The NBA season lasts 82 games. That’s a lot of games. When a season lasts that long, it’s not unreasonable to say that the first game of the season is … well … worthless. Somehow I don’t think that’s going to be the case for the Miami Heat and Boston Celtics come October 26, 2010. The NBA announced on Tuesday that the Heat will visit the Garden for the opening game of the 2010-2011 NBA season, which will be aired on TNT.
This is a great move for the NBA. Say what you will about the aging Celtics, but a 2010 Eastern Conference title says they’re the team to beat in the East until further notice. The Big Three of Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Ray Allen have won an NBA championship and appeared in two NBA Finals in the last three years. They’re tried. They’re tested. They define the term “savvy veteran” in every sense of the term.
On paper, the Miami Heat are the best team in the NBA — by far. You could take Chris Bosh out of their lineup and they’d still compete for that title. What makes this match-up so intriguing is that when the new Heat arrive in Boston on October 26, they’ll yet to have played a single game together. They haven’t done much of anything together aside from dancing on stage in South Beach. If Kendrick Perkins returns from the knee injury he suffered in the NBA Finals last season, the Celtics will be returning all five starters for the third straight season.