Now, Celtics-Heat? Yeah, that's got the "R" word written all over it.
Remember, the Celtics were defending Eastern Conference champs last season, having knocked off both Dwyane Wade and the Heat and LeBron James and the Cavaliers en route to the NBA Finals during the 2009-10 campaign. That summer, the Heat put together its own Big Three and went on to knock Boston out of the playoffs in May en route to taking over the conference throne.
Boom, rivalry. Two teams competing for the same objective, each with a legitimate chance of obtaining it.
This definitely has all the ingredients of a rivalry, but I think the "New Big 3" vs. "Miami Super Friends" era is too new to actually BE a rivalry yet.
Of course, I'm a Celtics fans and my idea of our one and only rivalry is the LA Lakers. The Lakers and Celtics have been butting heads since the 60's, and every playoff meeting has been for the title. So there's an added "watch the other guy celebrate" aspect that really adds spice to the rivalry. There's an anticipation with only two meetings per year that when we finally do meet again, it'll again be for the championship.
When you have decades worth of playing each other for the ultimate goal, you build up a rivalry for the ages.
Celtics-Heat? It's a fine little rivalry now, but what will it be next year? What will it be in 3 years? What will it be when the new rules force that team to break up?
Sorry. I just don't FEEL it. Not yet.
On page 2: Praise for Bass includes shots at Baby
“Kid can play,” coach Doc Rivers said. “He’s tough. He can finish. He can offensive rebound. He can do a lot of things. He’s doing it right now, but he’s second guessing half of the things he’s doing because of the execution part of it.
“He’s late on a lot of stuff because he’s just not sure yet. He’s just going to keep getting better and better as the year goes on.”
Kevin Garnett was equally impressed, though when asked about Bass he preferred to refer to the bench as a whole.
“Brandon is going to give us a more mature, consistent scorer off the bench,” Garnett said. “I actually like our bench — not just on paper, but in practice and in games. Not just Brandon, but Chris (Wilcox) and Keyon(Dooling), too.”
There's no doubt what "more mature, consistent scorer" means. It means Kevin Garnett is calling Brandon Bass is an upgrade over Glen Davis. We can't talk about Brandon Bass without these thinly veiled shots at Baby. Go ahead and google "Brandon Bass" and "more mature" and you'll find pages worth of results from either the Celtics themselves or writers and bloggers.
Just makes you wonder what was going on behind the scenes beyond what we saw.
The rest of the links:
CSNNE: Celtics look to improve offensive rebounding | NBA decides not to suspend Garnett | ESPN Boston: No penalty for Garnett | Winter forecast: Celtics 3rd in East | Celtics-Knicks set cable record | Herald: So. Beach talent show | Garnett avoids punishments | Globe: Pavlovic is a puzzle | Humbled last season, James, Heat refocus