Game Quotes: Cavaliers vs. Celtics

December 28, 2013

Cavaliers Head Coach Mike Brown

“We give Boston credit for winning the game. They did a heck of a job from the beginning of the game; and the thing that I express to our guys is we can’t be as inconsistent as we are throughout the course of games. I thought defensively there were a lot of times where we did not play the right way. Our coverages weren’t what we practiced, we weren’t ready on the weak side of the floor, we weren’t ready to guard the post, and they threw the ball where they wanted to throw it in the post, and then when we decided to play the game the right way and with the sense of urgency defensively it allowed us to get back in the game. Not only that offensively, we got to do a better job of moving the basketball. To start the game, a lot of guys held onto it for a long time and that habit throughout the course of the game and again when we decide to play the game with a sense of urgency defensively and the right way, and when the floor was spaced and we moved the basketball we got great looks and that’s something that we have to keep preaching, keep drilling, keep practicing and hopefully sooner than later we will get it on more a consistent basis then what we’ve shown so far.”

Re: Size advantage upfront, not able to take advantage though:
“Brandon Bass gave us problem in the post. They came up with a couple of key offensive rebounds, but it wasn’t necessarily their bigs all the time. Avery Bradley had I think two or three huge put backs throughout the course of the game because we didn’t box out, we stopped playing. For us it’s a matter of continuing to play throughout the 24 seconds of the shot clock no matter who’s on the floor. In this league, if Miami comes in here and Miami may not have a size advantage against Boston….I don’t look at it as us having a size advantage or disadvantage. We know how to play the game, doesn’t matter who’s in front of us; we go play it the right way with some physicality and we will have a chance to win. But if we just want to trade baskets and run up and down the floor it’s not going to work, which is what I thought we did for about 2 ½ - 3 quarters tonight.

Re: Last two possessions:
We wanted to bring Kyrie (Irving) off of a stager and what they did is they switched Brandon Bass onto Dion (Waiters) and Dion felt like in a one-on-one situation he could take it to the rim and that’s what he did. But Kyrie was coming off of a stager on the weak side of the floor and that’s where we wanted to go with the basketball if we didn’t have an advantage in the pick and roll. The last couple of possessions down the floor I thought that Dion did a nice job of turning the corner, playing pick and roll with Anthony Bennett, turning the corner and getting to the rim. If he had the ability to do that right away go ahead and do that, attack the rim. He played well the last few minutes. If not we had Kyrie coming off a stager. The out of bounds play to end the game we executed that wrong. We had guys moving to early, not only that they just switched everything and that was the downfall of that.  It was designed to get the ball to Kyrie, but they switched it and took us out of it after we moved too soon.”

Kyrie Irving

What was the difference in the 4th compared to the first three?
Just the way we started out. We can’t keep starting out games the way we’re starting out, where a team’s playing so comfortable. They just get out into a lot of runs, a lot of stretches where we’re not getting any stops and we’re not executing offensively. We just gotta be better at that, starting off games.”

Re: The last play where the Celtics switched:
“Just got it to the open guy. Dion tried to make a crucial play at a crucial time and came up a little short, but this could’ve been avoided in quarters previous to this. Like I said, we just gotta get off to better starts throughout the game so we don’t put ourselves in a big hole like that.”

Dion Waiters

Re: The last play:
“Drive by and get a layup. When I drove I felt contact so I thought I could get the bump, but I didn’t, so they didn’t call it.”

Re: The travel play, it seemed like you didn’t touch it:
“I didn’t touch the ball, I didn’t touch the ball, I let it go. Another call that’s questionable. But it’s not for me to say anything, it’s on them. If he felt that was a travel, it was a travel.”

Re: Did you feel a difference defensively in the fourth:
“Yeah, we had the energy, we out there talking, we hitting people. It’s tough man. Imagine if we could play that whole game like that from start to finish. We were down twenty in the fourth quarter, cut it down just by the defense and moving the ball. It’s just frustrating knowing you can do those things and can’t do them on a consistent basis.”

