That's What He Said - Celtics at Wizards

That's What He Said

Celtics at Wizards
Verizon Center, April 2, 2014

Celtics 92

Brad Stevens

Re: The game:

"I don’t want to take anything away from [the Wizards] because it’s a big night for them, clinching the playoffs and I thought they played great. But we didn’t provide any fight tonight."

Re: The last month compared to tonight:

"We got what we deserved tonight. For the most part, in the last month, we have competed and played very, very well. Maybe even since the Golden State game at home, but every other game I felt like we were in and we competed."

Re: Bouncing back from a big loss like this:

"This is a very difficult challenge. To play 82 games with great tenacity but that’s what we are paid to do and we didn’t tonight. I don’t see that becoming a trend, I don’t think it’s part of a trend, I think it’s just that we didn’t have it tonight. And that’s not good."

Re: Jared Sullinger and Kelly Olynyk:

"I thought they played hard but that’s an easy time to play—when the other team has got it wrapped up and they have nothing to gain and you have nothing to lose—that’s an easy time to play. I do think the energy of the five guys who were on the floor was very sound after [Al] Harrington went on his mini run by himself. That last seven minutes or so I thought we played with pretty good energy but by then it is just way too late and it’s easier to play at that time, when you’re behind by that much."

Rajon Rondo

Re: The loss:

"Just a bad night. There’s no excuses about what’s happened in the past. Every game is a new game. Every day is a new day. Can’t blame anything on the past."

Re: The Wizards controlling the game:

"It’s still a hard game to swallow. Like I said, they were in control the entire game. We made runs, but every time they had answers for us. They just ran us out the gym."

Re: The Celtics' energy after halftime:

"We were feeling pretty good going into the half. But the second half, pretty much deja vu. We didn’t come out with any energy and they did start off the game same as the second half."

Re: Where Boston's defense broke down:

"Transition. It starts with me. I didn’t know how to take care of the ball tonight, so in the first half they were able to get out and convert on transition. Bad shots that we shot led to transition buckets. It was pretty much an array of everything."

Re: John Wall heading to the playoffs:

"I wish him well. It’ll be fun, exciting. Every game is on TV. Guys love to play on TV, I know I do. It’ll be fun. I’m sure he’s been waiting for this opportunity, I think he’s been like four or five years. For such a young guy to have so much pressure on him, having a franchise on his back, and he’s finally able to get to the playoffs, I’m sure it’s kind of like a burden lifted off of him. I’m sure he doesn’t want to settle there. I’m sure he wants to win, but you just have to take it one series at a time."

Kelly Olynyk

Re: Facing a large deficit:

"It is tough. We got in a huge hole early. Kind of stuck with it a bit and got ourselves deeper. It is tough to keep going, but you have to be competitive and keep going."

Re: Not being able to get into a rhythm due to foul trouble:

"It is something you have to combine and be smart about. It is tough if you are in and out, in and out, in and out. It is tough to get in a rhythm, and try to get something to happen in a short time. Especially after that, you are kind of weary of not trying to foul. It is not good to play like that."

Re: Moving on from games like this:

"It is in the past. You can not dwell on it. You just have to keep moving forward. There is a lot of these games, a lot have gone by but like you said, you definitely have to limit these kind of nights, because they are not fun for anyone, does not show well, so you have to put it in the past, and just keep moving forward. On to the next one."

Wizards 118

Randy Wittman

Re: Making the playoffs:

"Not only for John, but for the guys that have been here for a number of years. This is five years for me here, and we were in a desperate spot not too long ago. When I took over, I just tried to keep telling our guys, Ted and Ernie, let’s do this the right way and build this and teach, and one day we’re going to get here. Each year, we kept putting a piece here and there, kept developing, kept maturing. Even with Nene going down missing five, six, weeks now. These guys didn’t blink an eye. We had some ups and downs like you always do and were still learning the process of what it takes to be a really good team. I couldn’t be more happy for those guys. To be through some of the times that we were in not too long ago and be able to say for guys like John that’s never been in the playoffs. I keep trying to tell him and explain the difference of how the arena is, the intensity is, how hard it’s played, how fast it is. It’s going to seem like a whole new game to these guys. I can’t wait for them to see it."

Re: Making the playoffs (continued):

"I’m just as thrilled too. This is an opportunity for me as a head coach, this is my first time and I’m looking forward to it. But we have seven games. We kept saying, let’s get ourselves in, and I tell you guys all the time, I’m worried about how we’re playing and the process we’re going about, more than getting a win here and there, and wins and losses take care of themselves. Tonight is a perfect example of that. This is most we have swung that ball side to side for 48 minutes in a long time and it gets you 29 assists. We have to play that way. We got stagnant in Charlotte the other night in the third quarter where the ball never moved."

Re: The Wizards experiencing lapses in play:

"You’re going to have lapses. I always call them good lapses. There are good lapses and bad lapses. You miss open shots, you miss a couple of free throws here and there, and the other team goes on a run. I didn’t think we had a bad lapse today where one guy came down nine times and dribbled the ball and took a shot. Or we threw one pass and took a shot, unless it was a wide open shot. I know these guys were itching for this, and I know they peaked in the video room at half time to check on the New York score and they were up 35. I told them we have to go out and do it ourselves."

