PIERCE TWEET: IT'S BEEN A PLEASURE TO BRING MY TALENTS TO SOUTH BEACH
Don't let them fool you. Sure, the Celtics know that this was just game No. 9 of 82. It likely means no more than Saturday's non-conference clash against the Memphis Grizzlies. But while Boston said all the right things in front of the cameras and microphones after Thursday's triumph in Miami, a great sense of satisfaction clearly permeated the locker room after the Celtics beat the Heat for the second time in little more than two weeks.
It's why Glen Davis could be heard bellowing about "spanking" the Heat as the doors to the visitors' locker room swung open following Thursday's game. It's why Paul Pierce appeared to spew some 140-character trash talk toward LeBron James & Co., Tweeting postgame: "It's been a pleasure to bring my talents to South Beach now on to Memphis."
Given his dissatisfaction with anything that's mocked The Decision, it's likely that Pierce's words won't go over well with James. But before taking to the keyboard, even Pierce admitted these two early season wins will have little effect moving forward.
"We’re going to be a different team in January; they're going to be a different team in January or February," said Pierce. "We have a two-game advantage, you never know when it might come down to the record. At the end of the year, if we have similar records, these two games are going to mean a lot then. It’s good now, but both teams have a long way to go. We’re still trying to get healthy, with Jermaine [O'Neal out indefinitely], Delonte [West] coming back [from suspension], and [Kendrick Perkins recovering from ACL surgery]. It's good to get these wins right now.
"We're just trying to take it one game at a time. A win now, over Miami, if it's going to mean anything come April it's knowing that, if we were in this situation, you can can come down here and get a win."
For his part, James' postgame comments focused on getting the Heat to play as a team.
"I think it's a reality now," said James. "Right now, we are talented enough to play against these teams, but the chemistry right now isn't up to the level of some of the better teams. That's why it's kind of difficult for us to stay on point throughout the whole game.
Pierce drew headlines last season when a Tweet from his account appeared online, shortly after Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals, and suggested fans should prepare for a Boston sweep against the Orlando Magic (The Tweet read, "Anybody got a broom?"). Pierce later said his account was hacked and he did not post the messages.
LOOSE BALLS: SHAQ'S OK, POTENT QUOTABLES, VIDEO CORNER
* Shaquille O'Neal played little more than 21 minutes, chipping in five points, seven rebounds and five fouls in his return after a five-game absence due to a bruised right knee suffered in a win over New York last month.
"I wanted to bring that physical presence to the game," said O'Neal. "We still gotta work on holding a lead. Like I said, if we do what we're supposed to do, we'll be fine."
And as for his health?
"I felt all right," he said. "I feel OK. I'm a little sore. I know Doc [Rivers] watched my minutes, but I was running pretty good. My leg is still kinda sore, but I can play through it and go with it."
Shaq also didn't see Thursday's game as a progress report.
"We're not one of those teams that needs to use other teams as a measuring stick," said O'Neal. "We know what we're capable of; we know what we can do."
* Heat coach Erik Spoelstra on the Celtics: "[Thursday], they simply out-executed us, carved us up and exploited us. It paralyzed us. The things that we had been doing well, we were kind of caught watching. We're better than this. Our guys understand that. We just have to continue to work to get better.
* Chris Bosh on fixing the Heat: "We have to stop digging a hole for ourselves. They jumped out on us quickly. We have to come out of the gates swinging."