It was the 3 minute mark, when the first regular season crowd in the Barclays Center stood up in unison to begin counting down the clock to the Nets first win of their new era in Brooklyn, New York. The chants of "Brooook-lyn Brooook-lyn" poured down on to the court quite a few times as the game neared the final buzzer. The "DEFENSE" chants were even louder every time the Raptors had the ball trying to will the win away from a motivated Nets team and their passionate, new fan base.
Although the Raptors were within just a few points in the last couple of minutes, the atmosphere made it feel as if the game was already won. There was a confidence in the sell-out crowd that had an impact on its team trying to hold off a young, fast, talented, and very competitive Raptors team.
The feel of this game was so much entirely different then Nets home games over the last handful of years, that the crowd justified what Avery Johnson had said to his team.
"I told our players that you're playing for Brooklyn now, and that makes a big difference."
This night was not only for a team that has struggled with being relevant in the past. This night was for the fans, who came out and showed why Brooklyn needed a professional sports team. That crowd didn't disappoint, because if the opening night atmosphere was any hint of whats to come, the Nets will have one of the best home-court advantages in the NBA.
From the thousands of black and white jerseys seen outside the stadium before the doors even open, to the ovation each starter received before the game, to the different chants being tested out amongst its fans, and to erupt on just about any big shot, it became clear that Brooklyn is in love.
A stadium that is glorious both inside and out, has such a polarizing feel. The entire concourse is black, just like every seat in the house. When the fans are as loud as they were on opening night, opposing players will be caught in awe. Multiple times during timeouts, or even while on the floor, Raptors players were seen just looking out everywhere into the stands embracing the environment.
Nets players on the bench, throwing their arms in the air, but not because of a bad call. But to show the fans, everyones in this together keeping them from quieting down.
The Nets were off to a rough start, as the defense was nowhere to be found in the first quarter. Kyle Lowry was putting points on the board at will, and the Nets had no response. Until the second quarter, when the Nets clamped down, and realized who they were playing for.
Playing for a city, and a fan base that has endured way too much. Ironically, one of the only teams that New York Islanders fans can sympathize with, as the two will share this palace of an arena in 2015.
The crowd was behind their new team the entire night, and it didn't feel like it was only because of opening night. The atmosphere will only get stronger, as fans get comfortable with their new surroundings.
Opposing teams will not look forward to visiting games against the Nets. When each player sees the sea of black and everybody blended in with another while the extended, but slow "Brooook-lyn Brooook-lyn" hit the floor, only one team will react positively.
The Brooklyn Nets aren't going to let this city down, a strong statement that many who attended the game can already agree to.
The Brooklyn fans won't let this team allow them to ruin what they've waited so long for.
This city cares to much to let this team fail.
Congrats Brooklyn, you've adopted a team that not only has the star power of Deron Williams and Joe Johnson, but also a young squad of men who play together as one. It was Brook Lopez, and C.J Wilson who played the best, but it seemed like each player who was on the court had their own moment or two.
That's a sign of good things to come.