According to a report, Golden State Warriors center Jermaine O’Neal is calling on fans to create an atmosphere worthy of the reputation of Oracle Arena fans being some of the loudest in the NBA.
Monte Pool of CSNBayArea.com reported that O’Neal wants fans to bring the noise.
“We get a chance to go back to an arena that can really set a tone for home court,” O’Neal said. “People talk about Seattle and how loud they are (for Seahawks games), I think we need to put a meter inside Oracle come Thursday and see who really has the loudest arena/stadium.
“I guarantee you our fans are going to continue to be the loudest in all of sports.”
The Warriors return to Oracle Arena for Game 3 of their Western Conference first-round series tied with the Los Angeles Clippers at a game apiece after picking up their first win in three tries at Staples Center in Saturday’s Game 1.
O’Neal conceded that while Staples Center might be newer, Warriors fans have been there for the long haul.
“Here’s what I think the difference is: Four or five years ago, this arena was empty,” O’Neal said, referring to the relatively new phenomenon of fans actually showing up for Clippers games in L.A. “Look at the history of Oracle. Those fans believe in their team. They’ve shown up for many, many years and have very little to show for it. That’s the difference.
“We have a very intense crowd that really believes in the brand and the product. They are going to do everything they can do make it very difficult for an opposing team coming in.”
O’Neal brings up a great point, but the Warriors—after a 138-98 loss to the Clippers in Game 2 Monday night—have a challenge of their own: Slowing down Blake Griffin and holding onto the home-court advantage they wrested away from L.A. by winning Game 1 on the road.
The Warriors have won the last five meetings with the Clippers at Oracle Arena, including a 105-103 win on Christmas night and a 111-92 pasting of L.A. on Jan. 30. The last time the Clippers won in Oakland was on Christmas 2011, when they beat the Warriors in the opening game of the lockout-shortened 2011-12 season.
The 138 points surrendered by the Warriors were the third-most the team has allowed in a playoff game since the franchise moved to the Bay Area in 1962. The Warriors allowed 140 points to the Suns in a 140-133 loss in Game 3 of the first round in 1994, which is also the most they’ve allowed in a regulation playoff game.
The 76ers scored 141 in a 141-135 overtime win over the Warriors in Game 1 of the 1967 NBA Finals.
Monday’s loss matched the third-worst margin of defeat for a Warriors team in the postseason since 1962-63, the franchise’s first year in the Bay Area. The Warriors lost to the Lakers 118-78 in Game 6 of the Western Division Semifinals in 1969. Their largest margin of defeat in a postseason game was also against the Lakers, a 126-70 loss in Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals in 1973.
Golden State bounced back to win Game 4 in that long-ago series against the Lakers, 117-109.
Something to think about as you get your voice ready for Thursday night.