As I entered the TD Garden, my mind was racing rapidly and I was unable to control my emotion. After four months of waiting, it was finally here. The Boston Celtics and Miami Heat were about to actually play THE game.
Typically, when there is as much hype around a game as there was for this one, the game disappoints and lacks huzzah. This game, however, exceeded expectations and was simply brilliant. I can safely say that between the rambunctious, cohesive enthusiasm of the crowd and the final outcome of the game, it was the best sporting event I have ever been to.
When I first entered the stadium, I was immediately taken aback by the circular sea of green. Every seat in the Garden was covered with a massive green shirt. Instead of the typical putrid Lakers-like yellow seats, the arena was engulfed by Celtics Green.
As the players warmed up and prepared for the long-awaited game, I watched in detail, following their every move and analyzing their potential and role on a team full of capable players. Ray Allen drained three after three, KG knocked down jumper after jumper, and Shaq threw down a plethora of ferocious, powerhouse dunks with the utmost authority.
After watching an incredible pump-up video on the big screen and announcing the starting lineups with the PA man verbatim, it was time...
Watching my team play defense in the first quarter made me proud to be die-hard Celtics fan. Allowing only nine points the "unbelievably explosive, probable 82-0 Miami Heat" was quite a feat. I then noticed that the behavior I was watching in warm-ups carried over perfectly into the actual game. Ray Allen practices his jump shot for hours on end, taking hundreds of J's every single day. That is precisely why he nailed a dagger three-pointer with 49 seconds left that gave the Celtics an 86-80 lead; practice.
With the exception of Allen Iverson, (i.e., "Practice, you talkin' about practice? You kiddin' me? Practice?") "they" always say that practice makes perfect. Does it? I think so. Ray Allen's practice gave me personally a perfect experience. Admiring his picture-perfect release was unbelievable.
Every time the Celtics scored, I immediately skyrocketed out of my seat, pound my chest like an animal in exhilaration and cheering incessantly. From Big Baby's intelligent charge, to Nate Robinson's finesse finish, to the Big Shamroq's thunderous throw-downs, I loved every second of the game last night.
The unity of the crowd was the most amazing thing about the whole evening. I have never been a part of such a unified group. With the exception of the LeBron fan in front of me, the vast majority of people were completely immersed in the game, and rowdily encouraging the Celts. I quelled the LeBaby fan's antics in the first quarter by literally taking the sign out of his hand that said "Witness the King." I kept the sign under my seat, while the kid gloomily watched his team get outplayed by a better team (the Boston Celtics, in case you were unaware of to which team I was referring). To my right, someone had a sign that said, "Queen James." Amen to that (sister).
Say what you want about the Heat. Sure, they have potential to be a phenomenal team. I still think they'll have the best record in the East. Last night, however, we were the better team. Five players scored in double figures and Rondo dealt out 17 dimes. Sweet.
Overall, it was a night to remember. I will never forget entering the Garden and seeing the swarm of green, Paul Pierce's clutch jumpers, and the consistent emotion of the crowd. When Ray Allen swished the three in the final minute, the place absolutely erupted, like a volcano. The roof literally exploded and shot into oblivion. 20,000 people jumped up and down in jubilation like children. That is the beauty of the game of basketball.