Miami Heat’s debut as the greatest conglomeration of talent the NBA has ever seen was, shall we say, underwhelming. The old, but savvy, Boston Celtics dispatched a bumbling and brick-prone LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, et al., and must have left Miami fans with a rather sick feeling in their stomachs.And not just the bar owner who promised to pick up the tab anytime the Heat lose.
Naturally, the basketball media had plenty to say about this auspicious opening to the season.
The consensus? Perhaps the Big 3 should have spent less time making fancy commercials and more time practicing basketball.
- Jackie MacMullan, ESPN Boston “For extended portions of the third quarter, when James barreled down the floor past lumbering centre Zydrunas Ilgauskas and hoisted shots for himself as his teammates gathered around the perimeter to watch, it almost felt as though the King had never left Cleveland.”
- Jim Litke, Associated Press “LeBron asks, ‘What should I do?’ Try winning … Three guys who are used to having the ball in their hands at important moments haven’t yet figured out how to make do with only one. “
- Sean Gregory, Time “It was only the season opener, but Boston’s 88-80 win over the Miami Heat last night proved that a Big Five – plus talented bench players like Glen “Big Baby” Davis – trumps a Big Three every night of the week.”
- CBS Sports “LeBron James had to take over, had to run point, had to do everything, leading to a defensive adjustment to shut him down and another struggling result. Part of the reason? Too often poor spacing on the part of the Heat, a hallmark for his Cleveland teams on offence, lead to James taking ridiculous contested shots.”
- Ken Berger, CBS Sports “You had to wonder, after the relative ease with which this team was assembled, praised, panned and dissected over the past few months, if LeBron and Wade were ready for all the other stuff — the wake-up call of actually having to play the games. If they weren’t prepared for it when the ball went up in the air at 7:36 p.m. ET Tuesday night — the start of the most anticipated NBA season of the post-Jordan era — there’s no question they understood when it was over.”
- Greg Cote, Miami Herald “If anything, Miami’s 88-80 loss to the Boston Celtics verified the Heat’s awesome potential more than cast the least bit of doubt on it. See, the Heat is good enough to come this close being that bad.”
- Tom Haberstroh, ESPN “Not coincidentally, LeBron and the Heat took off when Bosh and Wade hit the bench. Instead of deferring to his teammates and only taking what the defence gave him, James took the game over and single-handedly created offence like no one else in the NBA can. When 17 minutes and 51 seconds goes by before James takes his first free throw in a game, something’s off.”
- Dave Feschuk, Toronto Star “The Heat debuted an offence that was startling in its stagnancy, complete with the familiar-in-Toronto sight of Bosh holding the ball indecisively while the Celtics’ defence loaded up”
- Bill Simmons, ESPN “Miami looks like they just met 45 minutes ago.”
- Brian Schmitz, Orlando Sentinel “Don’t know who enjoyed the Celtics win more. Celts fans or Cleveland Cavs fans.”
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