Get the "Old Big Three" vs. the "New Big Three" cliches ready, folks. The NBA's 2010-2011 season schedule has yet to be released (a number of games will be unveiled tonight on NBA TV), but according to Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe, the Boston Celtics and Miami Heat will kick things off at the TD Garden on October 26.
According to a league sources, the revamped Heat, featuring the daunting trio of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh, will open the NBA season against the Celtics Oct. 26, a clash that will be nationally televised by TNT.
The league will release its opening week and Christmas Day schedules tonight on NBA TV, and it's expected that the Heat and Celtics will be prevalent in those games.
A few members of the Celtics have chimed in on the new-look Heat this offseason, including Rajon Rondo, who shared his thoughts with Marc Spears of Yahoo! Sports late last month:
"They should be good, but they ain't done nothing yet," Rondo said after a recent practice during Team USA's minicamp. "They ain't done nothing."
"What is there to be nervous for?" he said. "I'm worried about L.A. That's the team we need to beat. Miami looks really good on paper, and I'm sure they're going to be really good. But they still have to come together as a team. I'm not saying they won't, but who knows if those guys can jell?
"Our biggest opponent each night is ourselves - that's how I look at it. Not to be cocky or anything, but that's how we honestly feel. We are the defending [Eastern] champs. Once the first game of the regular season starts, that's irrelevant. But we are going to go into training camp looking to get back to the Finals and win it."
Kendrick Perkins echoed Rondo's thoughts on Miami's challenge of building the appropriate team chemistry in a recent interview with Dime Magazine:
I mean, they have a pretty good team on paper with LeBron, Bosh and D-Wade. But at the end of the day, anything can happen in the playoffs. We proved that this year; we were 17-17 down the stretch and guys counted us out, but we already knew no team wanted to see us in a seven-game series. We felt that way, we believed in ourselves and the coaches believed in us.
It's gonna be a hard challenge for (Miami). It's easy to get all those guys on one team, but to vibe in the same system is another thing. Who's gonna make the extra pass? Who's gonna make the defensive plays? This is a grown-man's league, and other teams are getting better, too. So you know that night in and night out, guys are gonna attack them.
In that same interview (I recommend you check out the whole piece), Perk also expands on rehabbing his injured right knee:
I'm spending most of the time here in Boston so I can take care of that situation. Sometimes I'll go back to Beaumont (Texas), but mostly I wanna be in Boston. I've never hurt anything in my knee like this since I've been playing. The rehab, it's a beast. It's hard. I'm almost walking on my own without a brace, so it's cool.