have Westbrook and Durant and only one ball between them, you don’t need more offensive threats. You’re going to get plenty of points.

If they can just stay healthy, Oklahoma City is a team to be feared.

Knicks’ legend Harry Gallatin passes away at age 88

Harry Gallatin
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The Hall of Fame player behind the original iron man streak is with us no more.

Knicks’ legend Harry Gallatin passes away at age 88, the team confirmed Wednesday.

Gallatin led the Knicks of the late 1940s and into the 1950s, when he set a then record playing in 610 consecutive games. Nicknamed “The Horse,” he was a beast on the boards who averaged 15.3 rebounds a game one season and averaged 11.9 boards and 13 points per game over the course of his 10-year career. He’s still fourth all time in total rebounds in Knicks franchise history.

Gallatin was a seven-time All-Star and twice All-NBA selection. After his playing days, he spent many years as the athletic director at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.

Our thoughts are with his family and friends.