Hoops fans will be in their glory today when the NBA tips off after a labour dispute caused a delay to the start of the 2011-12 season. According to TSN¬†there’s five games on the docket, with marquee match-ups abounding (among them, a rematch of last year’s final between the defending champion Dallas Mavericks and Miami Heat in the Big D, Boston Celtics at New York Knicks and Chicago Bulls at Los Angeles Lakers).

Mind you, marquee match-ups are pretty much all the NBA has going for it. Like Major League Baseball, there’s a significant competitive imbalance with big-market teams plucking star players from¬†smaller markets at will through free agency and lavishing cash on their own star players to keep them in the fold.

In other words, Toronto Raptor fans, don’t get your hopes up. Although it is always nice to see loaded teams like Miami last season come up short because of lack of team chemistry and clashing egos.