Miami Heat vs. Boston Celtics: 5 Story Lines for NBA Opening Night
The Miami Heat opens up the NBA 2010-2011 season on the road against the Boston Celtics. Although it is only the first game of the season, it is surrounded by plenty of juicy story lines.
Arguably seven of the best basketball players the game has ever seen will take the floor at one time in this game and I could not think of a better way top open up the season.
Here are five story lines for the first game of the season between the Heat and the Celtics
The “New” Big Three or Miami Thrice
Marc Serota/Getty Images
The Miami Heat made the biggest splash of any team in the NBA during the free agent period when they resigned Dwyane Wade, and then signed Chris Bosh and LeBron James to join him. The Heat hit the jackpot and then minute it was announced that they signed the best players available, the basketball odds were posted by BetMania and the heat were the favorites to win the NBA Championship.
After the signing the team was surrounded by plenty of questions. Would they have enough talent around the big three? Will the Big Three have the chemistry they need to win? Will the superstars be able to share the ball? Can they stay healthy all year long?
Time will only tell, but it will be a good look at the newest trio of superstars to play for one team.
The “Other Big Three” or the Boston Three Party
Jim Rogash/Getty Images
When Miami won the free agent lottery, many people seemed to forget the original free agent Big Three in Boston. The Celtics did just fine in free agency as Danny Ainge worked his Magic and brought all of the main cogs back to Boston for one more run at the title.
Doc Rivers returned as coach and Paul Pierce signed back on and that left enough room for Ray Allen to come back for one more shot at a ring.
Alongside Kevin Garnett, these aging veterans will try to prove to the league, and the NBA world, that the Miami Heat will have some competition this year.
Miami Role Players
Chris Graythen/Getty Images
The Heat may have the best combination of three players on a team in LeBron, Wade, and Bosh, but they will need more than that to win a championship.
This will be the first look of the key players that Pat Riley brought to Miami to help bring home a championship. Injuries have already played a major role knocking out sharp shooter Mike Miller for a few weeks, so what player will stand up and be the added compliment they need? When James, Wade and Bosh are double teamed down low it will be up to the sharp shooters outside to make up for it. With Miller out, look for James Jones, or former Celtic Eddie House to try and make an impact from the outside.
Shaquille O’Neal or the Big Shamrock
The Celtics have a few role players of their own that will be needed to play a big part on this team if they want to win a banner. For the Celtics it’s Shaquille O’Neal.
The Celtics announced (kind of) that Shaq will most likely start opening night against the heat. This is most likely a respect move by the organization so that he will not seem like a sixth man, but that is exactly what he will do this year for the team.
In the preseason Shaq has been an impressive addition to this team. Shaq helped open the floor offensively by keeping the center on the other team down low and the big man even played some defense.
The key will be keeping the big man healthy and giving him limited time on the floor. He will need enough time to make an impact without wearing out. Doc Rivers is an excellent coach and will know how to achieve this balance. After Kobe won another ring, the big man actually seems motivated, but it’s still early.
The Big Prediction
This is a great way to open the season in the NBA and my hat goes off to the schedule maker. These teams have the potential to meet again in the Eastern Conference Finals and it will be interesting to see how they match up against each other.
I have a full preview and pick on the game and I believe it will come down to depth and the home court advantage, but one thing is for sure, it’s going to be a great year in the NBA.
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Matt Regaw is a B/R Featured Columnist and the founder of BookieBlitz.com, your one-stop shop for sports articles, previews, and predictions. Feel free to contact Matt at email@example.com