WALTHAM -- Celtics coach Doc Rivers said Friday afternoon after practice that he understands his players will be motivated to play the Heat and the Heat and Ray Allen will likely be motivated to play Boston in the season opener Tuesday night in Miami.
"I don't mind that," Rivers said. "I don't think it's Ray, honestly. I've said it before. There may be several guys who want to play against and Ray may want to play against several guys. This is not going to be a 'Ray-versus-the-Celtics' game. If it becomes that, we're going to lose by a lot of points because as good as Ray is, I know of two guys for sure, probably three guys on that team that are a lot better on that team. If we're focused on Ray, we're going to lose by 40."
Kevin Garnett is one of the players Rivers realizes will be focused, as Garnett made a point early in training camp of telling everyone that he had deleted his number from his phone when Ray rejected the Celtics offer and went to Miami to join forces with the champion Heat, led by LeBron James and Dwyane Wade.
Rivers said he's also not using last year's loss in seven games to the Heat in the Eastern finals as the ultimate motivation for one game.
"Honestly, it'll be nice to win because we'll be 1-0," Rivers said. "But honestly for me, it goes no further than that."