Game 2 Quotes: Cavaliers vs. Celtics

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HEAD COACH MIKE BROWN

(On tonight’s game):
“Guys tonight was real simple. For 48 minutes, we did not play with a sense of urgency…we tried the last few minutes of the game. They kicked our behind from the beginning. They got every 50/50 ball, they converted every offensive rebound into points and we did not fight back until late. We have to decide if we are going to take the fight to them and take these games. Nothing is going to be given to us at all. Ain’t a (expletive) thing is going to be given to us at all in this series. We have got to come out and fight better than we did tonight. Coming from behind the first game, coming from behind the second game…that’s not good enough. It’s not good enough for me, it’s not good enough for anybody in that locker room and if we expect to win this series, we have got to bring more of a sense of urgency than we what we brought tonight. Plain and simple, they kicked our behind. The series is one to one, we are going to see what we are made of come Game Three.”

(On his concern with the team’s defensive play):
“I’m concerned. I’m concerned our defense was not there tonight. We tried to turn it up for a little bit and we got physical and there was a sense of urgency in that fourth quarter for about three minutes, but we were down. We were down and we were trying to fight back into the game and we can’t do that. We have got to go from the beginning of the game and take the fight to them. Not the way we played tonight and not even the way we played in Game One.”

(On the Celtics being a more physical team):
“They were a lot more physical than us. They had seven offensive rebounds and those seven offensive rebounds were worth 21 points. You can’t play a team in a playoff game and give up seven offensive rebounds that equate to 21 points. They got every single loose ball, every single 50/50 ball, they beat us to the punch and it showed out there. We have got to bring more fight to the table, we have got to be tougher than we were tonight if we expect to win this series.”


LEBRON JAMES

(On if he is embarrassed with the team’s play tonight):
“I wouldn’t go that far, those are pretty harsh words. I know we didn’t play well. The third quarter was one of the worst quarters we have had this year, offensively and defensively. When you look at it at the end of the day, it’s a series that is tied one to one with two really good teams. We are looking forward to Game Three.”

(On if he played tentative tonight because of his elbow):
“For me, I’m going to go out and continue to try to be the player that I am. I’m not going to use this elbow as an excuse, I would never use an injury as an excuse. Like I said before, if I’m on the court, I’m going to try and be as productive as possible. I feel like tonight I was OK. As a team, all of us were just OK. That’s why we got handled by Boston tonight on our court.”

(More on if he played tentatively tonight):
“I don’t think so. I think I just have to adjust from game to game. I feel like they did make some adjustments and I didn’t react to them the best way, but I don’t feel like I was playing tentative. I was still able to get to the line 15 times even with the case of this elbow. I just have to be more aggressive (initially) and then figure it out.”

(On the team’s lapses in the third quarter):
“I think all five guys that were on the court at one time weren’t communicating. We weren’t in tune with one another and the game plan. There may have been three of the five guys or four of the five guys or two of the five guys were on the same page: when five guys at the same time aren’t on the same page, then things can break down. That’s exactly what happened. We had coverages that we wanted to go to and we had coverages that were in place, but everyone wasn’t on the same page. When you have that in the system, then it breaks down very easily.”


SHAQUILLE O'NEAL

(On the series being tied):
“I’ve been here before. We’re a very resilient team. We have to go up to Boston and get one or two games. We’re all about defense and tonight, we had a lot of slippage. We still fought there at the end to get it close, but we had too many defensive mistakes. We can’t allow Ray Allen to get over the screens and we just have to play a little bit harder. We’ll be fine.”

(On Boston’s defense tonight):
“We shot the ball okay, but they had way too many easy buckets. A team that has six players in double figures is going to be hard to beat. Our defense has to tighten up a bit more.”

(On getting it close late in the game):
“We did, but we don’t want to keep shooting ourselves in the foot by digging big holes like that. Now it’s a series, they’re a veteran team over there and we’re a veteran team over here. We just have to go get one or two games there.”

(On Rondo’s ability):
“He just comes off multiple pick and rolls. We have to do a better job of staying attached to him, stay in front of him and stay attached to their shooters. He’s a great player.”


ANTAWN JAMISON

(On Rondo tonight):
“He’s doing a great job of getting in the paint. We have to do a better job of containing him. You’re not going to be able to stop him for 48 minutes, but it’s to the point where he’s controlling the game from the start to finish. We just have to make him more of a jump shooter. They do a great job of getting him into pick and rolls and that’s helping him out a lot, but we can’t let it be so easy. He’s getting high-percentage field goals and getting other guys involved.”

(On Boston’s offense):
“They do a great job of going from one thing to the next thing. They make you play not just on one side of the floor, but the other side as well. You can contain that a little bit if you contain Rondo, but you can’t let him see the floor the way he’s seeing it. We just have to do a better job in making it more difficult for him.”

