- Marc Stein, ESPN Senior Writer
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The NBA lockout will soon be nearly three weeks old, but the league office is going ahead Tuesday with the release of its full 2011-12 schedule.
A league spokesman on Sunday confirmed an NBA.com report that the schedule will be released Tuesday afternoon. NBA TV will broadcast a schedule show starting at 2 p.m., with the schedule to be sent out at 2:15 p.m.
The Miami Herald reported in Sunday's editions that the Dallas Mavericks have been tabbed to play host to the Miami Heat on Christmas Day in an NBA Finals rematch, but that's almost certainly contingent on the lockout being lifted in time for the regular season to start as planned on Nov. 1.
Sources told ESPN.com that the schedule, as it stands, calls for the Mavericks to open the season Nov. 1 at home against the Chicago Bulls and raise their championship banner.
But since the league imposed a lockout at 12:01 a.m. on July 1, owners and players have yet to even lock in a date to resume labor negotiations, with pessimism rising leaguewide about the season starting on time as the sides remain miles apart in their demands.
The NBA released its schedule two weeks later last summer -- and in two installments -- but that's largely because the league was waiting for a slew of big-name free agents to land before finalizing things. Because of this summer's lockout, there are no roster moves to wait on.
The NBA, insisting that expenses far outpace revenues, laid off 114 employees last week, which computes to 11 percent of its overall work force.
Marc Stein is a senior NBA writer for ESPN.com.