Game 4 Quotes: Cavaliers at Celtics


“I thought Boston beat us to the punch in the first half. We did a better job in the second half, but two areas that we were constantly getting beat in most of the night: transition, they did a great job whether they were made baskets or we turned the ball over and we had a lot of turnovers. But whether we turned the ball over or we made baskets or we missed shots, they got out and they pushed that ball and they pushed that ball aggressively against us and got easy looks in transition especially in the first half. Ray got to the rim for layups, Rondo got to the rim for layups, because of the pressure they were putting on us in transition Ray got some looks from the three-point line; and the transition baskets and the second chance baskets, those hustle categories. At the end of the day we were beaten 36 points to 7 points and that shows that Boston was more aggressive especially in the first half. We did a better job of it in the second half, but we have to try to do it for 48 minutes. We talk about it all the time, the most aggressive team is going to win and that’s probably both teams biggest adjustment; is the aggression. The better job of it in the second half, we ended up getting some turnovers, where they were able to get out and score some buckets in transition. When we got stops and tried to go the other way, they came up with some big offensive rebounds where they were able to put the ball back in. Our weak-side defense was not very good tonight also. I don’t know how many times we got beat backdoor for layups on peoples dribble penetration. That shouldn’t happen to us the way that we play the game with our strong-side defense.”

(Rondo back to Game 2 form)
“You’re right, he did impose his will on the game. Whether it was driving the basketball and looking to try and finish or get to the free throw line or kick or offensive rebounding. He had some key offensive rebounds in that second half that led to buckets. So, Rondo had a huge impact on the game but what we’re worried about more than Rondo is Tony Allen coming off the bench and going 6 for 7 from the floor. You worry about us losing the transition game 23 to 7, us losing the second chance game 13 to 0. Those are areas that you can’t allow to have happen to your team if Rondo’s having the type of game he’s having.”

(A Point Guard who rebound like Rondo)
“He’s got a great nose for the basketball. All of his rebounds aren’t necessarily ones that come right off the rim; if they’re long and they hit that ground and you stand and watch, he’s coming up with them because he’s extremely quick to the ball, he’s got a terrific nose for the ball. So you can’t ever stop playing when he’s out on the floor and one rebound, he was on the baseline, I think he took the ball out of bounds, the shot was taken and he ended up getting the rebound almost at the free throw line because it kicked long. It can’t happen. We can’t afford to give up the second chance opportunities to Rondo like that especially if we’re not getting anything in transition with a total of 7 points.”

(Best rebounding team in the league and smallest player on court gets 18, anger you)
“Oh yeah, it does. We are going to look at it; we’re going to look at his rebounding capabilities. Now he had four offensive rebounds I think and 14 defensive rebounds. We obviously weren’t making shots, shooting 40% from the field and he’s long and he’s active, so he did a heck of a job on that end of the floor. But, in that second half, we can’t give up the type of offensive rebounds that we gave up especially around that free throw line area, elbow area, or the 50-50 balls.”

(First Quarter)
“They came out as the aggressor. We got some stops initially, we moved the ball well, I thought we stepped into our shots at the beginning of the game and finished around the basket and then they just picked up their aggression, especially in transition. Rondo started pushing the basketball, they got us on their heels and got into the paint and they got some easy looks. And once we slowed them down a little bit in transition, we were able to get back into the game. But, it’s going to be tough if we allow those guys to get out the way that they did tonight in transition and force that issue to have 23 fast break points.”

(LeBron’s aggression)
“He was obviously more aggressive in the second half than in the first. You know, I have not talked to him. You’ll have to talk to him and ask him what is mindset was throughout the course of the game.”

(Explain lack of intensity compared to regular season)
“There is no explanation for it, we’re just not doing it. We have to do a better job. We talk about it, we preach it, our guys even talk about it and preach it. Now we’ve just got to go out and do it. It’s a 48-minute game, we can’t afford to play a half on the road against a team like this. Even at home, during the playoffs, you can’t afford to play a half, you can’t afford to play a quarter, you can’t even afford to play three-quarters of a basketball game. You have to come out and you got to establish yourself from the beginning; you’ve got to set the tone and it’s got to be there for 48 minutes of the ball game and tonight it wasn’t.”

