That's What He Said

Bulls at Celtics
TD Garden, March 30, 2014/>

Celtics 102/>

Brad Stevens

Re: If he takes solace in the fact that the game was close:

"Nope. Zero."

Re: Being in close games but losing all season:

"I thought today was different because we had our chances, but you have to execute through physicality and we didn’t do that at the end. We were okay some parts of the game, but we didn’t do that at the end, and so we’ve got to be – I just talked about it in the locker room – we can sugar-coat it, we can talk about – we can say, ‘It’s nice to be close,” and we have all year – and at the end of the day, it is what it is from a record standpoint. And a lot of people in this position won’t react well to that, and that’s not okay; you react the right way to it and that means that we compete as hard as we can, which I thought we did. It wasn’t anything physical tonight. And then we play the game with great detail and with great team-ness, and the detail was lacking. And, hey, they expose you. I mean, that’s what they do. They take you away, they’re all up into you, they’re good at that. They’re a tough, physical, hard-nosed defensive team that we scored 100-some-odd points against; that’s got to be enough. And it wasn’t."

Re: The last three turnovers for Boston coming from guys who are usually good with the ball:

"Yeah, yeah, that’s right. That’s right. Hey that happens, but we’ve all got to get better at executing and again, there’s no fault in effort, and when it’s detail-oriented, then the nice part about that is we can get better. And I know we’ve got nine games left, you’ve got two weeks left, and it’s kind of like, ‘Well, how much better can you really get?’ Well something adds up at the end of all this, and we’ve got to – we’ve got to make sure that we keep plugging and keep identifying areas where we’re not performing, and that was the case. We weren’t very good late, and except for the transition we were excellent late. (Rajon) Rondo made a great play to find Jared (Sullinger) and then guys really executed in transition on the next possession, found Jared again – so it’s not an all-the-time thing, but we put ourselves in a tough spot by not getting the ball, not getting shots up in those situations."

Re: D.J. Augustin's performance:

"Hats off to him. I just said on TV, ‘D.J. Augustin’s not the same person that I saw in a Raptors uniform at the start of the season.’ Here’s a guy that had been basically not in the rotation in Indiana, moved to Toronto, not much better there, and he looks like the quickest guy on the floor when he comes here. I mean, I thought he – I honestly didn’t think he had that kind of foot speed the first time we played him in the Raptors’ uniform; I thought differently when we played him in Chicago. Now I’ve watched him on film so I knew what was coming. But he’s playing great. He’s playing great. He’s found his niche, he’s found a team that needs him to play freely to score, and hats off to him. And it’s kind of what, in a different scenario, that’s what I’m talking about. I think we’re learning about what D.J. Augustin’s made of, because it hasn’t been easy. And now he’s persevering, he’s playing just fantastic. Happy for him. Happy for stories like that."


Rajon Rondo

Re: Losing games in the final minutes:

"We just got to keep trying to find a way."

Re: If he's discourages by the losses:

"It’s a little déjà vu, but I’m not discouraged at all. You could look at it a couple different ways, but we hate losing. We got to find a way eventually to win some of these games. They’re very winnable. Were just not closing the games the right way."

Re: What he takes away from the close losses:

"We just got to be better offensively and defensively. We need to be able to adjust on the fly. There’s going to be nights like that and theres not going to be nights like that, but we just have to continue to get better execution wise on both sides of the floor."

Re: Struggling to contain D.J. Augustin:

"He got in a rhythm. He did it so many different ways, he shot the ball, he made free throws, he made layups. He shot like 10-for-14 or something like that so he’s very efficient and we couldn’t slow him down tonight."

Re: The difference between this team and the 2006-07 team:

"Two different type of teams. Both had up to 50 losses. I cant really compare the two. It was a long time ago, this is different."

Re: Encouraging the younger players on the team:

"Just try to lead by example. I don’t walk around with my head down. I try to go as hard as I can each time I’m on the floor. Try to do the same thing in practice, got to keep chugging away and keep fighting."

Re: This season feeling different than 2006-07:

"That was eight years ago. You try to put those things, that season, away. I don’t think much about that season. I think about the following season and they years behind those. I cant really remember 06, just remember I didn’t play a lot."

Re: How he feels about not playing tomorrow:

"The competitive side of me wants to play but I try to do my best to keep these guys going and give them as much player coaching as possible."

Re: If he has any "butterflies" before his announcing debut:

"I don’t think so."


Jared Sullinger

Re: Losing in close games:

"Everybody knows how frustrating that is when you don’t win. I'm pretty sure everyone in here at one point was a sore loser. So that’s frustrating when you’re in the game and you lose. But we get to see them tomorrow, its like a mini-playoff series, hopefully we’ll bounce back."

