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Who’s a dirtier player: Rajon Rondo or Dwyane Wade? 11.01.12 at 4:27 pm ET
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If it’s possible, Rajon Rondo and Dwyane Wade are fanning the flames of the Celtics-Heat rivalry even higher.

After Rondo wrapped his left arm around Wade’s collar in the waning seconds of a game already in Miami’s hand on Tuesday night, the Heat guard called his Boston counterpoint out for what he interpreted as “a punk play.”

“I got my kids watching so I stopped myself but it was a punk play by him,” said Wade. “He clotheslined me.”

He added: “I’m here to play basketball. If you want to do something else, then go do something else. Boxing, this is not it. 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.”

After C’s practice on Thursday, Rondo responded, recalling a certain play in Game 3 of the 2011 Eastern Conference semifinals, when Wade pulled him to the floor and dislocated his elbow.

‘€œI don’€™t think it was a hard foul,’€ said Rondo, referring to Tuesday’s flagrant-1 on Wade. “He sold it a little bit, and that’€™s basketball. They were up, he drove to the hole and I didn’€™t want to give up a layup. Simple as that. I didn’€™t yank him down or dirty plays that you’€™ve seen him play in the past, so that’€™s what it is.’€

Wade didn’t get whistled for a flagrant on Rondo two seasons ago, but that’s a different argument about superstar calls and whether the Celtics point guard fits that bill among NBA officials. As for which play was dirtier, it’s simple: Wade walked to the free throw line unharmed; Rondo walked off the floor clutching his arm in excruciating pain.

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

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Read More: Boston Celtics, Dwyane Wade, Miami Heat, NBA
Leandro Barbosa gives Doc Rivers a ‘feel-good’ moment in loss at 3:56 pm ET
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No one saw this coming this quick.

Leandro Barbosa was signed on Oct. 18 as another scoring threat off the bench who is also capable of handling the ball when Rondo is not on the floor.

On Tuesday night, it was not Jason Terry, Jared Sullinger or Jeff Green who was big off the Celtics bench. All three frankly struggled. It was Barbosa – the Brazilian beast – who exploded for 16 points in 16 minutes, making six of his eight shots from the floor and running with Rondo in the fast break.

“He was terrific,” Doc Rivers said. “If you get into a scoring contest and Barbosa’s on the floor, you’re going to feel pretty good about it. that’s how he’s played, that’s how he’s used to playing. I love him, the way he attacks. He’s clearly not scared of the moment. He bailed us out. We got back in that game down the stretch and it was because Barbosa was on the floor.”

Indeed, Barbosa entered the game with 16.1 seconds left in the third quarter and played the entire fourth quarter, leading the Celtics from 19 points down to just a four-point deficit, 111-107, with two minutes left. Barbosa scored all 16 of his points in the final quarter, making quite the impression.

And it also creates quite the decision for Rivers to consider. Green played 18 minutes in the first three quarters but when Kevin Garnett came in for Green with 7:06 left in the fourth quarter, making just three free throws and missing all four field goal attempts. Terry wasn’t much better on this night, going 2-for-7 from the field with eight points in 28 minutes.

But read between the lines in what Rivers said about Terry and apply it to the bench overall, and you get an idea of the patience Rivers plans to apply early in the season while he finds the right mixes and matches off the bench.

“Not great but there’s 81 more,” Rivers said. “He’ll make up for it.”

Read More: Boston Celtics, Doc Rivers, Leandro Barbosa, Miami Heat
Poll: What exactly did Tuesday night in Miami prove? at 2:57 pm ET
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What did you take away from Tuesday night in Miami

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Read More: Boston Celtics, Dwyane Wade, LeBron James, Miami Heat
Fast Break: Ray Allen, Heat set Celtics ablaze 10.30.12 at 10:49 pm ET
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Just as we last saw them, the Celtics left Miami wondering how in the hell they’ll beat the Heat.

Only this time, Ray Allen reigned jumpers for the home team. After watching his new teammates receive their NBA championship rings as part of the opening night festivities, Allen scored 19 points in a 120-107 win against his old ones. Fellow fresh face Rashard Lewis (10 points) inflicted some pain as well, and LeBron James (26 points, 10 rebounds), Dwyane Wade (29 points) and Chris Bosh (19 points, 10 rebounds) did their usual damage.

Celtics captain Paul Pierce registered a team-high 23 points, Rajon Rondo (20 points, 13 assists, 7 rebounds and 1 flagrant foul) and Brandon Bass (15 points, 11 rebounds) recorded double-doubles, and Leandro Barbosa (16 points) reached double figures off the bench, but the defense couldn’t cool Miami on the other end — even after a 16-3 run cut the lead to two late in the fourth quarter. Here’s what else happened:

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Read More: Boston Celtics, Kevin Garnett, Miami Heat, NBA
Kevin Garnett gives Ray Allen the cold shoulder at 9:05 pm ET
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Just before coming in and making his debut for the Miami Heat to a standing ovation at American Airlines Arena, Ray Allen went over to the Celtics bench to shake hands with Doc Rivers and assistants Kevin Eastman and Armond Hill.

The look from Hill was chilly but nothing compared to when he tried going around Eastman and tap old teammate Kevin Garnett on the left shoulder. Garnett didn’t budge as the above .GIF from www.gifulmination.com shows.

See video of the incident below:

Read More: Armond Hill, Boston Celtics, Doc Rivers, Kevin Eastman
Irish Coffee: 18 milestones 2012-13 Celtics will eclipse at 5:13 pm ET
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Before the Celtics renew their rivalry with the Heat in Miami on Tuesday night and both teams begin their march toward what seems like an almost inevitable second straight Eastern Conference finals showdown, let’s predict 18 franchise and NBA milestones the C’s will eclipse during the 2012-13 season.

18. Considering he totaled 620 assists in just 53 games last season, Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo will shatter his own single-season franchise record for assists (794) and pass Bill Russell for fifth on the C’s career assists list. In doing so, he could become the first NBA player since the turn of the century to average 12 assists per game.

17. Kevin Garnett will score his 6,000th point in a Celtics uniform, passing Ray Allen (5,987) for 21st on the franchise scoring list. He should also surpass 3,000 rebounds, 1,000 assists, 400 steals and 400 blocks in green and white before the year is through, climbing a few more rungs on his ladder to the rafters.

16. Five ways Celtics captain Paul Pierce piles even more cement on his franchise legacy: 1) If he plays all 82, he’ll surpass Robert Parish by a single contest for second behind John Havlicek on the C’s career games played list; 2) If Pierce plays 2,941 minutes, which he did in 2008-09, he’ll pass Russell for second behind Hondo; 3) If he takes his usual 1,000-plus field goal attempts, he’ll pass Larry Bird for second behind Hondo; 4) If he makes 500, he’ll pass Parish for third behind Bird; and 5) Like Rondo, Pierce will pass Russell for fourth in career C’s assists.

15. When the Celtics win their 53rd game of the year — topping Bovada’s over/under of 50.5 — Doc Rivers passes Tommy Heinsohn for second behind Red Auerbach among coaches on the franchise’s career wins list.

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Read More: Boston Celtics, Jason Terry, Kevin Garnett, NBA
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