(Both team’s benches)
“Obviously we didn’t get the point production that they did from our bench. But Tony Allen impacted the basketball game, I don’t think he- I could be wrong, but I don’t think he hit a jump-shot tonight. But he beat us backdoor for layups, he beat us in transition for layups, and he beat us for some hustle points for layups. We can’t afford to let him go 6 for 7 from the field and impact the game the way that he did. So, you got to give him credit, he did a terrific job moving without the ball, being tough, active, physical, and running in transition for those layups.”

(Rondo feed off missed baskets for transition)
“It’s not just missed baskets, they scored a couple of baskets off our made baskets. I think one, KG got a layup down the floor after we made a bucket and Rondo threw the assist over the top. So, again, we’ve got to do a better job of not allowing those easy opportunities to happen, especially when we’re working our tail off just to try to get a look.”


(Celtics fast-breaking despite being older team)
“They may be one of the older teams but Rondo is one of the youngest players on the playoffs. His quickness and his speed gets them out on the break and he creates for himself and creates for others so he’s doing a good job. It doesn’t matter of those guys are running with him, he’s getting the ball up the floor. We’re sending one or two guys towards him to try to help in transition. Then sometimes he’s kicking out for threes or he’s creating for others.”

Re not playing with aggression tonight “I think we played well. They came out and, I mean we started the game extremely well. They came out with a lot of energy and then they turned it up and we were able to weather the storm in the late third going into the fourth. It’s a two point game to start the fourth. Then they turned us over a couple of times, got some easy buckets, and just turned the game around. I don’t feel like as a team our aggression was down. We went to the free throw line 39 times so that’s really aggressive. I think for myself I was inconsistent sometimes coming off pick and rolls if I wanted to shoot it or make passes and I turned the ball over uncharacteristic of myself. All in all we were aggressive as a team.”

(Double edge sword of beating a team as bad as you beat Celtics game 3)
“No, because its just one game, it’s just one win. We didn’t look too far into it, it was just a game that we wanted to win and we took care of business in winning that game. They came back and took care of business; it’s not a double edged sword. If you look into it too far it could be bad for you but if you win by ten, win by thirty or won by one it’s just one game.”

(Shaq getting 5th foul in 4th quarter)
“First of all Shaq played extremely well and I was kind of surprised not to see him back on the floor the whole fourth quarter. But they definitely turned it around after that point. They were able to get some stops, get some runouts. Big Baby was able to get a few layups. Tony Allen was able to get a layup or two. They were able to go up ten really fast in that fourth quarter. They used their speed, they countered our aggression to their speed and they turned the game around.”

(Surprise at no second chance points in a playoff series)
“We wish we can, we would like to get more second chance points. We would like to keep them off the break. They had 13-0 second chance points, 23-7 fast break points. We would like to create a little more tempo, especially getting up and down the floor offensively but it wasn’t there for us to have. We had opportunities, we turned the ball and missed some shots. Those are things that you hope to control but we didn’t.”

(Team effort for the Celtics)
“I thin kit starts with Rondo. He’s kind of their energy who really gets them going as far as running down the court and making plays. He does everything for them and you can see it tonight. His performance was unbelievable. For him to have 18 rebounds for a point guard was great. 13 assists means he’s getting everyone involved and he’s getting himself involved. It’s always a team effort because it’s a team game but Rondo was definitely the difference maker.” Re Shaq’s play “I don’t want to dwell on the past but tonight he did great. When Shaq goes to the line 11 times he’s being really aggressive. That’s what we want out of him. We don’t like him being in foul trouble because it takes his aggression away but when he has 11 free throws attempts we know he’s into the game, into it with himself. That was good to see.”

(Rondos uniqueness)
“He’s really unique. You have a guy that’s 6-1 but he has like a 6-9 wingspan but he plays much bigger than he looks because of his long arms. His speed and quickness, his ability to just play the game. He knows how to play the game and he exploits any, if you mess up on a coverage he’s going to exploit it or get someone else involved. He’s an unbelievable talent and a rare talent we have in this league with the size and the speed that he has.”

