ESPN's lead pro basketball announce team will tip-off a double-team of sorts for viewers, calling a pair of games as the NBA opens its lockout-delayed 2011-12 campaign on Christmas.
Play-by-play announcer Mike Breen and analyst Jeff Van Gundy will begin in Dallas, where the defending NBA champion Mavericks and Finals MVP Dirk Nowitzki host Dwayne Wade, LeBron James and Chris Bosh and last season's runner-up Miami Heat on Dec. 25, at 2:30 p.m. (ET). Lisa Salters will be the courtside reporter in Dallas.
Immediately following the game, Breen and Van Gundy will fly to the Bay Area for the head coaching debut of former colleague Mark Jackson with Golden State. The Warriors will face the Los Angeles Clippers and All-Star Blake Griffin at 10:30 p.m. Hall of Famer Chris Mullin, a Warriors legend and Jackson's teammate at St. John's and with the Indiana Pacers, will join Breen and Van Gundy courtside for the Warriors/Clippers game. Terry Gannon will be the reporter.
The games are part of an NBA Christmas quadrupleheader across ESPN and ABC. Coverage will begin with the Kia NBA Countdown pregame show at 2 p.m. on ABC. Following Heat-Mavs at 2:30 p.m., ABC will broadcast the Los Angeles Lakers and Kobe Bryant hosting the Chicago Bulls and 2011 league MVP Derrick Rose at 5 p.m. Mike Tirico, who will be in New Orleans the next day for the Monday Night Football matchup of the Saints-Atlanta Falcons, will call the game with analyst Hubie Brown and reporter Heather Cox.
ESPN's action tips off with the Orlando Magic and three-time defensive player of the year Dwight Howard visiting the Oklahoma City Thunder and two-time league scoring leader Kevin Durant at 8 p.m. Dave Pasch will provide commentary with analyst Doris Burke.
ESPN's games will also be available via ESPN Deportes, ESPN3, ESPN Mobile TV and the Watch ESPN App.
TNT opens the NBA season with its coverage of the Boston Celtics visiting the New York Knicks at noon on Christmas.
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