Boston Celtics

Boston Celtics

Boston Celtics

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - MAY 14: Jaylen Brown #7 of the Boston Celtics celebrates with fans against the Philadelphia 76ers during the third quarter in game seven of the 2023 NBA Playoffs Eastern Conference Semifinals at TD Garden on May 14, 2023 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)

If you were at TD Garden on Sunday afternoon to watch the Celtics beat the Sixers 112-88 in Game 7 to advance to the Eastern Conference Finals, congratulations. You did your part.

Prior to Game 7, Celtics forward Jaylen Brown issued a challenge to the fans. “Celtics fans – y’all love to call us out, right? I’m gonna call you guys out this time,” he said in his press conference following Game 6. “The energy in the Garden has been O.K. at best all playoffs. Game 7…I need you to be up. I need you to come with the energy because we’re going to need every bit of it. No excuses, we need everybody. So, I’m calling you guys out. Let’s make sure the Garden is ready to go.”

  • Boston fans certainly took the hint, and lived up to the request on Sunday afternoon. ‘Let’s go Celtics!’ chants filled the building an hour before tip-off, and by the end of the game former Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman was chugging beers on the video board.

    The Celtics’ team did their part too. The intensity that filled the building from the start quickly shifted to more of a party-like atmosphere as the team opened up a 20-plus-point lead midway through the third quarter that they held for the rest of the game.

    “I called the Garden out last game and – way to respond,” Brown said after Game 7. “The energy in the building was through the roof. It was amazing. Anybody that was in the building, anybody that was cheering for the Celtics – I feel like we could feel that energy tonight and it definitely carried over.”

    “That was fun. That was a great basketball environment,” Brown continued. “We’re going to definitely need some more of that going forward.”

  • Brown brought the crowd up again later in his press conference when asked about his historic success in Game 7s (he’s 6-1 in his career).

    “You’ve got to come with that fire. You can’t be waiting around waiting to get hit first. You’ve just got to throw the first punch, ask questions later,” he explained. “I think we came out with that type of intensity, and the crowd carried it. Everybody in the building, we felt you guys tonight. Even in the beginning of the game when things were kind of going back-and-forth, we had some big plays and it just felt like we erupted…Game 7 is all about intensity, who wants it more? We came out with that mentality, and we felt like everybody in the Garden had that mentality too. That’s what we needed.”

    Brown wasn’t the only Celtics player that noticed the fans. When asked what led to his showing more emotion than typical late in the game, Jayson Tatum tipped his hat to the crowd.

  • “I’ve got to give a lot of credit to the crowd. We needed that,” Tatum said. “This is probably the loudest the Garden has been in like a year. And we fed off the energy. The energy that they gave us today really helped us.”

    “They feed off us, we feed off them,” he continued. “You could just feel it. The building was rocking. Everybody was standing up. My emotions kind of just got the best of me in that moment, in a good way.”

    Tatum, who was getting ‘MVP’ chants every time he went to the free throw line throughout the game, noted the crowd reactions meant a lot to him personally as well. “I can’t express it enough – the genuine love that I kind of feel from the crowd. Whether it’s pre-game, during the game at the free throw line,” he said. “I’ve been here my whole career. I feel that they embrace me almost as one of their own. That means a lot. I love being here. I love getting to put on this uniform. I love getting to play big games, put on big performances in front of them, and they feed off emotion and energy. And it’s reciprocated. Can’t express enough that I just love being here and love playing in front of this crowd.”

    Keep scrolling for more crowd reactions from Sunday at TD Garden…

  • Alex Barth is a writer and digital producer for Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Looking for a podcast guest? Let him know on Twitter @RealAlexBarth or via email at [email protected].

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