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Monday, March 18, 2013
Randolph switches sides on rivalry

By Greg Payne

Victor Baldizon/NBAE/GettyShavlik Randolph during his time with the Miami Heat.
WALTHAM, Mass. -- Shavlik Randolph might still be new to the Celtics, but that doesn't mean he isn't already up to speed on Boston's rivalry with the Miami Heat.

"I'm very familiar with the rivalry, because I played for Miami for two years, so I know how the different sides feel about each other," Randolph said on Sunday. "So it's kind of weird. It's interesting for me to be on the other side, because I actually was with them when we played the Celtics in the playoffs and the Celtics beat us in the first round a few years ago."

Randolph's referring to the 2009-2010 season (the year the C's lost to the Lakers in the NBA Finals), when Boston took down the Heat in an Eastern Conference quarterfinal matchup. It was a pre-LeBron James Heat team, and the series might best be known for Paul Pierce knocking down a buzzer-beating jump shot over Dorell Wright to win Game 3 in South Beach. Boston went on to win that series in five games.

Randolph played sparingly for the Heat that season, and didn't log any minutes against Boston in the playoffs, but that didn't dampen his overall experience in Miami, for which he still holds something of a soft spot. Don't expect the Celtics to learn too many of the Heat's secrets from Randolph, though. He jokingly alluded to an anti-Benedict Arnold-like code when asked about imparting wisdom of the Heat's preferred practices on his teammates. But beyond that, the 2009-2010 Miami roster boasts few similarities to the current one, so any information Randolph might have is likely outdated.

"I don't know, I think there's a code," Randolph said with a wry grin. "It's been a while since I've played there, so I don't know if they're running the same stuff or anything. But I'm still very close with all those guys. I love everybody in that organization. I'm only going to be rooting against them one time, and that's when they play the team that I'm with."