The NBA in October is usually met with a collective yawn. Sure, some fans will be excited to see the season get underway, but the national focus for most sports fans is on the NFL and the World Series. This year is different though. Tonight is different. The Miami Heat drew the focus of the sports world back in July, with an unprecedented harvesting of what many people believe was the greatest free agent class of all time. Tonight is the first time that we all get to see Dwyane Wade, LeBron James, and Chris Bosh play together in a regular season game. The Heat travel to Boston tonight to take on the reigning NBA Eastern Conference Champion Celtics. Tonight is the biggest NBA opening night game ever.
For Miami, the expectations couldn’t be higher. Anything short of a trip to the NBA Finals will be viewed as a failure by most. Many would argue that they have to win those Finals to be considered a success. Former Coach, now NBA analyst Jeff Van Gundy, has publicly said that this Heat team will surpass the 72 wins recorded by the 95-96 Chicago Bulls. That is way too much hype. Now the reality. Tonight, Miami will begin a very long NBA season and there will be a lot of teams targeting them as a monument to be toppled. The Boston Celtics are probably looking at them as a prima donna that needs to be taught a lesson. Remember, it was this Celtic team that embarrassed LeBron in the playoffs last year.
Tonight, Dwyane Wade comes back from injury and one thing he has never been accused of lacking is courage. Despite what the national media thinks, Wade will be the leader of this team. While we still won’t get to see the Heat as they might look in March or April, due to Jerry Stackhouse replacing the injured Mike Miller, the game tonight will be a preview of what should be an electrifying season. And just in case there wasn’t enough to look forward to, Boston signed Shaq. I expect Miami to win tonight, but I also think that the Celtics do provide a size problem for the Heat. These two teams will be among the NBA’s best all season. The road to excellence didn’t start in July, it starts tonight for the Miami Heat.
About the Author
Written by Sean Eckhardt
Univ of Alabama alumni. Born and raised outside Chicago, IL. Currently live in Florida. Some of my favorite teams include the Chicago Cubs, Minnesota Vikings, Miami Heat, and the Florida Panthers. My interests outside of sports include music, outdoor activities, and anything with a motor(cars, bikes, boats, etc...).