Thu May 06 10:05am EDT
After a dominating 104-86 Game 2 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers to tie their Eastern Conference Semifinals series at one game apiece, the Boston Celtics head into Friday night's Game 3 brimming with confidence, clutching to home-court advantage and looking to — as Kevin Garnett(notes) put it in a post-Game 2 interview with Boston's WEEI-AM — unleash "green hell" on the conference's No. 1 seed at the TD Garden.
Part of this, it seems, is a reserve-led push to encourage ticket-holding C's fans to wear green shirts to the game.
Credit (or blame) Shelden Williams(notes) for bringing the "everybody wear the same color shirt" plan to the general public. The little-used forward took to Twitter on Tuesday to announce that he and fellow postseason bit-parters Marquis Daniels(notes) and Nate Robinson(notes) had come up with a great idea.
"Since the garden is called the jungle," Williams twote, "we need to see if we can have a green out and just have everybody wear green while rocking the place!" He then set the Celtics Fans Phone Chain in motion, asking each cybertraveler within the reach of his tweets to tell a friend "so come friday it will be crazy and green in the gym!!"
Which, frankly, is kind of dumb.
With all due respect to Shelden, Marquis and Nate: While I appreciate the desire to solidify your base, you play for the Boston Celtics. One of American sport's proudest and most successful franchises, not to mention bona fide NBA royalty. Your fans are Boston sports fans. They might sometimes be overbearing, ignore sports happenings that don't immediately relate to their teams and get a little too gassed up vis-a-vis how good their squad really is. But such common fan vices aside, they're a smart, passionate lot, many of whom would lay down in traffic for their team and probably request to be buried in kelly green independent of any public exhortation.
I know that the marketing department has pulled this stunt a couple of times in the recent past, like before Game 5 of the '07-'08 first-round series against the Atlanta Hawks and prior to the '08-'09 season opener against the Charlotte Bobcats. But you must understand that you don't need to resort to rehashed promotional ideas that just about always look kind of silly and request a unified T-shirt front. (Especially when you ain't givin' away the shirts.) You're better than that.
It's Game 3 against LeBron James(notes), and after the pillar-to-post whipping the Celtics put on Cleveland in Game 2, the C's fans are smelling blood in the water. The TD Garden might not house quite the same poltergeists as the old Garden, but these folks know the deal. Whether they show up wearing a Russell throwback or the sporty new KG-inspired joint from Red's Army, it's a pretty decent bet they'll be louder than bombs. No gimmicks needed.