Game 3 Quotes: Cavaliers at Celtics

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HEAD COACH MIKE BROWN

(What did you think of your team’s play tonight?)
“I thought tonight we were aggressive on both ends of the floor for 48 minutes. We talked about playing a 48 minute game and I thought our guys did that tonight. It was great to see LeBron set the tone from the jump ball and everybody else followed. We had great performances from a lot of guys that led to a very good ball game for us. I thought winning the possession game with the rebounds was huge and I thought that having a lot of guys have the opportunity to contribute offensively with the way we moved the ball and moved bodies was huge. It’s a short turnaround, we know it’s a long series, so we’ve got to come out and play just like we did today in game four.”

(The decision to have Parker pick up Rondo full court, how much of an impact did that decision have?)
“You know obviously he was kind of picking us apart offensively, and it was something that AP (Anthony Parker) suggested, he said that I am going to pick him up, work the ball some and see what happens, and I said great.”

(What are you guys doing on Paul Pierce that has been so successful in stopping him in this series?)
“We’re not right now doing anything special on Paul. LeBron has had that assignment for most of the series, if not all of the series, and you know when he catches it, he’s just trying to do a nice job of making him work. You’re not going to stop a guy like Paul Pierce. He’s an All-Star, he’s been here before, many times over, you just got to make him work and LeBron’s trying to make him work every time he touches the ball.”

(Came back and blew out Chicago following loss showed toughness, does this win add to that?)
“I’m not that smart, I honestly don’t remember us blowing out Chicago after the loss, if we did great. That series really had nothing to do with this one. We’re a resilient team, we’ve gone through some ups and downs throughout the course of the year, we got beat, we’ve got to give Boston some credit in Game 2. We understand that this is a series, we understand that we can play better than we did in Game 2, so we came out here tonight, and we strung it together for 48 minutes. All the players in the locker room, I give credit for staying focused and bringing the energy and bringing the effort for 48 minutes, but I don’t know if it had anything to do with the Chicago series.”

(Angry after Game 2, did your players carry over that anger to this game?)
“I don’t know if the players were angry because of me, you have to ask them that. I was angry because I knew that I could do a better job of helping the team and I knew the team could do a better job of playing the way that we did. We’re not trying to carry over anything. We’re just trying to go out and play the right way for 48 minutes. I need to work my tail off and see if I can put those guys in the best position to win a game and they just need to give effort, focus, energy, aggression for 48 minutes and you know we’ll give ourselves a doggone good chance.”


LEBRON JAMES

(Necessity of focus and the feeling of the elbow)
“My focus was on game 3. It was a really important game for us. Aggression was my mindset. It was my mindset to come out really aggressive an just dictate tempo from the start of the jump and I was able to do that. I think rest helped me. Rest helped all of us and we were able to put a complete game for the first time in these playoffs.”

(Tired of hearing about MRI’s and elbow)
“I think it was much bigger than what it was but I think that’s what happens sometimes in the whole media circuit. But it didn’t bother me at all. I wasn’t tired of hearing about it, I didn’t really focus in on it that much. My only focus was on game 3, just having a whole 360 of what we did in game 2.”

(Coming out aggressively)
“I think one thing we did tonight was we moved the ball from one side to another, and we didn’t turn the ball over as much. I think we had five turnovers in the first 6 minutes but they were all, if you ever heard of good turnovers, the first six minutes we got good turnovers. We was trying to get guys open, we was looking for guys. We turned the ball over being aggressive. After that point we only had seven for the rest of the game. I think the mark is defensively to hold this team, especially at home, to 42 % shooting was a tribute to our intensity and us focusing in on what the game plan was going to be tonight defensively.”

(Key to achieve consistency)
“Well that’s one thing we do want to try to do. We haven’t had consistent play all playoffs but we’ve played well enough to win. We don’t just want to play well enough to win. Like you said we know we’re not going to blow teams out every night, we don’t look to blow teams out every night, but if it happens throughout the course of the game we’ll take it. We just need to understand that we have to play with a little more sense of urgency from the start. We did tonight. We didn’t wait to be down, we didn’t wait until we got up. Once we got up we just kept the pedal down.”

