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Celtics, Heat to Kick Off NBA Season

The Celtics will host the Heat for the 2010 season opener (Photo by Associated Press)

The 2009-2010 Eastern Conference Champions will host the consensus 2010-2011 NBA favorites on Oct. 26.

According to Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe, the new-look Miami Heat will travel to Boston to square off against the Celtics on the NBA’s opening night.

The Heat have been the talk of the off-season as they have capitalized on what is being hailed, “the greatest free agency class in NBA history.”

We all know about LeBron James, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh. But Pat Riley and the Heat have done a solid job in building a team around these three.

The Heat have also signed former Cleveland Cavalier Zydrunas Ilgauskas, swingman Mike Miller, Juwan Howard and Eddie House–along with re-signing Joel Anthony, Udonis Haslem and Carlos Arroyo.

Although Ilgauskas is 35 years old, the 7-footer still is serviceable at this point in his career. Last season, for the first year in his 12 years in the NBA, Ilgauskas failed to average at least 10 points per game.

With a solid 15-foot jump shot, and the comfort with playing alongside James, Ilgauskas could be a nice addition for the Heat.

The Heat organization will face expectations that the team has never seen before; the same expectations the Celtics dealt with in 2007.

For the Celtics, Danny Ainge and co. have worked diligently in keeping their pieces in tact.

The original “Big 3” of Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen remains together, with the Celtics adding Jermaine O’Neal and Von Wafer this off-season.

The Matchup

With the game nationally seen you can bet there is going to be ample hype surrounding this matchup.

On one side you have the most anticipated team in the league. On the other you have the old, but still affective, Big Three.

Aside from the overall teams, there’s a lot of experience between the players. The Celtics have had success against James in Cleveland, and James has had individual success against the Celtics.

Dwayne Wade and the Heat previously lost to Boston in the 2010 playoffs, but like James, Wade has had success. Throw on top the fact that House, a former Celtic, is wearing Heat red and each player on the court will be familiar with their counterparts.

The game should be entertaining and it will be good for the Celtics and their fans as the game will be held at the TD Banknorth Garden.

However, it is just one game of an 82-game season.

But, buckle up your seat-belts because the “greatest team in NBA history” will step on the parquet floor in front of a national audience.

About Matthew Marcantonio - @M_Marcantonio

Matthew Marcantonio is the Patriots and college football editor at Sports of Boston. Marcantonio has contributed for two newspapers; the Sentinel & Enterprise (Leominster, Mass) and The Advocate (Baton Rouge, La) and held internships with The Bleacher Report and Sports Illustrated.

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