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NBA schedule rumored for release this week: what a weaker Eastern Conference means for Miami

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The NBA sheduling formula has the Heat playing 52 of its 82 games in the weakened East. That may add a few more wins this time around.

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

Numerous projections have the Miami Heat winning more or less the same amount of games as last season, without taking into consideration the NBA’s scheduling formula.

To summarize, each team plays 52 games against inter-conference rivals and 30 games versus the other conference. NBSstuffer breaks the process down the following way:

Getting started in February, NBA schedule has usually been released in the first weeks of August. Factors that have an impact on setting NBA schedule can be summarized as follows:

Each team has to play:

4 games against the other 4 division opponents, [4×4=16 games]

4 games against 6 (out-of-division) conference opponents, [4×6=24 games]

3 games against the remaining 4 conference teams, [3×4=12 games]

2 games against teams in the opposing conference. [2×15=30 games]

Other Eastern Conference rivals lost three All-Stars to the more competitive Western Conference, that fact helps Miami to add enough wins for a playoff seeding this season. Rumor has the NBA schedule being released as early as this week.

In Miami’s Southeast Division the weakened Atlanta Hawks situation offers a chance to gain ground and finish second to the clear front runner, the Washington Wizards.

In Cleveland Cavaliers' Central Division, two of the teams, the Chicago Bulls and Indiana Pacers, lost key All-Star players, while another, the Milwaukee Bucks, has a solid young core group with potential to win games Overall two down, one up.

In the Boston Celtics‘ Atlantic Division, both the Celtics and 76ers have improved. Luckily they’re in a another division and steal wins away from each other.

Once the full schedule comes out, maybe this week, the mix of inter-conference match-ups could make a difference in how many wins the Heat actually get. Facing improved Western Conference powerhouse teams only twice each, for a total of 30 games, could help Miami surpass summer's expectations.

Going against weaker Eastern Conference teams 52 times gives Miami a break in improving their record for 2017-18. Later on when the number of games against each EC team is released, the number of times Miami faces the weakened teams could influence their final record, and what the possible final seeding would be in May.