PHOENIX — The Phoenix Suns Arena will welcome 16,000 fans Tuesday for Game 5 of the Suns-Lakers playoff series, making it the largest crowd the arena has had in more than a year.
"That building is going to be jumping tomorrow night," said Dave Burns, co-host of the Burns and Gambo show on 98.7 Arizona Sports.
"What had already been a real amplified environment, really exciting environment, I think is going to be, even louder even crazier, and the fact that it's tied 2-2 is really going to add to the feel of the building," Burns said.
The additional fans may also bring more alertness, especially following recent incidents in other cities where fans were banned for disrespectful behavior toward players.
Sunday, after the Brooklyn Nets beat the Boston Celtics, a fan threw a water bottle at nets guard Kyrie Irving as he walked off the court, barely missing his head.
Last week, Washington Wizards guard Russell Westbrook had popcorn poured on him.
"Phoenix historically has not really had that kind of behavior from fans, at least in terms of throwing things on people. But I know this – everybody's tolerance for this is very, very low," said Burns.
Suns President and CEO Jason Rowley released a statement to ABC15 Monday, which reads, in part:
“The energy at Phoenix Suns Arena tomorrow night will be at an all-time high. We have the best fans in the NBA, and expect they will show up loud and proud, competitive and respectful. That’s how Suns fans Rally the Valley when we all come together.”
Burns hopes the focus will be on the game, saying this is the best he's felt about the team's chances of advancing.
"If that's the version of Chris Paul they're going to get, I think they advance in this series over the lakers, especially with Anthony Davis being as questionable as he is," he said.
Suns need to win two of the next three games to move on.