Celtics Get First Crack at Heat

The defending Eastern Conference champions Boston Celtics will be the first to test the mettle of the much-hyped Miami Heat, whose acquisition of LeBron James and Chris Bosh during the summer made them favorites to at least reach the NBA Finals.

Dwayne Wade, James, and Bosh will be tested in the season opener on October 26 when the Heat visit Boston to face the Celtics, who succeeded in keeping Paul Pierce, Ray Allen, and Kevin Garnett together for at least one more year. The Boston-Miami match is one of two opening games announced by the NBA on Tuesday.

The other opening-day match will feature the defending champions Los Angeles Lakers hosting the Houston Rockets at the Staples Center. Houston center Yao Ming is expected to make his return in the match after missing the whole of last season due to a foot injury.

The league also announced its Christmas Day matches, which include a showdown between the Heat and the Lakers. The other high-profile Christmas Day match will feature a rematch of last season’s Eastern Conference finals with the Orlando Magic hosting the Celtics.

Photo from Wikimedia Commons.