Strength of schedule matters little in the NBA, where most teams have balanced slates. Teams within each division are nonetheless guaranteed at least four games against each other every year, giving the Heat an edge. Miami won't be knocking heads with another contender in the Southeast Division, and four dates against the bottom-feeding Magic and Bobcats are especially enticing. The Heat went 15-1 against the Southeast in 2012/13, and we'll soon see how their projected advantage plays out this year. Here's the latest from the division:
- There's no timetable for Lou Williams' return from a torn ACL, and he's unlikely to be ready to fill his sixth-man role for the Hawks at the start of the regular season. That's probably why the team is bringing Damien Wilkins to camp, writes Chris Vivlamore of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. If the team fills its 15th opening-night roster spot, it would probably be with a swingman like Wilkins, Vivlamore adds. That could also be an auspicious sign for David Lighty, another camp invitee.
- New Bobcats head coach Steve Clifford talks to Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer about integrating offseason additions Al Jefferson and Cody Zeller, as well as several other 'Cats related items.
- HoopsWorld's Alex Kennedy chronicles Greg Oden's journey from near-retirement to the cusp of training camp with the Heat. Oden is seeing a familiar face in Miami, as former Blazers teammate Juwan Howard remains unsigned but is still hanging around the Heat. organization, as Kennedy notes.