This Celtics’ core in no stranger to playing in Boston. Marcus Smart has been with the team for eight years, Jaylen Brown for six, and Jayson Tatum for five. They know what this city is about when it comes to its sports teams.
Yet championship rounds are something different. And on Wednesday night Smart, Brown, Tatum, and the rest of the Celtics got to experience that for the first time.
“It definitely felt different. It definitely adds fuel to the fire for us, gives us goosebumps to be able to say that,” Smart said after the game. “Took this team, took this organization 12 years since they have been here, to have it back and be in the Finals. When we look up and see those banners, see those numbers, it’s something that gives us, like I said, that motivation to go out there and try to be the next person up.”
“Throughout this entire Playoffs, we haven’t been as good at home. We definitely feel bad about that, to our fans, because they give us so much energy and so much juice. Like you said, before the game even started you could feel the energy throughout the building. First Finals game since 2012 or ’10, whatever it was. They were excited,” Tatum added.
“It just felt great. Felt like it’s been a while since we’ve played in this building,” he continued. “So happy to get a win in front of the crowd. They’ve been so great for us throughout the Playoffs and all season and throughout my career. It was great to get a win for them. We’re going to need them on Friday, as well.”
So far this postseason, the Celtics are 6-4 at home versus 8-3 on the road. Still, some of their most impressive performances have taken place at TD Garden, including multiple 20-point wins against the Bucks (with one coming in Game 7) and their 102-82 beatdown of the Miami Heat in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals.
However, not everybody was impressed with the Boston crowd Wednesday night. Warriors head coach Steve Kerr and point guard Klay Thompson took exception to the jeers from the crowd directed at forward Draymond Green. You can find their comments here.
The Celtics will look to get a similar boost from the crowd Friday night, when they have a chance to take a commanding 3-1 lead in Game 4. That one begins at 9:00 p.m., with pregame coverage beginning at 8:30 on 98.5 The Sports Hub and the Celtics Radio Network.