Now that I've somewhat recovered, I'd like to share my experience of being at the Garden for Game 1 of Celtics vs Knicks. I have to say that the electricity in the building was more like Game 7. Both teams' fans came out ready, and Boston fans were excited that the Playoffs had finally arrived.
The night was quite long – we got to the Garden at 4:30pm so we could catch some of the players on their way in and out on the floor warming-up. A friend of mine has the option to enter the building 1 hour before the general public as part of his season ticket package. We ran into both Shaq and J.O. on their way in. Shaq looked to be limping a tiny bit, but mostly because of the giant, awkward-looking green boot on his foot. J.O. was the picture of swagger-a bright white leather jacket, movie-star shades and an aura of confidence. We told him to have a good game and apparently he listened. My friend Lisa was lucky enough to get a high-five from the Big Shamrock. Jeff Green was cool enough to pose for a pic w/Lisa and sign my Big Mugg.
As we made our way into the arena, we started to notice some Knicks fans as expected. Now I'm all for following your team on the road and supporting them. And I've got respect for these guys and ladies, but there were definitely some negative attributes to alot of them;
Jerseys: At least buy an up to date jersey. We saw Nate Robinson, Latrell Spreewell and even John Wallace. John freaking Wallace?!
Don't celebrate until the game's over: Many of the Knick faithful were walking around at halftime with the delusion that they had won something. Nothing new from my experience.
Root for your team, but don't be a d*ck about it: There was this one particular moron with a Yankees hat on, whom the crowd was calling "Bieber" due to his resemblance to the pop-star, that was just asking for it. Every single time the Knicks scored, this kid would jump up and down, run down the aisles and antagonize Celtics fans. But after Lisa took off his Yankee hat and threw it, and another C's fan told him simply "Stop, or I'm going to seriously beat the crap out of you." He settled down. I talked about this incident tonight and the night in general with Brandon & Matt on CLNS.
This was one of those games that left you exhilarated and exhausted. There were frustrating moments when I wanted to just sit-down and watch the rest of the game in silence, but I could not. I kept screaming "DE-FENSE" and "let's go Celtics..clap-clap..clap-clap-clap". I had to practice what I preach and not give up on my team. One of the most discouraging moments happened when with 37 seconds left, Toney Douglas buried a three-pointer. But after a beautiful alley-oop play and an offensive foul on 'Melo, the C's had the ball-we were down 1, with :21 left.
Ray Allen inbounded the ball to Pierce, and we all thought it would be Paul getting the last shot, But then Ray popped open, his man fell down and he buried a 24-foot three pointer. The building exploded. Melo front-rimmed a three at the other end, and the Celtics won. I literally hurt myself from yelling so loud and jumping up & down after Ray hit that shot. What a game 1. We have alot of work left to do, and I know that when this series shifts to MSG, their fans will be fired-up. Strap-in Celtics fans, Game 2 is tonight.