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Heat vs. Celtics 2012: Miami doesn't see opener as statement game

LeBron James and the Miami Heat don't see Tuesday night's opener against the Boston Celtics as a "statement game."

John Rieger-US PRESSWIRE

The Miami Heat will raise their championship banner in front of their home crowd as the NBA season opens Tuesday night. On the other side of the court will be the Boston Celtics, one of the Heat's biggest rivals on most obvious hurdles en route to a potential second straight title. But according to players' comments to Shandel Richardson of the Sun-Sentinel, the Heat don't see this as a "statement game."

"It's just game one," forward LeBron James said. "We understand that both teams want to win. We want to win. That's what this league is all about. It's not a statement game. Eighty-two games in a season. It's not a statement game but it is a game that both teams want to see where they are coming out of training camp."

Ray Allen's first game as a member of the Heat just so happens to come against his former teammates in Boston, which could add even more motivation for the visitors. Still, if James' comments are to be believed, Miami doesn't feel the need to show the world anything in particular in what amounts to 1/82nd of the NBA's regular-season schedule.

Photographs by cstreet.us, thelastminute, turtlemom nancy , fesek, kthypryn, justinwright, sue_elias, pointnshoot, and scrapstothefuture used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.