In comments at the Nets practice Saturday and in the locker room Friday night, Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett said they believed the crowd at Barclays Center could have been louder, more hostile ... maybe more like Boston?
"They could do better," Garnett said Saturday. "I was expecting Brooklyn to be real hostile, New York-style. I know what it's like to come here as the opposition, so our crowd could do better, but they were there when we needed them, and we fed off of them."
Added Pierce: "Well, we know gradually they got into it. Hopefully the next game, it will get a lot better from the start. We want to come out from the jump, from the beginning, and have them in the game. It shouldn't take a big play from us. We want them behind us. It was a great crowd tonight."
Garnett had hoped Raptor GM Masai Ujiri's "F__ Brooklyn" would have incited the fans. On Tuesday, after the Nets lost to the Raptors, KG told writers, "Now, we just have to take care of home -- it's going to be a rowdy environment, like it should be -- I don't know if you can say 'F Brooklyn' and come into Brooklyn, so we 'bout to see what it's like."
Social media was buzzing early in the game about the biggest cheer had been for the Brooklyn debut of the "Netsational Seniors," the Nets senior citizen dance team. Toronto writers seized on it.
I cannot encapsulate how much better the atmosphere in Toronto was, as compared to tonight in Brooklyn. Infinity times better.— cathalkelly (@cathalkelly) April 25, 2014
Then, late in the second quarter, in a scramble for a loose ball, Garnett came up with the possession and in a classic KG moment, got up off the floor, screamed at the fans, popping the "Brooklyn" on his jersey. It evoked the biggest, loudest reaction of the game. Later, arena cameras focused on Pierce waving his arms at fans in the arena.
Deron Williams was more philosophical about the fans.
"We feed off them, they feed off us," Williams said referring to the crowd's energy. "I thought our crowd was great tonight, and they'll continue to be great," he said. It's hard to disagree with Williams' statement. The reality is, you can't expect the crowd to out-hype the players on the court. That just doesn't happen in basketball."
But more than one Nets insider expressed disappointment with the crowd's energy level but no one seems to know how to improve on it, other than to keep winning.
- 2014 NBA playoffs -- Kevin Garnett says Brooklyn Nets fans 'could do better' - Mike Mazzeo - ESPN New York
- Kevin Garnett says the Brooklyn Nets fans need to step up their game for the playoffs - Stefan Bondy - New York Daily News
- Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett wake up silent Nets crowd - Stefan Bondy - New York Daily News
Kevin Garnett wants Nets fans more fired up - Rod Boone - Newsday
- Nets Squeeze a Grin From the Basketball Gods - Harvey Araton - New York Times