Game one is in the books and the Celtics are 0-1. At the end of the day, that's the net impact of one evening of work.
There was plenty of drama surrounding the game. Ray and Doc's he-said-he-said routine. The ring ceremony. KG snubbing Ray. Rondo's hard foul. The constant talk about this new rivalry. It all made for great TV and lots of storylines to talk and write about. Fine. Great. Whatever.
The bottom line is that the Heat showed that they are still a force to be reckoned with and Ray Allen showed that he's still a top notch shooter and player. The Celtics were able to scratch back into the game with LeBron in the lockerroom but based on this one game, they still have some work to do to catch the Heat.
That's fine. It is a long season and these things take time. Especially when you have a lot of new pieces to put into place and learn the defensive rotations. We don't even have a healthy Avery Bradley yet. Kevin Garnett and his teammates are taking the long view.
"I think you still see us in progress, we’re a building team," Garnett said. "They’ve been together. You see the continuity or whatever. Ray came in and played really well. "We didn’t expect to come out and play perfect but we expected to come out and play better than what we did, but we’ll get better. "Some of our defensive strategies are kind of all over the place. We just want to get some things down, consistent with what we do and incorporate everybody in what we’ve been doing. Preseason, we did that and now we’ve got to carry it over to the regular season."
Frankly I'm relieved that last night is over and we got it over with early in the schedule. Sure, I'd much rather have had the victory, but now we can focus mostly on basketball again. There's a lot of other teams out there and the Bucks and Wizards would be more than happy to take advantage of a team distracted by a recent loss to the Heat. So the focus must return to basketball.
Or if you prefer, Doc can steer his motivational speeches around the theme of "you still aren't there - you need to do XYZ to beat the Heat. But you can't beat the Heat if you lose to the Bucks and Wizards of the world."
So no more drama. No more Gossip Girl plot lines (or whatever it is the kids are watching these days). We've got 81 more games till the playoffs begin. Start winning basketball games and let the rest take care of itself.