The NBA released its schedule for the 2018-19 regular season on Friday and the Miami Heat, which finished 44-38 last season and was bounced by the Philadelphia 76ers in five games in the opening round of the playoffs, will be making close to a dozen national television appearances.
The Heat, which has one All-Star on its roster in point guard Goran Dragic and is still waiting to hear if 12-time All-Star and three-time NBA champion Dwyane Wade will be returning for a 16th season, is set to make six of those national TV appearances on NBA TV beginning with LeBron James and the Lakers in Los Angeles on Dec. 10.
Miami’s other five NBA TV appearances: versus Kawhi Leonard and the Toronto Raptors (Dec. 26), at the Golden State Warriors (Feb. 10), at the Boston Celtics (April 1), home versus the Celtics (April 3) and at the Raptors (April 7).
Three national TV appearances are on TNT: at home versus the Houston Rockets (Dec. 20), Celtics (Jan. 10) and at the Portland Trail Blazers (Feb. 5)
The Heat’s two ESPN appearances are both at home: versus the Wizards (Jan. 4) and the Pistons (March 13).
James, who led the Heat to back-to-back championships in 2012 and 2013 and four consecutive appearances in the NBA Finals, is scheduled to visit Miami with his new team on Nov. 18.
Leonard, who led the San Antonio Spurs to victory over the Heat in the 2014 NBA Finals, will visit Miami with his new team on Dec. 26 and again on March 10.
The Heat, which open the regular season on the road at division rival Orlando for the third year in a row on Oct. 17 and then play the next night in Washington, will host the first of four consecutive home games at AmericanAirlines Arena on Oct. 20 against the Charlotte Hornets.
Miami, which closes the season on the road at Brooklyn on April 10, has its longest homestand of the season from March 8 to 17. The Heat will play five games during that stretch against the Cavaliers, Raptors, Pistons, Bucks and Hornets.
The Heat’s longest road trip of the season will be six games.
Miami will begin a six-game West Coast swing at Phoenix on Dec. 7 and visit the Clippers (Dec. 8), Lakers (Dec. 10), Jazz (Dec. 12) and Grizzlies (Dec. 14) before wrapping up with New Orleans (Dec. 16).
The Heat will play six more consecutive road games beginning Feb. 5 at Portland with stops at Sacramento (Feb. 8), Golden State (Feb. 10) and Denver (Feb. 11) before playing its final game before the All-Star break at Dallas on Feb. 13. The Heat then open the second half of the season at Philadelphia on Feb. 21.
The Sixers, led by All-Star center Joel Embiid and 2017-18 Rookie of the Year Ben Simmons, visit Miami on Nov. 12 and in the regular season home finale April 9. Miami plays only once in Philadelphia on Feb. 21.
The three other opponents the Heat will only face three times this season: Chicago, Indiana and New York. The Knicks and Bulls will only visit Miami once – New York on Oct. 24 and Chicago on Jan. 30.
Some good news: fewer back-to-backs for the Heat. Miami plays only 12 after having 13 last season, 15 during the 2016-17 season and 17 in 2015-16.
MIAMI HEAT 2018-19 SCHEDULE
Oct. 17: at Orlando, 7 p.m.
Oct. 18: at Washington, 8 p.m.
Oct. 20: vs. Charlotte, 8 p.m.
Oct. 24: vs. New York, 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 27: vs. Portland, 8 p.m.
Oct. 29: vs. Sacramento, 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 30: at Charlotte, 7 p.m.
Nov. 3: at Atlanta, 7:30 p.m.
Nov. 5: at Detroit, 7 p.m.
Nov. 7: vs. San Antonio, 7:30 p.m.
Nov. 9: vs. Indiana, 8 p.m.
Nov. 10: vs. Washington, 8 p.m.
Nov. 12: vs. Philadelphia, 7:30 p.m.
Nov. 14: at Brooklyn, 7:30 p.m.
Nov. 16: at Indiana, 7 p.m.
Nov. 18: vs. L.A. Lakers, 6 p.m.
Nov. 20: vs. Brooklyn, 7:30 p.m.
Nov. 23: at Chicago, 7 p.m.
Nov. 25: at Toronto, 6 p.m.
Nov. 27: vs. Atlanta, 7:30 p.m.
Nov. 30: vs. New Orleans, 8 p.m.
Dec. 2: vs. Utah, 6 p.m.
Dec. 4: vs. Orlando, 7:30 p.m.
Dec. 7: at Phoenix, 9 p.m.
Dec. 8: at L.A. Clippers, 10:30 p.m.
Dec. 10: at L.A. Lakers, 10:30 p.m. (NBA TV)
Dec. 12: at Utah, 9 p.m.
Dec. 14: at Memphis, 8 p.m.
Dec. 16: at New Orleans, 7 p.m.
Dec. 20: vs. Houston, 8 p.m. (TNT)
Dec. 22: vs. Milwaukee, 8 p.m.
Dec. 23: at Orlando, 6 p.m.
Dec. 26: vs. Toronto, 7:30 p.m. (NBA TV)
Dec. 28: vs. Cleveland, 8 p.m.
Dec. 30: vs. Minnesota, 6 p.m.
Jan. 2: at Cleveland, 7 p.m.
Jan. 4: vs. Washington, 8 p.m. (ESPN)
Jan. 6: at Atlanta, 6 p.m.
Jan. 8: vs. Denver, 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 10: vs. Boston, 7 p.m. (TNT)
Jan. 12: vs. Memphis, 5 p.m.
Jan. 15: at Milwaukee, 8 p.m.
Jan. 18: at Detroit, 7 p.m.
Jan. 19: at Chicago, 8 p.m.
Jan. 21: at Boston, 6 p.m.
Jan. 23: vs. L.A. Clippers, 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 25: at Cleveland, 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 27: at New York, 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 30: vs. Chicago, 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 1: vs. Oklahoma City, 8 p.m.
Feb. 2: vs. Indiana, 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 5: at Portland, 10:30 p.m. (TNT)
Feb. 8: at Sacramento, 10 p.m.
Feb. 10: at Golden State, 8:30 p.m. (NBA TV)
Feb. 11: at Denver, 9 p.m.
Feb. 13: at Dallas, 8:30 p.m.
Feb. 21: at Philadelphia, 7 p.m.
Feb. 23: vs. Detroit, 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 25: vs. Phoenix, 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 27: vs. Golden State, 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 28: at Houston, 8 p.m.
March 2: vs. Brooklyn, 7:30 p.m.
March 4: vs. Atlanta, 7:30 p.m.
March 6: at Charlotte, 7 p.m.
March 8: vs. Cleveland, 8 p.m.
March 10: vs. Toronto, 3:30 p.m.
March 13: vs. Detroit, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
March 15: vs. Milwaukee, 8 p.m.
March 17: vs. Charlotte, 1 p.m.
March 18: at Oklahoma City, 8 p.m.
March 20: at San Antonio, 8:30 p.m.
March 22: at Milwaukee, 8:30 p.m.
March 23: at Washington, 7 p.m.
March 26: vs. Orlando, 7:30 p.m.
Mach 28: vs. Dallas, 7:30 p.m.
March 30: at New York, 7:30 p.m.
April 1: at Boston, 7:30 p.m. (NBA TV)
April 3: vs. Boston, 7:30 p.m. (NBA TV)
April 5: at Minnesota, 8 p.m.
April 7: at Toronto, Noon (NBA TV)
April 9: vs. Philadelphia, 7:30 p.m.
April 10: at Brooklyn, 8 p.m.