Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here… highlighting the big storyline. Because there's nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.
In fact, the Celtics almost seem to enjoy the fact that Miami has taken the giant bull's-eye that otherwise would have been on Boston's back. When else could a championship-caliber team add the pieces Boston did — particularly the larger-than-life personality of Shaq — and not be the biggest story of the offseason?
But Miami's moves were so grand in nature — and so over-the-top in presentation — that they masked what the Celtics (and even the two-time defending world champion Los Angeles Lakers) did to reload this offseason.
Which is why Garnett snapped a bit when a reporter repeatedly inquired about the Heat and their "retooling" in the days leading up to Tuesday's opener.
"Who cares?" said Garnett. "We did some retooling ourselves."
It's been one loooong off-season. At least it was entertaining.
This question came up during last night's live chat on CSNNE.com – Is this the most highly anticipated regular season opener in the history of the NBA?
While some of the younger bloggers were hesitant to say yes (out of respect for what they failed to witness in the 70s and 80s), my answer was a resounding – Yes.
Which team has more to prove? The Heat. The pressure on LeBron is magnificent. The pressure on the Heat's Big Three to look like a smooth unit is nearly equal.
The sports book at the MGM has the Heat a 1 point favorite.
Fueled by what will be a ravenous Garden crowd, I like the Celtics by a handful. Because as KG said – they've done some retooling too.
On Page 2, the inactives for tonight's game.
In advance of opening night, the NBA had teams submit rosters with inactive lists. The Boston Celtics have designated dinged-up rookies Avery Bradley (ankle) and Semih Erden (shoulder), along with recuperating center Kendrick Perkins (knee) as the team's three inactives.
Boston will play the first 10 games of the season with only 11 active bodies due to the suspension of guard Delonte West.
Aren't Chalmers and Miller supposed to be two of the Heat's biggest role players? Look for the Celtics second unit to run wild.
The rest of the links:
Globe – Power of 3 | Heat hope 1 + 2 = championship | Some NBA titles have been triple crowns | Assist isn't needed | Herald – Whose 3 is bigger | Celtics chances look Shamrock solid | Can't stand the Heat | Lebron awaits flames | ESPN Boston – Champs for a day | Shaq most likely will start | Hype won't win title | CSNNE – 18 questions on Drive to 18 Part II | Season preview videos | WEEI – Who is afraid of Miami? Not these Celtics |