BOSTON — While the Raptors and Sixers failed to hold on to their home court advantage on Saturday, the Boston Celtics opened the 2109 NBA Playoffs in triumph at TD Garden. This is technically the Bruins’ place, mind you. The seats are yellow and black, as is the paint job inside. Those happen to be Indiana Pacers colors as well, but it was all green on Sunday at the start of what Celtics fans hope is a long postseason run.
“Steal one, that’s always an away team’s dream,” Kyrie Irving (20 points, 7 assists and 5 rebounds) said after an 84-74 win at home on Sunday. “But as a home team you have a lot of pressure to go out and perform in front of your home team’s fans.”
Seventeen championship banners hang over the parquet here. From the court, they loom hauntingly, lingering as a reminder of the expectations placed on the team that plays below. The Celtics entered the year with championship aspirations and settled for inconsistency and occasional struggles on both ends of the floor, leading to a 4-seed that barely earned them an extra home game next to the Bunker Hill Memorial Bridge in the first round.