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How we see it goin’ down: Celtics – Heat season opener

John - Red's Army (@RedsArmy_John) October 30, 2012 Previews 15 Comments

Tip: 8 PM     Court: Americanairlines Arena    Watch it: TNT  Hear it: WEEI

Referees:  Monty McCutchen, Kane Fitzgerald, Sean Wright

 Get your tickets here

The Matchup

 
Record: (2011-12) 39-27 Record: (2011-12) 46-20
On road: (2011-12) 15-18 At home: (2011-12) 28-5
Streak: 0 Streak: 0
2011-12 Leaders 2011-12 Leaders
Buckets: Pierce (19.4 ppg) Buckets: LeBron James (27.1 ppg)
Boards: Garnett (8.2 rpg) Boards: James/Bosh (7.9 ppg)
Dimes: Rondo (11.7 apg) Dimes: James (6.2 apg)
For the Stat Geeks (2011-12 statistics): For the Stat Geeks  (2011-12 statistics):
Offensive Rating: 101.0 (27th NBA) Offensive Rating:  106.6 (8th NBA)
Defensive Rating:  98.2 (1st NBA) Defensive Rating:  100.2 (4th NBA)
Pace:  90.4 (21st NBA) Pace:  91.2 (16th NBA)

Last time

Do we really want to get into the last time these two teams met?  Ok, fine… it was the Eastern Conference Finals, and the Celtics had just watched a 7 point halftime lead in Game 7 dwindle to nothing by the end of the third… and then a 13 point blowout in the 4th.   The Celtics got 2 bench points (from Ryan Hollins), while the Heat got 19 off the bench from Chris Bosh… who was an inexplicable 3-4 from 3.

This time

Get it to:  Rajon Rondo

Despite what Mario Chalmers thinks, The Heat are still weak at the point.  With all this time off before the game and two days off before the next one, Rajon will probably play 40+ minutes.  A successful preseason at the line will mean Rondo can aggressively attack the basket without worry.  He has shooters all over the place to spread the floor, so he should have opportunities to get to the basket.  Once the Heat collapse on him, he’ll pick them apart.

Gotta stop:  Everyone not named LeBron James

Regular readers know my philosophy when it comes to megastars like LeBron, Kobe, Durant… etc… single cover them, and if they score 50, so be it.  If you can hold the rest of the team to less than 50, you should have a chance to win the game.

So I’m content with letting LeBron go 1-on-1 all night long.  What I don’t want is him playing point-forward and racking up assists all over the place.  Dwyane Wade’s knee still isn’t 100%, so hopefully Courtney Lee can check him fairly effectively.  KG on Bosh is always fun.  And then it’s up to the rest of the crew to hold tight on their assignments and hopefully they can weather whatever storm LeBron brings.

The Wild Card: Jared Sullinger

The rookie has been doing well this preseason, but how will he respond to the big spotlight of opening night against the champs?  If he is unfazed by the moment and he can provide the same level of rebounding and calm, smart play he provided in the preseason, the Celtics will have a very valuable weapon against the Heat’s less-than-stellar second unit.

How we see it goin’ down

It’s ring night, and the Heat will be giddy with excitement over raising the banner.  I’m not confident in their ability to block that out and play a game.  Meanwhile, the Celtics have been focused on this game for four months, and after a week off from facing NBA opponents, I think they’re itching to face someone not wearing Green.

I think the Celtics come out and throw a big punch to start the game, but Miami will come back to make it close by halftime.  After that, it’s a back-and-forth game that the Celtics will take 97-95… after a Ray Allen missed 3 at the buzzer.

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  • Shane

    If Ray actually misses the game winner… I can’t even imagine how satisfying that would be to watch.

    • Mencius

      I know. What could possibly be better?

      • 17rings

        blowing the heat out by 40

      • RedsLoveChild

        Ray Allen limps off the court with a severely sprained ankle, with 4:55 remaining in the 2nd quarter.

        He does not return.

  • piecz

    Missed this post’s so much ! Nice to be back in NBA-rhythm of life.

  • Jester00

    currant beer count 11 and on DVD 2 boston vs Portland 1991 larry goes for 49 and a trip dub GO CELTICS!!!!!!! agreed with post 100%

  • paul

    Want to see the Cs take control early and never let up.

  • Claud

    Let’s go Cs!! Path to 18 starts tonight.

    • zippittyay

      Jester’s Path to 18 started at 7:30 this morning.

  • OlSkool

    Can’t wait. So tired of seeing these media lemmings basically crowning Miami before the season starts.

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  • Drew

    Not that Stephen A Smith is my go to analyst or anything, but he seemed very high on The Celtics this morning. With all of the experts just browsing through the NBA and giving absurd, arbitrary predictions, he seems like he’s been studying hard. I commend that. Good job Stephen A.

  • JimmyG

    Obviously, I’m a huge homer but I think the Celts can actually knock off the Heat this year. Of course, when we are halfway through the season and the C’s are losing lazy games to the Raptors everyone will be saying this team is done. I just know that’s coming. Having said that, I think we’ll win tonight and if we stay healthy, we have a better chance at the title than we did last year… you know, the year that we were 48 minutes from the finals despite having no bench and a decimated starting lineup. If Bosh hadn’t turned into Reggie Miller that night we would’ve won it.

  • yardleyhbk

    Boston loses by 30 pts, Celtics are old and done , f**k all of ya boston fans, 2008 is over!!!! get use to it, Miami taking over #MiamiHeatingUp

    • Jon

      u actually trolled? Sad. Lol