The Celtics may have lost 91-84 Tuesday night at the TD Garden, but the Garden fans played their part perfectly.
Thirty minutes before tip-off, the Garden was rocking and the crowd’s excitement was building. 5,000 Khloe Kardashian masks had been passed out to fans to rattle Laker forward Lamar Odom, who married Kardashian earlier this season. According to Evan Brunell of NESN,”the Lakers forward had previously worried about bringing Kardashian into the TD Garden, wondering how she would be received.”
Apparently, she was well-received by the 5,000 fans who donned her mask and taunted Odom. Fans also brought degrading signs, including one funny sign that compared Laker center Pau Gasol to a llama.
When the ball was tipped, a surging wave of energy overtook the frenzied crowd, and the Celtics rode that wave to an early 12-5 edge. The crowd was frenzied, frenetic, and fantastic from tip to horn, but, unfortunately, the Boston Celtics could only siphon off so much energy from the crowd.
A crowd cannot make shots for you, or defend the Fisher-Kobe pick-and-roll. But a crowd can provide a team a boost like a pile of cocaine for Tony Montana before he faces Sosa’s men in Scarface. If you haven’t seen Scarface, believe me, that’s one hell of a boost.
And after returning from LA, where celebrities and wannabes ruled the Staples Center, it was as refreshing as a cold Budweiser on a humid summer day to return to the raucous rank and file of the TD Garden. I’m hurt and mildly upset by the Game 3 loss, but I have hope for the series, and much of that hope rests in the group at the Garden.
I have faith that Games 4 and 5 will fill the Garden with faithful fans. I have faith that the Celtics will–like they have done so many times in the past– use the crowd as a springboard to success. I have faith that home court advantage will surface and propel the Celtics to wins in both Games 4 and 5.