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PreHeat: Game 1 - Miami Heat (0-0) at Boston Celtics (0-0)

  • It's the first game of the NBA regular season after what felt like the longest offseason ever and what a league showcase this one will be. Story lines abound: Dwyane Wade and LeBron James will want to prove themselves against the team they lost to in the playoffs before joining forces. Former Heat centers Shaquille & Jermaine O'Neal would love to stick it to their former team as would new Heat guard Eddie House would like to do against his former employer. New Celtic and former Cavs guard Delonte West won't be there but his name might be heard in the crowd.
  • Yes, the Heat have lost eight in a row in Boston (including the playoffs) and were swept in last year's regular season series. But that was then and this is now with a completely different Heat squad. The true rivalry between these two teams starts now.
  • Then again, this is the first competitive game that Wade, LeBron and Chris Bosh are playing together alongside a point guard in Carlos Arroyo who is returning to form after a nagging injury. Yes, a win would be nice but try to remember this is a work in progress against a team with a cohesive nucleus of stars. As much of a statement game this one is advertised to be, there will be more important games against the Celtics in the near future to gauge how championship-ready this Heat team will be.
  • The loss of Patrick Beverley will be felt very early this season with Rajon Rondo and the Magic's Jameer Nelson as the first defensive tests for Arroyo as well as Mario Chalmers, who is continuing to have difficulty with his ankle and may be inactive for today's game. Wade will have to work harder on defense as a result. While coming back from a tricky injury. Needless to say I'm not thrilled about the Heat letting Beverley go.
  • Chalmers, Mike Miller and Juwan Howard will likely be on the Heat's inactive list for the game.
  • West (suspension), Semih Erdan (status questionable - shoulder injury), Kendrick Perkins (knee rehab) and Avery Bradley (ankle injury) are out for the Celtics. Jermaine O'Neal has been battling an assortment of injuries during preseason.
Heat starting lineup: Wade, LeBron, Bosh, Anthony, Arroyo Celtics starting lineup: Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, Ray Allen, Rajon Rondo, Shaquille O'Neal