Miami Heat have announced their preseason home schedule and they will play the first home game against the Atlanta Hawks. The Heat will have their preseason home opener on October 1, ten days earlier than in 2016 preseason. Beside this game, Miami will host the Charlotte Hornets on October 9 and the Washington Wizards two days later.

Just like last year, the Heat will play three home games in the preseason. Unlike the last year, however, all of their opponents will be from their own division. They hosted the Brooklyn Nets, the Orlando Magic and the Philadelphia 76ers last preseason, but this year, it will be all about division rivalry.

Fans could see the new-look Miami Heat

Miami Heat have a lot of expiring contracts this offseason, and it is questionable whether they will be able to bring every player back. Last summer was awful for the Heat as they lost the franchise's biggest superstar [VIDEO], Dwyane Wade. It is not likely that Pat Riley, team president, will have two bad offseasons in a row, as he is genius when it comes to signing free agent superstars.

Since there are so many uncertainties regarding free agency, there is a chance that we will see the new-look Miami Heat in their first preseason game, as they will probably continue their rebuilding process. The Heat will have at least five free agents as it is expected that Dion Waiters and Willie Reed will reject player option on their respective contracts. James Johnson's contract will expire and the Heat will give their best to bring him back on a multi-year deal.

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Beside three of them, Udonis Haslem and Luke Babbitt will also be without a contract, but Haslem expressed his wish to be back with the team.

New NBA season might start earlier

NBA commissioner Adam Silver said that the NBA season will start earlier as the league is trying to eliminate number of back-to-back games during a regular season. Miami Heat will play their last home game of the preseason on October 11, and that might be their final preseason game. The team will release full preseason schedule soon, but there's a chance that their preseason will end in early October, which means that the regular season would start much earlier as well.

To put the Miami Heat preseason schedule in perspective, their 2016 preseason started on October 4 and their first home game was played on October 11. Preseason ended on October 21, and their regular season started five days after. If their preseason ends on October 11 this year, we could expect regular season to start on October 16 or even sooner.