Spit and fists from European days have Paul Zipser prepared
Playing in front of a sea of playoff green seemingly would give pause to some rookies. TD Garden can be overwhelming.
But as long as he wasn’t being threatened or spit on or witnessing fights in the stands, forward Paul Zipser could cling to a certain serenity and excel.
After going 1-for-4 from the field and scoring six points in 22 minutes in Game 1, Zipser came off the bench in Game 2 and was outstanding, going 6-for-8 and scoring 16 points.
He acknowledged that the crowd was loud and that the fans had their moments, but there’s a difference between loud and hostile. Zipser knows hostile.
In Europe, many of the arenas are much smaller, but they’re also more dangerous.
“Smaller gyms but very loud,’’ said Zipser, 23, a native of Germany. “I had some games, especially in Serbia or Greece, they are like big crowds. I’m used to that.’’
He also got used to fan violence in Europe.
“Like spitting, like throwing stuff at you, all kinds of stuff,’’ Zipser said. “It’s, like, more human [here]. That’s how it is. Like the crowd is getting into it, and it’s fun to play in front of a big crowd, but it’s not like everybody is violent.’’
Forward Nikola Mirotic, who came up in the Spanish league, had a similar take, insisting that the fans across the pond were “crazier.’’ It might be louder in the NBA, but the fans don’t get out of control.
“I had some moments [in Game 1] that I was a little nervous maybe, but I think everybody had that, especially in the first game,’’ Zipser said. “I think I have some experience with playoffs and some big games [in Europe], maybe more than other rookies have, but I don’t know. I’m just playing my game every time I step out on the court.’’
Tale of two answers
Asked if he was surprised the Bulls were up 2-0 in the series, coach Fred Hoiberg said, “All it’s about is trying to win the next possession. That’s all we’re focused on.
‘‘We did some good things the first two games of the series, but we know this Boston team. They’re the No. 1 seed for a reason. They’re going to come out and play with great energy. We have to match that, similar to what we did in Game 2, and try to give ourselves a chance to win.’’
When asked the same question, guard Dwyane Wade said, “Yeah.’’
When pressed, Wade said, “Am I lying? I mean we’re a confident team, but you’re not thinking that you’re going to go to Boston and get two. You’re just trying to get one; that’s your focus.’’