Game 5 Quotes: Cavaliers vs. Celtics


(On tonight’s game):
“It was a tough game. It was a disappointing game. There was little that we did right throughout the course of the game. We can’t dismiss this game, we have got to look at it and see what we can do better in the next game. But, we have to get ready for Game 6. We will learn a lot about ourselves in Game 6 in Boston and that’s what we have to get ready for.”

(On LeBron having an off night tonight):
“It is unlike him. He had an off night tonight, which is abnormal. He brings it for us almost every night and he tried to bring it tonight, but it was an off day. He will be ready to go in Game 6.”

(On hitting more open shots):
“If we have an open look, we have to keep stepping in and knocking them down. You’ve got to give Boston credit, they’re doing a great job of when we do get open looks, flying out and contesting and trying to run us off the three-point line as best as they can. So, we either have got to let it go or attack the rim, one of the two. But, we have to keep being aggressive offensively.”

(On what the team needs to do to improve on defense):
“We have to do a better job with our team defense. Mo had gotten beat a couple of times, but there were times also where we didn’t play the right defense behind him. We have always been a defensive team that says, ‘Hey guard your man first, but if you do get beat, you rely on your help behind you.’ We didn’t do a great job at that. We will take a look at the tape and see what adjustments we need to make to get ready for Game 6.”

(On getting Antawn Jamison more involved):
“We played pick and pop with him, which he had success at because KG is trying to show and get back. He just needs to keep driving the ball and seeing if he can get to the free-throw line. Putting pressure on their bigs: he did a great job of doing that in the last game. That’s something that he has got to continue to do and we will keep trying to mix in his number in there every once in awhile so he might get some looks off of pin downs and/or some short isos.”

(On cutting down Boston’s second chance points and turnovers):
“We have just got to go out and get it done, there’s nothing more to it. Second chance points, we have got to put bodies on bodies on the back side and not allow them to have any putbacks and/or rebounds. The times that they did rebound the basketball, especially when the game was close, they kicked the ball out and Ray (Allen) hit a three. To have that after having a good defensive possession, it can be disheartening and it happened to us a couple of times. We have to understand that we have got to keep bodies on bodies, we have got to come up with those loose balls, we have got to come up with those offensive rebounds that they are getting so that they can’t dominate us in that area of the game. And then we have got to take care of the ball. In the last game, we didn’t play well, but we had a chance to win if we would’ve taken care of those two as well as the transition game.”


(On 3-14 shooting tonight and their defense):
“Their defense had a little bit to do with it because they were on the court and they were very aggressive. I just missed a lot of shots. I missed a lot of open shots, shots I’m capable of making. You don’t see it out of me a lot so when it happens it’s a big surprise. I will go over the film but they played me the same way they have played me all series. I just wasn’t able to knock down those shots that I was able to get some good looks at.”

(On being more aggressive):
“I wasn’t able to knock any shots down from the field but I was still able to get to the free throw line early in the game. I don’t think it was a change, I play according to the game and see how it’s flowing. We had a great flow. I wasn’t able to get anything offensively going for myself, but I was still able to do some other things, get some rebounds, get some assists and get guys going earlier in the game.”

(On Paul Pierce):
“Paul came out aggressive. He did a good job of just trying to attack and just trying to get a good feeling for the game. He didn’t shoot the ball particularly well from the field but he was aggressive, he was able to get 11 rebounds also while doing. He is a good enough player that you can’t stop, you just hope to contain him. He was able to get it going; most of their team, their entire starting five, especially the Big Three had it going all game.”

(On his elbow):
“It felt good. So I had no problems with it.”

(On last Cavs game this season):
“I didn’t even think about that. Game 6 is a huge game for us. Game 5 was huge for us. We just didn’t play particularly well all game. I think in the first quarter we did. We didn’t in the 2nd, 3rd or the 4th but me saying that this is potentially my last game here for the season, it wouldn’t be me, wouldn’t be our team.”

(On if the team is still trying to find their identity):
“I don’t think so. We know what it takes to win as a team, but at the same time we haven’t played great basketball and that’s been all of the playoffs. We have had a few stretches, a few quarters, a few games where we played particularly well. For a collective group we haven’t played great basketball through the playoffs. I don’t think it’s an identity thing. I think it’s a consistently thing.”