(On the third quarter):
“You’re going to have nights like that, but the one thing that championship-caliber teams rely on is their defense. We kind of put our heads down a little bit when things weren’t going well with our offense. You have to put that behind you and key in more on the defensive end. We couldn’t get hit shots, we turned the ball over a couple of times. They did a great job of running out and getting open looks. You’re going to have lulls, but they don’t happen that often and you just have to rely on your defense. We didn’t do that at all. We didn’t play well offensively for whatever reason and you can’t let a team like this to get momentum on both ends of the floor because they are going to take advantage of it.”


HEAD COACH DOC RIVERS

(On the third quarter):
“We just kept playing. We came out at halftime and all we talked about was being aggressive. We had a lead. We know what happened last time. All we kept talking about was attacking and playing and not thinking about the score. I told them that we really wanted to run to start the third quarter. I thought that we had fastbreak opportunities in the second quarter and we started walking the ball up the floor. Our whole theme at halftime was fastbreak. Let’s push the ball up the floor. I kept saying if anybody needs a blow, we’ll give them a blow, but we have to get easy buckets and we got some. I thought the bench saved the game for us in the second quarter. We had a lot of fouls and the stretch with Baby (Glen Davis), Rasheed (Wallace), Tony (Allen), Marquis (Daniels) on the floor; we had a rotation that I don’t know if we’ve ever practiced with on the floor because of all the fouls. They not only held the lead, they extended it. I actually thought the third quarter was great, but the second quarter saved the game for us.”

(On Rondo):
“There were times I actually wanted him to attack a little more. There were times, especially when we lost our way a little bit in the fourth quarter, but he just had a great floor game. That’s his second one in the playoffs I would say. I call him (Jason) Varitek. I thought he called great balls and strikes if you want to put it that way. The three for Ray was his call. We were searching for a call, Rondo motioned to me the call…and it got Ray a great shot. He felt the game through the coach and when you get that with a point guard, there’s no better feeling.”

(On knowing that Cleveland was going to make a run):
“I don’t know if we handled it very well honestly, but we got enough stops. We were stuck on 91 points for an hour it felt like. I just kept telling our guys ‘the clock is still moving’ and they’re not really scoring, we’re still getting stops. We made some silly fouls in that one stretch and I just kept telling them ‘We need one bucket. We just need somebody to make one shot.’ to loosen them back up…and that got us going again. You knew they were going to make a run and they made one.”

(On the idea that he wants his guys to use their fouls):
“I don’t think I meant it in that way. We were very liberal with our fouls in the first half, but I’d rather for us to be physical than be meek so I will take that. I just thought Rasheed was phenomenal. Obviously the threes were huge, but his post play was good as well and I thought defensively he was so much better than he’s been for us. We need that from him and Baby.”

(On establishing the inside game):
“It’s the whole key. Not only outside, but the drives as well. Establishing Kevin, (even though) he was going way too fast in the first half, but he still was a concern on the post. I kept telling our coaches ‘I don’t care if he’s not converting right now. They’re trapping. They’re worried about him down there and if we keep hammering down there, eventually the outside would open for us and that’s what happened.”

(On the 50/50 balls):
“To get them against this team is tough. The bottom line is that if the ball is there, the quicker guy gets the ball and they have a lot of quickness. I thought we laid it out today. I thought our bodies were on the floor. I thought we contested more shots. I thought we were more physical. I thought Cleveland was so much more physical than us in the first game, even when we had the lead. At halftime, I kept telling the coaches ‘we’re up but they’re so much more physical than us.’ Tonight, I thought it was even. It was a physical basketball game and that was good.”

(On the team defense on LeBron):
“Our whole team defense is the same all the time and that’s one of the reasons I was upset in Game One. We always talk about shrinking the floor and letting everybody see five guys in the paint. In Game One there were so many gaps when we watched the film. Everybody was hugging up on their own guys. I thought we did a great job of being in the paint and then on drive and kicks, recovering back out. It takes multiple efforts and I thought we did it.”

(On any adjustments they made on LeBron):
“We didn’t make any (adjustments), honestly. I think when people think you make adjustments, a lot of times the adjustments you make are things you were not doing the first time…we felt that we just didn’t do our jobs in the first game. We didn’t do our defense. We weren’t in the spots we should have been in and all we talked about was ‘let’s see if we can do that first and then if they score, then we can make an adjustment.’ The only adjustment we really made was doing it the way we should do it.”

(On if the team veterans took it personally that people wrote them off and if it became extra motivation):
“I hope so, but I don’t know. I’m never sure if that is motivation or not. When you get in the playoffs, you should want to win anyway…I’m sure they read it. I’m sure they hear it. I’m sure they have a lot of pride, but I don’t know if that helps you when they throw that ball up. You still have to guard LeBron James…The only thing we keep talking about is that we have to be a good team. We’re not going to beat anybody as we are individually, but if we do it together, we have a shot.”

(On if he’s content going back to Boston with the series tied):
“I’ll take it. We had a shot in Game One, but we didn’t get it. We can’t live in the past. I told our guys that, they were angry. I said ‘you can’t get it back. Nothing you can do about it. It’s over with.’ I’m glad they kind of moved on tonight. That was great.”


