Two of the Miami Heat’s marquee games in the 2023-24 season reportedly have some details attached to them as fans wait for the full NBA schedule to be released.
Per source, 76ers-at-Heat Christmas game has been tentatively scheduled for 8 p.m. because ABC has Ravens-49ers at 8:15 & ESPN (not ABC) would air Heat. ABC games would be GS-Denver at 2:30, Boston-Lakers at 5. Also, we hear Heat plays at Boston on 1st Friday: Oct. 27 on ESPN.
— Barry Jackson (@flasportsbuzz) August 11, 2023
According to the report, Miami’s Christmas Day home game against the Philadelphia 76ers will actually be Christmas night, starting at 8 p.m. EST to accommodate the television schedule. The Heat also reportedly are scheduled to play the Boston Celtics, their defeated opponent from last season’s Eastern Conference Finals, on Oct. 27.
Miami is 11-2 on Christmas Day in its history, and head coach Erik Spoelstra is 8-0, with the most recent appearance in the 2020-21 campaign, the season after the Heat lost the NBA Finals to the Los Angeles Lakers.
Another Christmas game reportedly includes the team that defeated the Heat in the 2023 NBA Finals, with the defending champion Denver Nuggets hosting the Golden State Warriors. The other games reportedly are the Milwaukee Bucks at New York Knicks, Celtics at Lakers and Dallas Mavericks at Phoenix Suns.
Opening night for the 2023-24 NBA season is Oct. 24, with the Lakers at Nuggets and Suns at Warriors reportedly the first two games. The regular season schedule runs through April 14, with All-Star Weekend festivities scheduled for Feb. 16-18.
The full schedule is expected to be released later this month.
People all around the NBA are still wondering whether Damian Lillard will be part of the Heat team that will be playing their schedule in the 2023-24 campaign. The Portland Trail Blazers star requested a trade on July 1, with his preferred destination said to be Miami, but the sides do not seem close to finalizing a deal.
The Heat reportedly are prepared to offer a package of multiple first-round picks, expiring contracts, a young player like Nikola Jovic, Tyler Herro going to a third team for assets and possibly more for Lillard.
Jovic recently said he would like to remain with the Heat, who have lost Gabe Vincent, Max Strus and Victor Oladipo this offseason but have not added any major names.
The waiting game for Lillard, which could linger if Portland remains uncommunicative, has seemingly hamstrung Miami’s ability to acquire additional players for the upcoming season.