at Miami Heat (0-0) at Boston Celtics (0-0)
Tuesday, October 26
7:30 PM ET
Season Game #1, Home Game #1
TV: TNT, TSN
Radio: WEEI, ESPNR, WINZ
TD Garden Probable Starting MatchupsPoint Guard
Rajon Rondo vs Carlos Arroyo Shooting Guard
Ray Allen vs Dwyane Wade Small Forward
Paul Pierce vs LeBron James Power Forward
Kevin Garnett vs Chris Bosh Center
Shaquille O'Neal vs Joel Anthony
Coach: Doc Rivers
Preseason Record 7-1
Home 4-0, Away 3-1Boston Bench Mob
Jermaine O'Neal Injured
Kendrick Perkins (knee) out
Avery Bradley (ankle) out
Delonte West Suspended
Semih Erden (shoulder) questionable
Coach: Erik Spoelstra
Preseason Record 3-4
Home (3-1) Away 0-3 Miami's Reserves
Mike Miller (thumb) out Team Connections
Mario Chalmers and Paul Pierce both attended the University of Kansas
Jamaal Magloire and Rajon Rondo both attended the University of Kentucky
Celtics Head Coach Doc Rivers and Dwyane Wade both attended Marquette Univesity
Shaquille O’Neal played for the Miami Heat from 2004‐08 and was a member of their 2006 NBA Championship team
Jermaine O’Neal played for the Heat during the end of the 2008‐09 season and all of the 2009‐10 season
Eddie House played for the Celtics from 2008‐10 and was a member of the Celtics 2008 NBA Championship team
Chris Bosh and Jermaine O’Neal were teammates in Toronto during the 2008‐09 season
Shaquille O’Neal, Zydrunas Ilgauskas, Delonte West and LeBron
James were teammates in Cleveland during the 2009‐10 season
James, Ilgauskas and West were teammates in Cleveland from 2008‐10
Dexter Pittman and Avery Bradley were teammates at the University of Texas.Key Matchups
Paul Pierce vs LeBron James
This may be one of the best matchups in the league. Paul Pierce's resolve and conditioning will get a test as he starts the season with one of the toughest matchups in the league. With Wade's injury, James once again had to carry a big part of the team's scoring through the preseason. It will be interesting to see if that continues with Wade back or if they actually can share the ball.
Kevin Garnett vs Chris Bosh
In past matchups between these two, Bosh has always seemed to be intimidated by KG. It has been established that Bosh is not a leader. We will see if being with the other 2 amEgos will give him more confidence. We know that KG is ready to go and will be his old intense self. We will see how Bosh responds now that he is on a new team.
Ray Allen vs Dwyane Wade
Ordinarily I'd say that this matchup would favor the Heat. But Wade hasn't played in the preseason and though he says that he is 100% after the hamstring injury, he won't know for sure until he tests it in a game situation.
Boston Bench Mob vs Heat Bench
The benches for these teams may be the difference. The Celtics bench is deeper and more talented than the Heat bench. When the starters go out, the Celtics should have the advantage. Game Notes
The regular season is finally here and I don't ever recall an opening night game that has gotten this much media hype. Both teams have had nagging injuries hit them in camp and both are mostly healthy for opening night. The Celtics will be missing Delonte West because of his suspension and Kendrick Perkins who is recovering from knee surgery. The Heat are missing Mike Miller who just had surgery on his injured thumb.
Dwyane Wade missed all but about 3 minutes of the Heat's preseason. Shaquille O'Neal, Jermaine O'Neal and Delonte West all missed considerable time in the preseason due to various injuries. Wade should be back in the starting lineup but could be the weak link due to missing most of the preseason. On the other side, both Shaq and JO will be back in the rotation for the Celtics. Both O'Neals took their turn at starting with an edge going to Shaq due to the injuries to JO. I have Shaq starting as of now but that may change by game time.
The Celtics have an advantage in this game as they have been together longer, have a more experienced coach and a deeper bench, and have home court. The Heat have a lot of hype going for them, LeBron, DWade and Bosh, and probably the referees. Time to get it on!! Banner 18 starts here.