(Who does the consistency fall upon)
“Well I think it starts with me, but I think it trickles down to everyone else. We understand that this is the playoffs and every game counts, every possession counts. But everyone playing with a little bit more sense of urgency to start the game will help us.”

“Well being on the road, mindsets change, personnel change. I think you can afford, saying myself can afford, to play the back role a little bit at home. Guys are more confident at home, guys shoot the ball sometimes better at home. You can feed off the crowd. It enables to not do as much offensively and then wait until the second half, wait until the fourth quarter and then close games out. On the road you can’t do that as much because honestly it’s just you and your teammates, the coaching staff and friends and family that have come here for the game. So it started with me tonight and then everyone seen my aggression and just took advantage of it.”

(Sense of tension of game)
“Well I sensed guys was ready to get game 2 past us and move on to game 3. There was definitely discussion. That’s what you’re going to have in the middle of a loss or a win. We just look back and see the mistakes that we had, where we went badly. We had an awful third quarter, we played an awful game in game 2 and we knew we couldn’t repeat that performance. We would have gotten beat up again. It was a lot. We had three days to just sit and feel the pressure of game 2 if you wanted to make it pressure. If not you just bounce back.”

Defense on Paul Pierce)
“For me, I take the challenge defensively if there’s anybody. Paul is one of the great players we have in this league, one of the best three’s we have in this league. I just try to take the pressure off other guys wanting to guard them. I take pride in my defense and when you have guys behind you that communicate with you it definitely helps. It’s hard to stop a guy like Paul because he has so much to his game. You just want to try to keep a body in front of him. If he goes up and shoot it just try to contest. Stay down on a lot of his pump fakes, but he’s a really good player.”

(Feeding off Mike Brown’s displeasure after game 2)
“I remember you guys talking about mike coming in real angry but if you remember me I was real calm. There was no reason for me as a leader to be very angry or feel like it was pressure time for us. I understood we played awful in game 2 and I came in that press conference and you guys were like ‘why do you seem so calm and Mike seems so um…’. It’s just I knew how important the next game was and I knew how important the whole series is. We know defensively we always made our mark in the post season and we’ve always been the top tier of teams in the post season out of 16 teams. In order for us to be really good we have to continue to get stops and that’s what we did tonight.”

(Playing at the end of the game despite being up by 25 points)
“It wasn’t something I discussed with Mike and it wasn’t sending a message. It was just me seeing the game, how the game is played, making in-game adjustments. I had it going, we had it going, and I wasn’t tired at that point. I think I came out 6;15 in the second quarter and I was able to check back in with like 3 minutes left to go and we was able to close the quarter out. I didn’t come back out until the fourth quarter until we had the game. It’s just in-game, knowing the game and how it’s flowing. Me being on the court being a threat.”


SHAQUILLE O'NEAL

(The difference in Game 3 compared to game 2)
“We just knew what we had to do. We didn’t want to come in, mess around and lose this game and go down 2-1. We thought Game 2 we gave it away because we didn’t really play with the type of defensive effort we need to play with.”

(Attributing win to x’s and o’s or to attitude and effort)
“Just attitude and effort. Rarely do you see us play two bad games in a row. We looked at a lot of tape, had a lot of conversation. We knew had to come out and play much harder.”


ANTAWN JAMISON

(Difference in LeBron tonight)
“You knew it was going to be different especially after the way we played in game two. I just thought in game two as a team we just didn’t play well in every aspect of the game. Offensively we didn’t play well; defensively they were more aggressive than we were communicating wise. We didn’t do a great job of that at all in game two, I think as a team we knew the sense of urgency, we knew we had to play better and we knew what happened in game two which is behind us. He’s our leader; he was really focused coming into today in shoot around, and when he goes we go. He set the tone early on both ends of the floor communicating, being aggressive going to the hole. Defensively really setting the tone, but we knew we didn’t play well in game two and we knew we had to do a better job of that in game three.”

