Celtics give LeBron a Cleveland flashback; Lakers get their rings

By: 10.27.10  •  73 Comments

Rajon Rondo (photo. Gary Land)

As expected, the majority of the mainstream covered last night’s Celtics/Heat season opener from the “Miami lost” angle more than the “Boston won” perspective. So rather than focus on what went wrong for the Heat — Dwyane Wade played like Dwayne Wayne, and the team generally played like they’d first met at shootaround that morning — show a little appreciation for what the Celtics did right. Like Paul Pierce (19 pts, 9 rebs) being clutch all night, or Ray Allen (20 pts, 5-8 3PA) hitting a huge three in the final minute to snuff out Miami’s late rally … The Celtics ran a clinic on ball movement, offensive spacing, and execution. And Rajon Rondo was the professor at the front of the classroom with the laser pointer. Remember how people used to say Rondo could average 10 assists just by bringing the ball up and handing it to one of the Big Three? Fools. Rondo was directing that offense last night, creating the passing lanes he wanted and passing out candy like it was Halloween. He finished with 17 assists … How many times did LeBron (31 pts) have to look down at his jersey just to make sure he wasn’t still with the Cavs? There he was again, trying to win the game by himself because his teammates didn’t show up. Really, the only other guys on Miami who played worth a damn were Udonis Haslem and James Jones. D-Wade (13 pts, 6 asts, 3 stls) looked every bit like a guy who hasn’t played against NBA competition since last spring, and Chris Justice needed to give himself a ticket … From now through Nov. 16, the NBA is auctioning off game-worn jerseys from the season openers. Anybody want Shaq‘s jersey? That thing was DRENCHED in sweat, and right now it probably smells like armpit and meat sauce … Shaq’s ex-wife was at the Lakers/Rockets game, sitting next to one of Diddy‘s cronies. Shaunie got a lot of face time during Jeanie Buss‘ mid-game interview, a.k.a. those five minutes when you might have fallen asleep … If the Lakers were ripe for a post-championship hangover, the Rockets ran it out of them last night. After Kobe and Derek Fisher picked up their rings for the thumbs, the Lakers got a scare from Houston before Shannon Brown‘s outside shooting and Pau Gasol‘s inside beast-ness helped them pull out a tough win in the second half … Sometimes we think Kobe (27 pts, 5 rebs, 7 asts) can hear the TV announcers. With under two minutes to go and L.A. clinging to a small lead, Reggie Miller noted that Kobe had yet to hit a field goal in the fourth quarter. Right on cue, Kobe blew past Shane Battier for a layup and-one … Houston had briefly grabbed the lead before Steve Blake knocked down a triple with 18 seconds left to put L.A. back up two. With 2.4 on the clock and Houston inbounding near their own basket, Battier hit Aaron Brooks (24 pts, 9 asts) cutting to the rim with a perfect pass, but Blake made Brooks take a tough shot, and Lamar Odom blocked it … On that disputed out-of-bounds call towards the end where Odom touched it last but almost got away with it, what are the odds L.O. did like that “Sportsmanship” commercial and told Phil and the ref that he touched it? … Yao Ming (9 pts, 11 rebs) played a little more than 23 minutes and fouled out. Though he missed a lot of shots, his moves still looked OK, but watching the guy run is painful. Yao moves with all the smoothness of a dry granola bar … On the NBA’s undercard, Portland knocked off Phoenix thanks to a huge fourth quarter from Nic Batum (19 pts, 11 rebs), who hit three threes down the stretch in an 18-1 Blazers run. Brandon Roy added 24 points, 6 dimes and 3 steals, while Steve Nash had 26 points and 6 assists in the loss … We’re out like 82-0 …

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