The Celtics opened up their 2012-2013 NBA Season against the rival Heat on Tuesday night. Coming in, the game was filled with storylines such as; a rematch of the Eastern Conference final, Celtics vs. Ray Allen, and the crowning of the King. All of these aspects played a big part in the game as emotions were high.
The game got off to a quick start with high energy and back and forth scoring as both Lebron James and Paul Pierce started out hot. With 2:45 left in the first quarter things heated up as Ray Allen entered the game for the first time as a member of the Miami Heat. Upon entering Allen made his way to the Celtics bench shaking hands with former coaches and teammates. Kevin Garnett would have none of it as he didn't even acknowledge Allen's presence but Allen let it be known almost immediately by hitting a corner 3 pointer.
The Celtics opened up with a starting line-up of Rajon Rondo, Courtney Lee, Paul Pierce, Brandon Bass, and Kevin Garnett. Rondo was his typical efficient, feisty self tallying 20 points, 7 rebounds, and 13 assists. He also managed to draw a technical and flagrant foul as his frustration with the refs continued in the new season. Paul Pierce looked good in the opener shooting 6 of 15 for 23 points, 5 rebounds, and 5 assists. He totaled the second most minutes playing 41 but looked to be fatigued in the end.
Boston Celtics' Kevin Garnett (5)
backs down Miami Heat's Udonis Haslem (40) during the first half of
their NBA basketball game, Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012, in Miami. (AP Photo/J
LeBron James was his typical self scoring 26 points and grabbing 10 rebounds in just 29 minutes. James left the game twice battling muscle cramps and didn't return for the final minutes of the game. This opened up minutes for Ray Allen who shot 5 of 7 from the field for 19 points. It should be noted that 7 of Allen's points were made off free throws largely due to technical fouls and defensive three second calls.
The Celtics bench was outsourced 29 to Miami's 32 points as both Jeff Green and Jason Terry struggled from the field. Green went 0-4 in the game and looked lost at points. This came as a shock as he was the preseason standout and had numerous sets run for him specifically. Tonight that was not the case and Jeff struggled to find a rhythm. The Jet too struggled from the field shooting 2-7 and finishing with 8 points.
On a positive note the newest Celtic addition Leandro Barbosa shined shooting 6-8 totaling 16 points in just 16 minutes that all came in the fourth quarter. If Barbosa can keep this production up we should expect him to play a big role off the bench and his minutes will certainly increase.
The Celtics struggle with turnovers continued into the regular season as they committed 15 to Miami's 8. Rajon Rondo seemed to be forceful at times especially after communication breakdowns on the defensive end. The Celtics won the battle of the boards grabbing 41 with 7 coming on the offensive glass. Brandon Bass played a large role in the rebounding battle grabbing 6 of the 7 offensive rebounds and 11 in total. The two teams shooting percentages were extremely close with the Celtics shooting 52% outdone by the Heat's 54.4%.
The Celtics showed heart as they faced their biggest deficit in the third quarter being down 20 points at one point but only managed to cut the lead to 8 with 4 minutes remaining in the game. Miami's lead proved to be too much as the Celtics battled but fell short in the end.
On a night full of storylines and emotions the Heat capitalized and showed why they're the NBA's reigning Champions. Although the Celtics lost the game there were some positive takeaways from the game and the team fought for the win until the very end. Doc Rivers said before the game he wasn't happy with this team's defense yet and they have a lot to prove. After tonight's game giving up 120 points, I'm sure the film will show our deficiencies and the team will be ready to go at the Celtics home opener November 2nd at the TD Garden versus the Bucks.