(You taking a shot at guarding Rondo)
“I mean I would, I would love to. It’s something that we should explore because Rondo is definitely dominating this series at the point guard position. For me, I don’t have a problem taking Rondo or guarding Rondo throughout the course of the game. If the coaching staff or the guys want me to do it I will.”

(Rondo faking layup and went behind his back did you think you had him)
“If he would have laid it up I would have, of course. That’s why he went behind the back.”

(Taking rondo like you took derrick rose last series)
“Derrick Rose it was in throughout the course of the game and I decided to take him. It’s a different team because Boston has more options offensively than Chicago had at the time and I was able to guard Derrick Rose in that situation. They had Kirk Heinrich, Derrick Rose and I think maybe James Johnson was on the court at the time so our smalls was able to switch off to James Johnson to Kirk, so I was able to switch off to Derrick Rose at the time. Sometimes it’s difficult when Mo’s on the court and Delonte’s on the court, for me to switch off on Rondo because Paul’s in the game. We can’t put Delonte or Mo on Paul because of the size advantage. When the opportunity presents itself, if it does present itself, I would take the challenge. But they kind of counter what we have on the court so I can’t switch on to him. So it’s me guarding Paul for most of the game.”

(Used up energy in the fourth)
“We just had turnovers, we had some careless turnovers. We missed a couple threes. Myself and AP missed some, some really good looks. They just got on the break. When they get out on the break they get layups, they get open threes and we didn’t do a good job of getting back in transition.”


(turnovers being forced or unforced)
“I think it was a well played game. Both teams were being aggressive on the defensive end. It was actually a well played game, a game of runs. It was a game of who was going to make the bigger plays at the time. Yes we had some mental lapses but we didn’t take advantage of the opportunities we had. We just got to go into game 5 and make some adjustments and see what we need to get better throughout the game.”

(Rondo’s game tonight)
“It’s major. You go out and compete against a guy everyday but obviously you’ve got to be a fan of the game and, what we call in the urban world, you can’t be a hater. When a guy has a game like that you’ve got to tip your hat to him, but at the same time we’ll see him in game 5 in Cleveland.”

(What can you do to stop Rondo?)
“We’ll figure that out. We’re a good enough team to figure that out. He’s a good player so got to give credit where credit is due but one player can’t beat us. He did great today and we still had the game in our hands and I still think on our part we gave that game away. It was our game to have. I thought the mistakes we made to ourselves lost that game but you got to give credit where credit is due he had a hell of a game.”

“I mean they’re a good defensive team, we are too. So we know what we want to take away. You look at Ray, he’s one for eight from the 3 point line, a great shooter we know that so we’re going to take that away. Obviously they know that LeBron drives and kicks to myself. I mean I haven’t had an open look all series from the 3 point line and that’s why I’ve been attacking the rim. With that being said you have to adjust, that’s what the playoffs is all about and that’s what we have done. I think we took a lot of three’s today. I think probably the first game we been in this high of three point numbers. We got to keep attacking if they’re going to give us that and get a win in game 5.”


(Rondo grabbing 18 rebounds)
“He does a lot of roaming and we didn’t shoot the ball well tonight throughout the game. Sometimes when you have a knack, he did a great job of getting off his guy and really attacking the rebounding, the boards, so forth. All around a great game. The guy is seeing the ball, he knew we were going under on the pick and roll and he was being more aggressive and willing to take that shot. He converted on those and also did a great job rebounding and getting the ball out and getting out in transition. We just got to do a better job with him and so forth, do a great job with Paul and go from there offensively.”

(Celtics energy tonight)
“The most important thing is to come out and really be aggressive throughout the game. We knew they was embarrassed as far as what happened in game 3 so just got to do a better job of understanding their energy. Most importantly, we can’t let them control the paint they way we did. Second chance opportunities. We did a great job the first couple games we scored on points in transition and then tonight we missed rebounding opportunities. Just come out with great energy defensively. We really got beat to a few balls and we got to work.”


