Doc talks about them in practice, in the media, any chance he gets. He probably mumbles about them in his sleep at this point.
Every time the media approaches any member of the Celtics organization, they simply are not doing their job if they don't work some question about the Heat into the discussion. And for good reason. This rivalry is juicy. And it is a rivalry. Just check out the list of rivals by The Basketball Jones where they rank the Celtics/Heat rivalry as number 1 (for this year, not historically - that would obviously be Celtics/Lakers)
1. Boston Celtics vs. Miami Heat Maybe just listening to too much Bill Simmons, but I’m convinced. The bad blood between the Celtics and Heat has been building for several seasons, jumped to a new level in last postseason’s seven game series, and then was sent into a whole different stratosphere with Ray Allen’s unexpected defection to South Beach, and all the mouthing and posturing both sides have done since. Throw in Heat-killer Jason Terry on the C’s now, and the games between the two teams might turn into the Yankees-Red Sox of the NBA — loud, blustery and impossibly bloated, but still one of the primary reasons we watch the damn sport in the first place. Set your DVRs now just in case.
Frankly I'm getting sick of all the Ray Allen talk. Admittedly I'm adding to the problem every time I post an update about what one side or the other said. But that's interesting news that many folks want to hear about, so I do what I can to keep you informed without being overwhelmed. It is a delicate balance that I don't always get right each time - but I'm trying.
It makes you wonder: is this obsession healthy? I mean, there are 28 other teams out there that we have to concern ourselves with during the 82 game schedule plus playoffs. You can't beat the Heat if you don't beat the other teams first. And you can't win a Championship just by winning the Eastern Conference Finals.
On the other hand, maybe this is a good thing. Doc knows psychology and motivation much better than I do. Maybe he knows that this team of super-talented stars and role players needs an overarching goal. Something bigger than "retire with dignity." They are the best in the world because they obsessively work on their craft. The biggest stars on this team have a ring and have all the money they would ever need. So getting them to set their laser focus on a common goal - or a common enemy - might be just the juice they need to get that extra gear.
Like it or not, we're going to be hearing about and talking about the Miami Heat all year long.