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The 1 schedule quirk that gives the Heat an advantage

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The Heat may have a slight advantage in the East solely based on their schedule.

NBA: New York Knicks at Miami Heat Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

The NBA released it’s regular season schedule for all 30 of the teams on Monday. If you missed it, you can see the Heat’s full schedule right HERE.

But maybe there is something you missed while checking it out. Every year, because of the number of teams there is a structure that is followed. Every team will play each opponent from the other conference twice, one home and one away. Additionally, they will play every conference opponent 4 times with the exception of four teams that they will only play three times.

This became a big deal last year as the Heat only played the Bulls three times. That hurt them because in the long run they didn’t make the playoffs because of a head to head tie breaker with the Bulls, even though they only visited Miami once.

This year the four opponents the Heat will only play three times are: Cleveland, Boston, Toronto and Milwaukee.

Notice anything there? Arguably the top 3 teams in the East will only have to be played 3 times. That’s three extra games that other opponents, mostly, in the East will have to play against the tougher competition that Miami will not.

This isn’t a clear advantage, the Heat still have to go out and win games, but it is a scheduling quirk that gives Miami a slight edge against the other opponents.

If there is a downside is that we do not get to see those good matchups as often.