(Key in achieving consistency)
“We still have to do a better job on Rondo. It’s been three games and he’s done a great job as far as getting into the paint and making it difficult for us. And their three point shooting, Ray Allen, we have to make them take tough shots. The first two games they were able to get Rondo into the paint, creating shots for himself and others. We just really have to make it difficult for him and Garnett; he’s been doing a great job as far as attacking offensively and making it tough for me. You have to do the opposite as well, you have to make him work on the defensive end and attack him. We just know we have to play with that sense of urgency for the rest of the series. This is a championship team, they’ve been there, they’ve done that, a lot of people had written them off before the playoffs, and we knew they were going to come in a play with a lot of determination and a lot of heart. We can ill afford to let the things we did in the first two games happen again as far as not coming out being aggressive on both ends of the floor, hitting them first and not letting them control the paint, rebounding, and all aspects of the game. Definitely happy with the way things went tonight but we know that we have a great opportunity to get one on Sunday and guys are focused, once we leave the building tonight it’s pretty much a done deal.”

(Learning on the fly playing with Shaq)
“It’s still a lot of work in progress. Shaq has been in there since day one, as far as certain things that he likes to do when he has the ball in the post to get me involved and some things he’s seeing when I have the ball driving to the basket as well. It was definitely easy because I’d played with a lot of guys for a good length of time but Shaq was out for an extended period of time. It’s just one of those things, I’m a professional, he’s a professional, we both listen to each other and we are just doing everything we can to just make each other’s game and team game easier as well. I’m just soaking in all the information he’s giving me, he sees things. This guy has been in pretty much every situation you could possibly imagine. He’s just telling me to go out there and play my game, and certain things he sees during the game, we just try to use that as far as what can happen in the future as well.”

(Celtics using KG on low block)
“With the exception of tonight, he got a lot of shots the first two games. When I played behind him, the guy is too good to think that you’re going to make every shot difficult. But with him you can’t let him get into his sweet spot, you have to work him early and make him work hard on the offensive end and just not let him get into that comfort zone. I think tonight he really got into that comfort zone; he was able to knock down the jump shot and so forth. I welcome the challenge, he’s a key component to what they are trying to do and I have to make everything difficult for him when he has the ball. I think something that I did tonight that I didn’t do the first two games, is I’m trying to make him move. I think I shot too many jumpers the first two games. And now I can drive the ball, if something is open I can throw up my crazy shot but if not they do a great job of pre rotating their big guy and we got Shaq there for some easy buckets tonight. I think I really have to make him work on both ends of the floor. Even if my number isn’t called just every once in a while driving the ball and making a move, just attacking the paint a little bit better.”

(Confidence at half time)
“We were really confident. We knew we still had 24 minutes still to play but that’s the type of basketball offensively we are capable of playing. We move the ball, we communicate, playing unselfish basketball as well, not doing too much thinking, and just playing the game. You are going to have nights no matter what you do, you are going to struggle offensively and then you lack defensively. To be able to do that on the road against a team like this it speaks volumes. But the thing about us is that we weren’t satisfied. We knew we still had 24 minutes; we didn’t want to give them any chance to think they can come back and make a game out of it. We still played with the unselfish play offensively, communicating, moving the ball to one side of the floor to the other. I think that’s a key when you are playing a team like this, just one of those things as far as us keying in on offense.”

(Shaq’s game)
“We really wanted to kind of make it easy for him. The first couple of games we were just giving him the ball and leaving him out on an island. Nobody was cutting; nobody was preventing them from loading up on him. I think tonight we were able to create some easy opportunities for him, get him going there a little bit, and when he did get the ball in the paint we were able to slash and keep them from loading up on him and making it difficult for him. You know he’s been frustrated with the way things have been going offensively for him the last two games, he made an asserted effort to come out and play better. It was just one of those things that we wanted to make it easier for him, as far as him not having to work too hard and work so far out away from the basket, and when he was able to do that he converted and also when he was able to get the ball on the post, he was able to take his time and get some easy buckets as well.”


J.J. HICKSON

(Sensing energy in pregame warm-ups)
“We all had one goal, and that was to come out and win the game and I think we all did a good job at it.”

(Working on rebounding)
“One of our emphasis’ going into game 3 was to keep them off the offensive glass. We did a good job of doing that. We kept Perk off the glass and I think that hurt us a lot in Game 2. We did a better job of it tonight though.”

