That's What He Said

Magic at Celtics
TD Garden, February 2, 2014/>

Celtics 96/>

Brad Stevens

Re: Rajon Rondo's leadership:

"It was really good. You just feel like you’re really under control, the way that he was playing late. And I thought he put a lot of pressure on their defense because they went under almost every pick-and-roll the whole day with him. And he made a bunch of shots behind it, and so you always felt like you were going to get a good look that was a high percentage right now, with the way he was shooting the ball today. And that’s one of those things that when you don’t play for a year, that shot’s probably a little bit rusty. But now that he’s seven or eight games back, he’s a very, very good shooter who has put in more time to be a good shooter; better than his statistics in the past would say. And so I feel really good about him pulling up and making those shots."

Re: The ball movement since Rondo's return:

"Well, I think we execute a little crisper. I think that obviously the ball’s in one person’s hands a little bit longer, but that’s because he’s kind of your playmaker and leader and person who makes – can create for himself and others. But I do think the actions are good, the ball seems to have found the right guys a lot, especially today, and I think that’s more so guys getting used to playing with one another. The guy who I thought was outstanding right from the gate today was (Brandon) Bass; I thought you could see it in his eyes that he was playing at a high, high level, and I thought it was fitting those two guys made plays at the end that helped win it on both ends of the floor."

Re: Having Rondo at the end of games:

"Well, we’ve had him a couple of times now, but I thought this was the most comfortable he looked. I thought our spacing was much better than the last time we played Orlando, which is a positive because then you feel like you’re making progress, because that was only a couple weeks ago. And I thought he did a lot of good things. But it does give you a sense of comfort going into those final few minutes that you’ve got a person directing for you. I thought he made a great read on the one action that Sully (Jared Sullinger) hit the three, that there was going to be an opportunity to jam his man, pop him, and shoot it. And that was on him; he really made a great play right there and that kind of separated the game for us."

Re: Rondo and Avery Bradley playing alongside one another:

"I thought they played well. Now, Orlando put us in a bind a little bit because it took our flexibility of match-ups away from us, with who they played. And when I say that, Jeff (Green) had to be on (Tobias) Harris, Avery had to be on (Arron) Afflalo, and Rondo had to be on (Victor) Oladipo. And you know, in other games we’re able to mix and match a little bit more. But I thought all of the guys did a reasonable job on the guys they were guarding."

Re: The importance of playing Rondo and Bradley at the same time:

"Huge. Huge priority for me. I think that those guys play – they seem to be on paper really good fits – but you know it’s better to see them in person. And he made, Rondo for instance made a couple of plays where he was pulling up and shooting off the ball screen; we went up by three, he had a pick away for Avery, Avery came off the down, shot it in, we go up by five. Their strengths fit each other well on both ends of the floor, and so hopefully that can continue to be accentuated as we get further along into that – we add to those 30 games."


Jared Sullinger

Re: His growing role in Boston's lineup:

"I’m just playing hard honestly, just understanding that I have a bigger role than I had last year. I'm pretty much playing hard."

Re: The conversation with his dad:

"Pretty much just telling me, he said my body language sucked and my attitude sucked. And he said that’s not what got you here, and he pretty much tried to whoop me back to shape, as my other two fathers did, Julian as in my brother and Jay as in my brother as well. I was unfortunate to have three fathers in my life, technically, according to them."

Re: The status of his injured finger:

"I just learned how to adjust to it but it took me a couple games obviously. Last game I shot 9-25. I just got in the gym and learned how to shoot. I figured if my finger was always pointing towards the basket. Just learn."

Re: The execution of Boston's starting lineup:

"I just thought we played together, we didn’t really worry about shots. We created for one another, we moved the ball really quickly. Rondo played a lot like himself and had to cue on that so... We just played our game."


Brandon Bass

Re: Starting the game hot and having it carry throughout the game:

"Yeah, I wanted to be aggressive. When we struggle we kind of lack a good starting first quarter. So I wanted to attack early."

Re: The Celtics' comfort level with Rajon Rondo on the court:

"Very comfortable. Rondo is a coach on the floor and he's leading us. It felt great."

Re: Picking up where he left off with Rondo:

"I definitely think so. I'm comfortable in the pick-and-roll with Rondo and he's definitely comfortable with me. I think he made plays for everybody tonight."

Re: Getting the win:

"I mean, we needed it. We were able to get it so it feels good."


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Jacque Vaughn

Re: Missed opportunities:

"We could have helped ourselves a little bit if we made some layups. I don’t know how many layups we missed out of the course of the night; I’m saying double digits. So I like the fact that we did get to the rim, we got some layups but next part is converting those layups."

Re: What led to the missed layups:

"[The Celtics are] not really a shot blocking team, more a position team so just one of those nights where maybe we just didn’t concentrate enough at the rim to keep our eyes open on the target, but we got some good looks throughout the course of the night."

Re: Rajon Rondo taking over down the stretch:

"Just his ability to orchestrate; I talked a little bit about that at the beginning of the game. [The] play comes down, fourth quarter, he sees the pass before everyone else does, he kicks it to Jeff Green for a jumper, gets into the lane, reads the defense so he’s done it a few times before."

Re: If it was tough to orchestrate the offense without Jameer Nelson:

"Like I said before the game, our offense also is predicated on multiple people starting so I think that alleviates a little bit, that just a point guard - quote, unquote - doesn’t have to start the offense. The other two guards can start the offense as well, but whether its pick-and-roll, other things of that nature good experience for him to have the ball in his hands tonight."

Re: Rondo shooting well:

"Well I’m not sure how many shots he hit in the second half, so I think we will have to take a look at that. I’m not sure how many jumpers he made in the second half, I think more of those were in the first half. This game everyone uses analytics and so did we and we are going to play the percentages a lot of times."

Re: How Orlando got back in the game:

"I think overall we had a good unit on the floor. First of all [we] got stops, then we got the rebound, we allowed one shot and then we got the rebound, then we transitioned to early pick-and-rolls and then we just played with each other. It was really that simple, what we did."


Glen Davis

Re: Orlando's struggle on defense:

"Yeah, in the fourth quarter we cut it to two and then the game just got out of control there, little stuff like transition and defense. Rajon Rondo hit some big jump shots that kind of put the game away, Brandon (Bass) hit some jump shots and so it got away from us. We played tremendously hard but at the end of the day we have to try to get these type of wins. Something to look forward to next game is to go out there playing aggressive and making sure we can close quarters."

Re: Rajon Rondo's impact:

"Yeah, we stuck to our principles and what we wanted to do, he just came through for his team. Sometimes the nights are like that, and as a team we just have to stick together and make sure that we can do something to help each other go out and do it."


Maurice Harkless

Re: Orlando's energy:

"We just wanted to come in and try to change the tempo of the game and just play fast, get out and steal, get easier transitions. Unfortunately we didn’t close the game out but I think we did a good job coming in and bring the energy."

Re: The game:

"I think we did a good job just battling and fighting throughout the whole game. The Celtics they played well as well so you just have to continue to bring that effort out at night and build on it."