clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

5 Takes on the Heat’s challenging Orlando Schedule

New, comments

The Heat have a tough 8 games in Orlando.

Boston Celtics vs Miami Heat Staff Photo By Christopher Evans/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald

The NBA released its remaining schedule for the on-site games in Orlando to finish the regular season. Here’s what the Miami Heat schedule looks like:

Surya Fernandez broke down the schedule release and how the NBA came to this decision of games for each time. You can see that here.

But here are some quick 5 Takes on the Heat’s schedule.

#1 — There will be no time to relax

8 games. One back-to-back and only one day off in between games. On top of that, everyone is playing for something. There won’t be time to relax, and not a whole lot of room to work things out. Every game is important. Every game has meaning, and each win or loss can drastically change the importance and value of the next game.

Everyone is in the same boat, but really there won’t be time to relax from each game.

#2 — The Heat’s biggest test will also be a back-to-back

The Boston Celtics are the one East elite team that the Heat have not beaten this year, and they will get to face them on their lone back-to-back. And in my opinion, besides Milwaukee, the Celtics are the Heat’s biggest threat to making a conference finals.

Boston has a lot of the tools that make it hard for the Heat to guard and play their preferred style. This quick turnaround will make it harder for Miami to give their best effort. But who knows? Maybe that won’t matter. Boston would be the team Miami is chasing for the third seed in the East (which is important because it puts them on the opposite side of the bracket with Milwaukee), so this game will be important.

It would be great to see the Heat get a win against the Celtics for confidence and from the ability to have wins against everyone they could face in the playoffs.

#3 — The Heat legitimately could end up as the 3rd seed or 6th seed

This is the cool and sad reality. Miami is 2.5 GB of Boston and Indiana is 2 GB of Miami for seeding. The Heat, if things went right could move into third place. Toronto is too far ahead with the second seed for the Heat to catch them. Boston is within distance of Toronto, so everyone is playing for something here. The Heat, if they had a bad start to this 8-game season could end up in the 6th seed — which may not be the end of the world.

It’s going to be competitive and it’s going to be fun. But we don’t know what’s going to happen.

#4 — It is a brutal 8-game schedule

It really is. The Heat have the 4th most challenging schedule of all 22 teams in Orlando. Here’s a little breakdown to show you what I mean.

Tom Haberstroh

The Heat have one game against a team of poor standing — the Phoenix Suns. In fact, besides them, all the other teams are playoff clinched teams just playing for standings.

Philadelphia has one of the easiest routes, and it seems that many teams have a much more balanced schedule in terms of tenacity. We aren’t going to complain here, the Heat’s schedule is brutal — but honestly, it will help us see what they are made of in the long run — and maybe prepare them in a different way for the playoffs.

#5 — No matter what happens, the Heat are making the playoffs

That’s the other beauty of this thing. The Heat will make the playoffs — even if they go 0-8 in this stretch. And that means, they do have some wiggle room to work things out. Yes, seeding is important, but at the end of the day, the Heat want to be healthy and clicking when they start the new playoff season. So if they get off to 0-5 start and then get going, then so be it.

No matter what happens, Miami will be in the postseason and have a chance to make some noise.

What do you think about the schedule?