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October 29, 2009

New Celtics get first taste of Garden

BOSTON — During his college days at Duke University, Shelden Williams played his home games in the notoriously rowdy Cameron Indoor Stadium, where sitting down is seemingly not allowed amongst the Cameron Crazies.

Now in his fourth year in the NBA, Williams finally got the NBA's version of what it's like to play in a crazy home-court atmosphere. He suited up for the Boston Celtics last night against the woeful Charlotte Bobcats in the Green's 2009-2010 home opener at TD Garden.

The sellout crowd of 18,624 was certainly noisy last night and they went home happy, as the Celtics came away with a 92-59 victory. They improved to 2-0 on the young season, behind a balanced effort that saw Ray Allen lead the way with 18 points and point guard Rajon Rondo add a double-double with 10 points and 11 assists.

The theme of the night was "Reloaded," as Celtic green T-shirts were given away to each fan in attendance with that slogan underneath the C's logo. That was also the slogan at the beginning of the video montage on the Jumbotron before the game, symbolizing the fact that the Celtics are once again stacked and ready for another title run with a healthy Kevin Garnett and new additions like Williams, swingman Marquis Daniels and veteran all-star Rasheed Wallace.

Also before the opening tip, Celtics captain Paul Pierce addressed the crowd, calling the Garden "the best arena to play in with the greatest fans."

The 6-foot-9 Williams, who has had stints with the Atlanta Hawks, Sacramento Kings and Minnesota Timberwolves, is accustomed to playing on mediocre-to-bad teams. He was understandably excited to play in front of the loyal Celtics Nation last night.

"I was definitely looking forward to it," said Williams, who was the fifth pick in the 2006 draft and is just 26-years-old. "I had heard a lot about the crowd in Boston and I want to see how loud it can get on a nightly basis. I know from playing as a road player here that there is great fan support, and sometimes you really need that."

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