Quell your Miami Heat fever for the time being, because the preseason schedule has been released at long last.
Miami will play eight preseason games, traveling as far north as Michigan and New York and as far east as Louisiana. The Heat will play five games on the road, including a four-game trip that sends them to Michigan, Missouri, Washington DC and New York in the span of a week.
Isn’t that something? Even in preseason, the Heat still has to take part in annoyingly compact road trips. It all seems a bit much for a preseason setting that’s used mostly as a tool to get players back in the swing of things or to make last-second roster decisions.
But then again, it’s doubtful we get to see much of the ‘Big Three’ in this surprisingly daunting preseason. With how fatigued LeBron James appeared to be by the end of the past season’s championship run, the Heat is going to do whatever it can to preserve the energy of its most important players.
So expect a lot of Norris Cole and James Ennis, if he does in fact join the final roster after a productive summer league. Miami will also give some run to its new members, whoever they may be, to create an understanding of how the team works going into the real thing.
Here’s a look at Miami’s schedule, which starts October 7th.
October 7th: Atlanta at Miami
The Hawks will be playing without Josh Smith on the squad for the first time since being drafted by the club in 2004.
October 10th: Miami at Detroit
The Heat will visit a new-look Pistons team that features the aforementioned Smith, who heads up a vaunted frontcourt that also features Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond.
October 11th: Miami at Charlotte
Seriously? A back-to-back that has Miami going from Detroit to Kansas City consecutive days? Whatever. Charlotte now features former Utah Jazz center Al Jefferson.
October 15th: Miami at Washington
The Wizards finished last season strong and are recently coming off a re-signing of John Wall to a lucrative deal worth $80 million.
October 17th: Miami at Brooklyn
Miami gets its first look at a Nets team now featuring Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Jason Terry. It’s all your favorite nuisances, but just a little further south than where they previously were.
October 19th: San Antonio at Miami
Oh, man. Thanks a lot, NBA, for giving us the Finals rematch we all wanted in the preseason.
October 23rd: Miami at New Orleans
The Hornets are looking to make a playoff push this season. Miami will get a firsthand look at a Hornets team now sporting Tyreke Evans, as well as the developing Anthony Davis.
October 25th: Brooklyn at Miami
Yeah, I don’t get it either.