The back-to-back defending champions are poised for another incredible campaign in South Beach. All the key pieces are back, with LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and most of the supporting cast returning for a chance to become one of the all-time great dynasties.
It’s going to be more difficult than ever before, as the bull's-eye on their backs has grown bigger and every opponent will try harder to derail their title chances.
Will the Heat wilt under the pressure, or will they rise to the occasion and secure the top seed in order to make the road to a third straight title easier?
Keep reading for a prediction on Miami’s 2013-14 record, plus the top games to watch during the season and more.
2013-14 Miami Heat Schedule
|Fri 1||@ Brooklyn Nets||8:00 p.m.|
|Sun 3||vs Washington Wizards||6:00 p.m.|
|Tue 5||@ Toronto Raptors||7:00 p.m.|
|Thu 7||vs L.A. Clippers||7:00 p.m.|
|Sat 9||vs Boston Celtics||7:30 p.m.|
|Tue 12||vs Milwaukee Bucks||7:30 p.m.|
|Fri 15||vs Dallas Mavericks||7:30 p.m.|
|Sat 16||@ Charlotte Bobcats||7:00 p.m.|
|Tue 19||vs Atlanta Hawks||7:30 p.m.|
|Wed 20||@ Orlando Magic||7:00 p.m.|
|Sat 23||vs Orlando Magic||7:30 p.m.|
|Mon 25||vs Phoenix Suns||7:30 p.m.|
|Wed 27||@ Cleveland Cavaliers||7:30 p.m.|
|Fri 29||@ Toronto Raptors||7:00 p.m.|
|Sun 1||vs Charlotte Bobcats||6:00 p.m.|
|Tue 3||vs Detroit Pistons||7:30 p.m.|
|Thu 5||@ Chicago Bulls||9:30 p.m.|
|Sat 7||@ Minnesota Timberwolves||8:00 p.m.|
|Sun 8||@ Detroit Pistons||6:00 p.m.|
|Tue 10||@ Indiana Pacers||7:00 p.m.|
|Sat 14||vs Cleveland Cavaliers||7:30 p.m.|
|Mon 16||vs Utah Jazz||7:30 p.m.|
|Wed 18||vs Indiana Pacers||7:00 p.m.|
|Fri 20||vs Sacramento Kings||7:30 p.m.|
|Mon 23||vs Atlanta Hawks||7:30 p.m.|
|Wed 25||@ L.A. Lakers||5:00 p.m.|
|Fri 27||@ Sacramento Kings||10:00 p.m.|
|Sat 28||@ Portland Trail Blazers||10:00 p.m.|
|Mon 30||@ Denver Nuggets||9:00 p.m.|
|Thu 2||vs Golden State Warriors||7:30 p.m.|
|Sat 4||@ Orlando Magic||7:00 p.m.|
|Sun 5||vs Toronto Raptors||6:00 p.m.|
|Tue 7||vs New Orleans Pelicans||7:30 p.m.|
|Thu 9||@ New York Knicks||8:00 p.m.|
|Fri 10||@ Brooklyn Nets||8:00 p.m.|
|Wed 15||@ Washington Wizards||7:00 p.m.|
|Fri 17||@ Philadelphia 76ers||7:00 p.m.|
|Sat 18||@ Charlotte Bobcats||7:00 p.m.|
|Mon 20||@ Atlanta Hawks||5:30 p.m.|
|Tue 21||vs Boston Celtics||7:30 p.m.|
|Thu 23||vs L.A. Lakers||8:00 p.m.|
|Sun 26||vs San Antonio Spurs||1:00 p.m.|
|Wed 29||vs Oklahoma City Thunder||7:00 p.m.|
|Sat 1||@ New York Knicks||8:30 PM|
|Mon 3||vs Detroit Pistons||7:30 PM|
|Wed 5||@ L.A. Clippers||10:30 PM|
|Sat 8||@ Utah Jazz||9:00 PM|
|Tue 11||@ Phoenix suns||9:00 PM|
|Wed 12||@ Golden State Warriors||10:30 PM|
|Tue 18||@ Dallas Mavericks||8:30 PM|
|Thu 20||@ Oklahoma City Thunder||8:00 PM|
|Sun 23||vs Chicago Bulls||3:30 PM|
|Thu 27||vs New York Knicks||8:00 PM|
|Sat 1||vs Orlando Magic||7:30 PM|
|Mon 3||vs Charlotte Bobcats||7:30 PM|
|Tue 4||@ Houston Rockets||8:00 PM|
|Thu 6||@ San Antonio Spurs||8:00 PM|
|Sun 9||@ Chicago Bulls||1:00 PM|
|Mon 10||vs Washington Wizards||7:30 PM|
|Wed 12||vs Brooklyn Nets||7:00 PM|
|Fri 14||vs Denver Nuggets||7:30 PM|
|Sun 16||vs Houston Rockets||3:30 PM|
|Tue 18||@ Cleveland Cavaliers||7:00 PM|
|Wed 19||@ Boston Celtics||7:30 PM|
|Fri 21||vs Memphis Grizzlies||7:30 PM|
|Sat 22||@ New Orleans Pelicans||8:00 PM|
|Mon 24||vs Portland Trail Blazers||7:30 PM|
|Wed 26||@ Indiana Pacers||8:00 PM|
|Fri 28||@ Detroit Pistons||7:30 PM|
