Kevin Garnett and the Boston Celtics tip off the 2012 NBA season with a rematch of last year's Eastern Conference Finals against the Miami Heat on Tuesday.
Event: Boston Celtics (0-0) vs. Miami Heat (0-0) - Regular season, Game 1.
Date/Time: Tuesday, October 30, 2012 - 8:00 p.m. ET
Location: AmericanAirlines Arena (Capacity: 19,600), Miami, FL.
Broadcast Info: Tuesday night's season opener between the Celtics and Heat will be televised nationally on TNT and aired locally on Comcast SportsNet New England. The game can also be heard locally on WEEI (93.7 FM).
Odds: Miami is a 6 1/2-point favorite over Boston on Tuesday, per Bovada.
Celtics Roster 2012-13: Leandro Barbosa, Brandon Bass, Avery Bradley, Jason Collins, Kevin Garnett, Jeff Green, Kris Joseph, Courtney Lee, Fab Melo, Darko Milicic, Paul Pierce, Rajon Rondo, Jared Sullinger, Jason Terry, Chris Wilcox. Head Coach: Doc Rivers.
Heat Roster 2012-13: Ray Allen, Joel Anthony, Shane Battier, Chris Bosh, Mario Chalmers, Norris Cole, Josh Harrellson, Terrel Harris, Udonis Haslem, LeBron James, James Jones, Rashard Lewis, Mike Miller, Dexter Pittman, Dwyane Wade. Head Coach: Erik Spoelstra.
Celtics, Heat In Preseason: Boston went 3-5 overall in the preseason and 2-4 against NBA opponents. Miami was 4-4 overall in the preseason.
Celtics, Heat In 2011-12: Both the Celtics and Heat had successful seasons in 2011-12, but Miami had the upper hand on Boston, and the league for that matter, ousting the Celtics in seven games in the Eastern Conference Finals and defeating the Oklahoma City Thunder in five games to win the 2012 NBA Finals. Boston finished the regular season at 39-27 in the lockout-shortened 66-game season and survived lengthy playoff series with the Atlanta Hawks and Philadelphia 76ers before bowing out to the Heat in the conference finals. Miami went 46-20 in the regular season, good enough for second place in the Eastern Conference, and encountered little resistance until the Celtics series.
Game Preview: It is finally here. Bitter rivals Boston and Miami will go toe to toe as the NBA kicks off the regular season Tuesday night, and there are plenty of storylines in this contest. First and foremost, it is a rematch of the Eastern Conference Finals from a year ago, a series that Miami won in seven games after trailing 3-2. There is also the Ray Allen saga, as Allen left the Celtics -- where he had played for five years -- this offseason to join LeBron James and the Heat. Allen has not shied away from the media during his first few weeks with the team, either, making it pretty clear that he did not feel wanted in Boston. That hasn't caused much of a distraction for Boston, however, as Doc Rivers and the Celtics have said that they are content to let Allen keep talking. They will do their talking on the court. No doubt, both teams would like to win the opener, and Celtics captain Paul Pierce said that Boston is looking to make this a "statement game." There's a long road ahead, but Tuesday night's game is a perfect way to issue in the new season.
Prediction: Don't be surprised if Miami pulls ahead early, as they often do, but expect Boston to steadily work its way back, and this will be a tight contest in the final minutes. However, it would be tough to see the Heat drop this game after raising their banner. Final Score: Miami Heat 96, Boston Celtics 92.
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