Well, well, well…after all the pre-season hype, the “unveiling” celebration party in South Beach and the threatening Tweets from LeBron James, the Miami Heat are 0-1 after losing their season opener to the Celtics. “Sorry if everyone thought we were going 82-0,” said a remorseful Dwyane Wade. “It wasn’t going to happen.”

Reality has, it seems, smacked the Heat squarely between the eyes on day one of the season.

“We did some retooling ourselves,” pointed out Kevin Garnett following the big win…during which Boston fans chanted “overrated” at the Big 3 late in the game.

OK, in fairness, everyone knew it would take some time for the Heat to work out how to play together. But even with that in mind, coach Spoelstra was surprised by how badly his guys performed.

“In practice, it looked a lot different than this,” he said. “There is going to be a process with this. There’s a lot of expectations and a lot of pressure out there, but we have our own timetable, and we knew this wasn’t going to be easy.”

Across the country, the Lakers raised their 16th championship banner to the rafters before taking on the Houston Rockets. But the first step on their quest for a three-peat was a tough one – Kobe and co trailed by as many as 15 points, and needed a late push by their bench (and a last-second defensive stop) to eke out a 2 point win.

Steve Blake – new to the Lakers team this season – hit what proved to be the game-winning three-pointer with just 18.8 seconds left on the clock. The assist came from Kobe. “That was big of him to trust someone new on the court,” Blake said, his smile indicating just how much it meant to him that Bryant gave him the ball with the game in the balance.

Pau Gasol had a game-high 29 points and 11 rebounds. Mamba chipped in with 27 points and seven assists (his knee obviously better than it was went he played all of six minutes in London last month). Meanwhile Kevin Martin led the Rockets with 26 points and Aaron Brooks added 24 and nine assists.

Going forward, the Heat should have an easier time of it when they take on the 76ers this evening. But Orlando will no doubt prove a tougher opponent on Friday.

Meanwhile the Lakers face Phoenix in the desert tonight…before hosting fellow Californian Golden State on Sunday.

Images courtesy NBAE / Getty Images

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