(The way Rajon Rondo pushed the ball and rebounded)
“And passed it, and scored. I mean, he was absolutely sensational tonight. And, you know, I feel for him at times because with foul trouble, again, his rest periods are getting taken away from him, for us. It’s just tough. Obviously what he is doing is absolutely unbelievable. The rebounding, the energy that he’s playing with. You know, it’s funny, the stat that doesn’t show – maybe it’s good I don’t have a stat sheet – was his ball pressure. I thought that was the biggest, biggest part of the entire game. We didn’t feel like we applied much ball pressure at all in Game Three. And, you know, unfortunately for Rondo that’s his job, him and Tony (Allen.) And I thought that was the biggest difference because they didn’t get into their stuff as quickly as they did in Game Three. And it allowed us to help and do other things, and that was Rondo. To me, that might have been the hardest thing he had to do tonight. And we were concerned about that robbing him of his energy. And then to go out and do the rebounding and the passing and the scoring, it was just an amazing effort.”

(Does he need Rondo to play this many minutes every night)
“I hope not. We had worked on a line-up without Rondo to give him three or four minutes each half. So we could take him down to the 42-minute, 40-minute mark. Unfortunately the line-up that we worked on, they all had four fouls. It’s tough, because the guys are guarding LeBron (James.) You know, Ray (Allen) and Paul (Pierce), I thought, and Tony, I thought they all did a very good job on him. But the fouls were mounting for us. And it’s an issue; it’s a concern for us.”

(Defensive rebounding, not allowing second-chance scoring, and getting Rondo out to run the break)
“You know, multiple stops means Rondo in open court. It’s been our saying all year: we can get multiple stops, it gets Rondo with speed, it gets our team in rhythm. If we’re going to give them second shots like we did in Game Three, if we’re going to foul them and then allow them to shoot 60%, you just can’t win that game because it becomes a walk-the-ball-up-the-floor game. It allows them to help off of Rondo. When we get stops you’re back-peddling with Rondo. It’s an entirely different offense for us.”

(Was this a total team effort?)
“Yeah, that’s so true. Everybody – Rasheed (Wallace.) Rasheed was amazing tonight. Energy and rebounding and just, he did so many of the little things. Tony Allen may have been the biggest reason we won after Rondo. Kevin (Garnett). Ray got it going for a stretch. Now, Ray’s defense has been tremendous in the series for us. So that’s what we need, you know, that’s who we are. We told them that going into Game One: individually, Cleveland’s pretty good; we’re not going to win that match. But collectively, as a team, we have a shot. We have a chance. And we have to stay that way. And that’s the way we have to think.”

(From 2008 to now, how it’s becoming more and more about Rondo running the team and not just about the Big Three)
“Yeah it is. I mean, he’s a point-guard now that runs our team and has complete control of our team. When we won it, he was still learning how to be a point guard. He was still trying to figure out how to help a team just win. Now we rely on him to win.”

(Rasheed’s defensive contributions)
“It’s what we needed. You know, it’s funny, Rasheed got a lot of play after Game Two, because he shot the ball well and he scored points and I made the point of saying, ‘That looks good and that was great for us.’ But we’re going to win this series because Rasheed plays defense. And that’s what he did today. You look at his line and he was 0-for-3; he only had three rebounds. But he was deflecting, blocking shots, clogging the lane, fouling hard. That’s what we need from him, and it was great to see.”

(Tony Allen)
“Tony was great. He was just attacking. Our saying with Tony is, ‘Don’t let him off the hook,’ meaning don’t bail him out with a jump shot. Take it to the basket. That’s who you are, and there’s nothing wrong with being that. I think a lot of players take that personally where you’re telling me not to shoot. Well we really are in some ways, but we’re telling you to get your shot. And if your shot is attacking the basket, then do it. And I think Tony’s doing a great job of that.”

(Paul Pierce hasn’t gotten going yet, so is he comfortable with his chances)
“Well I felt comfortable before. And all of us have to. And so do they. Both teams do. We knew it would be a tough series for him, honestly, defensively. That guy is a monster over there. He takes a lot of, lot of energy away from you. Part of the reason Paul is struggling is because he’s been in foul trouble in every game. And it’s tough to get a rhythm when you get it going, you get two fouls, you have to sit back down. And we’re playing the minute-game with you. Trying to squeeze every minute with other people. And then you’re worried, you become tentative because you’re worried about charges, you’re worried about fouls. It’s just tough. But you take one for the team, and sometimes that may be guarding LeBron, is taking one for the team. And I think Paul’s doing a terrific job of that.”

