Celtics at Timberwolves
Target Center, April 1, 2013
Re: The game:
"I thought we played hard. We had no one that could deal with that big monster they had down there. I was kidding with Longbardi I thought he made a great defensive adjustment; he held him to eight points in the second half after he had 21 points in the first. I thought our guys did everything I wanted them to do. One of the things I told them is I think seven out of nine times now the last nine games we have given up 100 points. We have proven we can score and we scored 100 tonight even without 50 points of your offense. We will be able to score especially the news guys just learning little things with our defense. We need a lot of work with them and it showed tonight."
Re: Boston's high turnover rate:
"I thought we did okay but I didn't like our turnovers; most of our turnovers were live ball turnovers. You know how I am with turnovers. If you turn it over throw it in the stands, but don't leave the ball in the middle of the floor and let them come down and get lay ups off of them. I thought we tried to do too much at times with the ball. But because there are so many different ball handlers I understand that as well, so I have compassion."
Re: Avery Bradley's offense coming around:
"Yeah he needed it; it was good. I think five games in a row we have run the first play of the game for him and finally he came up with a jumper. I just really believe he needed to go in. I told him at the game his arc was back in his shot; wasn't flat, so that was good to see. I think that will make him a better defender too. He will be able to relax."
Re: The Celtics' defensive struggles:
"This is the NBA and simple pick and roll principles we kind of got away from today. We were late on the roll and weak side pulling in. That is what killed us. (Ricky) Rubio was doing a good job coming off the pick and roll and finding (Nikola) Pekovic down low and he was doing a good job of finishing. Then when we tried to help down low he was kicking it out and shooters were knocking down shots."
Re: Missing Kevin Garnett defensively:
"Things are a lot different. KG is our defensive anchor back there. He sees everything and myself and Avery (Bradley) are going to pressure the ball and you have KG back there to protect you if you get beat. We are missing him right there and then with Paul (Pierce) our go-to guy on the offensive end we run a lot of sets through him. He does a good job of scoring and making plays for others also so we definitely missed him tonight."
Re: Preparing for the playoffs:
"We will have plenty of time to game plan and practice. You are playing the same opponent, someone that you are going to be familiar with. That is the playoffs. We will get there.... I have seen a lot, I have been around so long where I have won 67 games and been out in the first round, been all the way to the Finals and had my heart broken, and been there and won it. There is nothing I haven't seen so I prepare for the best. The main thing is being optimistic and sticking together."
Re: Defensive struggles:
"Defensively, we missed some assignments. We turned the ball over and were not able to get our defense set. When we do those two things, it is going to be a long night... We just know that defensively is the way we are going to win games. We need to perform defensively regardless of who is in uniform. It hasn't been up to standard. It will be though, we are very optimistic. Going forward, we know how we have to play. It starts with our defense."
Re: Seeing his shot start to drop again:
"It was good, I haven't been playing as well as I wanted to. Tonight it was good to see some shots go in but unfortunately we still lost. I don't feel like we played the right way the whole game. We had spurts where we were hustling on the defensive end then we had some break downs. It was a tough one tonight.""
Re: Running the offense without key players:
"As a team, we definitely need to move the ball around a lot. When we are missing our key players we have to work through Jeff (Green) and that is what we tried to do tonight."
Re: Preparing for the playoffs:
"Our vets on this team use these games for practice. Every game for us is serious. We want to win every single game. We want to improve as a team every single game. Paul (Pierce) and those guys let us know before every single game. When we are in the huddle, he lets us know that we need to keep taking steps forward to prepare for the playoffs."
Re: The game
"I thought it was a really good win. It's a tough game. They had a lot of guys out. The guys that played played well for them. They really didn't have an answer for (Nikola Pekovic). Pek got us going at the start of the game and carried it right on through. I thought Dante (Cunningham) was really good; a lot of hustle plays. It was just a good win.
Re: How it felt to be the healthier team for once:
"That's right it was. It felt good. It felt good to have everybody out there."
Re: Pekovic having his way in the paint:
"With all their guys out they just didn't have an answer especially when (Chris) Wilcox got in trouble right away. We did a nice job finding him and he did a great job of being active."
Re: Minnesota's frontcourt:
"I think because Pek did such a great job in the 1st quarter of getting them into foul trouble, put them in that kind of position that we were going to dominate in the paint tonight. I think it went along for the whole game where we dominated in the paint. He did a great job to get all of their big guys in (foul) trouble."
Re: Ricky Rubio being a leader:
"I mean that Ricky always does a great job for us because he's the engine of the team. He's the guy whose whole game is defense, he's the guy with the ball, he's the guy responsible for our sets and of course he does a great job, especially if we are winning."
Re: Minnesota being able to get out on the fast break:
"I think we played a pretty focused game tonight. I think it's the second game that I have seen lately with the Thunder game that we've been controlling the tempo all game long. Tonight we controlled the game and didn't allow the other team to jump on our back for a long time. I think it's a great example on how we're supposed to play and I hope we can keep this kind of game style and game rhythm."
Re: Coming back early from injury:
"I just needed to maybe rest, that was only one night, it was just one bad hit and I felt some pain. I tried to play the other day but I tried to do some workout and I couldn't so that was it."
Re: His performance:
"It feels like a great game for all of us. I couldn't do it without my teammates; they were finding me at the right spot at the right time when I got good position so everything was working perfectly tonight."
Re: The Timberwolves' frontcourt:
"Yeah, we knew because they were missing some big guys. I just knew that if I don't play hard it will be an easy job for them and that's 100 percent. I still need to put all of my effort to play hard like I was playing previous nights and it was good."