(On how the Celtics played with Rondo out of the game):
“The Big Three had it going consistently. Especially Ray. (He) had it going. Especially from the outside of the arc and KG had it going in the paint. That’s what Hall of Famers do. When a guy goes to the bench, those guys stepped it up. Those guys were great tonight. All three of them and then Rondo did what he had to do in the second half.”

(On if he’s worried about the series):
I’m not worried. I think the thing that you’re worried about is our inconsistent play. We haven’t been there consistently throughout the playoffs. As far as worried about the series, I’m not worried about it. It’s a good team that we’re going against and you would hope that you can be up 3-2 at this point, but we’re not. The next opportunity is this Thursday.”


(On getting back into the series):
“Everyone has to come out and want to play defense. We know what we have to do and we just have to go out and win two. Simple as that. It’s hard to beat a team who has five or six guys in double-figures. We just have to go out and play hard.”


(On Pierce, Garnett, Ray Allen tonight):
“You have to give credit where credit is due. They did a great job as far as playing an all-around game. They got guys involved, they all got going and hitting shots. We did a good job on Rondo in the first half, but he came out and played well in the second half. We let one guy control the series, but you knew the ‘Big Three’ were going to get it going at some point. Not only them, but their whole team tonight pretty much did whatever they wanted to do. It’s disappointing that we put ourselves in this situation where we have to win. If we want to be called champions, we have to do what champions do and that’s win on the road to bring it back here for Game 7.”

(On Boston playing well without Rondo):
“He was out and they kept us off balance with getting everyone involved. KG did a great job posting up. Paul did a great job getting shots for himself and others. Ray Allen’s been doing what he’s been doing all series in coming off pin downs and hitting tough shots. For us, we were very stagnant on offense and that really fueled them in getting into a comfort level. They were crisp offensively and kept us on our heels the whole time defensively. You can’t let a championship-caliber team get into a rhythm like that offensively.”

(On the team’s defense tonight):
“As a team, they kept us on our heels and off balance. Then when we did get stops, they got second chance opportunities. That was a point of emphasis coming into the game to not let them get second chance opportunities. You just have to give them credit. They moved the ball and got to where they wanted to get to. You’re going to have off nights offensively, but you have to rely on your defense. Tonight, our defense didn’t come through at all.”


(On letting the game slip away):
“It was tough because everyone’s mindset was to come out and be aggressive. As the game kept going, we had a lot of lapses defensively and we let them get comfortable.”

(On the team’s defense):
“It’s hard to put your finger on it (why the defense has slipped). You have to give that team a lot of credit. For us, it’s understanding that as the series goes on, you have to learn what that team likes to do. Right now, our backs are against the wall and we have to pull out all the stops.”

(On Pierce, Garnett and Ray Allen tonight):
“Those guys came to play. That’s the thing you don’t want is for them all to get out there and get comfortable. They’re a great team and we have to take certain things away. If one guy gets it going, we have to take the other guys away.”


(On slowing the pace down tonight):
“I thought the execution was great. I thought the first six or seven minutes, both teams were going way too fast. When we used the one timeout, we just tried to slow them down and get the ball to move again. Once we got to moving the ball again, offensively, and sharing it and playing together, we were in pretty good shape…Everybody wanted to win the game. I just thought we came out, in the first five minutes, with each guy individually trying to win it on his own. We’re not good that way. We just can’t play basketball that way. I thought once we started sharing (the ball), we were in good shape.”

(On adjustments made at halftime to come out strong in the third quarter):
“That’s just guys making shots. We didn’t make any adjustments at all. We were really upset at the end of the half giving up that three point play…we talked about it all year, on offensive rebounds, if you don’t have a quick put up, throw it out. That’s the best time to get three’s, off of offensive rebounds and we did that. I actually thought the biggest stretch of the game was the second quarter when we took Rondo out…For seven or eight minutes. It was huge for us because we didn’t lose the lead. We actually extended it a little bit and it allowed Rondo to be fresh to start the third quarter and I thought that was huge for us. Tony Allen and that group that was in did a great job.”

(On if they tried to exploit Mo Williams in the third quarter):
“No. Obviously, we’re trying to play in-out basketball. When Mo picked up the foul, you try to be aggressive because he’s scary on the floor. You’d rather have him off the floor if you can get it that way. We were just sharing the ball, running our stuff and the ball found the open guy for the most part.”

