June 5, 2012; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Heat shooting guard Dwyane Wade (3) is pressured by Boston Celtics shooting guard Ray Allen (20) during the first half in game five of the Eastern Conference finals of the 2012 NBA playoffs at American Airlines Arena. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-US PRESSWIRE
The Miami Heat will open its 2012-13 title defense season at home against the Boston Celtics Oct. 30. The NBA has not officially released the schedule, but the Sun-Sentinel's Ira Winderman reported this news Monday. Just prior to the game, the Heat players from the championship run will receive their rings, and a second championship banner will hang from the rafters of AmericanAirlines Arena.
NBA officials made a smart move to schedule this game to kick off the season. Miami and Boston have developed something of a rivalry, with the two franchises having faced each other in the playoffs for each of the past three seasons. The Heat have won the last two playoff series against the Celtics, since the start of the Big Three era. Moreover, Ray Allen left Boston as a free agent to join Miami in a move some questioned. The Celtics, meanwhile, added Jason Terry and Courtney Lee to compensate for Allen's absence.
Winderman also reported that the Heat will play the Oklahoma City Thunder at home Dec. 25, a day that frequently showcases the previous year's Finals teams. Miami will face off against the New York Knicks Nov. 2 in Madison Square Garden, the Heat's first road game. The Heat will visit the Los Angeles Lakers Jan. 17 -- Martin Luther King Jr. Day -- and host the team that added Steve Nash Feb. 10.