Re: Playing against Joakim Noah:

"He's honestly one of my favorite players to watch. He does everything so hard. I respect it. I really do. Great passer, his shot is starting to fall now, and he’s so unselfish. He plays hard and he gives you a lot of things that you don’t see in a stat sheet. Playing against Noah is an honor, but at the same time, it's pretty tough because he’s so active. Luckily we get to see him tomorrow."

Re: D.J. Augustin:

"It didn’t surprise us. We knew coming in he was the leading scorer on the team, or second leading scorer of the team, and he comes off the bench and looks to score. He had it going tonight and he got comfortable. Once someone gets comfortable in this league, it's really really hard to make them uncomfortable. Tomorrow we just want to contest all his shots and make it tough on him."

Re: Covering Joakim Noah in the post:

"That’s one of the toughest things, when we have to guard someone when the ball goes through them, when a lot of the playmaking ability goes through them. It really changes it up. At one point you want Joakim to shoot the jumper, but at the same time you don’t want him to have that clear path to be able to make pinpoint passes like he did today, and that’s the toughest thing about Joakim when it comes to guarding him. We’ll just make adjustments tomorrow and see what we have to do."

Re: Rajon Rondo debuting as an announcer tomorrow:

"I better bring my A-game, I know that much. Because he is going to trash me the whole time. I better bring my A-game."


Bulls 107/>

Tom Thibodeau

Re: D.J. Augustin in the fourth quarter:

"He’s done it all year, he’s a big fourth quarter scorer; Big shot after, big shot. Thought Joakim (Noah) made a lot of good plays, but a lot of guys stepped up. We didn’t play our best, but we found a way to win it. We’ll take it, we got to correct our rebounding, but it was a good win none the less on the road."

Re: Rebounding being a concern for Chicago:

"Every time we got a 4 or 5 point lead we shoot to have a turnover, or we had some sequences where I thought we blocked out and we didn’t go after the ball. Those are things, ya know three guys thought the other guy had it and they start running. Those are the things we got to eliminate."

Re: The Bulls having to grind out wins:

"Well that is how we have to win. Our margin of error is not great. We got to play with great intensity each and every night to give our self a chance to win. We know we are short-handed every night so if we can get them that’s what we have to do, just have to find different ways to win and I thought we did that tonight."

Re: Being surprised with D.J. Augustin's play:

"No, I think that he plays to his strengths, I think his teammates understand what his strengths are and that’s the one thing about the finishing group; they play very well together. When people get into trouble they lead them to their strengths and that’s what you have to do be successful. I think they bring the best out in each other."

Re: His finishing five:

"The way they function as a unit. When you look at it over a long period of time I think the numbers reveal that to you; whether its plus/minus, shooting percentage, rebounding, defensive efficiency, when you look at it in totality they have been very good together."

Re: If you can teach how to be great in the final quarter like D.J. Augustin was:

"Depends on what you are talking about. Again, when you play to each other’s strengths good things are going to happen. Taj (Gibson) has also been very efficient in the 4th quarter. D.J. (Augustin) is probably our most efficient and Taj is the second most efficient and Joakim (Noah) is the playmaker and the other guys have to do their job. Kirk (Hinrich) is great, gives us the option we can run the defense through D.J. or run it through Kirk. And we can put D.J. in different situations and then Jimmy (Fredette) is the wildcard. Jimmy does everything. You don’t want to take Jimmy off the floor, he’s the catalyst, he guards everybody, he moves extremely well without the ball, you leave him open he’s going to make you pay, plays with a lot of toughness on every play, and rebounds."


D.J. Augustin

Re: Stepping it up in the fourth quarter:

"Yeah, I was trying to be aggressive and just try to take what they gave me on offensive. It just opened things up for (Joakim) Noah and made good passes to the big guys."

Re: His late go-ahead 3-pointer:

"I believe in myself. I am a basketball player, I've always thought of myself as a pretty good basketball player. I think everyone on this level is pretty good or they wouldn’t be in the NBA. I just have confidence in myself and in my teammates. I am just feeling comfortable."

Re: Whether or not he knew he had a career high during the game:

"No, not really, I really don’t follow (that), but some of my teammates told me. It's a great accomplishment and I'm glad we got the win."


Kirk Hinrich

Re: Chicago's defense:

"I think we were a little step slow defensively anticipating. You got to make multiple efforts defensively. When the ball is shot, that's the last effort. It is frustrating when that happens. I think we did a good job keeping our composure and toughing it out to get the win."

Re: Playing Boston in back-to-back games:

"I think the idea is the team that lost comes back out with more intensity, kind of similar to a playoff series. We got to make sure we match the intensity tomorrow."