Boston Head Coach Brad Stevens

Re: covering Cleveland’s last in-bounds possession:
“Well they had a lot of options, too; we were just switching everything and staying on top of the line.  You know, I didn’t want them to get a clean catch without a body right there, and we had (Kris) Humphries on the ball, so he provided good pressure, took away an angled pass, and everybody else did their jobs.  It’s a lot easier to do when it’s a three-point game than a two-point game because in a two-point game they can slip to the basket.  But I thought we did a really good job and played exceptionally well in the fourth quarter for 18.3 seconds.”

Re: two possessions leading to Jared Sullinger and Brandon Bass shots:
“Well the one was just a late in-bounds and we were running an action and they did a good job jamming up Jeff (Green) and Jeff was supposed to come off but they were very physical with him and they did a good job on it.  Bass had to take a shot there.  I didn’t think the time before was awful initially, but I thought that we – sometimes you get on your heels, and we’ve got to figure out a way not to be on our heels.  And I think sometimes when you win a game like this that helps you the next time. Obviously there’s that tension of ‘Oh no, don’t lose’ and that’s no way to live life.  It’s no way to play.  But it’s a factor.  And the other factor is when they put those three guards on the floor and can play with that kind of abandon, it’s hard.  It’s really hard.  It’s really hard to keep them from where they way to go and you’re almost selling out to giving them drives to the basket and hope they miss.  And then (Jarrett) Jack shot two threes where we were there, we just didn’t contest him.”

Re: similar things to other recent games:
“You know, I was telling (President) Rich Gotham, it should’ve been promoted as part of our holiday package. ‘Every game is an adventure.’  And that would’ve been a – you know, Green Runs Deep #everygamesanadventure.  That would be a great thing to promote.  Maybe we can work on that…get that on the website?  It was an adventure, and we’ve got to be better in those situations. Again, we have been for the majority of the time, but for whatever reason in the last two weeks we haven’t.  Today I just didn’t think we played purposefully when it mattered.  You have to balance this idea of playing with extreme maturity with still playing clear mind and loose.  Hard balance.”

Re: what was going well when it did:
“Yeah, we moved the ball.  They trap a lot; they show a lot on ball screens.  We got to the ball out of those traps quickly and we were able to reverse it, move it and attack.  The ball movement in the first half was outstanding.  And then defensively we just made it difficult enough on (Dion) Waiters and (Kyrie) Irving.  And I think that’s why you try to do so they don’t go for 50 and beat you by themselves.  But most of the time, you know, if we play like we did in the first half, we can be a pretty good basketball team.”

Re: is he afraid of gaining a reputation as a team that other teams can catch late:
“No.  It would be great if we can figure out a way to play better than I think we will, but I’m not worried about that. Hopefully people come in and say ‘Hey, we can get down.” But I think, again, we’ve made the last couple weeks an adventure, and we haven’t played the right way the whole game.  And whether that’s in the first half or the fourth quarter, we have to become a better team for 48 minutes. Three times we’ve not played well in the second half, but once we didn’t play well the whole game. So we’ve got a lot of minutes we’ve got to get better at.”

Avery Bradley

“You know those are very good players (Cavaliers). They were all making plays not only for themselves but for their teammates. Like I said they are very good players, they were just making plays. Dion Waiters is a very good player, making tough shots.”

Re: What did you try to do defensive wise when Clark had the ball at the end?
“I just tried to make it hard on him. I don’t think he missed a shot all game. He made every three. I knew if he got the ball I was going to need to contest it and make it hard.”

Re: Impact of Andrew Bynum absence.
“It changes a lot. Obviously he is a very good player. Obviously he has an inside presence. We have a lot of good post players as well. We were prepared even if he was playing.”

Jared Sullinger

Re: How are you feeling?
“I was fine. You know everyone has one of those games where they are just a half a step off but I got to bounce back. We just have to keep plugging, plugging away and keep playing hard.”

Re: On teams making their run.
“I don’t think we really get concerned about it. We are kind of cool, calm, and collected. Everybody is going to make their run in this league, we just have to learn how to keep a lead.”

Re: About Brandon’s defense all year.
“I mean Brandon is special. He is a special type of player. I mean he can guard one through five and I mean he takes defense seriously. So, with somebody like Brandon it increases the level of intensity on defense.”