On Tuesday night, LeBron James will receive what he has worked his entire career for – what he took his talents to South Beach for: a coveted NBA Championship ring.
Prior to the Boston-Miami tip-off, the Heat will hold a ceremony honoring last season’s Championship team and you can bet that Lebron’s smile will stretch the entire distance of Americanairlines arena.
The last time that the two teams met was in the 2011 Eastern Conference Finals where Miami came back from a 3-2 deficit to defeat the Celtics’, and eventually went on to beat the Oklahoma City Thunder in the NBA Finals.
Celtics G Rajon Rando is downplaying the sting of last season’s series collapse, telling CBS Sports, “It’s just another basketball game.” Boston head coach Doc Rivers concurred, telling reporters, “If we win do we get a trophy? We get one win and that’s it. And if we lose, which we don’t want to do, we get one loss and it doesn’t mean we still can’t win it. But at the end of the day we’re all human…these games, they don’t really have more meaning, but they do have more meaning.”
Ask any Celtic’s fan how they would respond to Rivers’ response and you can bet that revenge hangs heavy on the minds of the Celtics’ players.
Boston has made some changes to their starting line-up, the major change was filling the void of G Ray Allen. What may hurt Boston even more is that Allen signed with the opposition.
Here are the notable additions that Boston made to their roster since they last faced Miami:
- G Leonardo Barbosa (6-3, 194), 9th year
- G Jason Terry (6-2, 180), 13th year
- F Jared Sullinger (6-9, 260), Rookie
In addition, the Heat have added some notable players to their roster as well:
- G Ray Allen (6-5, 205), 16th year
- F Rashard Lewis (6-10, 230), 14th year
There is no doubt that come tip-off, the spotlight will shine on Allen – his presence will be made evident by pundits and fans alike. CBS Sports has reported that “Neither [Kevin] Garnett, nor [Paul] Pierce [have] spoken to their former shooting guard since he signed in Miami.”
One can assume that there will be no blood between Allen and his former squad. After all, Allen helped guide Boston to a 2007-08 NBA Championship, defeating the Los Angeles Lakers, 4-2. He also played an essential role during Boston’s 2009-10 season where the Celtics’ again squared-off against the Lakers’, this time coming up short.
Miami has been predicted by many to again win the Eastern Conference. On their travels to a second consecutive Championship, the road will almost certainly go through Boston.
On Tuesday night, as Miami receives their golden prize, come next year one can only wonder if Allen will be presented with another ring to call his own.
When: Oct. 30, 2012, 8:00 PM ET
Where: Americanairlines Arena, Miami, FL.
Favorite: Oddsmaker lists the Heat as a 6.5-point favorite