That's What He Said

Raptors at Celtics
TD Garden, March 26, 2014/>


Celtics 90/>

Brad Stevens

Re: Not getting the win but fighting hard in the final quarter:

"Sully (Jared Sullinger) got hot and I thought even though we were really undersized we played pretty well in that time. I didn’t go back with Jeff (Green); you probably could see Jeff had a stiff neck and I thought he looked really uncomfortable out there, otherwise I would have gone back with him, but it made us even smaller. Yesterday he (Jeff) could hardly move it; today he didn’t look much better. Hopefully by the time we play again Friday he feels better. I thought our guys battled, I thought they went after balls. Biggest shot of the night, sometimes it comes down to who makes those shots right and the biggest shot of the night is Lowry’s (Kyle). He’s being defended about as well as you can defend somebody, fallen down and drilling a three to make it six when we were right there with a chance and really playing good defense."


Re: Toronto making tough shots down the stretch:

"They really did, and they had what, 55 at halftime, so they only had 44 in the second half and I’d venture to say that they scored 14 of those on really, really difficult shots and that’s what good players do and especially DeRozan (DeMar) and Lowry (Kyle). Lowry coming out of the gate starting the second half hitting those two three’s was a big momentum change, but that’s the problem when you go down 9 at halftime it can go either way quickly. I did not think we were great through the first two and a half quarters. I thought we were great defensively in the last quarter and a half with a few exceptions. It wasn’t like we weren’t perusing balls. We were in there; we were just not the highest hand to get them."


Re: Chris Johnson stepping in for Jeff Green:

"I kind of told myself after watching the first half I was going to give Jeff another try, see if he felt any better, but he was, he looked miserable to be honest. If you have ever played with at neck that you can’t turn one way its not enjoyable. I thought Chris (Johnson) was ready and played great, had a couple looks late, but also played with great energy late, came up with loose balls, came up with almost and-one but made both or made one of the two free throws. Chris makes us better, there is no question about it. He’s a really solid basketball player, but at the same time they (Toronto) are playing with really solid basketball players too."


Re: If he ran specific plays for Sullinger in the fourth quarter:

"Those were actions with options, maybe one of them was specific to Sully shooting the three in the corner nearest their bench, but the other two were the same action with options and once he hit one Rondo (Rajon) chose him again, which was a good play. The third one that he hit, that was an action."


Re: If Sullinger has shown that he can get on a roll:

"I still think, and maybe this is why I’m not as much an analytics guy as everyone portrays me to be, I still believe in him shooting. I’ve seen him shoot, I believe in his form, I believe in how much he shoots and doesn’t mean that he shouldn’t, when he’s not making them, he shouldn’t find other options and alternatives. 4 for 6 gave us a chance to win the night and its not easy to score inside against Valanciunas (Jonas) and Johnson (Amir) with their length so it makes sense to stretch him and they ended up not playing Valanciunas much late as a result of that I’m sure."


Re: Rajon Rondo coming back into the game after receiving nine stitches on his head:

"I think it obviously says a lot. He wants to play and not only I think the most important part about it is he came back in and guarded DeRozan (DeMar). He went after it and I thought he did a pretty good job on him. I’m going through my mind all the plays that we had that we could have taken advantage of that game and he was in the center of a lot of them that made nice passes on the break and made a hook pass to Chris (Johnson) for the three. He played a great 4th quarter. I thought when he walked off I thought maybe he broke his nose I didn’t know exactly where it was but I guess he got stitches right in here (pointing to right above nose)."

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Avery Bradley

Re: Rajon Rondo returning after getting stitches:

"That’s the kind of player he is. He's tough. He wants to win. I knew he would come back without skipping a beat. He gave us a chance to get back into the game at the end."


Re: Jared Sullinger shooting the ball:

"Of course, he is a very good shooter and he is confident. He played very good tonight and made some big shots tonight, and he gave us a chance to come back tonight. We just fell short."


Re: What he is taking away from the game:

"We know we didn’t play well our first two quarters and that resulted in a loss. Next game I feel like we play a complete game I think we have a chance to a win."

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Jared Sullinger

Re: The rhythm he got into:

"I saw that (Rajon) Rondo went down so I saw that we needed production, so I took it upon myself and just tried to get the best shots possible."


Re: If he saw Rajon Rondo get hit in the face:

"I didn’t even get to see the shot, I was too busy looking at the ball so I don’t know how bad (it) was. I needed somebody to bring a different type of energy; he had the energy all night, he was doing the right things. It was time for somebody else to set it up and I thought that should have been me."

