Chris Trotman

NBA opening night schedule: Heat win, Lakers lose as season begins

On the NBA's opening night, the Heat received their rings and then asserted their dominance on the Celtics, and the Mavericks proved too much for the new-look Lakers in L.A. Oh, and the Cavaliers downed the Wizards.

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Boston wants to be Miami

The Celtics changed course and are trying to play the Heat's game. But Paul Flannery writes that Boston is playing catch-up, and the game reveals all weaknesses.


Celtics' fans react to poor defensive performance

The Boston Celtics made a late run against the Heat on Tuesday, but ultimately their defense failed them as Miami ran away with a 120-107 victory.


It's back! Recapping opening night

The Lakers dropped the first game of the team's glorious new era. Back east, the Heat and Celtics tangled (literally) with a familiar result.


Spoiled debut in L.A.

Heading into Tuesday's season opener, most of the attention was on the Los Angeles Lakers, but the Dallas Mavericks came away with a 99-91 win.


Lakers vs. Mavs: Dallas up 48-46 at half

If there's one game where you would want your starting front-court, it would be against the new-look Lakers, who now start both Pau Gasol and Dwight Howard upfront.

However, even without Chris Kaman and Dirk Nowitzki, Dallas has managed to get out to a good start on Opening Night, as they're leading LA 48-46 at half-time at the Staples Center.

The problem hasn't been the Princeton offense the Lakers installed in the off-season, as they're currently shooting 55.9% from the floor. The Mavs, who are so thin upfront they've had to rely on the newly signed Eddy Curry, seem to have resorted to the defensive strategy of fouling LA's seven-footers if they get near the basket. As long as Howard shoots 1-6 from the floor, it might work.

Kobe Bryant showed no ill-effects from a foot injury that made him a game-time decision, shooting over the smaller Dallas defenders on the perimeter to score 10 points on 5-6 shooting.

The Mavs used a balanced offensive attack to get ahead, with 8 different players scoring in the game's first 24 minutes. The most surprising name on that list may Jae Crowder, their second-round pick out of Marquette, who took advantage of early playing time to score 8 points, including 2 three-pointers.


Rondo's flagrant foul on Wade

Video of Rajon Rondo grabbing Dwyane Wade's neck in the closing seconds of the Heat's win over the Celtics.


Miami's offense shines in 120-107 win over Celtics

LeBron James played only 29 minutes before leaving with leg cramps, and the Heat still scored 120 points against the Celtics on Opening Night.

Boston, who added a lot of firepower to their bench this off-season, scored 107 in the loss, showing no ill effects from the departure of Ray Allen. However, when they go small, especially without Kevin Garnett on the floor, it's a far, far cry from the Celtics defense which once terrorized the rest of the NBA.

James, clearly enjoying the moment on a night when he received his first championship ring, was peerless in his time on the floor. He had 26 points, 10 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals on 10-of-16 shooting, all while playing nearly every position on the court.

Allen, in his first game against his old team, seemingly had no trouble adjusting to the Miami offense. He had 19 points on 5-of-7 shooting, but most surprising were his 8 free throw attempts, as he was able to take advantage of rotating Celtic defenders to get into the lane and draw fouls.

Rajon Rondo had 20 points and 13 assists while Paul Pierce put in 23 points and 5 rebounds, but the story of the game for Boston may have been the play of Leandro Barbosa. The former Sixth Man of the Year, seemingly intent on proving to the rest of the NBA that he should have received more than a one-year contract, scored 16 points in 16 minutes, many of them when the Celtics were making a late fourth-quarter push with James out.


Now he's just the Nash that we used to know

This is what Steve Nash wore before his first game in a Los Angeles Lakers uniform.


LeBron out with leg cramps, return questionable

For the second time this half, LeBron James has had to go back to the Heat locker room, but he may not return this time.

After going into the locker room to have his ankle looked at, James returned only to leave early in the fourth quarter with leg cramps, according to a report.

In the time that he has been on the court, James has been playing incredible basketball. He already had a double-double before he left the game in the third quarter, with 26 points and 10 rebounds.

James's versatility, essentially playing all 5 positions on the floor on both offense and defense, has allowed Miami to go small, an indefensible line-up for the older and smaller Celtics.

Without James on the floor, the Heat's offense will likely go through Dwyane Wade, who has 24 points on 9-of-18 shooting.

He seems unlikely to return at this point, as Miami is currently up by a dozen midway through the fourth quarter.


Heat vs. Celtics: LeBron dominates, Miami up 8

Take a wild guess as to which player in the first half of the Heat/Celtics game has the highest +/-. No, it isn't Norris Cole.

With Miami going large stretches with only one traditional big man on the floor, LeBron James has been able to dominate the flow of the game, notching an absurd +13 in 20 minutes of action. The Heat are up 62-54 at the half.

LeBron has 16 points, 9 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals, including several explosive plays where he rose above the rim and dunked on the entire Boston team.

If there's a concern for the Heat, it's on the defensive end, especially in transition. The Celtics already have 12 fast break points, as Rajon Rondo has been shredding them in the open court, with 8 points and 8 assists, taking advantage of Miami's lack of a shot-blocker upfront.

In his first game against his old team, Ray Allen has been very aggressive on the offensive end, scoring 13 points on 3-5 shooting.


Kevin Garnett is not a nice person

Kevin Garnett had a chance to shake Ray Allen's hand. He declined.


David Stern on the 'tragedy of Hurricane Katrina'

David Stern took time to acknowledge those affected by the tragic storm this week. Unfortunately, he forgot the name of the hurricane.


NBA odds feature Heat as opening day favorites

NBA bettors get back in action Tuesday with three playoff rematches from last spring. The Heat are favored tonight and favored to repeat as NBA champs too.

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