January 29, 2012; Miami, FL, USA;Miami Heat small forward LeBron James (6) defends as Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose (1) drives the ball in the second half of the game that the Heat won 97 to 93 at American Airlines Arena. Mandatory Credit: Brad Barr-USA TODAY Sports

NBA Releases Schedule: Heat Start Season vs Bulls, Play Lakers on Christmas

The NBA officially announced the 2013-2014 NBA schedule Tuesday and the Miami Heat will tip off its three-peat campaign against Derrick Rose and the Chicago Bulls in what is expected to be Rose’s first game back from an ACL injury he suffered in the playoffs two seasons ago. Rose recently said he was the best player in the NBA, and he will get a chance to show it against LeBron James. And just for juxtaposition’s sake, the Heat players, coaches and executives will receive their championship rings before the game.

Miami will play the Los Angeles Lakers on Christmas, Dec. 25 at 5 p.m., at the Staples Center. A strange decision since the Lakers aren’t considered title contenders with an injury to Kobe Bryant and the loss of Dwight Howard.

They will get a shot at the new-look Brooklyn Nets on Nov. 1 in the third game of the season.

Then it’s a relatively easy schedule until an anticipated matchup between the Heat and Pacers on Dec. 10 for the teams’ first meeting since an intense seven-game Eastern Conference finals series. The teams will play again eight days later on ESPN.

The Heat won’t get Oklahoma City until 2014 on Jan. 29 and Feb. 20 and plays Houston twice in March.

From the Miami Heat announcement:

“The HEAT’s longest homestands will be two five-game stretches from December 14-23 and March 31-April 8. Miami’s longest stretch of road games is six games, from January 9-20 and February 5-20 (with the latter separated by the All-Star Break). Additionally, the HEAT will play 17 back-to-backs.”

The Heat will play 17 back-to-back games. Which games are you most looking forward to?

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