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Tuesday, July 24th, 2012 at 9:00 am  |  51 responses

Heat to Face Celtics on Opening Day, Thunder on Christmas


by Marcel Mutoni@marcel_mutoni

It has been a wild offseason, filled with dramatic signings and roster changes across the NBA. The League, however, wasted little time reminding everyone that a new season (with actual, meaningful games) is nearly here, and leaked some juicy scheduling news to the media.

According to multiple published reports, the defending champion Miami Heat will do battle against their arch-enemies from Boston on opening night.

We will then be treated to an NBA Finals rematch between Miami and the OKC Thunder on Christmas. Giddy up!

Per the Sun-Sentinel and Miami Herald:

It won’t take long for Ray Allen to experience a reunion with the Boston Celtics. While the complete NBA schedule will not be released until later, the Sun Sentinel has learned from a league source familiar with the planning that the Miami Heat will open the 2012-13 NBA regular season on Tuesday Oct. 30 at AmericanAirlines Arena against the Celtics.

The Heat’s first rematch of the 2012 NBA Finals will be Christmas Day, when the Heat host the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Heat play Feb. 14 in Oklahoma City in the second game of that two-game season series. [...] That Heat-Thunder game is set for 5:30 p.m. on ABC. The Celtics opener at AmericanAirlines Arena will be played at 8 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 30, and be televised by TNT. [...] The Heat’s opening-week schedule will have one other marquee game: Miami will visit Madison Square Garden to play the Knicks on Friday, Nov. 2, with ESPN televising. The league reserves the right to change the schedule before it is released Thursday, but other Heat games of note include a Dec. 31 day game at Orlando, and the Lakers visiting AmericanAirlines Arena on Feb. 10.

The NBA still reserves the right to alter the schedule, per the reports.

We may still be about three months away from the start of a new season — with a full 82 game slate — but the anticipation couldn’t be higher.

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  • Heals

    It’s cool when they play in Oct, it’s awesome if they play in June…

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wgvwfvTcNl0 danpowers

    dont think that the opener will be too much of a great game. the heat are too strong and i am afraid that the celtics didnt really improve but just got older.

  • Tempest

    ^^^ they’ll have gotten healthier, which is a huge improvement (fully healthy pierce, Jeff green back, Bradley back, Wilcox back) then add in jet and Courtney lee to replace Jesus … I’d day there better than last year

  • http://www.slamonline.com nbk Troll

    Cant Wait!!!(Bart Scot Voice)

  • Shifty

    @danpowers- are serious? Didn’t improve and got older? They got a projected top ten pick in sullenger, resigned green, got terry and Courtney fricken lee to replace Allen, and have a rookie. If man In in fab melo? Don’t know what u r talking about but this team will probably one of the youngest teams we have fielded in 3 years…..didn’t improve? I see the celtics improving their record from Last year…may be one or two wins but improved record non the less.

  • http://nba.com/celtics lights out

    just call it the Jesus Shuttlesworth Bowl.

  • trollers troll

    @Shifty – since its a full season I hope the celtics improve their record by more than one or two wins or they wont make the playoffs…
    @danpowers – if there is any team that got older over the postseason its Miami adding hobbled Ray and useless Rashard.

    Excited for the opener, it will be a good match-up with Green guarding Lebitch. Wonder who will win.

  • trollers troll

    @Shifty – since its a full season I hope the celtics improve their record by more than one or two wins or they wont make the playoffs…
    @danpowers – if there is any team that got older over the postseason its Miami adding hobbled Ray and useless Rashard.

    Excited for the opener, it will be a good match-up with Green guarding Le(stern helped u get a ring)bron. Wonder who will win.

  • Basketball_iQ

    What he said^^^^
    I despise the heat now that ray is over there. Time to show’em what would’ve happened had we been healthy. No defense,3pt shooting-only-az dude. Rondo’ll lock that crybaby down while bradley locks up wade. Can’t wait!

