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LeBron gets his ring, leads Heat to opening night win over Celtics

Oct 30, 2012, 11:55 PM EDT

Boston Celtics v Miami Heat Getty Images

The last time the Heat opened the season after raising a banner and receiving their championship rings, the night was all about the pre-game festivities. After celebrating the 2006 NBA title, Miami had no interest in the basketball game that followed, and suffered an embarrassing 42-point loss at home to open the season at the hands of the Chicago Bulls — the very team that would wind up sweeping them out of the first round of the playoffs to end their season.

By contrast, the 2012 version of the Miami Heat were ready to compete from the start.

After LeBron James received his first championship ring, he looked every bit like the reigning MVP that we saw last June — especially in the first half — and helped lead Miami to a 120-107 victory over the Boston Celtics.

James had 16 points, 9 rebounds, two assists and two steals by halftime, while former Celtic Ray Allen had a quick 13 off the bench in 14 minutes to carry the Heat to 62 points and an eight-point lead at intermission.

The game was a competitive one between two teams who truly don’t like each other; the Ray Allen storyline only adds to the animosity. Kevin Garnett wanted nothing to do with Allen when he headed over to the Celtics bench to greet his former teammates and coaches late in the first quarter, but the cold shoulder had no effect on Allen’s hot shooting — his first made bucket in a Miami uniform came on a three-pointer from the corner, which, if you’ve watched Allen play even a little throughout his career, should come as absolutely no surprise.

The Heat pushed their lead to double-digits midway through the third, but Boston managed to hang around and keep things from getting out of hand — that is, strangely enough, until James and Dwyane Wade both headed to the bench at the same time.

James was back and forth from the locker room to the bench in the second half due to what was reportedly cramping issues, which forced an unusual lineup late in the third of Mike Miller, Mario Chalmers, Rashard Lewis, Ray Allen, and Chris Bosh. That unit blew the game open, and turned an eight-point lead into a 17-point advantage by ending the third on a 12-3 run over the final 3:36 of the period.

The Celtics, however, clawed their way back in it, thanks to a summer pickup of their own: Leandro Barbosa, who exploded for 16 fourth-quarter points to bring the Celtics back to within four with just under two minutes to play. Chris Bosh took over for the Heat from there, and with James sidelined went on a personal 7-0 run to seal the win for the Heat.

Wade led all scorers with 29 points, and was on the receiving end of a grab around the neck from Rajon Rondo which was ruled a flagrant foul with 16 seconds left and the game having already been decided. Again, these teams don’t like each other.

It was ultimately a successful night for the Heat, and if the production they received off the bench from Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis was a sign of things to come, Miami could be even more dangerous offensively than last year’s championship edition. The Celtics competed for much of the night and almost came back to have a chance to steal this one at the end, and a focus on improving team defensive principles as the season progresses could get them back to a postseason meeting with this same Miami team.

But the Heat are the defending champions, and played like it on opening night. If the performance from James and company was just the beginning, we might very well see them there at the very end once again.

  1. 1972wasalongtimeago - Oct 30, 2012 at 11:59 PM

    81 (just messin’)

    Going to be a great year

  2. rickyspanish - Oct 31, 2012 at 12:13 AM

    Miami looks better than last year, oh yeah! Ray Allen looked like a perfect fit tonight. Rashard looked better than I thought he would too.

  3. bozosforall - Oct 31, 2012 at 12:41 AM

    Where are all of the Puh C’s fan loudmouths tonight? Oh yeah…

    • passerby23 - Oct 31, 2012 at 1:27 AM

      Celtics actually didn’t look all that bad, Heat just played really well. Miami looks a little more polished at this point in the season than Boston. Boston has more working parts to plug into their system and no Avery Bradley, which will be a big defensive asset for them when he comes back. It’s one game, but every indication is that Miami is the class of the East and Boston is going to be very good too.

    • andyhr17 - Oct 31, 2012 at 5:40 AM

      Two years ago the Celtics opened up the season by beating the Heat in Miami on opening night, and then beat them again two weeks later. Last season the Celtics beat the Heat 3 out of 4 times. Yeah, the regular season sure does mean a lot. Who really thought the Celtics would come out and dominate the Heat in Miami on the night they got their rings and lifted their banner. So take advantage of the night and be a dick, it’s what you do best.

