BOSTON - Home court is a major advantage, especially in a roaring arena like TD Garden.
But for the young Sixers players competing there for the first time in the postseason, they were unfazed by the noise of the fans marking their territory.
"It was OK," Joel Embiid said of the atmosphere during the Celtics' Game 1 win over the Sixers (see game recap). "I think our fans are louder than that."
Celtics fans wore "Beat PHILA" T-shirts draped over the seats to create a sea of green. Sixers supporters were well-represented throughout the stands, too. When it came time for a chant, though, the Celtics crowd united together to send a message loud and clear.
"Not-a-roo-kie!" they cried when Ben Simmons shot free throws, a jab at Simmons' Rookie of Year campaign. Conversely, when Jayson Tatum shot free throws they chanted "He's-a-roo-kie!" to make a point.
Simmons heard it. Then he let it go in one ear and out the other.
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"I don't care," Simmons said. "It doesn't affect me at all."
The Celtics have one more game at home this week in front of their fans before the series shifts to Philadelphia for two contests at the Wells Fargo Center, where the Sixers have been nearly unstoppable in 2018. The cheers and jeers are only going to get louder as the series continues.
"It didn't bother me," Embiid said. "But they were great. They supported their team tonight. It was good. I love that type of atmosphere because it kind of elevates my game knowing that there's a lot of fans out there that are talking trash and saying some crazy stuff, too."
In fact, Embiid invites the thunderous opposition.
"I love when people talk trash," he said. "Keep bringing it on and we're going to see how it goes."