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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Heat Come Out Firing On All Cylinders, Roll Over Celtics 120-107 On Opening Night

After what seemed like months of hype, the 2012 NBA regular season tipped off tonight with a rematch of the 2012 Eastern Conference Finals: Celtics at Heat. Just like Game 7, Miami (1-0) came out on top of Boston (0-1), 120-107 at Americanairlines Arena.

Things couldn't have gone any better for fraud Heat fans. LeBron James (26 points, 10 rebounds) still looks like the best basketball player on the planet, Dwayane Wade (game-high 29 points) was healthy, Chris Bosh (19 points, 10 rebounds and 3 blocks) was a capable third option while Ray Allen (19 points off the bench) had a hell of a debut for Miami. Even Mario Chalmers had eight points and 11 assists while the ghost of Rashard Lewis scored 10 off the bench.

Boston is clearly loaded with talent, it is just going to take time to mesh the veterans with the younger guys and other new players. Rajon Rondo (20 points, 13 assists, 7 rebounds) picked up where he left off with his 25th straight regular season game of 10+ assists. Paul Pierce had a team-high 23 points, five rebounds and five assists while Brandon Bass notched 15 points and 10 rebounds in the start.

Other positive notes for the C's: Courtney Lee scored 11 in his Celtics debut and Leandro Barbosa exploded for 16 points in the fourth quarter also in his first game with the Green. Kevin Garnett (9 points, 12 rebounds), Jason Terry (8 points) and Jeff Green (3 points) were the main no-shows for Boston and the reason why they lost, outside of the non-existent defense.

The Heat led basically from wire to wire. They were up 31-25 after one quarter and 62-54 at halftime. Miami was about to blow Boston out when they took a 93-76 lead into the fourth. Thanks to Barbosa, the Celts made it interesting and even cut it to four with a 14-3 run but they ran out of gas. Bosh scored seven straight points and that was it.

Rondo picked up a flagrant foul late for a cheap shot on Wade which was proceeded by a technical foul for berating an official earlier in the contest. I thought he had changed over the summer? The main thing to take away from tonight is not to get too wrapped up in the result. It's only 1 of 82 and as far as I'm concerned, the Heat are still the best team in the NBA (as much as it pains me to write that).

Getting away from the hoopla of tonight's ring ceremony and banner raising event, the Celtics can get back to basketball and forget the Ray Allen drama for a while. This is a new team that can run (27-12 fast break points) but they'll need to cut down on the turnovers (19-6 points off turnovers in favor of Miami). The C's get a couple days to rest and practice before hosting the Milwaukee Bucks on Friday (7:30 p.m., CSNE) in their home opener.

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