      • hehateme2 - Oct 31, 2012 at 6:33 AM

        spoken like a true loser andy. you should be proud.

      • andyhr17 - Oct 31, 2012 at 8:48 AM

        No, spoken like a realist who didn’t become an NBA fan when LeBron joined the Heat.

      • jayzus - Oct 31, 2012 at 10:30 PM

        The HEAT dominated the mavericks when they got their rings last year.

      • bozosforall - Oct 31, 2012 at 11:02 PM

        Better than being a Puh C like you, sandy.

      • andyhr17 - Nov 1, 2012 at 9:11 AM

        You really are the lowest of the low. A guy who has nothing better to do than go blog to blog insulting people on the internet.

    • andyhr17 - Oct 31, 2012 at 5:45 AM

      Oh, by the way, how did your Lakers do last night?

      • bozosforall - Oct 31, 2012 at 11:03 PM

        Better than your Puh C’s, given that the Lakers still haven’t even installed their new offense.

      • andyhr17 - Nov 1, 2012 at 9:12 AM

        Really? 0-2 is better than 0-1? You’re dumber than I gave you credit for.

    • hehateme2 - Oct 31, 2012 at 6:32 AM

      Blowout! The celticks look like the red-headed stepchildren of the league. Weak effort all around for all the big talk.

      The new jets of the NBA.

      • andyhr17 - Oct 31, 2012 at 8:46 AM

        Smart. Let’s judge the season by the first week of the season. The Heat will go undefeated, the Celtics and Lakers will miss the playoffs.

      • bozosforall - Oct 31, 2012 at 11:04 PM

        Worse than the Jets, they are the Red Sox of the L.

  4. rodge1 - Oct 31, 2012 at 1:24 AM

    Haters are hiding

    • jimeejohnson - Oct 31, 2012 at 12:31 PM

      Bozo’s got enough hate for them all.

  5. asublimeday - Oct 31, 2012 at 2:40 AM

    So that ties him with an absurd number of other players who have come and gone

  6. asublimeday - Oct 31, 2012 at 2:41 AM

    This must really be vindicating for all of you guys who have been heat fans since Lebron signed. Aka every heat fan.

  7. lucky5936 - Oct 31, 2012 at 2:51 AM

    Congrats to the Heat fans. You continued this off-season in purchase a second championship. Good luck on being the most hated NBA team outside of Miami. Maybe your MVP shouldn’t be Lebron, but your front office for buying a championship. But hey, let’s make an agreement here. You accept the truth, and I will accept the numerous thumbs down from the Heat fans who played a game of circle jerk while watching the Heat win one game.

    • miamatt - Oct 31, 2012 at 8:59 AM

      I agree our front office should be the MVP- having not only the guts to clear out cap space (like others such as the knicks) but also following through and closing the deal. Then the sign Battier and draft Cole. Now, they replace Eddie Curry, Juwan Howard, and Ronnie Turiaf with Ray Allen, Rashard Lewis and Josh Harrellson. When you create an environment that players want to play in, and spen your money WISELY, things fall into place.

      So I will take on your challenge, and accept the truth that Miami has the best front office in the league. I guess us Heat fans will just have to learn to live with it.

      • heat256 - Oct 31, 2012 at 9:16 AM

        You gotta love the whining these guys do. Miami is a smaller market than NY, LA and CHI, yet they “bought” a championship!! Sure did b*tches!!! They foster an environment where players want to play and feel welcomed and respected. They are a 1st class organization and players love it here!!! Of course it starts with Mickey Arison. The owners in the early days were definitely not held in that same regard, thus MIA never attracted the good free agents. Having Pat Riley come on to run the ship didn’t hurt either.

    • 1972wasalongtimeago - Oct 31, 2012 at 10:51 AM

      No argument at all from me. Front office is definitely the MVP. Can you believe they gave the guy from Chicago the 10-11 exec of the year; same year he signed Carlos Boozer to a max deal, over Pat Riley who you may have heard signed a couple good guys that same year.

  8. cpcfan - Oct 31, 2012 at 3:17 AM

    Don’t all teams “purchase” championships? (Current Laker roster)

    • guyaneserj - Oct 31, 2012 at 11:04 AM

      EXACTLY.. That one lost me!!!

