The Miami Heat will open the 2010-2011 NBA season against the same team that eliminated them from the first round of last season’s playoffs, the Boston Celtics. But this Heat team will be much different.
When LeBron James announced his decision to join Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in South Beach Pat Riley and the Miami Heat knew they had just completed possibly the greatest coup in sports history. With his All-Star Trio in place Pat Riley began the work of finding the right players to complement his All-Stars.
Riley received assists from Bosh, James, and Wade when they all agreed to sign with the Miami Heat for less than maximum deals. The additional cap space-along with Riley’s ability to sell-allowed Miami to sign sharpshooting veterans Eddie House and Mike Miller.
The Miami Heat also secured the services of veteran big men Juwan Howard and Zydrunas Ilgauskas while retaining their own front line free agents Udonis Haslem, Joel Anthony, Jamaal Magliore, and Shavlik Randolph.
With the additions of LeBron James, Chris Bosh, Mike Miller, Eddie House, Juwan Howard and Zydrunas Ilgauskas the Miami Heat will open training camp with plenty of new faces. But by retaining seven of their own free agents (including Dwyane Wade), the Heat will benefit from a certain amount of consistency and familiarity which may help them gel into a cohesive unit sooner than one might expect.
Here are game-by-game predictions for the 2010-2011 Miami Heat:
Game 1, Tuesday, October 26th at Boston- Heat suffer a disappointing and humbling road loss in the 2010 NBA season opener to the Eastern Conference Champion Boston Celtics (Record 0-1).
Game 2, Wednesday, October 27th at Philadelphia- Heat rebound with a convincing win over the Philadelphia 76ers at the Wells Fargo Center (Record 1-1).
Game 3, Friday, October 29th versus Magic- Heat win their home opener by defeating Southeast Division rival Orlando Magic (Record 2-1).
Game 4, Sunday, October 31st at New Jersey- Heat get a double-digit victory over the Nets on Halloween (Record 3-1).
Game 5, Tuesday, November 2nd versus Timberwolves- Heat defeat the visiting Minnesota Timberwolves (Record 4-1).
Game 6, Friday, November 5th at New Orleans- Heat suffer a surprising loss to Chris Paul and the New Orleans Hornets (Record 4-2).
Game 7, Saturday, November 6th versus Nets- Heat begin a six-game home stand with their sixth straight win over the New Jersey Nets (Record 5-2).
Game 8, Tuesday, November 9th versus Jazz- Heat beat the tough-minded Utah Jazz in a close game at American Airlines Arena (Record 6-2).
Game 9, Thursday, November 11th versus Celtics- Heat get a Veterans Day victory over the Boston Celtics to avenge their opening night loss (Record 7-2).
Game 10, Saturday, November 13th versus Raptors- Heat easily defeat Bosh’s former team the Toronto Raptors (Record 8-2).
Game 11, Wednesday, November 17th versus Suns- Heat beat the Phoenix Suns for their seventh straight home win (Record 9-2).
Game 12, Friday, November 19th versus Bobcats- Heat complete a perfect 6-0 home stand with a victory over the Charlotte Bobcats (Record 10-2).
Game 13, Saturday, November 20th at Memphis- Heat continue to roll as they defeat the Memphis Grizzlies at the FedEx Forum (Record 11-2).
Game 14, Monday, November 22nd versus Pacers- Heat defeat the Indiana Pacers and remain undefeated at home (Record 12-2).
Game 15, Wednesday, November 24th at Orlando- Heat fall to the Magic at the Amway Center (Record 12-3).
Game 16, Friday, November 26th versus 76ers- Heat get back on track with a home win over the Philadelphia 76ers (Record 13-3).
Game 17, Saturday, November 27th at Dallas- Heat get a road win over the Mavericks and get both halves of a back-to-back (Record 14-3).
Game 18, Monday, November 29th versus Wizards- Heat get their 15th win of the season with a victory over the Washington Wizards (Record 15-3).
Game 19, Wednesday, December 1st versus Pistons- Heat start December with a double-digit victory over the visiting Detroit Pistons (Record 16-3).
Game 20, Thursday, December 2nd at Cleveland- LeBron James and the Heat lose to the Cavaliers at Quicken Loans Arena (Record 16-4).
Game 21, Saturday, December 4th versus Hawks- Heat get right back on track with a home win over the Atlanta Hawks (Record 17-4).
