"I never believed that anybody is ever defending a title, because that was last year," Rivers said before Boston's offday workout at AmericanAirlines Arena on Monday. "They don’t own the trophy this year. That’s what I tell our guys: Miami isn’t considered anything. They won the title last year. You don’t give your trophy back -- that’s in boxing, where you get the belt back, that’s defending the title. In the NBA, you win a new title.
"We’re trying to win a new title, and they’re trying to win a new title. But they don’t have this year’s trophy, so they are not defending it. That’s the way we look at it. And that’s the way we tried to look at it [after Boston's 2008 title victory]."
The great motivator is back with some more words of wisdom. KG and Rondo also have a couple of good quotes in the Chris Forsberg piece.
"I’m here to play the game and get the hell up out of here," barked Kevin Garnett when asked about Allen. "Period, point blank."
When a follow-up question asked if he would talk to Allen, Garnett ended the brief confab by saying, "Y’all be safe down here in Miami. It’s flooding, make sure you in the high SUVs."
Rondo downplayed the first matchup against Allen, but not without a tiny jab.
"We're two different positions. I'm sure I’ll probably chase Ray around some screens," said Rondo. "But I dont’ think he’ll be [guarding] me."
Pressed on facing Allen, Rondo added: "I’ve played against former teammates before. I played against [Kendrick Perkins], played against Eddie House. He's not the first one I played against."
I'm not sure if I can ever remember a more anticipated Celtics opening night match-up.