Big game tomorrow. A lot of "noise." A lot of "storylines." (To quote my favorite Spoisms.) Here's the best from practice on Monday about Ray Allen's first game against the Celtics as a member of Boston's hated rival. Miami has knocked the Celtics out of the playoffs two years in a row.
"I think you guys think I have some animosity towards [Boston]. I don't."
“I’m happy for them that they won but at the same time they beat me and put us out." (Ray Allen pronoun guide—them/they:Heat; me/us: Celtics.)
"We want to do it for [Allen], in a sense."
"The only thing we can do as teammates is just show him how much we appreciate him being here and that he made the right decision and that he feels that comfort for us."
"It means a lot going up against your old team. I was there two years ago in Cleveland and I wanted to win that game. As his teammates, we got to try to help him do that but it’s no more added pressure on any of us. We just got to go out and play."
"Once he gets that first win out of the way, the emotions will be put the side and then we can just play ball."
ERIK SPOELSTRA ... on all the "noise."
"Welcome to the Miami Heat. Welcome to our world. I don’t think there’s any better introduction than all this for Ray…but it’s also not his first rodeo."
"I’m not happy with him because he left but I still think he’s a great guy. And, eventually, we’ll all get over it.”
"I’m going to play the game and get the hell up out of there. Period. Play."
"It's just another basketball game. It's already going to be a heated rivalry because it's two team that have been battling for the last three or four years. So ... that' what it is."