The other big question I have, is whether it's best to buy my tickets ASAP or whether I should wait closer to the date?
I have read that ticket prices can drop dramatically on the day of the game, however, I am a bit worried that if I leave it that late, and that's not the case, that I would actually be paying even more than I would have if I bought them a few months in advance?
Seems like you already know the right answer, but are just nervous about it. Tickets will go almost always go down in price. There's 3,000+ tickets on Stub Hub right now, and more to come (somebody's going to get sick, be out of town on business, have a death in the family, etc.).
If I had tickets to that game that I wanted to sell, I have 5 months to try to get the best price possible, so I'm going to list it at the highest possible price I think I can get now. Maybe 2 weeks until game time, they haven't sold, so maybe I lower the price 10%. 1 week out, I'll lower them another 10%. 2 days out I'm getting nervous I won't be able to sell and lower them little more. Day of, I discount as much as it takes to sell. Now some people don't have to sell, they can just go to the game themselves or will give them to a friend, so they won't lower the price too much, but some people have to sell because they can't go to the game. They'll look up the prices for tickets in their section, and set theirs lower to get theirs to sell first.
The only way tickets will go up is if something amazing might happen. Clippers or Celtics are on a historic winning streak, some record might be broken at the game, a huge trade for a mega star has just happened, Larry Bird is coming out of retirement that game, etc. These are things that would drive prices up and are also very unlikely to happen.
Things more likely to happen: one or multiple big names are expected to miss the game, one or both teams have been playing lackluster basketball, a snowstorm leading to bad driving conditions (for all those who come from outside the city), etc. These are things that will drive prices down and are more likely to happen.
Have gone to a ton of games, been to 15 or so NBA arenas, usually always wait till the day of to buy tickets, the earliest I'd buy would be the week of. Have never regretted it.