THE BEST OF LAST NIGHT (RING EDITION): What was that mysterious and magical power that allowed the glowing bracelets on every fan's wrist to blink in rhythm to each other and the music? Sorcery!
THE BEST OF LAST NIGHT (GAME EDITION): Ray Allen’s 19 points
You could tell Allen was nervous before the game and didn't quite know how to approach the inevitable awkward moments. He attempted to exchanged handshakes and pleasantries with former teammate Kevin Garnett but Garnett wanted none of it. The cold-shoulder approach probably wasn't the best idea. Allen internalized his feelings well and scored 19 points off the bench. He shook three fingers in celebration of his first three-pointer and then went on to score 11 points in his first 12 minutes of action.
Allen's 19 points ranks him second among first-year reserves in debut games in franchise history. Only Willie Burton (25 points) has had a bigger opening night off the bench.
WORST OF THE NIGHT: Rajon Rondo's foul Completely unnecessary, his flagrant-1 on Dwyane Wade with mere seconds left in the game added more drama and backstory to this already tasty rivalry. Rondo clearly let his emotions get the best of him. At one point, Celtics coach Doc Rivers had to pull Rondo off the court because he wouldn't stop jawing at Wade as the Heat's shooting guard stepped to the line for his free throws.
NUMBER OF THE NIGHT: 8
That's the number of turnovers the Heat committed after averaging about 20 a game in its final preseason games. Mario Chalmers had 11 assists to just one turnover. LeBron James didn't commit a turnover and neither did fellow starter Shane Battier. Wade had the bulk of the giveaways (four).
LINE OF THE NIGHT: Wade led the Heat in scoring (29 points) but I'm going with Chris Bosh. He scored seven straight points after the Celtics cut the Heat's lead to four points and also delivered a key block and three rebounds during that run. For the night, Bosh was 8 of 15 from the field and 3 of 4 from the line for 15 points. He also had 10 rebounds (first double-double), three blocks and an assist. He committed one turnover, picked up three fouls and missed his only attempt from three-point range.
PLAY OF THE NIGHT:
Allen’s first three-pointer
The arena exploded when Allen knocked down his first triple.
NIGHTLY ANALYSIS: The Heat had 46 points in the paint, which close to the nightly goal of 50…Boston outrebounded the Heat 41-36 but the Heat’s low number of turnovers (eight compared to Boston’s 15) added possessions…Miami had 25 assists. Twenty assists per night is the goal Spoelstra has set for his offense…Miami’s 32 free-throw attempts was an indication of a healthy offense…The Heat shot .544 from the field compared to .520 for Boston. Both teams shot well from three-point distance as well. The Heat was 8 of 16 while Boston was 6 of 13…Miami had 32 points off the bench. Boston had 29.
NIGHTLY CONCERN: Not much to complain about but Boston did outscore the Heat 27-12 in fast-break points. Heat committed 20 fouls in the hard-fought game. Celtics had 23 personal fouls.
Dwyane Wade on Rajon Rondo’s flagrant foul with 16.9 seconds left: "It was a punk play. He clothes-lined me with two hands."
Shane Battier on the win: “It was very encouraging. It was 120 points but we felt we left points out there. Obviously our transition defense wasn’t very good and we fouled them way too much but all in all that’s the tempo that we want to play.”
LeBron James on Ray Allen’s debut: “It’s a gift for us. To have a Hall of Famer coming off the bench, it’s a treat for us and just shows the sacrifice that guys make to be a part of this team.”
ABOUT THE OTHER GUYS
The Heat is obviously a step above everyone in the East but the Celtics are an impressive team. Boston’s bench is deep. Rookie Jared Sullinger will contribute immediately. Jason Terry, Leandro Barbosa and Jeff Green are excellent players to have coming off the bench. The Heat and Celtics play three more times in the regular season. It’s going to be a fun series.