  • Frank

    Dan Powers, youre and idiot. You can be the biggest Celtics hater out there, but to say they didn’t improve is total nonsense and shows you know nothing about ball. First off, Jeff Green is back. Had he been healthy last year, you’re looking at Pierce playing 5-8 less minutes a game, which would’ve been huge for pierce throught the playoffs, ad also when the season started cause he was injured. Second, we have a bench now bro. We no longer have Stiemsma and Hollins as role players! That’s HUGE for us. We have proven players in Terry and Lee who won’t mind coming off the bench. And Jeff Green or Bass coming off the bench caus either or can start. Lastly, we have a few good rookies. I think sullinger can provide some offense and size, Melo will learn slower though. Celtics are gonna win 50-60 games this season, count on it! Anything less than a second third seed would be a disappointment for this team.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Eboy

    Celtic fans are dazzingly moronic. LOL!

  • Yep

    Says the guy that uses the “word” dazzingly.

  • Mo

    I’ll give my “non-biased” 2 cents to this article. Celtics definitely got better in the off-season. Extremely better? No. But they did get better and younger. Thought they had a nice off-season. They should be a 2 or 3 seed in the East. Can they beat the Heat in a 7 game series now? No.

  • http://nba.com GP23

    I just hope the Brooklyn Nets and the NY Knicks go at it on opening night!

  • http://www.slamonline.com Eboy

    Yep. Yep.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wgvwfvTcNl0 danpowers

    nah guys i aint hating on the cs, actually i wish that they beat the heat. i might shouldve said garnett and pierce just got older and i dont know if lee is a full replacement for allen. last time i saw lee playing great bball was when he played for the magic. sullinger is a showbag we dont know if he is really nba material for he didnt really convinced in summer league (hope hell be fine tho). we also dont know how green will do after a year off so there is alot of uncertainity around the celtics while the heat bolstered their roster once more.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wgvwfvTcNl0 danpowers

    cosign GP23 to me the first knicks game will be THE opener

  • nsuk

    hahahaha trollers troll , jeff rusty green against lebron? lol wut have you’ve been watching the soap operas?hahaha. you celtics fans should realize that your team is weak and your season ends as early as march 2013. dont go hatin and allen, you all know the facts what he could bring on the table so enjoy your season tickets as you get to watch major league baseball by april =))

  • smoove

    time to put the smash on these heat kids

  • http://www.kb24.com The Seed

    Maybe Lebron and KD will go out to eat together or do shoot around together. KD needs to man up against Lebron and realize on the court he needs to hate him. People act like Heat about to steam roll NBA, suckers.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Celtics fans have a lot of faith in Jeff Green. Not sure why. The Thunder dumped him for a reason people.
    And Magic and Isiah used to go out and get ice cream and stay up talking in their rooms until the wee hours of the night from what I’ve read.
    But they weren’t killers, right Seed?

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    The Thunder “dumped” Jeff Green? Didn’t they get back – (hailed at the time, and by some still) one of the top 3 defensive Centers in the NBA? Most people felt that Boston dumped Kendrick Perkins, not OKC dumped Jeff Green. At least, that’s the vibe I got when that trade happened.

  • http://www.kb24.com The Seed

    Allenp
    I am the biggest fan of Zeke hear, he is one of my favorite players of all time, he had a different mentality. KD has no fire in his game, he does not need to be friendly with others. KD showed more emotion at the end of the game hugging his mom like a spoiled brat. Bron felt comfortable in the NBA Finals. No one called him out like previous year and he did not catch any hard fouls. I contend Westbrook was the only player on OKC playing with FIRE to win, the rest was sleep walking. KD during the exhibition games is playing with FIRE, blocking shots and hustling-were was this at against his friend on the Heat.

  • bike

    Another angel just died.

  • nsuk

    nbk Posted: Jul.24 at 1:03 pm:
    The Thunder “dumped” Jeff Green? Didn’t they get back – (hailed at the time, and by some still) one of the top 3 defensive Centers in the NBA?–Perkins to OKC…upgrade,Green to BOS…downgrade. it jus shows green hasnt proven anything defensive wise, he is no way the same level of defensive bigs like d12 k-perk chandler ibaka

  • http://kb24.com x-DrEw_MaiN-x

    Not too mention Boston Picked up a young Fab Melo and Sullinger they will be GREAT role players for the Cs it will come down to the last seconds. I’ll tell you that. And all that nonsense that Stern helped LeBron. Is funny I guess stern put wet spots in the floor so drose and shumprut could get hurry? Or Stern told KD to be passive?NO THE MAN WON FAIR AND SQUARE,

