The 2020-2021 NBA has thrown the Miami Heat a lot of curveballs. In addition to having the shortest off-season, a shortened 72-game season, and a strict set of COVID-19 health and safety protocols to follow, it hasn’t been a smooth journey.
The Heat, who sit near the bottom of the Eastern Conference with a paltry 10-14 record, are coming off a 3-game win streak and looking to build off that momentum moving forward. However, starting on February 11, Miami will embark on a 7-game road trip, the longest road game sting in franchise history since 2009.
Unfortunately for the Heat, they play way better at home in Miami. Thus far this season, the Heat are 7-7 at home. On the road, they are 3-7.
“It’s the longest road trip that I’ve ever been on,” center Kelly Olynyk said, “and I’ve played eight years in the league now. It’s a different scheduling.”
Heat star Jimmy Butler, who has shown zero rust after missing 10 games due to COVID-19, says he’s not stressed about the road trip, he just wants the team to keep their win streak going.
“We’re going to figure it out,” Butler said. “We’re going to figure out a way to win some of these games on the road. I want to win all of ‘em, to tell you the truth. I think we’re capable of it.”
Coach Spo Believes the Long Road Trip Amid Coronavirus Can Be a ‘Good Thing’
While the idea of traversing the country to play a contact sport amid a deadly pandemic would make most NBA coaches worry, Heat’s head coach Erik Spoelstra is focusing on the positive aspects.
“I think for this basketball team, where we are right now, it is a good thing for us to go on the road and be together,” said Spoelstra.
“You get on a plane, you land, you take a bus, go to your hotel, order room service and that’s it,” he continued, noting that he doesn’t have to worry about players staying out too late or partying on the road.
“It’s a little bit different than our NBA experience in a typical year. But that’s just the deal, and we’re grateful that we have an opportunity to continue to play.”
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The Heat’s 7-Game Road Trip Schedule Kicks Off in Houston
The Heat head to Houston to take on the Rockets on Thursday night where they will take on a James Harden-less team. Tip-off is at 7:30 p.m. ET.
Saturday, February 13: Heat vs. Utah Jazz at 9 p.m. ET
Monday, February 15: Heat vs. Los Angeles Clippers at 10 p.m. ET
Wednesday, February 17: Heat vs. Golden State Warriors at 10 p.m. ET
Thursday, February 18: Heat vs. Sacramento Kings at 10 p.m. ET
Saturday, February 20: Heat vs. Los Angeles Lakers at 8:30 p.m. ET
Monday, February 22: Heat vs. Oklahoma City Thunder at 8 p.m. ET