Re: Pierce's mindset coming into the game:
"Well I don’t know. Whatever it was, it was great. It was efficient, though. A lot of open shots. A lot of ball movement down the stretch. He caught fire and created his own. For the most part, I just thought the ball movement was really good for our guys. We shoot 60%, basically; a lot of good things are happening."
Re: Jason Collins' impact:
"Oh, just defensively. You know, the rotations and the size. He took the charges that he did. He took charges and he just clogged the middle up. He’s one of the better talkers on our team defensively and knows everything we’re doing and I thought he made Kevin (Garnett) relax. He’s felt like he’s had to do so much, and I thought having Jason out there was good for him."
Re: Losing their 20-point lead:
"Well honestly our bench came in and didn’t give us a lift. And they were fantastic in the first half. We still haven’t sustained a 48 minute game; we had that one stretch. We have to get better. We had a 20-point lead, you sub in, and I think guys think when you have that lead it’s scoring time now. And it’s really defensive time; you’ve got to continue to get stops. Then you can score. And I thought we short-cutted that part of it."
Re: Pierce taking the recent losses to heart:
"I don’t know. I mean, I think he and Kevin and (Rajon) Rondo, they all took it to heart. They don’t like the way we’re playing, they believe we’re better than what we’re playing, but we haven’t done it. And at some point, you’ve got to stop talking about it. And Paul did that tonight."
Re: His hot shooting night:
“I feel like the last few games I’ve been shooting the ball a lot better, three or four games now. So I feeling like I’m really coming along where I’m starting to get into a good groove offensively. The way my shot’s going, picking my spots. So even before tonight I felt good."
Re: Jason Collins and KG on defense:
"Well Jason really fills up the lane and he’s not afraid to take charges. Another big body to come out on people who like fouls, he takes charges. He throws his weight around. That’s something that we need sometimes.”
Re: How it feels to be "in the zone":
"It’s hard to really explain it. You feel good, you feel like everything do, everything you shoot is going to go in. You want the ball... It’s not something you really work on. You just instinctively know how the defense is playing you. How you can get the shot off when you need to. I’ve been a scorer for most of my life and you figure those things out. Sometimes it’s not straight up and down sometimes it’s a different level left or right. But that’s just something that’s evolved as a player over the years of being a natural born scorer.”
Re: How he felt playing extended minutes:
“It felt fine. I’ve really been working hard with the strength coach. He does a great job of making sure I’m ready. And cardio-wise I felt good."
Re: When he knew he was starting:
"I could sort of see something, I could feel a change was coming. So you know with that you’ve just got to be ready for anything. But I didn’t get the confirmation until about 50 (minutes) before.”
Re: Playing alongside Kevin Garnett:
“It’s better being on his team than against him. You know obviously he’s a great defender, he talks out there which is so important. I pride myself on being a defender first, and you know we are both 7 footers, so we have the height, we have the length. We’re just trying to clog up the paint and make the other team shoot jump shots.”
Re: The Celtics pulling away down the stretch:
“They’re a very good basketball team. Lot of experience. They’ve got a lot of guys over there that are champions. I thought that when we got within four to six points, we turned it over. It showed the difference between experience against youth. We turned it over turned it over turned it over , they come down get the shot they wanted, knocked down 3 in a row, lead got back to double digits, so in that scenario, again, we’ve got to learn from that. We’ve got to find a way to close games, and as young as we are we’ve just got to keep learning from it.”
Re: Paul Pierce's strong performance:
“There was nothing that we could do with him (Pierce) tonight. Sometimes a guy like that, a future hall of famer, sometimes they get it going and there’s really nothing much you can do and Paul got it going. He hit some shots tonight that I hadn’t seen him hit, or play that way in a while.”
Re: His team's mindset:
“I know we can play better defense too, and that’s been the case the last 2 games. We can’t go into games just thinking we’re going to outscore people. We don’t have the personnel to do that with right now.”
Re: Paul Pierce:
“He got hot. They kept feeding him. That’s about it.”
Re: The third-fourth quarter run while Pierce was on the bench:
“It wouldn’t have mattered if he was in the game. It was just time for us to get stops. It was just time for us to be aggressive.”
Re: What his team needs to do to win games:
“We just need to get stops. It came to a point where I, myself turned the ball over. And we had back to back turnovers and then they scored on each of those possessions. And I think that was the change of the game. No matter if we were getting stops or not, they got up and as a veteran team would do, they just finished the game.”
Re: Playing against Kevin Garnett:
“You know [Garnett is] a great player. A tough player guarding him on those turnaround jump shots. 2 or 3 just tough jump shots. You got to give him a lot of credit for those but you have to do the best you can against him.”
Re: Being in the starting lineup:
“Most nights I play a lot of minutes anyway It was a little different coming straight off warmups and getting right into it. I felt very comfortable.”
Re: Playing without a protective mask:
“Incredible. The little touch shots and stuff. I shoot a lot of those around the rim out of the corner of my eye. It’s nice to be able to do that again and not try to whip my head around to find the rim.”