Celtics, Heat Get It On At Garden Tonight

The moment the NBA world has waited for has finally arrived, as the new-look, self-appointed next superteam Miami Heat come to the TD Garden tonight to open the NBA season against the Boston Celtics. (Tickets still available.)

The Power of 3 – Julian Benbow notes that the Celtics top trio has their quirks, but they’ve managed to mesh well together.

Celtics chances look Shamrock solid – Steve Bulpett boldly states that “Given reasonable health, if the Celtics don’t win the championship, they’ve got some splainin’ to do.”

Some titles have been triple crowns – Bob Ryan provides your history lesson for the day with a look at various incarnations of “The Big Three” in NBA history.

18 Questions on the Drive to 18: Part Two – Rich Levine with the second part of his season preview.

Celtics say they can go deep with Heat – Chris Forsberg has the Celtics believing that their 15 can beat the Heat’s 3.

Who’s afraid of Miami? Not these Celtics – Paul Flannery has the Celtics OK with playing second fiddle tonight.

The Celtics at a glance – David Willis runs down the Celtics roster.

Miami hopes one plus two adds up correctly – Gary Washburn in the Globe has a good look at the Heat.

20 questions for the 2010-11 NBA season – The WEEI.com hoops team looks at issues around the league as the season begins.

It’s only October, but Celts-Heat opener kindles playoff atmosphere – Daniel Barbarisi says that it will feel like the playoffs right away tonight.

Report Cards for the Patriots performance against the San Diego Chargers are out, with grades all over the place. Here are the grades from Jeremy Gottlieb | Ron Borges | Kirk Minihane | Michael Felger.

Shades of 2001 for Patriots – Jonathan Comey says that this edition of the Patriots has recaptured the magic that was their original hallmark under Bill Belichick — the ability to somehow be more than the sum of their parts. I’m enjoying The Return Of The “Lucky” Patriots.

Pats to get Halloween visit from Moss – Glen Farley has the receiving coming to Gillette on Sunday dressed as a Viking.

Childress resurrects Spygate when talking about Patriots – Tom E Curran has the Vikings coach getting the attention of Bill Belichick and Tom Brady.

Belichick scoffs at NFL ‘praise’ for Meriweather – From Paul Kenyon’s notebook, I enjoyed Belichick’s reaction to the league’s praise for the clean hits from Brandon Meriweather on Sunday.

Sergio Brown comes up big on defense – Ian Rapoport’s notebook has the practice squader making an impact after his call-up on Saturday. Rapoport reports this morning that Brown has been given a four year contract.

Patriots Survive Wild Sunday In NFL

It was just one of those Sundays in the NFL where crazy things were happening all over the league. The Raiders put up 59 points on the Broncos, The Ravens, after talking about how things were going to be rough on the Bills, needed a Buffalo fumble in OT to get a home win, Tennessee receiver Kenny Britt put up 225 receiving yards and three touchdowns, the Steelers beat the Dolphins on a controversial play in the end zone.

The Patriots game against the chargers was no exception. After jumping out to a 20-3 lead after three quarters, but needed to hold on to win 23-20 when Kris Brown of the Chargers missed a 5o-yard field goal attempt for the tie.  To get to that point, we had another 4th down decision by Bill Belichick, which is already being made the focus of the game by some in the media, and the Chargers – they of the horrible special teams needed to surprise the Patriots with an onsides kick in the fourth quarter.

Some will be quick to dismiss this win, others will look at Baltimore’s struggles with Buffalo and try to dismiss last weeks win as well. In my mind though, the 2009 Patriots lose both these games. The 2010 Patriots found a way to win them.

Ten Things We Learned Sunday: Different year, different players, different mentality – Christopher Price leads us off today by noting how the players are striving to separate themselves from the 2009 Patriots.

Pats’ gamble pays off — sort of – While Mike Felger was critical of Bill Belchick’s decision to go for it on fourth down late in the game, Mike Reiss says the choice was the right one. Tom E Curran says that the play just shows that Belichick is fearless.

These Patriots are lucky and good – Chris Gasper says that while the Patriots were very lucky yesterday, good teams make their own luck.

Take it and run – Mike Felger lays out where the Patriots failed, but calls this a very good win.

‘D’ comes through – Dave D’Onofrio dubs the Patriots unit the “New Name Defense.” Karen Guregian also has a look at the defense. The Patriots’ offense? Different story.

Toughness, smarts save the Patriots – Ron Borges says that the Patriots didn’t need to dominate this game they just needed to survive – which they did.

Patriots played to the whistle, and Chargers did not – Jim Donaldson notes the difference between the teams yesterday.

Meriweather plays it safe – Monique Walker’s notebook has the Patriots safety hitting hard, but legally.

Pierce: Most pain gone, some lingers – Jackie MacMullan talks to Paul Pierce, who is recovered physically from last season, but the sting of game seven still hurts.

The moment that changed Jermaine O’Neal’s life – Paul Flannery with a look at an important moment in the Celtics center’s life.

18 Questions on the Drive to 18: Part 1 – Rich Levine with part one of his Celtics preview.

Learning to deal without Perkins – A. Sherrod Blakely has a look at a big issue the Celtics will need to deal with.

In O’Neal, West finds key corner man – Julian Benbow has the Celtics notebook. No mention of the Delonte West-Von Wafer dustup.

Opening Night Leads The Way In Celtics Ticket Demand

As you might expect, Tuesday night’s season opener against the Miami Heat is the most in-demand game of the Celtics season, with Miami’s visit on 2/13 and the Lakers arrival on 2/10 close behind.

Right now tickets for opening night are at Patriots-level, fetching an average of almost $300 per ticket.

We’ve also got a new Celtics ticket buying page, which can be accessed by clicking on the image above or by visiting BSMW Tickets.