(His personal time developing Rondo)
“Yeah, you know, I don’t think a coach – it’s a good question – I don’t think a coach ever, I mean, hell, the first thing I told him after the game was it was a terrible double-team late in the game which made Kevin foul and he was laughing. So probably the curse for Rondo was I was a point guard. And that may be good and probably bad at times for him as well. But Rondo, what’s gratifying to me is just seeing him work. The play will come; always think that. You work hard enough, the results eventually will come for you. And I said it after Game One: he’s put in a lot of time. And he’s done that. That’s not for me or anybody else. He did that, and that’s why he’s playing well.”

(When they win games they win 50/50 plays)
“Well we have to. They have so much, so many individually talented players. And then if we let them win the hustle game, too, come on. It’s tough for us to win that game. We have to get the deflections, the loose balls, take the charges. Be the better rebounding team. It’s a must for us. And when we do it, we have a shot. And when we don’t do it, they become really good.”


(Way he pushed and rebounded)
“I think the best way for us as a team to start a fast break is when I rebound. I had a mind set to just try to help the bigs on the boards, they take a lot of threes so that means there’s going to be a lot of long rebounds o I just try to get as many as possible, I didn’t know I would come up with 18.”

(Increasing pace in fourth quarter)
“Yeah the game got tight, but a lot of teams would probably slow it down and get good shots. I turned the ball over a couple of times but other than that I was trying to just keep attacking. Baby had a couple of leak outs, Tony as well, Tony and I were on a break together a couple of times so I just wanted to continue to attack because that’s how we got the lead at first, and I just tried to continue to do the same thing.”

(MVP chants at free throw line)
“That’s cool, the MVP is over with, but the fans were great. The biggest thing was that I knocked both of them down so that’s what I was most proud of. I just tried to keep continuing to get to the line and when they started chanting I just tried to make them.”

(At what point did you realize how big his numbers were and what did he think when he saw them)
“I didn’t know, it was after the game, about time. Except for the rebounds, I didn’t know I had that many rebounds but I just tried to be aggressive. In game three they won the 50-50 game, they had maybe 11 or 12 offensive rebounds in that game, I don’t know how many they had tonight but I just try to help the bigs as much as possible. But when our guards rebound we are definitely tough to beat because that’s how we start our break.”

(Taking fight to the Cavs on defense)
“For me, it started with me. Defense starts with me, so I tried to pick up full court as much as possible without tiring myself out and being able to attack them at the end. Doc kept asking me was I tired, if so I could come out and get a quick breather. The last couple days he was preaching for me to be aggressive on the defensive end, picking p Mo Williams, picking up Delonte, whoever brought the ball up the court trying to make them milk some clock, which they did to us game three, they picked up their aggressiveness on the defensive end so we tried to return that in game four.”

(Collective effort)
Everyone played great including Rasheed, Perk played well defensively, made Shaq take some tough shots. It was a collective team effort, I had a couple of numbers tonight but the biggest thing is that we got the win, that’s the bottom line.”

(Run two years go being all about big 3 and now being focus of series and controlling team)
“I’m just trying to become a better leader. MY numbers tonight were what they were but we still go through the big three, they’re the main focal point. That’s why I’m ale to get so many open looks and be so aggressive because they are trying to take something away from Paul, Kevin, or Ray. I’m just able to capitalize on some of the mistakes they make defensively, as well as offensively as well.”

(Play when LeBron was chasing him down on break)
“He’s always chasing me down, he’s had a lot of top ten plays and blocks on my layups so I knew on that situation. I think what they try to do is Mo tries to run the guard down and slow him up and that enables Bron to get his timing together. I knew exactly on that play he was coming, I saw it out of the corner of my eye when I started to break, Baby made a great pass. I told the guys in the huddle to continue to run with me because they were trying to block my shot in the first half and I wasn’t converting and I would get the ball to the rim and they were able to get the offensive rebound. On that particular play I knew LeBron was coming, I had to sell it as if I was going to la it up and he jumped and I made the pass and Tony finished the play.”

