The Boston Celtics and their Big Three kicked off the 2010-2011 NBA season by giving the newly assembled Big Three of South Beach their first loss of the season on Boston's home floor by a final score of 88-80.
The Boston faithful had their own way of welcoming the familiar conference foe, LeBron James, as the familiar sound of boos rained down upon him as he was introduced to them in his new Miami Heat uniform for the first time.
However the familiar Bostonian greeting did not seem to hinder James' shooting ability one bit as he managed to score 31 points.
James complemented his thick stack of points with a hefty count of turnovers; he alone managed to give the ball back to the Celtics a total of eight times.
But James was not the only one who had issues maintaining possession for the Heat; his other teammates turned the ball over another nine times, including six that were made by Dwyane Wade. The 17 Miami turnovers turned into 13 points for Boston.
The Celtics were also in on the turnover business as they gave the ball back to Miami a total of 16 times, including seven made by Kevin Garnett. Miami capitalized and turned those 16 turnovers into 20 points towards their losing effort.
Outside of LeBron James, the Heat failed to establish another scoring threat. Dwyane Wade struggled from the floor early and his struggles did not get any easier.
He started the game by missing his first six field goal attempts and scored only two points in the first quarter, coming from two free throws.
Wade didn't knock down his first successful field goal until the second quarter. He finished the first half shooting a meager two for 10 from the field and only knocked down four of his 16 shots.
Wade managed 13 points but on the defensive end created three of the Heat's 16 takeaways.
The final third of Miami's Big Three, Chris Bosh did not prove to be a true threat to the Celtics. Bosh finished with only eight points and eight rebounds. He, like Wade, struggled and only hit three of his 11 shots from the floor.
Miami's shooting trouble, as a team, led to their 36.5 percent field goal percentage which is one of the primary reasons that they could not measure up to Boston in the end.
Pierce and Allen as a duo shot 8-12 from behind the arch and Allen himself knocked down the most important three of all with only 49.8 ticks left on the game clock, giving the Celtics an 86-80 advantage over a surging Heat offense.
Pierce fell one rebound shy of a double-double, but still managed nine boards to complement his 19 points in the game.
Garnett scored the least of the trio, only accounting for 10 of their 49 points, but he tacked on 10 rebounds and accrued the first double-double of the season by any player in the NBA.
Shaquille O'Neal looked brilliant and displayed his power and strength in his debut in a Celtic uniform and scored nine valuable points and snagged seven rebounds for his new club.
Although Rajon Rondo failed to impose himself as a scoring threat, he did establish himself as Boston's primary distributor and collected 17 assists, two more than the entire Heat team.
Glen Davis also proved to be a valuable asset to the Celtics as he hit six of his seven shot attempts, scoring 13 points and collected five rebounds for his team in the season opener.
Overall, the more youthful Big Three of Miami looked a bit rusty relative to the older (both in age and establishment) Big Three of Boston.
The Celtics utilized their size through the roles of their big men, exploiting Miami's lack of a true dominant inside presence as the shooters from South Beach struggled to shoot the ball at a high percentage.
The good news for the Heat is that the season is still young, and though the Celtics have spoiled any dreams that the Heat's following had of an undefeated season, there is still a lot of time for their team to adjust and develop chemistry.
The bad news for the Heat is that they will not record the first undefeated season in NBA history this season and that now they sit at the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings, at least for a night.
Tomorrow, the Heat have a chance for redemption as they head to Philadelphia to take on the No. 2 draft pick in the 2010 NBA Draft, Evan Turner, and his 76ers, to get the ball rolling in a more positive direction.