NBA Schedule: Heat-Celtics Set To Kick-Start 2010-2011 NBA Season

Naim KalajiContributor IIAugust 4, 2010

BOSTON - APRIL 27:  Dwyane Wade #3 of the Miami Heat congratulates Paul Pierce #34 of the Boston Celtics after Game Five of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals of the 2010 NBA playoffs at the TD Garden on April 27, 2010 in Boston, Massachusetts. The Celtics defeated the Heat 96-86 to win the series. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
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There aren’t too many ways to create a better opening match-up for the upcoming NBA season than the one in store for us on October 26.

The NBA season begins with a bang.

The new-look, star-studded Miami Heat take on the reigning Eastern Conference champions, the Boston Celtics. The game itself is set to be shown on TNT at 7:30 ET.

There is no doubt that the Miami Heat has improved the most in terms of their roster (at least on paper).  After being shown the door rather rapidly by the Boston Celtics in the first round of the 2010 Playoffs, the Miami Heat were well aware they couldn’t just be satisfied with finishing in the middle of the playoff pack in the East, only to become first round bait to the big dogs.

What did they do? With a large amount of cap space, and a very persuasive Pat Riley, the Heat managed to re-sign Dwyane Wade. Then added highly coveted free-agent Chris Bosh from Toronto. That’s not all. Miami even convinced LeBron James to leave his hometown, and ‘take his talents’ to South Beach.

A less glamorous, yet equally as effective transaction, took place in Boston prior to the 2007-2008 season. The Celtics added Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen to their roster, with star Paul Pierce already among the Boston ranks. The result? A championship for the most successful franchise in NBA history.

Miami are hoping to have the same immediate impact. They won’t settle for anything less.

There is not a better way therefore to find out Miami’s championship credentials, as they face a hungry Boston team who will be willing to erase the 4-3 NBA Finals defeat to the Lakers from their collective memory.

While the Lakers-Heat match-up is the most talked about, you surely couldn’t find one single match that featured more superstars in the same building. The fans in Boston will be fortunate enough to witness such a match on opening night.

Here’s how the teams are set to shape up against one-another on opening night:

PG: Rajon Rondo vs. Mario Chalmers

SG: Ray Allen vs. Dwyane Wade

SF: Paul Pierce vs. LeBron James

PF: Kevin Garnett vs. Chris Bosh

C: Jermaine O’Neal vs. Zydrunas Ilgauskas

Paul Pierce, Rajon Rondo, Kevin Garnett, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and LeBron James participated in the All-Star game in Dallas in 2010. Jermaine O’Neal and Ray Allen have been to the All-Star game.

The ingredients are there for a delicious starter course for what looks to be an amazing NBA season. 

Can the Miami Heat prove that three huge stars can co-exist? Can they brush off the mighty, yet aging Celtics? Can they show that they’re ready for a long haul of games up to the NBA Finals? Or, will they be in for a rude awakening in Beantown?

The rest of the league certainly hopes so.