(Is it a challenge to be a leader on a team of veterans)
“It’s a little bit of a challenge, but they are guys that respect me and what I do. I’m sure I wouldn’t be here if they didn’t want me leading this team. From day one when they made that big trade, I think 7 or 8 players were traded that summer. Like I said I’m here obviously for a reason, those guys trusted me, the staff trusted me and the organization did. So I’m very confident in what I do, Doc and I are becoming better coach and players on the same court, we’re always on the same page it feels, that’s how I feel. As far as being a leader I just have to continue maturing, each year I’m going to continue to get better, this is my fourth year with the team third leading the team. The starting five has been together for three years now, and we just have a better feel for each other.”

(Turning down shots or getting other guys involved)
“I turn down a lot of shots, I took a lot tonight but Danny told me the most important thing is FGA’s for me personally. He told me that a couple years back when we played the Lakers in the series hen Kobe was checking me and playing me the same way. I have to mix it up, stay aggressive and take my shots but at the same time if they’re going to give me those shots I’m going to shoot them but I have to pick my poison when I’m going to pass up, try to keep guys in the offense. I don’t have the mindset to just keep shooting the ball, I’m a pass first point guard so I always want to keep guys involved and keep them playing on the other end of the floor.”


(What was the difference between Game 3 and Game 4?)
“The difference between the two games was our pressure. I thought that tonight we put a lot of pressure on them. I thought that we were aggressive. I thought that the offense did not dictate the defense. We viewed this as a Game 7. We knew that this was not the team that you want to be behind. I thought from A-to-Z, we just pressured and we continued to fight and we were aggressive for 48 minutes.”

(Rondo had a big game, talk about how he makes a difference for the team.)
“Rondo, this is quit a state-line that I haven’t seen in a long time. I told you that he was getting better. You see it in practice, you see what he puts in to it. I am always in his ear telling him loose stuff, but the kid wants it, he wants it bad. He makes things easy to be honest. He’s driving, putting pressure on the defense. He is very smart. He knows when to stop and go. He knows when to pick up speed. He knows when to slow it down, call sets. This game is just a stitch in his maturity. It’s a great win for us, but over all, this is a hell of a stat–line.”

(Talk about Rondo’s shift in quarterbacking the team now than two years ago.)
“Well, the difference is that we really didn’t have any expectations. I think that the first year, you can look at us on paper we were decent. From paper alone, people viewed us as ‘paper champs’ if you want to say that. I really don’t think that he was really on the radar, and I think that it bothered him a little bit. He is a very powerful person, a very competitive player. You could just see even last year that he started to take that steps to be better. This summer was no different from when I seen him in the summer, and how he had developed on some of the things that he was working on. Any time you hire people to work on certain parts of your game, if not your body, if not your mind, that’s when you’re really taking the next steps to evaluate and get better. It is just good to see it pay off. It’s the reason you work your butt off in the summer time to have games like this.”

(Talk about your defensive effort tonight.)
“If you look at game 2 and you look at tonight’s game we were a lot more talkative in those two games. Game 3 I thought we were complacent, we sat back and waited on punches to be hit and I thought that tonight we threw punches and actually punched first. We was firm and aggressive, I mean LeBron is so good that it is going to take a valid effort on all five of us out there. As long as we can control everybody else, and as long as we keep the supporting cast in tack, I think we got a good chance in beating this team.”


(Did Doc talk to you guys before the start of today’s game.)
“He really didn’t say anything. You know he doesn’t have to say anything. He gives that phenomenal speech that he always does, a great motivational speaker.”

(Talk about the energy that you and Tony Allen had today.)
“It was important because that’s what we do. We need to help the team in any kind of way, and just being energy guys out there playing and making the right plays at the right time.”

(How big was it to come out here and play after the Friday’s performance?)
“It was big because we got to defend home court. To come here after a big loss like that in Game 3, we came out here in Game 4 and took the tempo.”