Atlanta Hawks power forward Josh Smith was disappointed Thursday night to be eliminated from the NBA playoffs by the Boston Celtics -- and he was able to pinpoint a distinct advantage the C's had on their home floor in Game 6: their fans.
"I was a little jealous, you know what I mean?" Smith told Ben Rohrbach of WEEI.com. “The fans out here are so supportive of their team. You go out and look in the stands, there’s nothing but Celtics jerseys and I don’t see a trace of red in there, you know what I mean?
"Understanding that the fans are that passionate, it adds an extra advantage for them. A bad shot can be as good as a turnover when you’re playing against a team like Boston, especially with the fan base that they have."
The Hawks won Game 5 in Atlanta on Tuesday, backed by a crowd of 19,319, but a large portion of them were decked out in green and supporting the visitors. The Celtics then closed the series, winning 83-80 in Game 6, in front of 18,624 fans at the TD Garden in Boston. The Celtics open the second round tonight, at home, against the Philadelphia 76ers.