Postgame Quotes - April 3, 2011

Pistons at Celtics
Detroit: John Kuester | Will Bynum

Boston: Doc Rivers | Jermaine O'Neal | Kevin Garnett

Pistons Head Coach John Kuester

(On letting the game slip away): “Yeah, it’s a game of spurts and they’re a veteran team that understands how to finish games, and how to take advantage of certain situations. The transition defense wasn’t where it should have been.”

(On Rondo taking over the game without scoring many points): “He did a great job. They have such a good nucleus of players, and they recognize there are a number of weapons. A guy like Rondo doesn’t have to score to be affective.”

(On what led to the Pistons demise towards the end of the game): “I thought we had spirits where I thought our energy was outstanding. The one thing I was disappointed in was that we weren’t communicating on the floor the way we had been doing some in the past. You have to do that when you’re on the road and you’re playing a team of their caliber. Transitionally, we can’t give them easy opportunities and we did during that spirit we talked about earlier.”

(On Rodney Stuckey not playing): “No, one of the things that happens is this is a growing process. In that growing process, he had a slight setback.”

(On getting down by double digits): “Well, during that time you have to have efficient offense and then you have to get a number of stops, because we know we’re a team that scratches and claws for everything we get. The big thing, they shot 66%, and when they’re shooting that effectively, a lot of that was during that transition, we got to make them work harder.

Pistons Will Bynum

“You know, there was a number of problems out there. I thought we turned the ball over a little too much. We didn’t match any of their runs, especially the run they went on in the second half. It’s a tough team. But the main thing, I think, is trying to finish out strong, you know compete every possession, and just try and get better at your craft.”

(On covering Rondo and outscoring him 20-4): “Yeah, you know going into the game plan it’s to back-up off him, but I don’t know how efficient that is because he’s able to see the floor a little bit more and run all their sets and get them in the right positions to score the basketball, especially their main player. So it’s a tough coverage.”

(On whether is basketball fun to him right now): “Basketball’s always fun. I mean, I love to play it. I don’t just play it because it’s my job; this is something I’ve dreamed about since I was young. So I love to do it. And I’m just trying to get better every single game, and matter the circumstances. I mean, we’re still here for one reason. We’re professional athletes and we’re here to win. We’re here to get better. We’re here to have fun while we’re out there. So, we have to do that.”

Celtics Head Coach Doc Rivers

(On Shaquille O’Neal): “The update is that it’s not the same injury. Had nothing to do with the Achilles; it’s a calf strain. It’s not a bad strain, but it’s a strain. So similar to the one Von (Wafer) had but not even close to the severity.”

(On Shaq’s play while he was in the game): “Yeah, it was great. We had size. You know it’s amazing what size does.”

(On Jermaine O’Neal’s start): “It was good. The problem was when Shaq went down then we had to bring Jermaine, went in, and he was already at his minutes that I wanted to play him – literally coming out at halftime. So that’s why I only played him four minutes and then brought him in. It’s killing the rotations. Any rotations right now that we even think about having are just – we’re just throwing them out of the window because stuff is happening.”

(On whether Jermaine O’Neal and Nenad Krstic are enough in the middle): “Yeah, I do. I think so. We have to have – I kept saying – one of the O’Neal brothers is important. And then Krstic is important. He has to be healthy. If we have that we do have size, but we have to have one – I’ll take two – but we have to have one of the O’Neal brothers.”

(On Paul Pierce’s game): “He’s been great. He’s had a hell of a year. So damn efficient. You know, seven for ten. His rebounding. He helped me out in a big way because I took him out and he knew we needed to get someone in and he came up to me and said, ‘I’ll go in for five, six minutes and play the four, the three with Jeff (Green). Because I was trying to get him rested at that time too, and so that was great.”

(On Jeff Green trying to find himself offensively): You know, I think he’s too nice. He’s trying to please the other guys on the floor. I’ve always thought playing with us is difficult when you’re new, because you’re playing with Paul (Pierce) and Ray (Allen) and Kevin (Garnett) and (Rajon) Rondo and you almost don’t think like you deserve to be an aggressive offensive player, or you should be. And I think he does that way too much. He had a couple today where he had clear drives and he still – you know, you see Ray and Paul there and, ‘I think I should throw it to them.’ And we’re trying to tell him we need him to be aggressive. He’ll get it. He’s getting better each game. One of the things he has to improve on is rebounding. He had zero the other night; he had four tonight. He can be a better rebounder for us.”

Celtics Forward Jermaine O'Neal

(On his first start at home): “Felt good, felt good to be back, it’s just going to be about progression, today was probably the first day felt sore coming to the game. Didn’t even know I was going to start until the shoot around, but we got into the weight room, did some legs stuff. But that’s just part of the process, tomorrow, get a practice in, get acquainted with the new system. They’ve changed some plays some I’m kind of learning on the fly and asking Rondo at the same time during the game, where I’m supposed to be today.”

(On not having setbacks): “I’ve never been concerned about the knee being sore and having set backs. It’s more about the body being sore with the banging and stuff like that. But I’ve passed all the tests that I’m supposed pass leaving Chicago so I’m pretty excited about that.”

(On sympathizing with Shaq): “Man he seemed to be in good spirits when he left, and I think he may be out there on Tuesday, but we’ll see. He was laughing and joking, I think it was more of a scare for the guys on the team and the fans of the Celtics. But, I think getting some practice time, cause he hasn’t had the ability to practice, it was kind of on the fly, he hasn’t been able to test it. And today he kind of tweaked it, hopefully for us we can get him back sooner because he got out to a great start today.”

Celtics Forward Kevin Garnett

(On Shaq): “That wasn’t good, to see him. He’s been working his behind to get back to this point. He had some momentum going, he definitely gave us a spark. It was good to see him out there. If you know Shaq, you know he is always in spirits and to see him go like that was tough.”

(On aggressive play): “I think everybody has to be a little more aggressive coming down the stretch. Entering the playoffs we’ve got to be consistent with a certain level and at the same time playing that way within the system. Aggressive, just coming from the Atlanta game I didn’t think I was that aggressive in the second half. That’s where I’m at with it.”

(On his own health): “I’m healthy, I’m stronger. I know we are all dealing with our little knickknacks. No one is 100% and I’m no different from that. At the same time, I’m trying to be aggressive. Easier said than done.”

(On entering the playoffs): “I think trying to get the rotations done for at least who is going to be playing and the rhythm down for the guys and understanding who is going to be healthy. That’s the biggest dilemma here. We are dealing with the health issue here and I think sometimes is messing with the inconsistency of what we are doing. Obviously the team out there ands the guys out there on the court has to be accountable with what we are doing. At the same time teaching new guys new schemes, our schemes, and on top of that trying to understand the rotation and who is healthy. We are multi-tasking here.”