(On Pierce, Garnett and Ray Allen):
“They’re pretty good. We’re not going to stop (going to them)….You can feel (Paul’s) intensity. He got his rhythm back. You can feel it and that was great. Not only for him, I think it’s great for our other guys to see. In a Game Five situation when it’s 2-2 and you can feel that your top scorer is here. I think that lifted everybody.”

(On bringing how they’re playing on the road, home):
“I joked with our guys and said that we’re going to send the wives to Cleveland tomorrow, so they can be by themselves. I don’t know what it is. We play well at home during the playoffs. We’ve lost one game. The regular season is what it is. We get to go back home. One of the things I told our guys is we’ve done nothing. We’ve won three games and you have to win four. We have a home game but that’s it for us in this series. It’s a very important home game for us. I think the veterans are the key. They’ve’ been here before.”

(On Pierce’s defense on LeBron):
“It was team defense. It really was. I thought our guys got into his air space. They showed help the entire game. Every single guy was in the right spot on the nail, protecting the nail the entire game. I thought that was more than one individual. I thought as a group, tonight was one of our best defensive jobs. As far as being in help and getting back out to recover. That’s terrific…Paul had it going. I really thought we did a better job helping Paul out. I thought there have been a lot of times where we’ve left Paul on an island defensively…Today the talking and the help was there which allowed him to stay out of foul trouble.”

(On what he thinks it does to the Cavs when they limit LeBron):
“I don’t know. We had to limit (LeBron), but we had to get back out to their shooters. I thought that was more important. Sagging in the paint and taking LeBron’s driving lanes away is important. He’s still going to get there. He’s a monster…What I was more proud of was that we were able to do that and get back out to their shooters. Usually when you do one, the other one opens up and LeBron knows that. He’s such an excellent passer. Our guys did a great job reading the pass and getting back out into space.”

(On getting Rondo rest):
“Rondo was tired. You could see it. He was tired. He needed it for whatever reason, he got tired early. Then, honestly, you just sub by the score. I just kept looking at the clock and the score. We weren’t losing the lead, we actually increased it. We took the lead and increased it and it allowed him to sit. If Tony hadn’t have said he was tired, (Rondo) would have sat another couple of minutes, but Tony came to me and said ‘I need a rest’. That’s the only reason Rondo even came back in at that point.”

(On how Rondo handled the increased attention):
“He was really good. I was concerned by that. (He) is so young and I couldn’t turn the TV on or read a paper. It was Rondo this, Rondo that and I was like ‘Please just be quiet people, stop it’. Because it’s tough. When you’re young, that’s a lot of attention, but I thought he handled it perfect. We kept just telling him ‘Your job is to run the team. Don’t worry about matchups just run the team’ and he’s doing a great job. The plays he’s calling out on the floor without a coaches call, you have no idea how good he’s been and it’s great for me.”


(On his performance tonight):
“I wanted to be more aggressive, getting set up in the paint. Just from watching the film, there were more opportunities I could get in the paint and stop and get my mid-range jumper, and, find other guys and they stepped up tonight. So, it really didn’t matter tonight who was going to guard me. I was planning on being aggressive anyway.”

(On Celtics balanced scoring):
“That’s the beauty of our team. It makes us so dangerous. When you look at Cleveland, you know you’ve got to stop LeBron (James). With us, any number of guys, we’ve got four or five guys, who can lead us in scoring. From me, (Rajon) Rondo, Ray (Allen), KG (Kevin Garnett), Rasheed Wallace is capable, so that’s the beauty of our team. You never know where it’s going to come from and that’s what makes us so dangerous. Different guys stepping up on different nights.”


(On Paul Pierce):
“He was very active tonight. Paul was aggressive on both ends. I thought he was very talkative. It was so loud in here and one of the voices you did hear all night was his. I thought the fact that he helped us on the boards, getting in there and getting loose balls, getting his hands on balls, being aggressive and putting the onus on the defense, we’ll need that from him. That was the difference.”

(On defending LeBron James):
“We just changed up looks. You can’t play at his status, his ability, he’s so damn good. Some of the schemes, we were just trying to slow him down and put an extra body in places where he sees a group in a cloud, to test his shots, so on and so on. Nothing that we haven’t been doing since we started the series.”

