Celtics at Heat
AmericanAirlines Arena, January 21, 2014
Re: The game:
"First of all I thought that the first six minutes of the game, we were trying to figure out if we can be successful tonight or not. I thought that we were way too tentative. We weren’t playing with the sense of urgency. I thought that the last 42 minutes, we fought. We fought about as hard as they [Boston Celtics players] can fight. We were down to five perimeter guys [after Avery Bradley’s right ankle sprain injury]. I thought that we had a lot of guys do a lot of good things. Hopefully we can build off of that. I just want to play good basketball."
Re: What changed the game:
"LeBron James happened. The way that they turned it up defensively, our guys struggled with that; give credit to them [Miami Heat]. Those guys made passing tough. They made catching hard. They made dribbling hard. All five [Miami players] looked like there was about 8-10 out there because they were moving in a stance and moving so quickly. I’m sure as [Head Coach] Erik [Spoelstra] sits over there, it’s been a long stretch for them and a hard stretch for them. I’m sure the last five minutes he feels really good about. He can build on moving forward because that team is really good; and they didn’t even have [Dwyane] Wade. I thought that we competed for 42 minutes."
Re: Kris Humphries' performance:
"Kris [Humphries] was very hungry. You know, it’s an amazing thing. I talked to him in there about the challenge; it is hard to stay hungry at this level. A lot of guys have made it and have done really well for them. Then you get a guy that comes in and he’s really hungry to try to be a part of that. Man, he was really good tonight. Not just on the scoring side of things, but he made a ton of plays defensively that were just good, smart plays."
Re: Avery Bradley's right ankle sprain:
"I don’t know. It looks like he got it pretty good. He didn’t seem to be walking great."
Re: Chris Johnson's performance on his 10-day contract:
"I would assume it’s not easy. To his credit, he’s studied the play book. He’s been ready. I told him two nights ago that he’ll probably play in Miami, so I think he spent more time [preparing]. I’ve known Chris [Johnson] since high school and he was always a serious-minded kid. He wanted to do really well, and he was always a guy that may have gotten overlooked in a lot of ways. I think guys like that have chips on their shoulders. He played like it tonight. I almost dove on the floor too when he dove on the floor for that one [ball]. That was great. It was huge. The rebound put-back [late in the game] was huge. He did a lot of good things. Those are plays that really fire you up. Those are plays that you want to celebrate, but those are plays that you should do. It does inspire your team when that happens."
Re: Boston's big men:
"I thought that Sully [Jared Sullinger] played a lot better in the second half. I did not think that he was good out of the gate. After that, he was pretty good. [Brandon] Bass was kind of the same thing. I thought that in the second half he was really good. I thought that Joel [Anthony] gave us some pretty good minutes as well. I just wanted to see where he is. He hasn’t played in about a month. He’s practiced a little bit. It’s the first time that he’s really gotten back at it. I thought that he looked pretty good."
Re: Rajon Rondo fitting in:
"I think it’s really hard for [Rajon] Rondo right now because he’s in his exhibition season. He’s three games in a year in which he hasn’t played. I was really proud of him for taking it to the rim, getting fouled and getting to the foul line. I was proud of him for shooting that last three-pointer on the dribble. You go to battle with a guy like that."
Re: His performance:
"I think we felt pretty good for a while out there. Some calls didn’t go our way. We put ourselves in a position to win. For me, I just try to do what I can. There wasn’t much offense in the first half. Just tried to rebound and play D. Some things came my way the second half."
Re: The difference in the second half:
"We got some layups, some cuts to the basket. Chris Johnson came in and hit some shots for us too. Some put-backs, and-ones, he played great."
Re: Chris Johnson's night:
"It’s great. He hasn’t played and it’s tough coming in. We have a lot of plays to try and fit in. Fit in, do it, but also be a part of the team. Be aggressive and help us. It’s pretty tricky coming in on a 10-day [contract]. He had to do it and he did a good job tonight."
Re: His opportunity with the Celtics:
"It’s a great opportunity for me. Unfortunately Avery [Bradley] went down and my name was called. I was ready to come in and make plays and try to do everything to help the team win tonight."
Re: His mindset:
"Not try and do too much out of your game. We have great players on the court, so I’m just doing the little things to help the team try and win."
Re: Not being hesitant to shoot:
"With great guys like [Rajon] Rondo and leaders like Jeff Green, at practice they told my if you have a wide open shot, knock it down and don’t hesitate. That’s what I did. Fortunately Green made a couple of good passes to me and I knocked them down."
