Ray Allen and Paul Pierce scored 20 and 19 points, respectively, as the defending Eastern Conference champion Boston Celtics held off the new-look Miami Heat, 88-80, in arguably the most anticipated regular season opener in NBA history.
HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: It was supposed to be perfection. It was supposed to be poetry in motion. It was supposed to be unstoppable.
It is a work in progress.
This is the only way to describe the Miami Heat’s opening night loss against the Boston Celtics on Tuesday evening at TD Banknorth Garden.
The Heat, by their own admission, had an atrocious opening half, scoring 30 points. The second half was better; however, the Three Kings couldn’t complete the 19-point comeback because they ran out of energy against the well polished Celtics.
A few observations from game one:
• The Heat ran too many high pick-and-rolls, a set that depends on chemistry and timing. Of course, the Heat haven’t played together long enough to develop chemistry and timing.
Conversely, the Celtics are an elite defensive squad. They’ve played together for years. And they have defensive chemistry and timing –especially when guarding the pick-and-roll.
• The Heat need to improve spacing. Too often, they crowded each other. And too often, players were colliding.
• Dwyane Wade looked off. To be fair, he’s injured. But his on-going custody battle has, understandably, taken a toll.
• Eddie House, James Jones, and Mike Miller (when healthy) are living The Shooter’s Dream. With James and Wade, they only need to get open, catch the ball, and sink shots.
• James was rolling in the second half, so why did Coach Erik Spoelstra pull him in the fourth quarter? This, along with a late Ray Allen three-pointer, allowed the Celtics to seal the game.
Game one for The Three Kings is in the books. It’s too early to draw conclusions, but every game, quarter, and possession will be under the microscope.
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