(On when James became frustrated tonight):
“I wouldn’t say he was necessarily frustrated, but I could see that he was trying to throw the onus on himself. He was very aggressive, you could see him ducking his head and going to the basket. He was trying to set up guys and get them easy shots. One of the things that he usually does, you could see him start taking over the game because he was getting fouled, he was getting and-ones. Then, he comes down and sucks the defense in and he kicks out and they hit threes. That’s dangerous and I thought we did a good job of crowding him, contesting his shot and controlling everybody else. But, if you know anybody who gives two cents about this game and is very, very competitive, anything like me, then they’re going to go home and watch this tape; probably not eat, probably not sleep much and be ready for game six. So, we have to be ready for that. We can’t put the onus on a game seven back here in this building.”

(On James’s future in Cleveland and Celtics role in game six):
“Our focus right now is game six. All the other stuff that surrounds LeBron and Cleveland, that’s his business. I have nothing to add to that.”

(On Celtics in the paint tonight):
“We wanted to be aggressive when we were on the post- a lot of post presence. I thought Paul was aggressive tonight, I was trying to be aggressive. I thought Ray (Allen) shooting the outside ball opened things up on the inside. Rondo was effective and aggressive. We had a lot of fouls, and if you look at our fouls, a couple of guys had five. But, I think when we’re aggressive on both ends, especially on defense, it’s hard to beat us. I really, really, truly believe that. We’re a defensive team that can score the ball and at the end of the day, I think we hang our hat on that.”


(On the game tonight):
“It was a good win. Today we had to come out and make sure that we executed and played good defense, and we did that. We made sure that we stayed up the whole game…It’s not over. We still have to go home and defend our home court.”

(On the importance of Game 6):
“It’s Game 7 for us. It’s a must win. We have to win this game. We have to go home and make sure that we finish, and our crowd has to help us also. We don’t want to come back to Cleveland.”

(On defending LeBron James):
“Paul, Ray and Tony Allen switched on him a couple of times and we frustrated him a lot today. We made sure that he didn’t get any freebies. He was aggressive and he got a lot of our bigs in foul trouble, but we took the punch that he was delivering and we made sure that we (did what we had to do to) win the game.”

(On his performance tonight):
“It felt good to go out there and contribute. My job is to do the little things. I know that I’m able to shoot when I’m open, and guys found me when I was open. Some things happened at the right time and at the right moment.”

(On the Cavaliers effort tonight):
“You saw a little fight taken out of them when we started hitting big shots…We started putting the pressure on them a little bit more, but they’re a great team and they’re going to keep fighting.”


(On the game tonight):
“When we start going to Kevin early, he has been real dominant in the post. Offensively, we stayed patient. Early in the night we rushed. We rushed shots. We were kind of helter skelter and Doc said we were all trying to win the game by ourselves. Then we started going to Kevin in the post and worked it inside out. We set great screens and I got some good looks. I like the way we were focused. Everybody was zoned in on the task. We got back in transition. Offensively, for the most part we didn’t take a lot of bad shots. The turnovers were low which kept them from getting in transition and even when they did, everybody got back, so we took the easy buckets away from them.”

(On playing their best basketball of the season in the playoffs):
“We talk about the process and not getting bored with it and trying to figure out ways to get better every game. No matter how, or who you play, trying to figure out ways to get better, regardless of the outcome (is key). There were a lot of nights we were disappointed, but we tried to find ways to get better. The playoffs are the same. You lose a game, but you go back to the drawing board. You don’t get to excited and too happy (when you win). We are not celebrating (now) because we haven’t won anything.”

(On his two three pointers to start the third quarter):
“It got us off to a great start. We haven’t been great in the third quarter during the regular season, but our focus has been great in the playoffs. Execution is what we pride ourselves on.”

(On his offensive strategy):
“Even if I didn’t get the shot, I knew I was running for someone else. I was trying to run as hard as I could and just go back and forth and make them react. Our bigs are going to get layups, so that’s why it is important for me, regardless of how my offense is going, to keep my mind right and in tune, and make sure I’m giving different looks (to the defense).”

(On Paul Pierce tonight):
“He attacked. His shots haven’t been falling and we have been picking up the slack. Tonight he came out and was aggressive. We tried to make sure we got him easy looks, and that was a beautiful thing that he didn’t have to work so hard to get easy scoring opportunities. He was aggressive defensively as well.”