Celtics at Raptors
Air Canada Centre, April 17, 2013
Re: What he took out of this game:
"Nothing. I wanted to win still, I think you should try and win whenever you have guys. I thought a couple of our guys didn’t handle the minutes well, but at least they got to play and that’s good."
Re: What the C's did differently in their one win against the Knicks this season as opposed to the losses:
"We guarded the three-point line, ok. Actually, they shot pretty well in that game. I just thought we were the aggressor in that game and I thought the Knicks took it to us the other three. I thought they played with a far higher purpose for the game in a regular season game than we did. I never thought in the other three that we matched their intensity and honestly I thought in the first game they didn’t match ours. I thought they lost their composure. I don’t think that will be a problem in the playoffs. I think both teams will have that same intensity. That’s why you have to be careful with regular season games, you don’t know where the other team is coming from, road wise, mentally, four-in-five, injuries. When you get to the playoffs everybody is right and ready and that’s what it will be."
Re: Boston's outlook for the playoffs:
"Our first focus is defense and I believe we are ready. Today we tried to act like they were New York but obviously we didn’t have all of our guys. We are going to be prepared, Doc (Rivers) is one of the best coaches in the league and he is going to prepare us and make sure that we are on top of our game when the time comes for the start of game one."
Re: What it meant to have played in every game this season:
"I am truly blessed. I mean coming from heart surgery one year ago to come back and play every game and play the way that I did and get better as the year went along is all that I wanted. I mean I am blessed today, I played the whole season after heart surgery. I just want to continue to get better."
Re: His game progressing the way he wants:
"It is getting there, there is still some things that I want to progress at but I am just happy to be at this point and being today I finished the season strong, healthy and we are going to the playoffs."
Re: What it takes to get the rotation set for the playoffs:
"I can’t really say that would probably be a better a question for Doc (Rivers). Tonight I feel like we were making steps for the playoffs, working on things that we need to get better at. Unfortunately we lost, but I feel like we got to see a lot of different looks at things that we wanted to improve."
Re: The team being ready to play in rhythm:
"Doc knows what’s best obviously and I feel like we will be fine with our vets. KG (Kevin Garnett) and Jason Terry have a lot of playoff experience, so they will be fine. We just need to go out there and play the right way and execute our game plan. Getting into the gym tomorrow and get better in practice so we are ready for the game on Saturday."
Re: Jeff Green playing every game this season:
"It is amazing, we are all a family but he’s like a brother to me to see everything he has been through and overcome everything and have the season he has had is just amazing. I am happy for him and hope he wins most improved or something because that is amazing to go through what he has been through and play the way he has been playing. It shows that he has a strong heart, he is a good guy and a great player."
Re: The Raptors' season:
"It was three different seasons. We had a 4-19 start. We had the sixth best record in the Eastern conference after that terrible start. We are disappointed. I am disappointed. If you disregard the 4-19, then we are knocking on the door of the playoffs. We are going that way. We have to get ready for the next step."
Re: Optimism in Toronto's future:
"Everyone has seen it: the growth of DeMar DeRozan with him shooting the three-point shot, the growth of (Jonas) Valanciunas, and Rudy Gay integrating in. There are so many positives. I see so much growth. Quincy Acy is a tremendous story. Here is a kid that went to the D League and found his confidence, and he came back here and played with that confidence. He was playing within himself. Do we have some things to improve upon? Yes. Each individual knows what they have to improve upon. We are going to figure out, as an organization, what we have to do to improve our team. I think we are making the right steps."
Re: There being a sense of pride for the Raptors:
"No question. These guys held onto the rope. That is all I preached after the 4-19 start, and that is all you can ask for as a coach. There were some rocky roads, but everyone held onto the rope. We had a lot of mountains to step over. Jonas Valanciunas stepping in as a rookie – he had a lot to learn. We had a lot of hurdles, but guys held onto the rope and kept going. That is what I pull from this. I am proud of the way they fought, but I am not happy with the way season went. As a coach, my goal is to get into the playoffs. I have been there, and I know what it tastes like. I want our guys to taste it too."
Re: The feeling with Toronto's core locked up for next season:
"It feels a lot different. We understand what we’ve got to do to get better and what it’s going to take for us to win. Every game we try to figure out what we are comfortable with and what will help us win games. Day in and day out, we are just trying to figure out what we are most comfortable with and try to please everybody who’s out there on the court. It sucks that it took us this long for us to figure it out, understanding what type of style of basketball we feel comfortable with and now we know how to win. Now knowing that we have those guys that’s out there coming back, it means a lot."
Re: His take on the team since he's been in Toronto:
"I see a team that has got a lot better since I’ve been here. Some of that may be me learning a little bit more about the offense and defense. This team has great bones, I’ve seen it. We have a lot of potential and have a lot of good pieces."
Re: Having the pieces to get to the playoffs next year:
"We definitely have the pieces. I think a good training camp and everybody getting a little bit older could really benefit us."
Re: Rookie-season challenges:
"Everything is tough. Every night you battle with big guys, strong guys and that was tough. Travel was tough. Every second day is a game day and that was tough."
Re: Having pride in what he's learned this season:
"I don’t like to judge myself. I was doing my job so I think so."
Re: Being more comfortable than in the beginning of the season:
"A lot more comfortable. Since I came here I’ve learned a lot of things. During the season I’ve got a lot of experience so I now know much more than I did at the start (of the season)."