Now that the Heat schedule is finally out, there is really nothing else to look forward to until training camp. Considering everything that has gone on in the last five weeks, I think we (as Heat fans) can handle some down time. Since we do have the schedule to look over, I want to highlight some of the games that stick out to me.
Road and Home openers- at Boston (10/26) and vs. Orlando (10/29). These two opponents are as tough as the Heat will get when talking about Eastern Conference matchups. The season opener in Boston will have plenty of hype, so much so that the former Heat O'Neals playing for the green team will probably not get a ton of attention.
The home opener against Orlando will hopefully be the beginning of a fierce cross-state and division rivalry. The Magic could very well end up being the Heat's best competition in the Eastern Conference.
Tuesday November 2nd, Minnesota @ Miami- Michael Beasley makes his return to South Florida for the Heat's second home game of the season. It's the only reason this game has any interest because the Heat should wipe the floor with teams like Minnesota.
Saturday November 6th-Friday November 19th- Miami's first extended home stand. During that 13-day stretch the Heat will play six home games. New Jersey, Utah, Boston, Toronto, Phoenix and Charlotte come to the AAA.
Saturday November 27th- Heat @ Dallas. Coming on the 2nd night of a back-to-back, this could end up being the Heat's first real road test of the season. Also, some optimists would say that this is the first legitimate opportunity for the Heat to lose a game.
Thursday December 2nd- Heat @ Cleveland. LeBron's first return to Cleveland. Nuff' said.
Friday November 17th- Heat @ New York. Miami's first visit to Madison Square Garden. Should be interesting to see how the fans react to LeBron and how much of a fight the Knicks put up. I'd love to see this rivalry renewed.
Saturday December 25th- Heat @ Lakers. Another ‘Nuff said' game as the Heat travel to L.A. to play the Lakers on Christmas Day, in a matchup many think will be a preview of the NBA Finals.
Friday January 7th- Saturday January 15th- First extended road trip. Miami will travel to Milwaukee, Portland, Los Angeles (for the Clippers), Denver and Chicago. It will be a very tough trip, and ending it in Chicago for the Heat's first visit to D-Wade's hometown won't be pretty.
The 2nd half of the season doesn't have much to get excited about at this time, but things can change significantly once the season begins and we see which teams are better then we thought. It's easy to go through the schedule and pick out a bunch of wins, but try this...
Find the game you think will be the Heat's first loss. Whether you think it will be right at the beginning against Boston or Orlando, or much later like when they visit Dallas at the end of November, its something cool to think about.