Mavericks’ Dereck Lively not impressed with TD Garden crowd


“There was a bunch of rumors about how Boston is going to be so loud, so nasty. I thought it was going to be worse.”

Dallas Mavericks center Dereck Lively II, right, drives under pressure from Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum (0) during Game 2 of the NBA Basketball Finals, Sunday, June 9, 2024, in Boston.
Dereck Lively has struggled so far in the 2024 NBA Finals. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

The Celtics took care of business on their home court in Games 1 and 2 of the NBA Finals in front of a raucous crowd at TD Garden.

But even with the Celtics leaving Causeway Street with a 2-0 series edge, the Mavericks don’t seem overly impressed with the decibel level in Boston’s home arena.

Just a few days after former Celtics guard Kyrie Irving said he “thought it was going to be a little louder” in Game 1, Mavericks center Dereck Lively dismissed the notion that Boston’s barn was rocking in the first two games of this series.

“I honestly didn’t think it was that loud,” Lively said while speaking to media in Dallas on Tuesday. “There was a bunch of rumors about how Boston is going to be so loud, so nasty. I thought it was going to be worse. So just knowing that, it just makes you want to go out there and perform in front of your own crowd.”

Lively hasn’t fared well so far in this series against Boston, combining for just four points over two games. Granted, the 7-foot-1 center’s greatest impact comes with his rim protection, but Boston has carved up Dallas’ defense in the paint so far this series.

Lively has not recorded a block in either game so far against Boston, while the Celtics have converted on 83 percent of their shots around the rim in this series.

Lively is hoping that a return to Dallas’ home court at the American Airlines Center while shift some of the momentum going into Wednesday’s Game 3 matchup.

“Come out there, punch them in the mouth. I feel like we were doing a great job of guarding them, a great job of just going shot for shot with them the majority of the game,” Lively said. “A lot of the game just came down to us not being as sound on the defensive end in the fourth quarter, us making free throws and us being able to take care of the ball.”

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