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    The Thunder were disappointed in Green. He had just crapped the bed against the Lakers in the playoffs. His rebounding numbers were down, he was showing an inability to be a true stretch four because his shooting was inconsistent, and it looked like the only place he was truly comfortable playing was the same position as Kevin Durant.
    I like Jeff Green, but through the first few years of his career he hasn’t been awesome, particularly not when asked to play like a big man. The Celtics want him to be their four alongside Garnett when they go small. He’s not a great defender, isn’t a great offensive player, doesn’t really hit the glass hard. Those are my impressions from watching him play the four in OKC. He was a top five pick and the Thunder let him go for Perkins coming off major knee surgery.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wgvwfvTcNl0 danpowers

    sure, jeff green is not very athletic and he didnt do anything outstandig but he has a great understanding of the game. i was really impressed by his play during his second and third season. it looked like he was so close to become an all star for years to come but unfortunately he stagnated in year 4. i think that this is why they traded him for perkins. i just doubt that he will become more than a nice role player if he is healthy and in shape this year.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Redd

    Celtics won’t be serious Finals contenders. But I do feel they can get #3 seed but not a Finals threat.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    It was still the Celtics dumping Kendrick Perkins for a lesser player. Whether or not the Thunder were disappointed with Green is kind of besides the point. (they were disappointed in him, plus they couldn’t ink him to an extension, which sealed the deal to him being traded as far as i remember). Plus the trade happened in the middle of the season, not after a disappointing playoff series against LA. The Celtics retained cap flexibility (for this 2012 summer) by trading for Green (The Celtics also received cash and a 2012 first-round pick that was previously owned by the Los Angeles Clippers as part of the deal). That’s what the deal was primarily about for them. Here’s an excerpt from a story the day of the trade -
    .
    “[Perkins] wasn’t really interested in doing a contract extension, which I understand,” Ainge told WEEI. “He wanted to test the market. Last time he didn’t test the market and this time he really wanted to test the market and see what his value was.”
    .
    Which was the reason Ainge dumped Perkins for Green, flexibility, and that (at the time) good draft pick.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wgvwfvTcNl0 danpowers

    true that, there is nothing like a good pivot even if another player is slightly better at other aspects: you cant teach height and height has always been especially valuable in the league… unless you dont draft oden over durant, right portland fans?

  • LA Huey

    I don’t get people’s desire to see players become “killers”. Does anyone consider Tim Duncan one of those? Or is he exempt because he’s a cyborg?
    Anyways, ‘cept for the Bulls temporary demise, this season looks like it could be everything we want it to be.

  • Mack

    You’re stupid if you think the Celtics aren’t improved. They got one of the steals of the draft (Sullinger) and Courtney Lee is up-and-coming and will be their starting SG if Doc thinks it’s better to bring the surgically-repaired Bradley off the bench behind Rondo. Not to mention replacing aging Allen with JET and Jeff Green back healthy this team’s deep and ready for another title run if you ask me.

  • Mack

    By the way anyone that doens’t think Jeff Green could be an All-Star is brain-damaged.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wgvwfvTcNl0 danpowers

    @mack: if u wouldve seen green play in his second and third year you wouldve understood why he looked like he had the POTENTIAL to become an all star. i didnt say he put up all star numbers. if you ask why, thats one of many articles you can find about him out there:

    ” Pin-pointing Green’s value becomes tricky when you dissect his production.

    Since 2000-01, only five other players have averaged at least 16.4 points, 6.6 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.0 steals in their second season — LeBron James, Elton Brand, Steve Francis, Shawn Marion and Lamar Odom.

    Over that same span, only nine other players have posted third-year averages of at least 15 points, 5.9 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 1.2 steals — James, Francis, Marion, Durant, Smith, Paul Pierce, Antawn Jamison, Kenyon Martin and Andrei Kirilenko.

    Read more: http://newsok.com/thunder-insider-how-much-is-jeff-green-worth/article/3460210#ixzz21ZKNGnuG

    http://newsok.com/thunder-insider-how-much-is-jeff-green-worth/article/3460210

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    The playoffs were the year before. He played horribly against the Lakers, he shot 32 percent from the floor and 29 percent from 3 and didn’t get any boards.
    It became obvious that he had trouble rebounding at the four spot. The coach used to try to encourage him to be on the glass and press him on that issue but it never took. He shoots about 43-45 percent from the floor, and gets you 6 boards at his apex. That’s just not good enough in a four.
    I’m not talking about why Ainge dumped Perk, I’m talking about the idea that if Green was that good, why would the Thunder dump him for a player coming off major knee surgery who wanted a lucrative extension?

