Patriots happy to support Celtics in NBA playoffs
/ Celtics

By Mike ReissESPN Staff Writer

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- What has become an annual New England sports May tradition was on full display Tuesday night at TD Garden, with New England Patriots players supporting the Boston Celtics in the NBA playoffs.

Defensive captains Dont'a Hightower and Devin McCourty, linebacker Kyle Van Noy, and cornerbacks Stephon Gilmore and Jason McCourty were among those in attendance for the Celtics' 107-94 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Their presence, as usual, was captured on the videoboard above the court.

The Patriots are in the fifth week of their voluntary offseason program, and for Van Noy, the chance to enjoy a night out and watch the NBA playoffs was a no-brainer.

The connections between the Celtics and Patriots have been highlighted in the past, with Celtics coach Brad Stevens noting how he's struck up a friendship with Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels. In an interview earlier this year, which was also part of the recently released "NFL: Game Theory and Money" podcast, Stevens discussed what he's learned from spending time with New England's coaching staff.

"I have taken advantage of going over there on a number of occasions, whether it's sitting through OTAs, practices, or meetings, whatever the case may be; it’s been really helpful," Stevens said on the podcast. "I think when you walk out of there, and I think I've said this before, you feel inadequate as a coach. Because their culture, the way they move from drill to drill, how they pull together, how connected they are, it's special. It does not happen...

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