Nets on having increased capacity in Game 1: 'They definitely gave us an advantage'

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Crowd at Nets Celtics Game 1, lower bowl corner view with court in middle
Crowd at Nets Celtics Game 1, lower bowl corner view with court in middle

Saturday marked the first time the Nets played in front of more than just a couple thousand people at Barclays Center in over a year.

In Saturday's Game 1 first round matchup between the Nets and Boston Celtics, 14,391 people packed the arena - which was a sell out, as 93 percent of fans were fully vaccinated.

The increase came after Governor Andrew Cuomo's announcement earlier this week that allowed more fans to be at both Nets and Knicks playoff games.

And the Nets certainly noticed.

“Our fans were loud. They were there early. They definitely gave us an advantage," said Kevin Durant. "It was weird, because we haven’t seen them all season. It was 1,500 there last couple months of the season, but to see people at the front row, and then to see more in the upper and lower bowl, it was pretty cool.”

The Nets started off a bit slow in Game 1 - the crowd might have overwhelmed them just a bit.

"The crowd kinda just threw me off a little bit," James Harden said. "It was pretty loud in there. The vibe was what we’ve been missing. It just threw me off a little bit.”

Head coach Steve Nash repeated similar sentiments, but still gave kudos to the Brooklyn faithful.

“First time out in the playoffs with the fans, the atmosphere was unbelievable. Our fans were incredible. We knew it would be fun to play in front of the fans, but to step out there and see the place packed like that, the energy in the building was unbelievable," he said.

The Nets have been in other pretty packed arenas, Kyrie Irving mentioned on Saturday night, so it was nice to have even bigger homecourt advantage.

“Coming back home, welcoming a lot of our fans home, you can feel the anticipation for just a quality basketball game. Fans wanna see their team win, us, and I felt like we put on a good show."

Game 2, which should have a very similar attendance, will tip off on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. in Brooklyn.