NBA

Masters: Nets eager to see how Raptors cope with their fans

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Mark Masters
4/24/2014 6:03:57 PM
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BROOKLYN  – Kevin Garnett is very excited to see what the crowd will be like at the Barclays Center on Friday. Just ask him.

"Very eager," Garnett said after the Brooklyn Nets practice on Thursday. "Very eager, very eager to see how they respond to the 'F Brooklyn' [comment]. Very, very eager to see how they respond to those kids sitting in our arena. I don't know if that's going to be … We'll see. Put it like that. We'll see."

Garnett is, of course, referencing the slur directed at Brooklyn by Toronto Raptors general manager Masai Ujiri at a pep rally moments before Game 1 tipped on Saturday.

So, what does Garnett expect from the Nets faithful in Game 3 as the series shifts south?

"I don't know. I don't know. I've never had a series in Brooklyn before. I never said, 'F Brooklyn,' before so we're about to see what that's like."

Indeed we will.

And the sense from some Nets players is the inexperienced Raptors, who have shown some nerves early in the series turning the ball over 40 times, may have trouble weathering the storm. Alan Anderson, who played for the Raptors the last two seasons before signing with the Nets in the summer, believes the fans in Brooklyn are more intense than those who fill the Air Canada Centre.

"They're more rowdy," said Anderson with a big grin. "Yeah, definitely, they're way more rowdy. You're going to see. It's Brooklyn ... New Yorkers. They come in and they're going to think they're in the game like they're playing so we're going to have some fun.

"I think it's going to be great, especially with the little chitter chatter going on. I know our fans are listening and I'm looking forward to it.

"Brooklyn, man, fans are rowdy already without help."

That help came from Ujiri, whose comment earned him a fine from the NBA. Nets players expect their fans to weigh in with their own brand of justice.

"I'm sure they will be [riled up]," said Deron Williams. "They will be. They're ready. They're ready for the playoffs no matter what. That may have given them a little more incentive and hopefully they'll bring a little extra noise and rowdiness."

"I'm sure it will play a factor," said Joe Johnson. "I don't know if their GM is going to be here or not, but I'm sure Brooklyn's looking forward to it."

For the record: Ujiri is expected to be in attendance.

"I'm expecting the crowd to be very, very into it, uh, Brooklyn style," said Garnett. "I'm looking forward to us taking care of home."

When the Nets players and head coach Jason Kidd weren't being peppered with questions about what the crowd may be like, they spoke about the need to tighten up defensively and find a way to rebound better. So it's not like the home-court advantage will be decisive in and of itself. 

And Johnson did strike a cautionary note amidst all the barbs.

"We understand that this is not going to be easy by any means. It's going to be tough, I mean, just look around throughout the league, the playoffs, a lot of teams have been losing at home so we want to be very conscious of that and really come out and try and set the tone early."

Kevin Garnett (Photo: Canadian Press)

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(Photo: Canadian Press)
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