Ray Allen led the offense with 20 points and drilled a clutch jumper late while Rajon Rondo dished out 17 assists as the Celtics played smothering defense to spoil the highly anticipated debut of LeBron James with the Miami Heat. The Celtics won, 88-80, Tuesday night at TD Garden in the NBA season opener. James scored 21 second-half points and finished with a game-high 31 points while Dwyane Wade had 13 and Chris Bosh added eight points and eight boards for the Heat. 

 

Celtics co-owner Wyc Grousbeck, during a Monday morning appearance on WAAF's Hill-Man in the Morning Show, said that C's point guard Rajon Rondo has stopped wearing his headband this season after the NBA threatened to fine him for sporting the league's logo upside-down.

 

If Kendrick Perkins had a choice he would have tried to play opening night, but it's not his call and so he is resigned to making the most out of his current situation while he rehabs from knee surgery. Perkins is down 10 pounds to 271 (he'd like to lose 10 more) and has made it a goal to make 300 free throws every day. He doesn't know a firm date yet for his return, but he said his goal is to be back by late January.

 

Rookie Semih Erden was activated by the Celtics before Tuesday night's game with the Heat, while Luke Harangody was relegated to the inactive list along with Avery Bradley and Kendrick Perkins. The Celtics will only have 11 players in uniform while Delonte West sits out with a 10-game suspension.

 

Erden injured his shoulder in practice and was questionable, but his size could be an asset against the Heat.

 

For more Celtics news, visit the team page at weei.com/celtics

Danny Ainge made his weekly appearance on The Big Show on Tuesday, discussing the Celtics' coming season and their perceived biggest Eastern Conference competition in the Miami Heat. The Celtics and Heat tip off in the season-opener Tuesday night at the Garden.

 

"It's a big game for the league," Ainge said. "It's a good game for the league, it's a good game for Miami, it's a good game for us. … I think it's as good as it gets."

 

ESPN's Chris Broussard joined the Dale & Holley show Tuesday afternoon to talk about Tuesday's Celtics-Heat season-opener at TD Garden. Broussard talked about the fallout from the LeBron James decision and how the people of Cleveland remain angry at their former hero.

 

Celtics center Shaquille O'Neal had stated following his team's preseason win over the Knicks in Hartford, Oct. 16, that he had been in bigger openers than this season's meeting against the Miami Heat. O'Neal stated at the time, "In the last 20 years I've had bigger openers. It's big to you guys, but you guys like the hype. Everybody wants to talk about the young team, but the last 10 years I think I've been there I think four times and I haven't seen a young time do it yet ... Especially with all the social media … I've been in much bigger games."

 

Appearing on the Dennis & Callahan show Monday, ESPN's Bill Simmons predicted that the Celtics will prevail in the Eastern Conference, citing a deeper bench than Miami and an advantage in the matchups against Orlando. Regarding the Heat, Simmons remains skeptical heading into Tuesday's night season-opener at TD Garden.

 

"I think there's a much better chance that it's dicey than everything goes fantastic," Simmons said of the Heat.

 

Here’s what the Celtics don’t care about in regards to the Miami Heat: The Decision, the fallout from The Decision, the media attention, the fallout from the media attention, the hype, the predictions and any of the fallout fro



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As a new NBA season dawns, we’ve assembled our panel of hoops experts to break it all down. Will Doc Rivers stick around?



PAUL FLANNERY

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