Brooklyn Did Its Job Defending Home Court; Now It’s Boston’s Turn

Celtics Playoffs presented by Putnam Investments & Arbella Insurance

The Brooklyn Nets did their job in Games 1 and 2, defending home court at Barclays Center to take a 2-0 first-round series lead over the Boston Celtics. Now, it’s time for the C’s to do their job, as they return home to TD Garden looking to flip the script.

After suffering a 104-93 series-opening loss Saturday night, followed by a 130-108 defeat Tuesday night, the Celtics are hoping to hit the reset button and move on to Game 3 with a fresh mindset. Doing so will be easier said than done against a team of Brooklyn’s caliber, but a change in scenery in returning to the comforts of home could be the best solution to help Boston turn the series around.

“We go home, get some good rest, see our families, see each other again tomorrow in the gym, look at the film, talk about what we need to change and adjust, and we’ll go from there,” Marcus Smart said following a 19-point, six-assist effort Tuesday night. “They did their job tonight; they took care of home court. And now it’s our job. It’s over with, we’ve gotta move on to the next game.”

The next game will fall on Friday night, and it will mark a special occasion for the Celtics. That’s because it will be the first time in more than two years that they will get to play a postseason contest in front of their own fans.

In witnessing how much of a boost Nets fans gave to their hometown team over the past two games, the C’s can’t wait to see how great of an impact their diehard fanbase can have upon them over the next two tilts.

“They had their crowd tonight behind them, so it’s going to feel real good to have ours,” said Smart. “Obviously, as we all know, the crowd is different, especially around this time of the year. And it definitely helps a lot. We’ve been without (them) for a while, and it’s going to feel real good to have those guys back in there cheering for us and giving us that extra energy.”

Providing enough energy to help flip a 2-0 series deficit is never an easy task, but head coach Brad Stevens believes it’s possible in this case, knowing how eager the TD Garden crowd will be on Friday night when it is re-introduced to postseason basketball. And the crowd’s impact will be magnified even more in Game 4 Sunday night, as TD Garden is set to open to near-full capacity for the first time since March 8, 2020.

“We've been in a lot of series here over the last few years,” Stevens said. “We've been down 2-0, we've been up 2-0. Several times, the script has flipped. You gotta focus on what you can control, but there's no question that we look forward to playing at TD Garden, and we'll look forward to playing with more fans in TD Garden.”

However, before the Celtics can enjoy an increased capacity in Game 4, they’ll first have to get through Game 3 Friday night – a must-win contest in their eyes.

“Game 3 is obviously kind of a life and death situation,” said Evan Fournier. “But they did their job. They won two games at home, and now we have to do ours.”

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