Re: Otto Porter:

"He’s going to play. Otto has been great. It has been a tough year in terms of playing time. Otto is going to be fine. I am excited about what Otto is going to be in this league. The opportunity with being hurt early and not playing for the first 20 games and not stepping on the floor was a lot for him. We had good play with guys ahead of him, but I love what he can do."

Bradley Beal

Re: Clinching a playoff spot:

"It feels good man. It’s my second year, so I’m fortunate to be a part of a great group and be a part of this at an early age and it’s a good feeling to me. We still got seven games left in the regular season, but to be able to clinch the playoffs ourselves and get the win outright, it means a lot to us."

Re: How the Wizards accomplished this goal:

"I think we stuck together. It’s a great group of guys that the front office put together and we stuck together. We’ve been through a lot of ups and downs, a lot of injuries here and there, but ever since the last couple of years we built it. Now we have the pieces together and now we’re in the playoffs."

Re: The difference between the NCAA and the NBA:

"It’s definitely a different type of basketball for sure. I’m going to approach it the same way, but be more mentally focused and give it my all each game. No holding back. Me and John have never been there before, but hopefully we’ll just come out compete as best we can."

Re: The rest of the regular season:

"We definitely got to keep our seed where it is and hopefully move higher. We play Chicago, we play Charlotte again, so we are trying to chase Chicago, but Charlotte is on our tails. We definitely got to focus on each game."

Marcin Gortat

Re: The game:

"I think we just played the right way. I just think we played the right way, we were swinging the ball perfectly. We had an in and out game. We ran different stuff and each one of us contributed to that win. It was a great night."

Re: The Wizards:

"We have some talent on this team. We have some talent, a little less experienced, but each one of us fought hard for the whole season to be in this situation where we are right now. That was the first goal of that team to make the playoffs and everybody is happy."

Re: John Wall:

"I am happy for John (Wall). For the first time in his life, he’s going to be able to taste the playoffs. Hopefully, he’s going to like it and for the rest of his life he is going to play in the playoffs. Like I said before, I’ve been spoiled for my first three years with Stan (Van Gundy) winning 50 plus games every year. I had an opportunity to go to the NBA Finals. I know how it is, matter of fact, Trevor (Ariza) took that ring from me."

Re: Washington's huddle at center court:

"Again, since I’ve been traded here, I knew John (Wall) was a very good point guard and I knew he got incredible dance moves. I was trying to convince him for about six months to dance for me. Until that point, I was failing and today, he finally danced in the middle of the court for us. It was great. We didn’t say anything special. We are just happy."

Re: The team's level of satisfaction:

"We are thinking like we won the championship. It was just a simple win. It was obviously good to clinch the spot in the playoffs, but we still got seven or eight games to play and we just got to perform. We got to perform. It’s not over yet. There is opportunity for younger guys to play, because probably, the young guys are going to get some playing time maybe. This is an opportunity for them now."

John Wall

Re: Finally clinching a playoff spot:

"It's great for me, I mean you celebrate tonight and get ready to go on the road and win another game. That's the main thing for me is to try to finish the season as strong as possible and prepare ourselves for a great playoff seed spot. But I put all the pressure on me in anything we do, losing, winning, or anything like that. That's just the way I am and that’s how competitive I am so for this [to happen and] to do it with a great group of guys means a lot."

Re: Clinching a playoff post (continued):

"It's great, it’s everything I've been waiting for as a point guard and trying to learn how to lead in this league and become a better player but also I think the fans deserve it. The tough time they went through of them booing us and us feeling bad when we're not playing good or playing the right way and having the right people around the organization. Those guys in the front office and the coaching staff are doing a great job of building us as players and trusting in their system and going out there and playing as a group and one whole team, it means a lot."

Re: Being named an All-Star compared to making the playoffs:

"This is bigger than that. I told ya'll that. All-Star is my own separate goals and what I wanted to accomplish for myself but everything I do is for the team first. I wouldn't be able to be an All-Star and have these individual accolades without those guys and a great group of teammates. Everything I do I put my teammates’ priority and my coaching staff [first]. This is what everybody wanted as a group."

Otto Porter

Re: If he heard the crowd chanting his name:

"Of course. I was just trying to come in and continue to play. Coach said, ‘This is an opportunity for you and make the most of it’ and I did."

Re: If the 3-pointer he hit bolstered his confidence:

"Definitely. Seeing it go down, I’ve been working all year for that shot to go down. Just seeing it go down, definitely boosted my confidence."

Re: Being a part of the Wizards:

"It’s huge. I just want to do this thing together with this team, going to the playoffs. We’ve worked hard all year and to get rewarded with the playoffs is huge."

Re: What the win means to him and to Washington fans:

"It means a lot to this organization, to come out, to get this win, to clinch the playoffs. It’s what we’ve been keying on since the first day we all came together before training camp. This is definitely a big accomplishment for us."

Re: The rest of the season:

"We want to finish strong. We don’t want to rest these next couple of games just because we are in the playoffs. We want to finish out feeling good about ourselves going into the playoffs."