NBA preseason schedule: Heat host Nets on final day of exhibitions

Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sport

The Big Three may sit out, but Deron Williams could return to the Nets' lineup.

The NBA preseason is finally drawing to a close, with Friday marking the last day of the exhibition season before things get going for real next week. There are nine games Friday night, with some theoretically good matchups on the slate.

Since it's the final day of the preseason, however, those intriguing matchups probably won't be quite as intriguing. For example, the Miami Heat will host the Brooklyn Nets, a game which will provide plenty of entertainment in the regular season but not as much this week.

LeBron James and Dwyane Wade aren't expected to play for Miami and Chris Bosh may join his two buddies on the bench, too. Some lesser players will get more of a chance to shine and perhaps Greg Oden gets a few more minutes.

Something to watch for the Nets is the possible return of Deron Williams to the lineup. Williams has battled an ankle injury all preseason, but he recently returned to practice and reportedly looked a lot like his usual self.

Elsewhere around the league, the Houston Rockets visit the Memphis Grizzlies in a battle of Western Conference heavyweights. The Rockets did play Thursday night, so it's unclear how much playing time James Harden and Dwight Howard will see.

In Chicago, the Bulls welcome Nate Robinson and the Denver Nuggets to the United Center after his stirring one-year run with the team last year. Robinson helped provide the Bulls with some much-needed excitement last season in the absence of Derrick Rose with his finest moment coming in a triple-overtime victory over the Nets in the postseason.

Finally, J.R. Smith could make his preseason debut for the New York Knicks against the Charlotte Bobcats at Madison Square Garden.

Here's the full schedule for Friday (all times Eastern):

Game Time TV
New Orleans Pelicans at Orlando Magic 7 p.m.
Charlotte Bobcats at New York Knicks 7:30 p.m. MSG
Brooklyn Nets at Miami Heat 7:30 p.m. NBA TV, Sun Sports, YES
Denver Nuggets at Chicago Bulls 8 p.m. CSN Chicago
Houston Rockets at Memphis Grizzlies 8 p.m. CSN Houston
Toronto Raptors at Milwaukee Bucks 8:30 p.m.
Indiana Pacers at Dallas Mavericks 8:30 p.m. KTXA
Utah Jazz at Los Angeles Lakers (in Anaheim) 10 p.m. TWC SportsNet/TWC DE
Sacramento Kings at Los Angeles Clippers 10:30 p.m. NBA TV, Prime Ticket

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