For years, the level of vitriol between the Celtics and the Miami Heat was damn near palatable.
Now, in seeing Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett in Brooklyn, and Rajon Rondo still with Boston but out while on the mend from a torn right ACL injury, there's a different taste to when these two teams meet Saturday night.
When asked about the intense rivalry between the two franchises, Miami's LeBron James made it clear that whatever rivalry these two teams had, no longer exists.
"A lot of guys are gone for the most part," James told reporters prior to the game.
James acknowledged the few holdovers on the Boston roster still familiar with the regular season and playoff battles fought between the two, players like Brandon Bass, Jeff Green, Avery Bradley and of course, Rondo.
Still, with the exception of Rondo, they were role players during the rivalry's heyday.
"So it's not much of a rivalry," James said.
Miami's Dwyane Wade echoed similar sentiments.
"Obviously it doesn't have the same luster with those guys being out," Wade said. "These guys just started playing together. They're still young. We haven't played this group."