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Mack
    You believe that Jeff Green is an All-Star candidate in the East at the forward position.
    In the East?
    Jeff Green?
    And everyone else is brain damaged? Cool.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Well the Thunder wanted to EXTEND Green. But he refused. So he was a RFA. They decided to get a better player for him while they had the chance (before he was offered something outrageous in FA). They didn’t “dump” him. You don’t include a first round draft pick, & cash in a “dump” – it doesn’t make sense to say they just got rid of Green because they were unhappy with his play when they only did the deal because of what it brought back. They weren’t happy with Green as a 4, but they weren’t just getting rid of him because he was terrible or something like that. Plus that knee surgery is not as major for a guy like Perkins as it is for a player who relies on quickness and athleticism. When Boston made that trade they were like 45 and 14. They had the best record in the league, and Perkins had only played like 11 games. In hindsight, it looks like OKC was dumping Green but at the time, they were making a play to upgrade their roster. They weren’t worried about Perkins knee, not even a month after he was traded he signed a 4 year $31M dollar extension. Green on the other hand just signed a 4 year $36M deal, after sitting out a season. It’s safe to say, he’s still regarded as a very valuable commodity around the league. Unless you think Boston is a team to waste money & years on a player that is not valued very highly in general?
    .
    It’s semantics anyway, you are not wrong, i just disagree with the idea that OKC “dumped” him. They upgraded, and gave up a 1st round pick and money, i don’t see that as a dump in any fashion. but i digress, there was no reason for me to make such a hugabaloo about it.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    I understand. It’s cool.

  • Mo

    If I’m remembering correctly, I don’t think Jeff Green played well in Boston even before the heart surgery. Just didn’t seem like a good fit. I remember people saying, “Oh, he’ll come around eventually.” But he never did.

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    Christmas day matchups that I would like to see.
    In no particular order.
    Heat vs Thunder
    Lakers vs Celtics
    Clippers vs spurs
    Grizzlies vs Orlando ( if Dwight is traded by then, Grizzlies vs Knicks)
    Could anybody tell me why the Spurs haven’t played on Christmas lately? The last straw was Golden State last year.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    not me

  • justin05

    Because they are “boring” to watch. Real nba fans can appreciate the art that is basketball.

  • jerico

    rookie of the year austin rivers, book it

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wgvwfvTcNl0 danpowers

    yup, the spurs style of play since duncan arrived has never been really appealing to the masses because it is based on fundamentel basketball and not on highlight reels or isolation plays to sell star players and push their stats. so the average fan thirsting for highlights doesnt really want to see spurs bball

  • Bernie

    Heat vs thunder
    Nets vs Knicks
    Celtics vs bulls
    Lakers vs nuggs or spurs
    Clippers vs hornets
    Tried to factor in ratings some what but this is just what I’d personally wanna watch

  • http://www.slamonline.com Redd

    BULLS WILL BEAT THE PATRIOTS. Book it, ladies & gentlemen.

  • Miguel

    Heat will Prevail :) ))) NO MATTER WHAT!!!

    GO HEAT <3

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wgvwfvTcNl0 danpowers

    who wont? ^^

  • SeanMagicJuan

    Lol@ the A. Rivers ROY comment. He has “future 6th” man written all over him. I can’t see anything more than Jamal Crawford which is not bad by any means but he is going to struggle mightily his first 2 years.

  • BostonBaller

    In my warped opinion, both OKC & Boston wanted to “dump” a player whom they either wasn’t going to want to pay max money for or thought would leave after the year was over and they’d get nothing. The deal killed Boston and helped OKC regardless of why either of us think it was done.(IMO) As far as the C’s this year, I’m not sure why ppl don’t think that we are title contenders? I’m not saying favorites but contenders. I wasn’t sold on Green before the injury and am skeptical even more now. He is useful but I’d say that anything he brings to the table consistently is a bonus. He is no where near an allstar…no matter what you are smoking. (I hope he proves me wrong BIG TIME. lol) A lot of players get overpaid in the L. As far as A. Rivers goes, it depends on how the team uses him and his learning curve.

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