RAJON RONDO

(On 19 assists tonight and controlling the tempo of the game):
“I give credit to my teammates. They made the shots. They tried to get me easy looks; as easy as possible. Ray made shots tonight, it was a team effort. Perk finished at the rim, KG made shots. We mixed it up offensively inside and out. Sometimes we post to Kevin, then whenever they were sleeping on the weak side we had pin downs for Paul and Ray.”

(On him being a coach tonight):
“It helps my confidence a lot. Doc and I have been in the same system for four years right now and I’m starting to know what he wants me to call at certain times in the game. We have a great relationship to where we know exactly what we want to call Going down the stretch on how to close games out and getting easy looks and taking care of the ball.”

(Matchup with Mo Williams):
“I just try and take advantage of opportunities in front of me whether it’s Mo, Anthony Parker, Delonte or LeBron. In transition, that’s where I think I have my advantage. We are getting rebounds, getting stops; that’s where I am able to use my speed and my ability in getting to the hole and create mismatches in the lane.”


RAY ALLEN

(On his mindset on the game):
“We were pretty aggressive in Game One. We got down to the third and fourth quarter and we stopped attacking. They attacked on the offensive and defensive end. I don’t know how much we were up in the first game but we gave up a lead; we just were very passive. I don’t think we were as aggressive but we were still aggressive. Cleveland was on run in the fourth quarter. They scored maybe 6 to 8 points in a row from the free throw line. That’s the worst way to give a lead away, when the clock is not running. We just had to limit our fouls and everybody get back on defensive. Then on offense, we have to take care of the ball. We were a little passive. We weren’t taking care of the ball. They were getting their hands on balls. We talked about it in the third quarter (and said) the only way we could give the lead up is if we turned the ball over and stopped being aggressive. For that three or four minute stretch, that’s what we were doing. Once we got our bearings we got some good plays in the post and we took control of the game.”

(On if being written off in the playoffs added to the chip on their shoulder):
“I think people said it to try to jab at us. You heard that when we went on the road. We heard that from our own media but we didn’t worry about it. The one thing I had great confidence in every single day - I’ve seen guys coming to the gym, working on their game, getting their shots up, taking care of their bodies. You know we have a lot of young guys regardless of their age, a lot of young guys at heart. Everyone is ready for the challenge. We are ready for the ball to be tossed up. I think we were probably guilty of focusing too far in advance as opposed to taking care of the moments that we had during the regular season.”


KEVIN GARNETT

(On the game tonight):
“When you’re on the road in a hostile environment against the best team in the league, it is definitely a big win. I thought we moved the ball a lot and stayed aggressive. Rasheed (Wallace) played really big tonight. He was the difference to me. I thought we played defense (well). We were very talkative. That’s pretty much the game plan for how we have to beat this team. We have to do it together and collectively.”

(On the third quarter):
“We came out in the third quarter and were very aggressive. I got a couple of easy buckets. Defensively, I thought we stopped a lot of things. We got multiple stops and that’s the way we have to be.”

(On Rajon Rondo):
“He puts a lot of pressure on the defense and he draws a lot of fouls. He sucks in the defense and finds guys. He is very aggressive and he’s very fast. At the same time, he gets his own shot. He controls the whole game and that is what you want your point guard to do, make the right decision at the right time, and he does that.”

(On winning one game in Cleveland and going back to Boston):
“We just take one game at a time…We won one and now we’re going back home to the jungle.”

(On what he has to do in the post):
“I have to be a lot more patient in the post. I know they are starting to double me and I’m a decent passer, so I just got to wait, but at the same time I have to be aggressive and stay aggressive. Sheed was aggressive in the post. We got Paul to be aggressive. Everybody who played tonight was aggressive, and that’s how you have to beat this team.”


PAUL PIERCE

(On the game tonight):
“We played with a sense of urgency throughout the whole game. I think the key was our third quarter run, because in the last game we had the halftime lead and they came out with fast breaks and played with more intensity then we did in the third quarter, so we wanted to put an extra emphasis on being aggressive in the third quarter and picking up our defense.”

(On Rasheed Wallace):
“Coach called upon him to step up and he did that. That is the reason we brought him in. He can be the X- factor in these type of series. He has championship experience and he is a go to guy in the post for the second unit. We are going to need that from him every night and from all the guys who come off the bench.”

(On Rajon Rondo):
“His role is just to play with speed and that’s what we use him for. We get the ball to him as much as possible when we get stops because he can create havoc. He is one of the fastest point guards in the league when he gets into the lane and finds guys. He can also finish, and that’s what we need.”

(On why the Cavs were able to make a run in fourth quarter):
“We just stopped moving the ball…You knew they were going to make a run. You can’t expect calls on the road and everything is pretty much against us, and that’s the way it should be. When you are playing against the best team in the NBA and against the MVP in his house, it’s going to be tough and you have to expect them to make a run, but I was happy with the way we responded.”

(On the focus always being on LeBron):
“The focus is always on LeBron, every time you come in here. You know he is going to bring it. I think when you (don’t) focus on the other guys, that’s when they tear you apart, like Mo Williams, J.J. Hickson, Shaquille O’Neal, and Delonte West. We have to put extra emphasis on stopping those other guys.”