Photo Credit: Nathaniel S. Butler

2014-15 HEAT Schedule Breakdown

by Joe Beguiristain

The 2014-15 season should be one of the most memorable campaigns in quite some time for the Miami HEAT as they embark on a new era. Pat Riley has added plenty of new pieces throughout the offseason and it will be interesting to see how they all come together. Amid the uncertainty is excitement about the new additions and the challenge that awaits this new HEAT team.

Here are the top ten games/moments to look forward to in 2014-15.

Mario Chalmers

Photo Credit: Issac Baldizon

Beginning of a New Era

The Miami HEAT will open the regular season October 29 at AmericanAirlines Arena against the Washington Wizards at 7:30pm. The Wizards brought in Paul Pierce to fill the void of Trevor Ariza, so HEAT fans will get the chance to see a familiar foe in a different uniform. Washington also made a lot of noise in the 2014 playoffs, defeating the Bulls in five games before falling to the Pacers in six. With both teams acquiring new players, it will be a new twist to this matchup and a fun way to start the HEAT’s 27th season.

Chris Bosh

Photo Credit: Joe Murphy

Cavs on Christmas

For the tenth time in eleven seasons, the Miami HEAT will play on Christmas Day. This time, LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers come to town for the first of four nationally televised regular-season matchups between the two. Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and Luol Deng will try to stave off James and Kyrie Irving in what should be a gift for all NBA fans at 5:00pm.

Dwyane Wade

Photo Credit: Nathaniel S. Butler

NBA Finals Rematch

There is nothing quite like sweet revenge and that is exactly what the HEAT will look to exact February 6 in San Antonio. Two of the best organizations in the NBA will go toe-to-toe in an NBA Finals rematch at 9:30pm. The Spurs have been the model of continuity for years now and should provide the HEAT with a great test about a week before the (now longer) All-Star Break.

Chris Andersen

Photo Credit: Nathaniel S. Butler

Eastern Conference Powers Collide

Derrick Rose and free-agent acquisition Pau Gasol will lead the Chicago Bulls into Miami on December 14 at 6:00pm. The matchup will be one of 40 weekend games the HEAT will play in 2014-15, the most since the 2008-2009 season. Rose made his long-awaited return to action in the 2013 season opener in Miami, but went down shortly thereafter. Hopefully, Rose will be back to form in what should be an explosive matchup of two Eastern Conference powerhouses.

Dwyane Wade

Photo Credit: Issac Baldizon

Homestand in December

The HEAT’s longest homestand of the season will come at just the right time for HEAT fans. A seven-game stretch from December 17-29 means fans will have plenty of opportunities to see the HEAT right around the holidays. Opponents include Washington, Boston, Cleveland and Memphis. What better way to spend some time off than with the Miami HEAT at AmericanAirlines Arena?

Norris Cole

Photo Credit: Layne Murdoch Jr.

Kevin Durant

The HEAT will have a tough test on their hands when 2014 MVP Kevin Durant leads the Oklahoma City Thunder against Miami on January 20 at 7:30pm. Look for Luol Deng and the HEAT’s team defense to lock-in on the scoring machine. Russell Westbrook also poses a threat for Miami, but the HEAT’s slew of point guards in Mario Chalmers, Norris Cole and Shabazz Napier will try and collectively slow him down.

Chris Bosh

Photo Credit: Nathaniel S. Butler

November Back-to-Backs

Miami will be tested early into the 2014-15 season, as it will play five back-to-backs in the month of November, which is the most of any month. Last season, March was the month where the HEAT had five back-to-backs and posted a 6-4 record in those games. The HEAT will dive right into marquee matchups with the Rockets, Hornets, Mavericks and Nets. In all, Miami will play 16 back-to-backs.

Mario Chalmers

Photo Credit: Noah Graham

West Coast Trips

The HEAT’s longest road trips of the 2014-15 season will both primarily be against teams in the Western Conference. From December 5-12, Miami will faceoff against the Bucks, Grizzlies, Suns, Nuggets and Jazz. From January 8-16, the HEAT will matchup with the Blazers before playing all the California teams: Clippers, Lakers, Warriors and Kings. Both road trips will be key for the HEAT as they come relatively early into the season.

Chris Andersen

Photo Credit: Mike Ehrmann

The New Guys

Miami will have an early crack at one of the most improved teams from last year, the Toronto Raptors. The Raptors will look to make an even bigger leap this season into the upper echelon of the Eastern Conference. It should be an entertaining matchup at AmericanAirlines Arena on November 2 between two teams that have something to prove.

Dwyane Wade

Photo Credit: Ron Hoskins

A Familiar Foe

Although the Indiana Pacers will be without Paul George and Lance Stephenson is now a member of the Charlotte Hornets, it is always fun when the HEAT and Pacers square off. It will be interesting to see how the frontcourt duo of Chris Bosh and Josh McRoberts handles David West and Roy Hibbert in their first matchup on November 12 at 7:30 at AmericanAirlines Arena.

---

As you can see, there is no lack of drama this season for the Miami HEAT. The Eastern Conference has changed quite a bit over the offseason and it will be intriguing to see how the HEAT will fare at the end of the season. Sit back, relax and enjoy the ride, HEAT fans.

Welcome to a new era.