We're In For An Entertaining Celtics Season

That's the biggest takeaway from the season-opening loss to the Heat.

Strictly speaking, the Celtics opened their season last night in disappointing fashion, losing 120-107 to the Miami Heat. They played some of the worst defense we’ve seen since KG came to town—the C’s allowed 120 points just once all last season—and were thoroughly outmatched in the crucial third quarter, getting outscored 31-22. But please, nobody panic. Rajon Rondo, Paul Pierce, and Kevin Garnett may constitute the core of the team, but it’s easy to forget that just about all the other pieces, save Brandon Bass, are new. They’re going to need time to fit together.

Jason Terry, for instance, was erratic, forcing some passes that led to turnovers. And Jeff Green—who, let’s not forget, hadn’t played a real game of basketball in a year-and-a-half until last night—also seemed lost. There’s good reason to believe these guys will get better. Put it this way: Mario Chalmers was making uncontested drives to the hoop last night. That won’t happen in April and May. As surely as KG deleted Ray Allen’s phone number, you can bet the Celtics will get their defensive house in order. After all, they were the second best defense in the league last year and, with the addition of stopper Courtney Lee and the subtraction of shaky-ankled Ray Allen (who, by the way, played great last night), seem to have upgraded their roster in that respect. You could see their potential in spurts last night, but the Celtics are going to get much better.

But that wasn’t the only encouraging news to emerge from last night. The biggest takeaway is that this is going to be one hell of an entertaining season. We knew the Heat and Celtics didn’t like each other, but man, do they not like each other. By now you’ve seen video of KG giving Ray Allen the cold shoulder about 1,000 times, but don’t you want to watch it once more?

 

And that’s to say nothing of Rondo’s hard horse-collar foul on Dwyane Wade in the fourth quarter. Wade—who’s gained a reputation over the last few years as a sneakily dirty player himself—called it a “punk play,” and maybe it was. Rondo was likely frustrated with the game, but, without doubt, he also remembers the punk play Wade pulled on him back in the 2010 playoffs that dislocated Rondo’s elbow.

Wherever it ranked on the scale of punkiness, Rondo’s foul sent a pretty good message that even though the Celtics may have lost last night, they’re going to be around all season. It’s going to be very fun to watch.

And now, just for good measure, let’s let Tommy play us out …