C’s ‘Can’t Wait’ to Finally Feed Off Packed Crowd at TD Garden
Following his 50-point effort in Friday night’s 125-119 Game 3 win over the Brooklyn Nets, Jayson Tatum praised the TD Garden crowd for giving him and his teammates the “extra energy” they needed to snag their first victory in the series. And that was with just 25 percent of the arena’s seats filled.
Now, imagine the impact that energy could have Sunday night when capacity rises to nearly 100 percent for Game 4.
It’s been 448 days since the Celtics have felt such energy and 755 days since experiencing it in a playoff setting. But in a matter of hours, the wait will finally over, and Tatum is counting them down.
“I can't wait,” the All-Star wing said with a smile. “It's been a while since playing in front of a packed house, especially in the playoffs in the Garden. I'm excited for the new guys, the young guys who haven't experienced that yet. It's just going to be fun.”
As one of those new/young guys, Aaron Nesmith is chomping at the bit to experience a full TD Garden, as well. His teammates have been telling him all about it leading into Game 4, but he truly has no idea what’s in store for him Sunday night.
“The energy level in the Garden, I'm very excited to see,” Nesmith said following shootaround Sunday morning. “Everybody's told me so much about it – the lift that it's going to give us. The energy from the fans and how great the Boston fans are. I'm just very excited to be able to play in front of them."
Tristan Thompson has played in front of those fans on numerous occasions in a playoff setting, but never with a Celtics uniform on. He said that one of the reasons he signed with Boston this past fall was to experience those fans on his side, for once. And on Sunday night, he’ll finally feel it in full.
“Seventeen-K in green, I'm going to see the leprechaun, I can't wait,” said the veteran center. “That's what Boston is all about, that's what the fans are about. They are going to give us that life, that juice, that energy. They haven't seen us all in this arena in a long time, so I know everyone is excited. I can't wait. I'm super excited.”
Thompson is also excited to have the opportunity to tie up the series after initially going down 2-0. In a situation such as this, he knows that he and his teammates will have to bring their A-games, and the fans will have to, as well.
“We’re going to need the fans rocking,” Thompson said. “We need to blow the (expletive) roof off, that’s what we need. We need this energy. We need to have it rock so loud that if the coach calls a timeout, the refs don’t even hear. We need that kind of intensity. Almost like a Game 7.”
The atmosphere should certainly feel like that of a Game 7, especially after all this time of playing inside a nearly empty TD Garden. And the Celtics are going to need all the energy they can get from those fans, as they look even things up against a talented Nets team.