(Defense on Rondo)
“I thought we did a good job making him shoot jump shots tonight. We know he’s not comfortable and he wants to get in the lane and make plays. I thought we did a good job on pressuring him. We made it uncomfortable for him tonight.”

(Plans for game 4)
“Come out with the same intensity. I think we got it done on the defensive end. We had guys like Bron and Mo who got it going. We got to stick to our game plan.”


HEAD COACH DOC RIVERS

(The adjustment Cleveland made on Rajon Rondo)
“Yeah, he (Anthony Parker) has been on him for two games. So I don’t know if that’s actually an adjustment. It wasn’t our offense. No offense. They shot 62% in the first half. So, offensively I’m not that concerned. It’s tough to run when you’re taking the ball out of bounds every single time. You know, when you think about that they shot 62% in the first half and they still had more offensive rebounds than us, that’s just bad numbers for us. So we’ll live with the Anthony Parker on Rondo matchup like we did in Game Two and we were fine with that. Offensively we didn’t have a lot of movement. There’s no doubt about that. Didn’t go to Kevin (Garnett) enough. And we’ve got to make a concerted effort to continue to go to Kevin. And we didn’t do that. But defensively we were horrible.”

(LeBron James’ first-quarter performance)
“I think he’s healthy. That’s how I’m going to characterize it. His elbow looked very good tonight, and so enough with the elbow injury, alright? I think he’s healthy now, and now we can go ahead and everybody can just focus on basketball. He looked awful good. I mean, he was great. You knew it, though. You knew it coming into the game. We told our guys, you knew he was going to grab the ball and he was going to attack all game, especially early, to get his guys involved. And he did it, but I didn’t think we gave any resistance, you know? I mean, he was playing HORSE.”

(Can you just throw out this game)
“No. You don’t throw it out, because defensively we just – it’s not a lot of , I don’t think, a lot of changing we have to do, but we have to do it harder, better. We have to do it and be on the same page. And so video-wise, you know, they need to see it. They need to see how they moved and how we moved. And then if there are adjustments, we can make them. So, no, you don’t throw it out. I wish you could, but you can’t. In the regular season you throw it out, because you play somebody else the next day. Playoffs, you don’t.”

(Third straight game that Paul Pierce has struggled)
“He’s got to get more involved. He’s got to play better. And defensively, as a group, we got to help him some, and then he’s got to get into LeBron more. So it’s a combination.”

(Free throw discrepancy)
“No, I’ll let you guys talk about the fouls. I think we are attacking as well, but I think I’m going to have to start sending more video in, like they are. Maybe that works.”

(Is the way they played a carry-over from the regular season)
“Well, this time maybe. It hasn’t been through the playoffs. But tonight we were awful. Just didn’t play with a lot of urgency, and they played like with a Game Seven mentality. You could see it early. I thought we had two lousy practices. I thought our preparation was pulling nails. And, so, that was the result.”

(Did the team get overconfident after Monday’s win)
“Well I wish I could answer that. Let’s give Cleveland credit. I thought they came out, they attacked, they played with a sense of urgency, they moved the ball, and they followed their game plan. And then they had a great player, who was phenomenal in the first half. In the first quarter, I thought LeBron completely set the tone of the game. And we didn’t have anybody to respond to him.”

(Did the team’s or crowd’s reaction to fouls snowball)
“I hope not. It could have, but I hope not. I thought we reacted to our offense. One thing I think we’ve been over the last stretch of games is we’ve had a defensive mindset. And I thought early-on, even when the game was close early-on, we reacted to missed shots and carried it down to our defensive end. We are a defensive basketball team, minus tonight. We are a defensive basketball team and we didn’t have a defensive mentality. We had a ‘we’re going to come out and just score points and trade baskets with them’ mentality and we’ll never win that way. Ever.”


RAY ALLEN

(Talk about LeBron’s game)
“He jumped out early. He attacked us. We didn’t have that same aggressiveness on the defensive end or offensively. Just think about it, we let them attack us, continue to attack us. Offensively we didn’t have anything. We didn’t start the game, didn’t move the ball around, like getting good looks. It was just snowballing for three quarters. For three and a half quarters we were playing from behind. They kept attacking, you know we have to do a better job of being aggressive and starting the game.”