Game 22, Monday, December 6th at Milwaukee- Heat begin a four-game road trip with a win over the Bucks (Record 18-4).
Game 23, Wednesday, December 8th at Utah- Heat lose to the Jazz at EnergySolutions Arena (Record 18-5).
Game 24, Friday, December 10th at Golden State- Heat rebound from the Jazz loss with a road win over the Golden State Warriors (Record 19-5).
Game 25, Saturday, December 11th at Sacramento- Heat defeat the Kings and get both halves of another back-to-back (Record 20-5).
Game 26, Monday, December 13th versus Hornets- Heat beat the New Orleans Hornets to avenge an earlier loss (Record 21-5).
Game 27, Wednesday, December 15th versus Cavaliers- Heat get revenge for another loss by defeating the Cleveland Cavaliers (Record 22-5).
Game 28, Friday, December 17th at New York- Heat get a road win over the Knicks at Madison Square Garden (Record 23-5).
Game 29, Saturday, December 18th at Washington- Heat get their sixth straight win with a victory over the Wizards (Record 24-5).
Game 30, Monday, December 20th versus Mavericks- Heat fall to the visiting Dallas Mavericks and suffer their first home loss of the season (Record 24-6).
Game 31, Thursday, December 23rd at Phoenix- Heat get a road win over the Suns (Record 25-6).
Game 32, Saturday, December 25th at Los Angeles Lakers- Heat lose to the NBA Champion Los Angeles Lakers on Christmas Day (Record 25-7).
Game 33, Tuesday, December 28th versus Knicks- Heat get a double-digit victory over the New York Knicks at American Airlines Arena (Record 26-7).
Game 34, Wednesday, December 29th at Houston- Heat drop the second half of a back-to-back to Yao Ming and the Houston Rockets (Record 26-8).
Game 35, Saturday, January 1st versus Warriors- Heat open the New Year with a home win over the Golden State Warriors (Record 27-8).
Game 36, Monday, January 3rd at Charlotte- Heat win a close game against the Bobcats (Record 28-8).
Game 37, Tuesday, January 4th versus Bucks- Heat defeat the visiting Milwaukee Bucks (Record 29-8).
Game 38, Friday, January 7th at Milwaukee- Heat start their longest road trip of the season with a loss to the Bucks (Record 29-9).
Game 39, Sunday, January 9th at Portland- Heat get right back on track with an impressive win over the Trail Blazers at the Rose Garden (Record 30-9).
Game 40, Wednesday, January 12th at Los Angeles Clippers- Heat defeat the Clippers at the Staples Center (Record 31-9).
Game 41, Thursday, January 13th at Denver- Heat fall to the Nuggets at the Pepsi Center and drop the second half of a back-to-back (Record 31-10).
Game 42, Saturday, January 15th at Chicago- Heat close a 3-2 road trip with a victory over the Bulls (Record 32-10).
Game 43, Tuesday, January 18th versus Hawks- Heat beat the Atlanta Hawks for the fifth straight time (Record 33-10).
Game 44, Saturday, January 22nd versus Raptors- Heat defeat the Toronto Raptors and get their 20th home win of the season (Record 34-10).
Game 45, Thursday, January 27th at New York- Heat get their fourth straight win with a victory over the Knicks (Record 35-10).
Game 46, Friday, January 28th versus Detroit- Heat beat the Pistons and win both halves of a back-to-back (Record 36-10).
Game 47, Sunday, January 30th at Oklahoma City- Heat win a close game against Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder (Record 37-10).
Game 48, Monday, January 31st versus Cavaliers- Heat close January with a home win over the Cleveland Cavaliers (Record 38-10).
Game 49, Thursday, February 3rd at Orlando- Heat continue to roll with a win over the Magic (Record 39-10).
Game 50, Friday, February 4th at Charlotte- Heat lose to the Bobcats in the second half of a back-to-back (Record 39-11).
Game 51, Sunday, February 6th versus Clippers- Heat rebound and get their 40th victory of the season by defeating the Los Angeles Clippers (Record 40-11).
Game 52, Tuesday, February 8th versus Pacers- Heat defeat the pesky Indiana Pacers (Record 41-11).
Game 53, Friday, February 11th at Detroit- Heat begin a four-game road trip with a win over the Pistons (Record 42-11).
Game 54, Sunday, February 13th at Boston- Heat win a hard-fought game against the Celtics (Record 43-11).
