The NBA released its 2016-17 regular season schedule today, and the post-Dwyane Wade era Miami Heat will have only five nationally televised games. Two of them will come against Wade and the Chicago Bulls. Along with those games, here are some other dates to mark on your calendars.
Wednesday, October 26 at 7 p.m. Miami Heat @ Orlando Magic
The Heat will open their 29th season against their intra-state rival, the Orlando Magic. Will Bosh be in uniform to match up against Serge Ibaka? We may find out later this month, or next. Either way, we'll get our first look at a young Heat team in quite a while Oct. 26. The Heat play their home opener Friday, Oct. 28 against the Charlotte Hornets.
Thursday, November 10 at 8 p.m. Chicago Bulls @ Miami Heat
After an unceremonious free agency negotiation, Dwyane Wade returns to the franchise he became synonymous with Nov. 10. No doubt, a lot of people will wear No. 3 jerseys to thank Wade for all he's done for the team. But on a basketball level, we'll see two teams try to rebuild in different ways. The Heat committed to a youth movement after Wade's departure. And Chicago opted to sign veterans Rajon Rondo and Wade after mainstays like Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah left.
Saturday, December 10 at 8 p.m. Miami Heat @ Chicago Bulls
A bit deeper into the season, the Miami Heat will visit Wade's new stomping grounds in Chicago. With the first full month of the regular season over, we'll also have a better read on the Heat as a team. If Chris Bosh plays this year -- and Tyler Johnson expects to see him playing -- how will he and Hassan Whiteside mesh? How will Dion Waiters and Wade match up on this night? Will Goran Dragic have more success without Wade as a backcourt partner? We'll see.
Tuesday, January 10 at 10:30 p.m. Miami Heat @ Golden State Warriors
The Heat will make their lone visit to Oakland early in the new year. How can any NBA defense guard a team with Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Andre Igoudala, Kevin Durant and Draymond Green? Erik Spoelstra will have a crack at it this night. The visit comes in the midst of a Heat West coast swing -- Miami will visit the two Los Angeles teams before this meeting. If you're an East Coast fan, make sure to choose this game as the night to stay up late!
Saturday, March 4 at 8 p.m. Cleveland Cavaliers @ Miami Heat
The Heat will host the defending champions one of two times here -- and the other night will be at the end of the season, when many coaches rest their star players for the playoffs. (Also, this game is the first of a home-and-home series with the Cavs.) Some members of #TeamPetty like to point out that LeBron James still has not won a game in AmericanAirlines Arena sign announcing he was going home two summers ago. Whether #TeamPetty is still a thing in March 2017 is an open question -- with LeBron having vanquished a team that won 73 games and had the first-ever unanimous MVP -- but any Heat fan would love to see Whiteside dominate the Cavs this night.