(What can you take from the game tonight)
“There is nothing that I can look at or take from it because obviously I can take the lack of aggression we had on display tonight. I can take that and say that on Sunday we have to be the bulldozer.”

(What was it like having a few days off before tonight’s game)
“I do not like sitting around waiting for games. Waiting three, four, days without play, I am excited that it’s early on Sunday. The great thing about the NBA is that we do get to put these games behind us real quickly, a game coming back in almost a day and a half. I am ready for the next game.”

(Talk about Game 4)
“As the game goes on they start to mount. The attention, the excitement definitely mounted. The intensity and anxiousness for us to get out there on the floor grows every game. I am looking forward to it very much.”


KENDRICK PERKINS

(Talk about Cleveland’s defense)
“They attacked, I thought that they made great adjustments on all of our plays when they were on defense. Offensively LeBron came out and attacked, I think he got the ball and was where he was supposed to be. That’s what he does, everybody else pretty much follows his lead.”

(What did the Cavaliers do to win Game 3)
“They were on the floor all night on the defensive end. They were tough, communicating. They knew what they were going to do. Everybody was on the same page. For us, a lack of focus, guys weren’t in the right spots tonight defensively and offensively, but I just think we have to bounce back Sunday.”

(Were you guys too confident coming out of Cleveland)
“I don’t know what it was. I know we had two bad days of practice. We had two bad practices, so I just feel like we need to head forward and have a quick turn around on Sunday, and just get ready to play.”


PAUL PIERCE

(Big win then coming out flat)
“I think we just let our guard down. I think when you come home and you got Game 3 in your home building after taking care of business on the road, you got to come out with a better sense of urgency. You got to know the Cleveland Cavaliers are going to come in here with all the urgency of the world. You know, they took the fight to us early and we didn’t respond to it. It started from the beginning, you know. It’s going to be a long series, hopefully we can bounce back. Terrible loss, you know, it was embarrassing to tell you the truth. It’s embarrassing when you lose at home like that. So, we definitely got our work cut out for us, we know it’s not going to be easy.”

(Two lousy practices and bad defense)
“I just think we weren’t very aggressive. I mean they just got every shot they wanted, they got to the rim when they wanted, we didn’t step up, we didn’t cut off the seams. So, you know, that’s the ballgame when you let a good offensive team like the Cavaliers come in here and shoot the ball and get to the rim, and get to the line; do what they want. So, we definitely hang our hat on our defense and the guys in there have a lot more pride and you can see it in their faces. A lot of guys were mad. But you don’t get this game back, so it’s up to us to get a good practice in tomorrow and try to bounce back on Sunday.”

(Offensive struggles)
“You saying me individually? I mean it doesn’t matter what I do offensively individually. I mean I could have scored 30 tonight and we probably would have lost the game the way we played defense. So, you know the focus is not on me to score 20, 30 points. Obviously I’ve got to shoot the ball a lot better. Get into my spots and do a better job at that. But, it’s not about one person. I mean we played well the first two games and I still haven’t had a big game. So, that’s nothing I’m worried about, I know that’s going to come as the series goes on and it’s just being in the situation. It’s not going to bother me at all, I know I can bounce back but I got to do it within the framework of the team where it’s going to equal wins because, you know, it’s not all about one person.”

(Foul and free throw discrepancy)
“Well, I mean, we fouled, they didn’t. Simple as playing. They were aggressive, we weren’t. That’s usually what happens when a team’s attacking and drawing contact, they’re going to get to the line. The other team, when they’re not getting to the line, they’re not as aggressive. So, like I said, they had us on our heels and we got to do a better job at the beginning. Getting better offensively but also about being better defensively. When we don’t send them to the line, where we move our feet, where we get to the shooters and close off the gaps.”

(What do you do when you’re down 26)
“When you’re down like we were down, it’s just about a sense of pride and getting ready for the next game. Of course you want to try to make a comeback, you never want to give in. But at the same time, you want to keep working, looking at things you can probably do for the next game, and that’s about it. Try to execute, just continue to play ball, don’t look at the score. You know you’re down, so you just got to keep playing, that’s the mindset. Just keep playing no matter what.”