Miami Heat

Miami Heat tentatively set to open at Orlando and host Cleveland only once

The Miami Heat will open the season at Orlando for the second consecutive season but will get only one home game against the Cleveland Cavaliers, according to a tentative schedule circulated to select people around the league.

Many of the details about the Heat’s schedule, which has not been finalized or released publicly, were first reported on Wednesday night by Erick Marrero, a reporter for Caneinsight.com, and all were confirmed to The Miami Herald by a television industry source.

Though most of the games on the preliminary schedule remain intact, the NBA and Heat have the right to change a few games before the schedule is released and that does sometimes happen.

So keep that in mind with regard to these tentatively scheduled games:

• The Heat plays every Eastern Conference team twice at home except Cleveland (which visits March 27, according to a source) and Toronto (which visits on the final day of the season on April 11, as Marrero reported and a source confirmed).

• The Heat will open the season on Wednesday, Oct. 18 at Orlando.

The NBA is starting the season more than a week earlier than past years to lessen the number of back to back games, as well as three games in four nights or five in seven nights.

• The Heat plays its home opener on Saturday, Oct. 21 vs Indiana. The UM football team plays at home against Syracuse that day, with the time undetermined.

The Heat again hosts the Pacers on Monday, Nov. 13, at the same time that the Dolphins play at the Carolina Panthers.

• The Heat’s other early-season home games: Hawks on Oct. 23, Spurs on Oct. 25 and Celtics on Oct. 28.

• The defending champion Golden State Warriors make their only visit to the Heat on Sunday, Dec. 3, with a start time not set. The Dolphins host the Denver Broncos at 1 p.m. that day.

• The Heat has an early-season West Coast trip, with games Nov. 3 at Denver, Nov. 5 at the Clippers, Nov. 6 at Golden State, Nov. 8 at Phoenix and Nov. 10 at Utah.

• The Heat will host the Lakers on Thursday, March 1.

All of the above – excep the date of the Cleveland game – was first reported by Marrero, and confirmed independently by The Herald.

Also, a TV industry source told The Herald that the Heat will play at the Chicago Bulls on Jan. 15, on Martin Luther King Day, in a game that might be televised nationally.

The NBA is expected to release the schedule next week.

Please click here for my in-depth look at what evaluators have to say about the Dolphins’ veteran newcomers, many of whom will be on display Thursday night in the preseason opener vs. Atlanta…. Please click here for my scoop with major news on the Marlins’ sales front…. And please click here for UM football personnel notes…. And please click here for colleague Manny Navarro’s story on Kelly Olynyk…. Twitter: @flasportsbuzz

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