The rings have been distributed. The banner has risen. After all of the pomp and circumstance of the championship celebration, the Miami Heat players began the journey to defend their title.
They did it in typical playoff type atmosphere fashion, beating the Boston Celtics 120-107 in front of a sell out crowd at the American Airlines Arena. The Heat were up at by 19 at one point, but the Celtics fired back and came within 4 points near the end of the 4th quarter.
What stood out mostly on this night? Was it Lebron getting his first ring? Dwyane and Udonis getting their second? Ray Allen facing his former team whom he won a championship with 5 years ago? Kevin Garnett hating? I’ve created a David Letterman-esque top 10 of things that stood out to me.
#10. Heat Win– nothing to see here. Not that it was expected (yes it was), but it’s not always easy when you’re playing your Eastern conference foe. Plus this group of Heat players didn’t want to go out like the Mavericks did last year on their ring night, or like the 2006 Heat team did.
#9. Celtics fight back to within 4 points– Not surprising. The C’s will be ok this season. They are still trying to figure things out as any team would be with a bunch of new parts.
#8. Lebron’s Leg Cramps– It wasn’t exactly like game 4 of the Finals last year, but Lebron was obviously in discomfort. He left the game once only to come back and score 6 points, but then started to cramp up again in middle of the 4th quarter and this time left for good.
#7. Chris Bosh at center– 19 and 10. And yes he outplayed Kevin Garnett on this night.
#6. Star Power at the AAA– Reggie Bush, Usain Bolt, Jimmy Buffet and Flo Rida. Only at an NBA game do you get a variety of star power.
#5. Rajon Rondo “punk move”– In the waning moments of the 4th quarter, Rondo’s clothesline on Wade was met with a smile and a shake of the head from the former finals MVP. Wade said it was a “punk move, but we move forward”. I agree. Let’s move to number 4.
#4. Ray Allen checking in for the first time– As soon as he got up and reported to the scorers table, the crowd went wild. Chants of “We Got Ray” rang through out the arena when he was at the free throw line.
#3. Ray Allen acknowledging the Boston staff/KG’s cold shoulder– Classy move by a classy guy. The staff reciprocated his greeting, but Kevin Garnett barely…check that…didn’t look up when Ray gave him a tap on the shoulder. KG is getting a lot flack for not responding, but I would’ve done the same thing.
#2. Lebron’s smile while holding his ring– priceless.
#1. Ring Ceremony/Banner raising– enough said.