NBA preseason schedule: Heat open preseason against Hawks

Mike Ehrmann

The Heat's quest for a threepeat begins Monday. Sort of.

The two-time defending Miami Heat make their preseason debut on Monday against the Atlanta Hawks at AmericanAirlines Arena. The game is one of eight on the day in the NBA.

The Heat defeated the Hawks all four times last season, with the last two victories coming by double-digits. LeBron James averaged 21.8 points, 8.3 assists and 7.8 rebounds in those four games, but he and the other Heat stars will likely play sparingly on Monday.

Atlanta will be working in some key new members to their rotation, with Paul Millsap being the most notable. Millsap will take the place of the departed Josh Smith, and the power forward will be expected to pick up the slack in the scoring and rebounding department.

The Los Angeles Clippers will also be making their much anticipated preseason debut against the Portland Trail Blazers. Doc Rivers will be roaming the Clippers' sideline for the first time, while J.J. Redick and Jared Dudley will help form a new and improved starting five.

For the Blazers, they already received some bad news this preseason when first-round pick C.J. McCollum broke his left foot in training camp.

A few other things to watch for on Monday night include Brad Stevens' Boston Celtics coaching debut, Derrick Rose's second preseason outing coming off a lengthy ACL recovery after a successful debut over the weekend, and Kevin Love's return to the lineup after missing most of last season.

Here's Monday's full schedule (all times Eastern):

Toronto Raptors at Boston Celtics, 7:30 p.m.

Atlanta Hawks at Miami Heat, 7:30 p.m., NBA TV

Memphis Grizzlies at Chicago Bulls, 8 p.m. (in St. Louis)

CSKA Moscow at Minnesota Timberwolves, 8 p.m.

New Orleans Pelicans at Dallas Mavericks, 8:30 p.m.

Maccabi Haifa at Phoenix Suns, 10 p.m.

Los Angeles Clippers at Portland Trail Blazers, 10 p.m.

Sacramento Kings at Golden State Warriors, 10:30 p.m., NBA TV

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