Boston has officially gone all-in on the 2015-2016 Celtics. Amidst a sea of green, a scrappy, never-say-die Celtics team clawed back from 16 down in the third quarter to even the series with a 104-95 overtime victory against the Atlanta Hawks.
There is something unique about being a part of a playoff basketball crowd. It's a different animal. The TD Garden is a quarter the size of Gillette and half the size of Fenway, and maybe that has something to do with an entire arena feeling like they are on the Celtics bench. The crowd can help swing a playoff game, and the first order of business for the Garden faithful last night was making Dennis Schroder feel bad about himself.
And the NEW PUBLIC ENEMY in Boston, #hawks Dennis Schroder, enters the game to a chorus of boos. #Celticstalk— A. Sherrod Blakely (@SherrodbCSN) April 24, 2016
It's too bad Marcus Smart and Jared Sullinger have such crappy haircuts, because it would be nice to get a haircut joke in here... but let's just start with the facts. Booed every time he touched the ball throughout the game, Schroder shot just 3-13 from the field, coughed up three turnovers, and ended the night -20. Schroder looked like a lost puppy, desperately trying to quiet the crowd but failing to find any semblance of his offensive touch. The Celtics just sagged off him daring him to shoot, and each successive miss inspired a massive roar.
In the second half, there was the Jonas Jerebko run. There was Marcus Smart slowing down the runaway train that was Paul Millsap. And by the end of the game Celtics fans had moved on from heckling Schroder onto something infinitely more important: testing the structural integrity of the TD Garden.
This place might crumble. I'm literally shaking in my seat from the cheers.— Jay King (@ByJayKing) April 25, 2016
The jungle is rocking.— Chris Forsberg (@ESPNForsberg) April 25, 2016
By the time it was over, the lines between players and fans were blurred. Forgetting what Boston sports team he plays for, Patriots Running Back LeGarrette Blount stormed the court and Isaiah Thomas' threw him the jersey off his back. It was a delirious night on Causeway Street, and both the Celtics and the Hawks acknowledged the role the crowd played in this one.
Isaiah Thomas on Garden: "Best fans in the world. No question about it. They give us that energy..,We got the Patriots in here."— Adam Himmelsbach (@AdamHimmelsbach) April 25, 2016
Kyle Korver: "Oh yeah, they have a great crowd. And they really fed off it."— Jay King (@ByJayKing) April 25, 2016
You can pencil in Kyle Korver for 18 minutes a game for the 2018 NBA Champion Boston Celtics, but that's a story for another day.
Playoff basketball is back in Boston. We've got ourselves a series that's coming back to Boston for Game 6.
See you there.
Photo Credit Michael Dwyer AP
Paul Colahan 4/25/2016 04:44:00 PM Tweet Edit