Just before tipoff, Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade expects to see green.
No, this has nothing to do with money, jealousy or recycling. It's just Wade will always associate Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett with the Boston Celtics, even though they have changed uniforms. The Heat will get their first glimpse at the new-look Brooklyn Nets in a Thursday exhibition game at Barclays Center in New York.
The Nets also added former Celtics guard Jason Terry, whose one season in Boston was enough to add his name to the rivalry, in an attempt to keep pace with the two-time defending champion Heat.
Wade said the "dislike" continues despite a new team being involved.
"They might have on a different color jersey, but you may see green," Wade told the Sun Sentinel of Fort Lauderdale, Fla. "â¦ It's going to transfer very well."
With the addition of the three veterans, the Nets have already vaulted past the New York Knicks as challengers in the Eastern Conference in the eyes of many. They created an offseason ripple by acquiring Garnett, Pierce and Terry in an eight-player trade in July to play alongside All-Stars Joe Johnson, Deron Williams and Brook Lopez.
The move instantly put the Nets in the same class with the Indiana Pacers and Chicago Bulls, the Heat's other top competition in the East.
Around the league
Pelicans • New Orleans exercised third-year options on the contracts of 2012 first-round draft choices Anthony Davis and Austin Rivers. Davis, the first overall pick in the 2012 draft, averaged 13.5 points, 8.2 rebounds, 1.8 blocks and 1.2 steals and was named an NBA All-Rookie First Team member last season. Rivers was the 10th overall pick in the draft. He averaged 6.2 points, 2.1 assists and 1.8 rebounds, but saw his rookie campaign cut short by a hand injury in early March.
Bulls • Jimmy Butler sat out Chicago's preseason game Wednesday against Detroit because of a bruised left knee. Star point guard Derrick Rose was back in the lineup as expected after missing a game because of soreness in his surgically repaired left knee.
Pacers • Forward Danny Granger left Wedmesday's preseason loss to Dallas with 4:05 left in the first quarter with a strained left calf and did not return. He missed most of last season after having surgery on his left knee.