    • 1972wasalongtimeago - Oct 31, 2012 at 11:06 AM

      You didn’t know the teams of MJ, Bird, Magic, Duncan, etc played for free?

      • guyaneserj - Oct 31, 2012 at 11:28 AM

        LMAO.. Now I do.. Thanks for the heads up! LOL

  9. brokerhenry - Oct 31, 2012 at 4:20 AM

    The game came on at 11 AM on Wednesday morning here in Sydney. Already told the boss I would come in on Saturday and make up the time. What I saw was a bunch of guys who clearly wanted more of what they experienced last year. These guys will not be allowed to forget what the mission is by Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis, or coach Spoelstra. The mission is not about winning the most games in the season or going after the Bulls record. It is about winning another championship. It is about accomplishing what they came together to do. It is about making the record books for the right reasons. Let the chips fall where they may. The haters will keep hating, so what is new?

    The scary part of the display that I witnessed from my desk was that the Heat did not play their best. The Celtics played their best and still lost. That has got to send a shiver down the spine of a lot of teams in the league. These guys want to win. Dwyane Wade clearly has recovered from his knee ailment. LeBron is LeBron and Chris Bosh is adjusting to playing center. Although I saw him playing like a forward at stretches of the game. It will come with time.

    It was also apparent to me that coach Spoelstra has been working with Rashard Lewis on his game. It stands to reason that a guy who was a former video coordinator would be able to provide video evidence of how Rashard played at his best and help him rediscover his form. Rashard in confident again.

    All in all, these guys are going to do a lot of damage. Thank god I’m a Heat fan. Let’s go Miami Heat!!!!

    • guyaneserj - Oct 31, 2012 at 11:06 AM

      Well said brokerhenry

    • scalfor3 - Oct 31, 2012 at 12:15 PM

      KG was nearly invisible on offense and the C’s turned the ball over a ton. I agree that Miami looks scary, but the Celtics definitely didn’t play their best.

  10. miamatt - Oct 31, 2012 at 9:01 AM

    I almost forgot: 82-0, bitches!

    • guyaneserj - Oct 31, 2012 at 11:06 AM

      LMAO…

  11. omniusprime - Oct 31, 2012 at 9:07 AM

    Poor Queen James had to sit out the 4th quarter with her menstral cramps. What a total sissy!

    • rnabs - Oct 31, 2012 at 11:25 AM

      We have a 10 year old over here everybody. Very mature and “original” comment little guy.

      • jimeejohnson - Oct 31, 2012 at 12:35 PM

        The “little” part referred to his brain. Lebron would crush the punk like an ant. Jealousy = hate with envy.

    • brokerhenry - Oct 31, 2012 at 1:53 PM

      @Omniusprime: From your statement, you made clear that you have never played regular sport. Because if you had, you would know that you would most likely develop cramps if you go all out after not having done so in a while. You get it from being overly excited and from electrolyte imbalance. The good new is that with proper massage and adequate electrolyte, LeBron should be fine. Cramps can happen to anyone at any time. Who hasn’t had cramps from getting out of bed, or extending or folding their legs in an unexpected manner? You are just a hater. You should let it go. Remember, the Heat gave Cleveland a ton of picks for LeBron. They didn’t need to, but they did. That is a part if the story everyone conveniently forgets.

  12. 1972wasalongtimeago - Oct 31, 2012 at 9:46 AM

    While we’re enjoying an awesome week in So Fla sports, this Heat fan gives a shout out to Barbosa. He went Paul Millsap on us, and almost brought them all the way back. We weren’t ready for that.

    • progress2011 - Oct 31, 2012 at 10:19 AM

      Barbosa seemed to be the only guy for the skirts, that showed up to simply…… Play Ball !

      All of the other Men That Wear Skirts, let him down because they were too caught up in the drama, All By Themselves.

      Ray Allen and the rest of the Miami team, showed up to Play Ball and didn’t appear to care about all the talk, while KG sat on the bench trying to play Fake Tough Guy.

      Kudos Barbosa ….Dude you shouldn’t be in a skirt.

      • jimeejohnson - Oct 31, 2012 at 12:36 PM

        While you sit on your fat ass behind a computer and play Internet tough guy.

  13. cgoose24 - Oct 31, 2012 at 9:53 PM

    Visit http://www.miamiheatsession.com if you are a true heat fan only

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