Lakers will play LeBron James’ Miami Heat on Christmas Day

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From an expected announcement of a Lakers- Miami Heat matchup on Christmas Day to the distinct possibility that former Laker Shaquille O’Neal could be finishing his career with the Boston Celtics, to a small flurry of signings and cuts around the NBA, one question comes to mind: This is all happening on one lazy day in August?

If the NBA had indeed swallowed up most of the summer already, then why not keep inhaling the rest of it with newsworthy developments?

Some of this, of course, was planned. The league released selected dates of its schedule during an hourlong special on NBA TV on Tuesday. And the defending champion Lakers are front and center, opening the season at home against the Rockets on Oct. 26 at Staples Center.

Most notably, they host the Heat on Dec. 25 at 2 p.m. Pacific, a possible preview of an NBA Finals capable of generating plot lines for each of the 12 days of Christmas. Kobe vs. LeBron and Friends; let the hype machine begin.

The other games on Christmas are Chicago at New York, Boston at Orlando, Denver at Oklahoma City and Portland at Golden State.

The Clippers, who played at Phoenix last season on Christmas Day, are idle this season on Dec. 25. Their regular-season opener is on Oct. 27 against Portland at Staples Center (7:30 p.m. on ESPN). They opened the last two seasons against the Lakers.

The Lakers are also busy on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, playing host to Oklahoma City at 7:30 p.m. on TNT. That is the final game of a four-game schedule on Jan. 17.

As for the rest of the NBA schedule, and the non-Kobe, non-LeBrons of the world? That will be released on Monday.

Clipper has surgery

Craig Smith, who recently re-signed with the Clippers for another season, had arthroscopic surgery on his right knee Monday.

The team said he will be out from four to six weeks, meaning he will be back in time for the opening of training camp.

News and notes

The Minnesota Timberwolves waived guard Delonte West. … The Orlando Magic re-signed point guard Jason Williams. … The Miami Heat signed guard Eddie House to a two-year, $2.8-million contract.

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