2015-16 HEAT Schedule Breakdown

Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade
Photo Credit: Mike Ehrmann
by Joe Beguiristain
HEAT.com

It’s about that time.

On Wednesday night, the NBA released schedules for all 30 teams. That means the HEAT’s 28th season is not too far away. Below are the ten things you need to know about Miami’s 2015-16 schedule.

Hassan Whiteside

Photo Credit: Issac Baldizon

Home Opener

For the fourth straight year, the HEAT will open the season at home. This time around, Miami will face the new-look Charlotte Hornets on October 28. It will be interesting to see how the new additions for both teams all fit on day one. In the offseason, Charlotte acquired solid pieces in Nicolas Batum, Jeremy Lin and Frank Kaminsky. That paves the way for the ninth (Kaminsky) and tenth (Justise Winslow) overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft to go head-to-head in what should be a fun way to start the season.

Dwyane Wade

Photo Credit: Jason Miller

Early Showdown at The Q

After the season opener, Miami will have a very tough test with the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday, October 30 on ESPN. You should know by now that it’s always a treat when Dwyane Wade and LeBron James go to battle. With this contest coming at such an early point in the season, look for both teams to try and use this game as a litmus test to see just where they stand.

Goran Dragic

Photo Credit: Issac Baldizon

Giving Thanks In November

The HEAT will have their biggest home stand in November, as they play in the friendly confines of AmericanAirlines Arena from November 8-23. Miami will play seven games during that stretch, including matchups with the Raptors, Knicks, Lakers and the up-and-coming Timberwolves. While the HEAT will be away for the Thanksgiving holiday, fans still have plenty of opportunities to see the team leading up to it.

Chris Andersen

Photo Credit: Issac Baldizon

Dynamic Duo In December

On December 3, the HEAT will welcome Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and the Oklahoma City Thunder to town for their first meeting of the season. After playing in just 27 games a year ago, Durant will likely be pushing forward to make up for lost time. Westbrook, an MVP candidate in 2015, should be a handful for Miami too. You also can’t forget about Enes Kanter, who signed a massive four-year deal with the Thunder in the offseason. Luckily, Luol Deng and Goran Dragic should be up to the task in what should be an explosive matchup at AmericanAirlines Arena.

Mario Chalmers

Photo Credit: Issac Baldizon

Christmas Day Matinee Against The Brow

Christmas Day has become somewhat of a tradition for the HEAT, and the 2015-16 campaign will be no different. For the seventh year in a row, Miami will play on Christmas and try to extend its six-game winning streak on the holiday. It won’t be easy with Anthony Davis and the New Orleans Pelicans on the other side. Davis can impact the game on both ends of the floor and has steadily improved each year, so imagine if Davis expands his range to beyond the arc as new head coach Alvin Gentry would like him to do. It will likely take strong performances from Wade and Chris Bosh to come away victorious in this one.

Chris Bosh

Photo Credit: Noah Graham

January West Coast Swing

Miami’s longest road trip will be from January 8-17, as it takes on some formidable opponents in the Western Conference. The trip starts off with a back-to-back set against the Suns and Jazz before the HEAT face elite teams in the Warriors and Clippers. The gauntlet then concludes with the Nuggets and Thunder. When the team is healthy, this long trip tends to be a strong gauge for how well the team is playing — especially this season with so many home games in the first two months.

Mario Chalmers

Photo Credit: Issac Baldizon

Young Bucks

The HEAT’s first matchup with the Milwaukee Bucks comes relatively late into the season on January 19 at AmericanAirlines Arena. This should be a game to look out for since Miami had some hard-fought battles with the Bucks last year. Both teams also improved from a season ago, with the HEAT adding Gerald Green, Amar’e Stoudemire and Winslow while Milwaukee signed Greg Monroe in the offseason to compliment an already young and talented core.

Tyler Johnson

Photo Credit: Issac Baldizon

For Old Times Sake

Just before the All-Star Break, the HEAT will meet a familiar foe in the San Antonio Spurs at home. San Antonio greatly bolstered its frontline with the additions of LaMarcus Aldridge and David West to accompany Tim Duncan. As a result, Bosh, Josh McRoberts, Hassan Whiteside and Amar’e Stoudemire will definitely have their work cut out for them. Having said that, in the short time Bosh and Whiteside played alongside each other, there seemed to be a lot of promise on both sides of the ball. When you add the offensive abilities of McRoberts and Stoudemire into the fold, you’re left with a potentially dangerous rotation for opposing teams to compete with.

Udonis Haslem

Photo Credit: Issac Baldizon

Back-to-Backs

Miami will play 17 back-to-back sets, which is the same as a season ago. Last year the HEAT went 7-10 on the tail end of a back-to-back, so hopefully they can improve on that this time around. Thankfully, the team only has one instance of four games in five nights in 2015-16, in line with a league-wide reduction in those stretches. It starts Christmas Day against the Pelicans at home and continues the following night on the road in Orlando. After a day of rest, Miami then faces the Nets at home before traveling to the Grindhouse to face the Grizzlies.

Luol Deng

Photo Credit: Ron Turenne

March Madness

The second half of the season will certainly be tough for the HEAT. March in particular has some very challenging road games on the docket with the Bucks, Bulls, Raptors and Spurs. On the bright side, Miami should be relatively fresh heading into the fray since it has two days off just before it. Last year, the HEAT kicked off March with a 7-3 record and started to build some cohesion. Hopefully Miami can replicate that success and carry it further into a postseason run.

Related Content

NEXT UP:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter