"That's What He Said" - First Round, Boston Celtics
The Boston Celtics and New York Knicks are longtime rivals and have battled out a four-game regular season series in 2010-11. The Celtics won all four of those matchups, some easier than others, but there is no doubt that nearly every minute of those four games were played with passion and intensity.
We have compiled the best quotes of the season that the two teams said about each other after each of those four games. Some are more jarring than others, but there is one consistent theme: Confidence is not lacking for either of these squads. Enjoy our First Round edition of That’s What He Said.
Oct. 29, 2010 | Boston, MA | Celtics 105, Knicks 101
"When he plays with speed, pushes the ball up the floor, it's amazing. He had whatever amount, 24 assists, yet he gave up the ball a lot tonight. It was a lot of movement, and that's how we have to play."
- Celtics head coach Doc Rivers on Rajon Rondo's 24-assist performance.
"We expect Rondo, night-in and night-out, to get guys involved, and he pretty much got everybody involved (tonight). He got the popcorn man involved, he got the announcer involved, he got everybody involved tonight and it was beautiful to watch."
- Celtics forward Paul Pierce Rajon Rondo's dominance.
"We're trying to get the three scorers, Paul (Pierce), Ray (Allen) and Kevin (Garnett) to be more aggressive offensively. Even in the first quarter, half the turnovers - we were turning the ball over when we had a layup and we were throwing the ball over to someone else for them to have a layup. And I was thinking, 'I'd take the first one.' So it's funny how even though they've been together, at times they don't want to step on each others' toes. It's amazing how long it takes at times."
- Celtics head coach Doc Rivers on the Big Three's unselfishness.
"Ah, man, stats are one thing but the influence and how he controls the game is another. There’s very few in the game that can do it. He’s a special player, man. You know... nights even when he looks bad on nights when he makes it look simple at times."
- Celtics forward Kevin Garnett on Rajon Rondo's performance.
"Whether it was posting or driving the ball, we tried to make an emphasis before the game to get the ball in the paint and take advantage. We’re pretty big and we didn’t do that a couple days ago against Cleveland. Tonight Doc and Coach Frank made a big emphasis to get the ball in the paint."
- Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo on his team's inside presence.
"There’s such thing as a zone. Kobe gets it, other great players get in that zone where they can consistently hit that 15-footer and consistently do things that separate them. I was just determined to develop myself in that way."
- Celtics forward Glen Davis on what he attempted to develop during the last offseason.
"With him, is that usually when he doesn’t play well, something gets in his head for him to do more or different, when he just stays what he does. I mean, I would love his role: whenever you pick and pop you can take a shot; you can run random picks whenever you want to. Hell, I’d love that role. And that’s what he did today."
- Celtics head coach Doc Rivers on Glen Davis' role.
Dec. 15, 2010 | New York, NY | Celtics 118, Knicks 116
"I just thought you couldn’t catch it and turn it with 0.4 on the clock, but I wasn’t sure and I looked over and Mike Breen and Walt Frazier and they’re the Knick announcers and they said no good, so I thought we were in good shape."
- Celtics head coach Doc Rivers on Amar'e Stoudemire's potential game-winning shot.
"I didn’t have a doubt he was going to take the shot, but I didn’t know he was going to make it. But, you know, you put the ball in your best players' hands and the best players for the most part get to their spot. The bench was all laughing because they were all saying, 'Right side, right side,” because they knew where he was going. And he just has that step back, it’s a tough shot."
- Celtics head coach Doc Rivers on Paul Pierce's game-winning shot.
"The atmosphere was great. I felt like we had equal fans here, great basketball on each side – great East Side point guard knock out. A good backyard scuffle, if you will. This feels great; great basketball... good basketball."
- Celtics forward Kevin Garnett on the atmosphere in Madison Square Garden.
"A lot of hype around the game, I’m just excited to win. I felt like we had our backs against the wall all night, couldn’t get over the hump. Ray (Allen) reached the three and got us over the hump and it gave us a shot. It put us in the position to win."
- Celtics forward Paul Pierce on the overall game.
"We didn’t mind his points. We honestly didn’t. Even in the first half, when Stoudemire was scoring we didn’t mind. What bothered us was the loose balls, the offensive rebounds, the drive by’s by the other players. That got us far more upset. The way we were guarding him was one on one all game. If he was going to score 50 he had to score 50."
- Celtics head coach Doc Rivers on Amar'e Stoudemire's game-high 39 points.
March 21, 2011 | New York, NY | Celtics 96, Knicks 86
"Well we decided to play in the second half. I haven’t used the word ‘soft’ in four years, but at halftime that word came out a lot. We just played basketball. We didn’t make one adjustment, not one. We just played in the second half. We played the way we were capable of playing….with a sense of urgency. We were more physical and we made some shots. We just played our defense. I don’t know what we did to them but we didn’t do that in the first half. In the second half, we played like the Celtics."
- Celtics head coach Doc Rivers on his team's turnaround from the first half to the second half.
"It was a bloodbath, but it was beautiful."
- Celtics head coach Doc Rivers on the overall game.
"Melo (Carmelo Anthony) took some (contact). I think everybody was on the floor. Just us versus New York - classic. Everybody was trying to win."
- Celtics forward Kevin Garnett on the physical nature of the game.
"We pretty much get it across the board regardless of the team that we’re playing and their record. Regardless of what conference. We like to say that we’re always going to battle with different teams. It’s the game that we’re used to playing and we just have to make sure we bring that fight when we get in the game."
- Celtics guard Ray Allen on the physicality of the game, something he believes Boston sees on a nightly basis.
"There’s just something about this team. We have an extra gear and we know when to turn it up. Sometimes, we have to get going off the ground, but that’s what it takes sometimes. We are a veteran team and we know how to push the button to get where we need to be."
- Celtics forward Paul Pierce on his team's ability to turn it up a notch when it matters.
April 13, 2011 | Boston, MA | Celtics 112, Knicks 102
"He was just trying to get his rhythm; hadn’t played in a game, you could see. I mean, I actually enjoy whenever I see guys like that in games like this. Not from a strategical standpoint; we call them ‘ballers.’ Some guys just like playing. If we had a vote, Paul (Pierce) would’ve played. It’s in their blood. They just love playing. I think Amar’e is in that category too. He’s just a baller."
- Celtics head coach Doc Rivers on Amar'e Stoudemire's performance in a relatively meaningless game.
"Tough matchup for both. Listen, Chauncey’s a monster; he’s big, he’s strong. And he’s a veteran. He’s been through a lot of playoffs. And that’s going to make him very, very good."
- Celtics head coach Doc Rivers on the Rajon Rondo-Chauncey Billups matchup in the first round.
"Oh my gosh, just the fact that you are making your own footprint in history. People don’t see that, I see that a lot. Playing for a team like the Celtics and going out there to do something great. I’ll be sitting out, fat on a farm turn on NBA tv and look at myself 30 years ago and be like ‘Golly, that was exiting’. I think that’s what it’s about. Here in Boston, you try and win more than one championship. You win one and it’s ok, you win two you’ll be a hero here. There’s something about the postseason that I love man. You’ve got to bring you’re A-game. It’s time to bring you’re A-game."
- Celtics forward Glen Davis on heading into the playoffs.