After Nets Guard Kyrie Irving comments on Boston and his long-waited return to play in the TD Garden with fans, all eyes and pressure was on the All Star point guard.
All the “booing” by fans might have got to him, because in the Nets 119-125 loss to Celtics, as Irving finished with 16 PTS on 6-for-17 shooting, including going 1-for-5 and scoring 2 PTS in the first half.
Irving also struggled with several matchups down the stretch defensively, including against former teammate Jayson Tatum.
Irving reflected on he felt about the crowd reaction during postgame, stating:
“I mean, it’s basketball,” he said. “I’ve been in a few environments in my life so like I said, as long as it’s strictly the nature of basketball out there and there’s nothing extra, I’m cool with it. Just get some preparation with the team tomorrow and get prepared for Sunday. Going to keep it straight basketball.”
On Saturday, TD Garden capacity limits will increase from 5,000 to over 17,000 fans. Knowing that a louder Boston crowd awaits him on Sunday night in Game 4, Irving says: “Happy it was a great start to seeing what this environment is going to be like. Just looking forward to the challenge.”