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The Celtics added Shaquille O'Neal to the middle of their Big 4.So many links, so little time. Here's a collection of more Celtics-Heat related content as tip-off nears, but keep an eye on ESPN Boston's Celtics Blog and Miami's Heat Index for all the latest throughout the day:
May: C's know hype won't win a title: f 2007-08 was the season of ubuntu, maybe 2010-11 should be the season of Aretha Franklin. R-E-S-P-E-C-T? Find out what it means to KG. "I'm just one individual," the Celtics' Kevin Garnett said a few days before Tuesday night's epic opener against LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and the rest of the Miami Heat. "But [Miami's Big Three] didn't do much for me. It's good to see guys make decisions based on what they want for themselves. Personally, it's good for competition -- and no more than that. If you ask other guys, I'm sure they'll have different opinions."
Windhorst: C's get first crack at Heat: Nothing is settled in October -- or in November when the teams meet again in Miami two weeks from now. While the Heat will hardly have their systems running on full go, the Celtics will not be whole. Delonte West, a defensive specialist signed over the summer because of his rugged style and knowledge of James, will not play in either game because of a league suspension. And Kendrick Perkins, the Celtics center, continues to rehab his right knee and isn't expected back in action for at least three months. So both teams are quick to point out that few conclusions will be reached on Tuesday. But don’t be fooled -- they both care a lot about what happens on day one.
Wallace: Heat the team to beat: LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and the rest of the Miami Heat's new-look band gathered Monday for one final tune-up on the eve of the biggest season in the franchise's 23-year history. But the tune out overshadowed the tune up entering Tuesday's mammoth season opener against the Boston Celtics. Moments into Erik Spoelstra's 45-minute team meeting, he learned a quick and painful lesson. It was a positively, pleasantly painful one in a step-aside-and-shut-up-please sort of way. "I brought out the Larry O'Brien Trophy, and let it sit behind me," Spoelstra said of the NBA's ultimate souvenir the Heat collected for winning their lone championship in 2006. "For the first 10 or 15 minutes, no one looked at me, which was good. These are big-moment players. It inspires them to greatness."
Power Rankings: C's at No. 2; Heat at No. 4: Marc Stein's post-preseason rankings vault the Celtics ahead of Miami, writing about Boston: "The Celts must be feeling even cockier than normal. The East's new darlings in Miami look like the fragile ones and folks leaguewide are asking whether L.A. should copy Boston's laissez-faire approach to the regular season."
ESPN.com's championship predictions: Go ahead, call me a homer. The Celtics came six minutes shy of a world title last season with a bench it had little confidence in. This year? Boston added Shaquille O'Neal, Jermaine O'Neal, and Delonte West to beef up that second unit and I see no reason why they can't atone. Full staff predictions, below.