|Sat 29||@ Milwaukee Bucks||8:30 PM|
|Mon 31||vs Toronto Raptors||7:30 PM|
|Wed 2||vs Milwaukee Bucks||7:30 PM|
|Fri 4||vs Minnesota Timberwolves||7:30 PM|
|Sun 6||vs New York Knicks||1:00 PM|
|Tue 8||vs Brooklyn Nets||8:00 PM|
|Wed 9||@ Memphis Grizzlies||8:00 PM|
|Fri 11||vs Indiana Pacers||7:30 PM|
|Sat 12||@ Atlanta Hawks||7:30 PM|
|Mon 14||@ Washington Wizards||7:00 PM|
|Wed 16||vs Philadelphia 76ers||8:00 PM|
Most Intriguing Matchups
Miami Heat vs. San Antonio Spurs
When: Sunday, January 26th at 1 p.m.
The Heat nearly had their championship dreams ruined in Game 6 by the San Antonio Spurs, but they ultimately engineered one of the best comebacks in the history of the league to force a decisive Game 7.
As you know, Miami went on to win that contest and claim its second Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy in as many years.
The epic series cemented a rivalry that will definitely continue into the future, especially with all the stars on both sides returning for another run.
While the stakes are lower in this matchup, expect to see much of the same intensity that made the 2013 finals so special.
Tim Duncan and Chris Bosh will be battling down low, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker are going toe-to-toe with Dwyane Wade and the Heat backcourt, while LeBron James and Kawhi Leonard will engage in one-on-one combat, plus much, much more.
These teams brought out the best in one another this past spring and that should only continue in this regular-season matchup.
Miami Heat vs. Chicago Bulls
When:Tuesday, October 29th at 8 p.m.
The Bulls left a bitter taste in Heat fans’ mouths last season after they snapped Miami’s epic 27-game win streak, stopping the club from making history by besting the 1971-72 Los Angeles Lakers’ 33-game record.
Chicago managed to stop what seemed to be an unstoppable object without the force that is Derrick Rose, who will be returning at the start of the 2013-14 campaign and breathing new life into this rivalry.
Ever since the 2011 conference finals, these two sides have been bitter enemies that consistently fight for control of the East.
While Miami won out handily last year—largely thanks to D-Rose’s absence due to a torn ACL—it won’t be the same story for the upcoming campaign.
Expect a season-long struggle for the No. 1 seed and the matchups between the Heat and Bulls to be amongst the most exciting in the league.
You certainly won’t want to miss this particular showdown between the two longtime enemies in what is sure to be a thrilling season opener for both teams.
Predicted 2013-14 Record for Miami Heat: 63-19
It’s going to be close, but the Heat will finish their second straight season with the best record in the Association.
That was absolutely critical to their success last year, as having home-court advantage through the finals proved to be necessary.
The squad won both the Eastern Conference Finals against the Indiana Pacers and the championship series against San Antonio in Game 7 at AmericanAirlines Arena.
Coach Erik Spoelstra will drill that fact into his players' heads and get them to compete hard on a nightly basis in order to secure that same advantage next spring.
While Chicago and a few other contenders will give Miami a run for its money, the defending champs ultimately have the most talent and the veteran savvy to get it done.
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