Miami Heat have toughest schedule for season restart

Shandel Richardson

The positive for the Miami Heat is they are a month from returning to the basketball court.

The negative is the schedule they were dealt by the league for the restart to the NBA season. According to the website www.winsadded.com, which is devoted to metrics, the Heat have the toughest remaining eight-game stretch when play begins July 30 in Orlando.

The Heat open against the Denver Nuggets Aug. 1 at 1 p.m. The restart begins with four games in six days, including matchups against the Toronto Raptors, Boston Celtics and Milwaukee Bucks. All four games are versus teams in the top three of their respective conferences, with the Bucks holding the league's best record at 53-12.

The Heat end the season against Phoenix Suns, Indiana Pacers, Oklahoma City Thunder and Pacers.

After a nearly four-month layoff because of the coronavirus pandemic, the Heat must regroup quickly if they are to remain at least as the No. 4 seed in the Eastern Conference. They are likely to finish somewhere between No. 3 and No. 6 in the playoff seeding.

Improving their positioning won't be easy, especially with the brutal start and two games against the Pacers.

Here's the schedule:

Aug. 1: Denver, 1 p.m., ESPN

Aug. 3: Toronto, 1:30 p.m., NBA TV

Aug. 4: Boston, 6:30 p.m., TNT

Aug. 6: Milwaukee, 4 p.m., TNT

Aug. 8: Phoenix, 7:30 p.m., TBD

Aug. 10: Indiana, 8 p.m., TBD

Aug. 12: Oklahoma City, 8 p.m., TBD

Aug. 14: Indiana, TBD, TBD

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