Game 55, Tuesday, February 15th at Indiana- Heat defeat the Pacers for the second Tuesday in a row (Record 44-11).
Game 56, Wednesday, February 16th at Toronto- Heat complete a perfect 4-0 road trip with a victory over the Raptors (Record 45-11).
Game 57, Tuesday, February 22nd versus Kings- Heat open the second half of the season with a win over the Sacramento Kings (Record 46-11).
Game 58, Thursday, February 24th at Chicago- Heat get their eighth straight win with a victory over the Bulls (Record 47-11).
Game 59, Friday, February 25th versus Wizards- Heat beat the Wizards for their 11th straight home win (Record 48-11).
Game 60, Friday, February 27th versus Knicks- Heat continue their winning ways with a victory over the New York Knicks (Record 49-11).
Game 61, Thursday, March 3rd versus Magic- Heat close a 2-1 home stand with a loss to the Orlando Magic (Record 49-12).
Game 62, Friday, March 4th at San Antonio- Heat drop a road game to the Spurs and lose both games of a back-to-back (Record 49-13).
Game 63, Sunday, March 6th versus Chicago- Heat defeat the Bulls for the fifth consecutive time and get their 50th win of the season in the process (Record 50-13).
Game 64, Tuesday, March 8th versus Trail Blazers- Heat win a close game over the visiting Portland Trail Blazers (Record 51-13).
Game 65, Thursday, March 10th versus Lakers- Heat beat the Lakers to avenge their Christmas Day loss (Record 52-13).
Game 66, Saturday, March 12th versus Grizzlies- Heat defeat the Memphis Grizzlies and get yet another home win (Record 53-13).
Game 67, Monday, March 14th versus Spurs- Heat get their fifth straight victory by defeating the San Antonio Spurs (Record 54-13).
Game 68, Wednesday, March 16th versus Thunder- Heat drop the final game of a six-game home stand to the young athletic Oklahoma City Thunder (Record 54-14).
Game 69, Friday, March 18th at Atlanta- Heat get back on track with a road win over the Hawks (Record 55-14).
Game 70, Saturday, March 19th versus Nuggets- Heat beat the Denver Nuggets (Record 56-14).
Game 71, Wednesday, March 23rd at Detroit- Heat defeat the Pistons and sweep the season series 4-0 (Record 57-14).
Game 72, Friday, March 25th versus 76ers- Heat beat the Philadelphia 76ers for the seventh straight time (Record 58-14).
Game 73, Sunday, March 27th versus Rockets- Heat get their third straight home win with a victory over the Houston Rockets (Record 59-14).
Game 74, Tuesday, March 29th at Cleveland- Heat defeat the Cavaliers for their 60th win of the season (Record 60-14).
Game 75, Wednesday, March 30th at Washington- Heat fall to the Wizards at the Verizon Center and drop the second half of a back-to-back (Record 60-15).
Game 76, Friday, April 1st at Minnesota- Heat start April with a win over the Timberwolves (Record 61-15).
Game 77, Sunday, April 3rd at New Jersey- Heat complete a 3-1 road trip with a victory over the Nets at the Prudential Center (Record 62-15).
Game 78, Wednesday, April 6th versus Bucks- Heat open their final home stand of the season with a victory over the Milwaukee Bucks (Record 63-15).
Game 79, Friday, April 8th versus Bobcats- Heat get a double-digit victory over the Charlotte Bobcats (Record 64-15).
Game 80, Sunday, April 10th versus Celtics- Heat beat the Boston Celtics in their final home game of the regular season (Record 65-15).
Game 81, Monday, April 11th at Atlanta- Heat lose to the Hawks in the second half of their final back-to-back (Record 65-16).
Game 82, Wednesday, April 13th at Toronto– Heat win their final game of the regular season against the Raptors (Record 66-16).
Prediction: We will witness the Miami Heat win 60 plus games (for the second time in franchise history) and their fourth Southeast Division title.
More 2010-2011 Game-by-Game Predictions:
Boston Celtics 2010-2011 Game-by-Game Predictions
Los Angeles Lakers 2010-2011 Game-by-Game Predictions
Chicago Bulls 2010-2011 Game-By-Game Predictions
Information from ESPN.com’s Miami Heat Schedule and NBAUniverse’s Miami Heat Records was used for this article.