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Box and 1: Inside Celtics, Heat and ‘punk plays’

10.31.12 at 4:32 pm ET
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Heat 120, Celtics 107: Observations about the box score from Game 1 of the C’s (0-1) 2012-13 NBA season.

– On seven shots, Ray Allen scored 19 points (2-3 3P, 7-8 FT) against his former team. Not good. Not good at all. Allen delivered his first dagger — a wide-open 3-pointer from the corner — 1:03 into his 30:35 on the floor thanks to a missed defensive assignment by Jason Terry. So much for Terry’s “Ray Allen who?” routine.

Doc Rivers (via ESPN.com): “You can live with LeBron [James] and [Dwyane] Wade making jump shots, but the first play I think Ray was on the floor, we leave him by himself in the corner. You’d think we would know better.”

Translation: “We made dumb plays on defense. That’s why we gave up 31 points in three consecutive quarters.”

– When the Celtics signed Leandro Barbosa two weeks ago, Rivers already understood what his newest backcourt ingredient brought to the recipe: Instant offense. Directions are simple: If trailing by double digits late, insert Barbosa. And results are appetizing: 16 points (6-8 FG, 3-3 3P) and a 19-point lead trimmed to two.

Rivers (via Celtics.com): ‘€œIf you get in a scoring contest and Barbosa’€™s on the floor, you’€™re going to feel pretty good about it,’€ said Rivers. ‘€œBecause that’€™s how he’€™s played. That’€™s how he’€™s used to playing.’€

Translation: “I trust veterans. Barbosa is a veteran. Therefore, I trust Barbosa.”

– So much for “Jeff Green: LeBron Stopper.” At least for now. And same goes for Paul Pierce. The Celtics still haven’t found an answer for James (26 points, 10 rebounds), who finished 5-for-8 with Green on the bench and 5-for-8 with Green on the court. Cramps did a better job stopping LeBron than anyone on the C’s.

James (via Sun-Sentinel): “I’ll be all right. It just happened. It’s not an all-the-time thing. So I’m not too worried about it. It was warm. But we’re the Heat. So that’s what it’s about.”

Translation: “I’m so confident now in myself and my superbody that I don’t care how terrible my puns are.”

– As sloppy as Kevin Garnett played, he still defended stoutly against Chris Bosh (19 points, 10 rebounds), who shot 1-for-5 during KG’s five-minute intervals on the floor and 7-for-10 during Garnett’s five-minute resting periods. Let’s just say the Brandon Bass/Green combo didn’t work. Meanwhile, Darko Milicic never saw the floor.

Garnett (via Boston.com): ‘€œWe didn’€™t expect to come out and play perfect but we expected to come out and play better than what we did, but we’€™ll get better. Some of our defensive strategies are kind of all over the place.”

Translation: “Trust me, I’m going to be yelling at a lot of people at practice on Thursday.

– Considering how poorly everyone else played, at least Courtney Lee played well for a quarter, scoring seven of his 11 points and making all three of his shots while limiting Wade to a couple buckets. Still, Wade (29 points) may have shot 1-of-7 from mid-range against Lee, but he also got to the rim seven times for five easy baskets.

Rivers (via the Herald): “I thought they were the aggressor the whole game. They got on the floor where they wanted to get on the floor. They took us out of stuff that they wanted to.”

Translation: “It might be a while before the new guys learn what my Celtics defense is all about.”

– Outside of the thunderous dunk in transition that gave Jared Sullinger his first NBA points four minutes into his career, the Celtics rookie missed his only other shot and grabbed just one rebound in 8:06. After all the deserved preseason praise, he didn’t exactly make a case for unseating Bass (15 points, 11 rebounds) in the starting lineup.

Sullinger (via Twitter): “It’s not a sprint it’s a marathon” and “I forgot how many Doc Rivers are on twitter” [sic]

Translation: “You haven’t heard the end of me. Or the beginning. Oh, and there are lots of idiots on Twitter.”

– With 16 seconds left and his Celtics trailing 120-107, Rajon Rondo wrapped up Wade around the collar, Wade thought better of throwing the ball in Rondo’s direction and Rondo received a flagrant-1 foul. No harm, definitely a foul — you know, unlike the time Wade dislocated Rondo’s elbow in the 2011 Eastern Conference semifinals.

Wade (via Heat Index): “I got my kids watching so I stopped myself but it was a punk play by him. He clotheslined me. … I was glad I was able to stop myself in that very moment and move on from it. We’ll see next time we play.”

Translation: “My memory isn’t so good. That’s what happens when you host a lot of weed sex parties.”

Read More: Boston Celtics, Dwyane Wade, Miami Heat, NBA
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