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Dwane Casey

Re: The game and playing in back-to-backs:

"That was a character test for us. We’ve done a good job with our back-to-backs, and after we’ve gotten spanked the night before we’ve bounced back. I think this team has a lot of character. I get upset with them but they’re mine. They’re just like your kids. Its one of those things where they compete hard, they make mistakes, but we’re a work in progress. Situations were not there yet, but again its not from a lack of fight and togetherness."


Re: Getting off to a better start than his team has lately:

"No question. Again, point production from my bench has been an issue. That’s something we’ve got to rectify. We got seven points from our bench and that’s just putting too many minutes on our starters. We’ve got some nicks and bings and soreness that we’re trying to work out and its just too much pressure on our starters."


Re: This win potentially solidifying a playoff spot:

"Well I’ll wait for a few hours to get that news. Again I love this group, I’m proud of them, they are full of character. Do we make mistakes? Yes. They’re growing and fighting every inch of the way and that’s all you can ask from the team."


Re: Toronto's bigs:

"I thought Jonas (Valanciunas) had one of his better nights. Not only scoring, but he rebounded, kept the ball high, got it right back up. They kind of got him on a few plays for (Jared) Sullinger on the three points, so we need a bit more quickness to get out there to them. He had one of their better games all around. I mean, Sullinger’s a load and I thought he did a good job on him."


Re: Chuck Hayes' game:

"He impacted the game. He's got old man strength. He had three blocks, probably was a career high. Again, I thought he really impacted the game, not only his smarts, screens on the baseline. This team is tough. Rondo is a handful as far as quarterbacking. He can freeze you. If you’re not savvy enough he can really freeze you on those pick and rolls. Chuck was really good as far as reading it and not really biting on all his ball fakes."


Re: Terrence Ross' performance:

"He kept us afloat. He knocked down some shots and we needed it. Again, Greivis (Vasquez) didn’t have one of his better nights shooting the ball, which he normally does, but Terrence really found the basket."


Re: If he'd lose a few games to rest Kyle Lowry:

"No, philosophically its not in my nature. For his health we are going to have to. Just because he’s playing so many minutes and DeMar is a young kid, but 35-40 minutes is a lot of minutes. Somewhere down the line we don’t want it to bite us. We’re going to have to find him some minutes, but when it’s the right time. We’re still scratching and fighting for a lot of different things and we’ll worry about rest this summer."

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Kyle Lowry

Re: Responding to his coach in the second night of a back-to-back:

"He challenged us big time and I think we just found it tonight."


Re: Getting the win after giving up a large lead:

"It’s a tough team down there. You have to tip your hats and respect the way they play. For us we have to find ways to close games out. But we tip our hats to them because they really battled back and made the game challenging. They could have just gave up, but they’re a well coached team and hard played team."


Re: Jonas Valanciunas:

"I think he is getting better. His ability to rebound the ball, the way he’s finishing, he’s just playing tough. He’s just getting better. He’s getting older, getting through the grind of the season, and just getting a lot better."


Re: Making the playoffs if the Knicks lose tonight:

"I said that, before the game, I said we can take care of our business tonight. We cant count on anybody else, but we can take care of our business. I’m not going to lie, I think everybody tonight is rooting for that Western Conference team over there tonight."

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DeMar DeRozan

Re: Finally getting a win in Boston:

"I haven’t won here since I’ve been a Raptor. It feels good man to get that off your shoulders. Like I said we have to keep moving forward and prepare for them again on Friday."


Re: What a playoff berth would mean to the franchise:

"Not just the franchise, but the whole city of Toronto and Canada. I’ve been there for five years, seen how passionate the fans are, definitely means a lot. We feed off of that, especially playing at home and the energy they bring. That’d be great for the city."


Re: Not having been to the playoffs yet:

"Not yet. After we play these games and I go through the whole experience then I feel I’ll really have an answer for you. Im still learning. It’s still new to me and I’m just trying to learn from the guys that have been in the playoffs, what its like leading up to it and how to get prepared."


Re: Being excited to take the next step in his career:

"Definitely, definitely. It’s been a long road coming and you just can’t settle to making the playoffs. We want to go in there and make a name for ourselves and go in there and compete every single day. That’s the whole goal, to get in there and play an extra four games and call it a day."

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