The Miami Heat won an NBA Championship back in 2006. There was a parade down Biscayne Blvd, people all over South Florida were celebrating, and there was talk of a repeat as Pat Riley was going to bring back the team almost completely intact the following season. Opening night of the 2006-07 season was a celebration as Dwyane Wade, Shaquille O’Neal, Udonis Haslem, and the rest of the team received their NBA Championship rings and watched Miami’s very first NBA Champions banner raised into the rafters at the AAA. Then the Heat went out and played the game. The Chicago Bulls annihilated the Heat 108-66, in the worst rout of a defending champion ever. Chicago would finish off Miami that season too, as they swept them 4-0 in the first round of the playoffs.
Last night was different than 2006. Miami received their rings, watched another banner go up in the rafters, then went out and took down the Boston Celtics, 120-107. Wade and Haslem are the only two players left from that team, but last night’s effort has to feel a lot better for them along with Riley, Eric Spoelstra, and owner Micky Arison.
Miami came out firing from the beginning and never let up. The Heat scored 31 points in each of the first three quarters against a Celtics team that has made it’s name on defense. Miami had a pretty balanced attack on Tuesday night, with solid contributions from several guys. LeBron James looked like the MVP in the first half, but spent much of the second half in the locker room being treated for leg cramps. Bron still finished with 26 points and 10 rebounds. DWade led Miami with 29 points and handled the ball a lot as the game tightened up in the 4th quarter. Ray Allen, playing in his first game for the Heat, and considered a traitor by many up the New England area, dropped 19 points on his old team on 5-7 shooting from the field. That is efficient and something the Heat didn’t have coming off the bench last season. Chris Bosh also had 19 points to go with 10 rebounds. CB’s biggest contribution came in the 4th quarter when Boston had closed a 19 point lead to just 4, then he scored the next 7 points by himself to put the game away. Mario Chalmers also played well with 11 assists and only 1 turnover.
This game was a great way for the Heat to open the season and a stark contrast to six years ago. Miami and Boston are the two favorites in the Eastern Conference and they should be. These two teams will lock up many more times this season, and probably in the Conference Finals too. Oh yeah, did I mention that they don’t really like each other. Kevin Garnett refused to acknowledge Ray Allen and Rajon Rondo almost took Wade’s head off on a flagrant foul in the 4th quarter. Ladies and gentlemen, the NBA season has started.
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...).