Re: Brad Stevens keeping him in the game late:
"“I was kind of surprised I stayed in. That shows the confidence Coach had in me tonight and I’m thankful for the opportunity."
Re: Playing the Heat:
"It wasn’t tough. I just came in, tried to provide energy, did the little things. At the end of the day, unfortunately we didn’t win, but we just have to keep getting better."
Re: Coming off the bench:
"It is difficult because I really want to start, but I understand the type of year it is for us. Coaches have to make changes for whatever reason that may be. For me, I just want to be a professional every night and help my teammates any way I can."
Re: The end of the game:
"LeBron (James) just got a bunch of calls down the stretch. We expect things like that. We just wish we could have kept him off the line and got the win."
Re: Chris Johnson:
"I thought he brought a lot of energy. Showed a lot of hunger. If he keeps playing like that, he’ll have a future in this league. It was big for us. I hope he continues the success he’s having off tonight because guys like that who are underdogs kind of like myself, I want to see them win."
Re: The game:
"It wasn’t a perfect game and Boston played extremely well. They grinded it. They did a good job defensively even with all the adversity they’ve had. They’re organized and they did a good job. It meant something to us tonight and even it wasn’t perfect, possessions meant something to us. Mistakes meant something to us. Getting offensive rebounds meant something to us and it starts with that. That type of pride in our defense playing the competitive way we are capable of."
Re: The Celtics battling back from an 18-point deficit:
"That’s also the nature of the game. Teams will come back. You have to battle. You have to play consistent and it works together – our offense and our defense. Sometimes our offense, if we’re not getting the type of looks that we want to get and executing with precision and energy and focus, that gets us in trouble."
Re: Greg Oden's performance:
"It was great. I’ve been looking for opportunities to put him in. It’s tough infusing a new player into a rotation when you’re trying to find minutes somewhere in the second quarter when the game goes the other way like it did in Atlanta and I’m ready to pull that trigger."
Re: Dwyane Wade:
"Certainly LJ [LeBron James] and CB [Chris Bosh] shoulder a little bit more responsibilities when he’s out but that’s natural. But other guys, we don’t want them playing out of their game. When that happens, that hurts us. Play your game. Move the ball. Attack and share it. Those are our fundamentals regardless of who’s in or out."
Re: Chris Andersen's performance:
"He was fantastic. Multiple efforts. For the most part, [he was] disciplined defensively with our schemes and our calls. He was rock solid for a majority of the game."
Re: Positives for his team:
"While it wasn’t a perfect game and while we did get beat in some areas, like the glass, our effort and energy was much better."
Re: Rajon Rondo being back in Boston's lineup:
"He affects the game. I tell you what, you have nightmares about Boston fast breaks when Rajon (Rondo) has the ball... It’s great to see him back out there."
Re: The game:
"You play a 48 minute game, there are going to be ups and downs throughout the game and you just figure out a way to try to win."
Re: Playing four games in five nights:
"The schedule is what it is. You show up and you have to play, we want to win. Versus a team like this you have to bring a lot of energy and effort and you have to match that or try to overcome it. We were ready for anything tonight. We were as high as 18 and even down in the fourth quarter. You play every minute like it is your last and you try to do things offensively and defensively to put your team into a position to try to win."
Re: Greg Oden:
"I think it has been great so far. I mean, first of all, just to see him be able to come out and play. He is rusty for sure and he has to continue to get his legs under him and his wind under him but I think every minute and every possession is just going to help him. It will help his confidence and it was great seeing him out there. I am so excited for him. Hopefully he can continue to progress."
Re: Playing against Rajon Rondo with an all-new Boston team:
"It is different. (Rajon) Rondo is working his way back into form. You can tell right now that he is getting comfortable, he is on a restricted time limit right now. It is definitely different being in competition with those guys for so long and now there are a lot of new faces and different jerseys... He is one of the better competitors we have in this league and when he is out on the floor he makes everyone better. He puts his guys in a position to succeed."
Re: The game:
"We played a lot better defense tonight. We just have to clean up those boards and those lapses. We played a decent game; good enough to win... If we were playing defense like we were yesterday we would not have won this game tonight. We just have to put the effort in."
Re: Greg Oden:
"It’s a work in progress. He’s rebounding the ball well. He just has to get his feet under him and continue to play ball. He just has to play more and things will work out for him."
Re: Miami's level of play:
"It’s a work in progress. It always takes the whole 82 games to get to that level. We’re not close at all. We shouldn’t think we are. We’re not going to be close until it’s all said and done. It’s never over until the last game is played. We have a long way to go."