Postgame Quotes - April 3, 2013

Pistons at Celtics

Detroit: Lawrence Frank | Greg Monroe | Jonas Jerebko | Charlie Villanueva
Boston: Doc Rivers | Paul Pierce | Avery Bradley

Pistons Head Coach Lawrence Frank

“We looked like they were playing at a whole different speed, and so we inserted the 2 bigs, I thought Jonas and Charlie gave us great minutes, obviously we rode them for what, 18 consecutive minutes? And you know, when you get there and youre fighting, its hard to take a guy out, especially when theyre making different sorts of plays and, look…when you think abut some of the looks that we had down the stretch, just wide open jumpers and we just couldn’t convert them. But we contunie to compete, especially when you look at in the third quarter, it was starting to go the other way, when you look at basically the entire third quarter where our catch and shoot defense wasn’t very good at all…half their points were off baseline screens, and then the way we began the third. But to be able to fight through and reverse it and show resolve…im proud of that. Just unfortunately we just couldn’t convert some of the shots. You always look at are you getting good shots for our guys, and I think, especially down the stretch, our guys had pretty good looks.”

Re: On last possession, Knight’s look: Ya, look, the good thing is it all started with Greg [Monroe]. Greg drove, forced help, skip pass. Open shot, touch pass. Open shot, touch pass. Kept on going, you know Charlie is one of our highest percentage 3 point shooters, obviously some of the shots didn’t go tonight, but there was great trust. We had a great look at it. I thought the prior side out, Greg made a great read, Charlie made a great pass going back door, getting a quick 2. Charlie’s pass to Jonas for the three…so we made some plays but unfortunately we left a few out there.”

Re: On Jeff Green’s level of play: “Jeff’s as a starter, averaging 21 points a game, 19 over his last 10…you know Jeff’s a very very good player, and I think what you’ve seen, he got off to a tough start this year and obviously he had major major life threatening surgery last year. And obviously Jeff is a high-character guy, so you kind of always like, well I didn’t like to see him do well tonight, but by and large, every other game you pull for him, especially with what he went through.

Re: On not bringing Drummond back in after long break: “Yeah, just too long. He was right at 20 minutes, maybe you push him to 24, but once that group got it rolling, you got to the point of no return and the last thing I wanna do is bring him back dry and risk him pulling a hamstring, it wouldn’t be prudent.”

Re: On Jonas asserting himself more: “Well look, Jonas just has to paly with energy. The points never really tell the story with Jonas’ game. Its just play with energy, effort, hustle plays. Make simple plays, don’t, you know, its not like were gonna run a ton of plays for Jonas, but just make plays within the structure and just stay organized and disciplined.”

Re: On Villanueva not scoring but doing the little things: “Yeah, so but its credit, that’s how you stay on the floor. So he rebounded the ball, you think asbiut the energy, some of the passes he made…and that’s how when you have a shooter you just think over the course of time that the law of averages is gonna come and it just, like I said, he had some great looks, it just didn’t fall his way. You think aobut this road trip in itself, and we went 1-2, but we had a chance to win all three of them. I know that’s what the losing team says, but we really did.”

Pistons Forward Charlie Villanueva

Re: Missed shots – would you take them again? “I’ll take them any time. Just a rough night for me offensively. Couldn’t buy a basket. Seemed like there was a lid on the rim for me. Got some good looks, just missed them, and my teammates did a great job of finding me and keep finding me and I give them all the praises. I feel like I let them down.”

Re: Was there hesitation after missing all those shots? “No hesitation. I shoot them like I normally shot them. Just wasn’t going in.”

Re: Series of missed opportunities at the end: “It was one of those nights. Offensively it seemed it was hard for us to score but we fought back. We were down 16, 18 in the third and those five guys that were out there did pretty well in getting us back into the game. We just missed some key buckets down the stretch.”

Re: Doing the little things, but not scoring: “One of those nights, what can you say? The basketball Gods weren’t on my side today. On to the next one.”

Re: Jeff Green’s performance: “He’s a versatile player. He can do a little bit of everything – post up, he’s very agile, he’s quick. He’s a good player.”

Pistons Forward Jonas Jerebko

Re: Will this be a tough one to take looking back? “Yeah, you know. We played well enough to win. The ball just didn’t bounce our way. They made a couple tough shots and like I said, the ball just did not bounce our way.”

Re: The run late in the third quarter: “We’ve done that the last few games – they run out on us a little bit in the second quarter and took a ten or twelve point lead in the half. We just said keep playing, keep working hard and keep playing together. We came back in the game showed resilience right there and like I said, the ball just didn’t bounce our way in the last two, three, four minutes.”

Re: Villanueva’s performance: “He had great looks. Charlie’s a shooter, he’s going to keep shooting it. 2-for-17? We could have won by ten, but the ball didn’t bounce our way. We got great looks, we shared the ball, I’m happy with the way we played and came back in the game. We had some unfortunate missed closed ones.”

Re: His own assertion in opportunities: “I just want to be out there on the court with my teammates playing. Everything comes after that. I’m just working hard and I want to be in there all the time so whenever he calls my name I’m in there.”

Pistons Forward Greg Monroe

Re: How tough is this one to take? “Definitely tough. We definitely had some great looks coming down the stretch at the end of the game. Makeable shots. Peoples’ shots that they’re very comfortable making, and I would take those shots any night of the week.”

Re: Missed opportunities across the board: “I had a couple turnovers that were big. Like I said those are shots that I would take any night of the week. They missed them but I would take those shots any night of the week. It’s tough losing like this but guys showed a lot of fight, guys showed a lot of effort.”

Re: The team’s growth: “We’ve had a lot of growth. What we have to do is avoid getting down 18. Maybe we’ll have a better chance. Like I said, guys fought through it, they didn’t let it get by. We took control of the game. Not all the way, but we definitely got back into the game. We had a good chance to win.”

Celtics Head Coach Doc Rivers
Re Jeff Green: “I just think he’s been aggressive; he’s become more efficient. I think one part of his game that’s opening up: he’s starting to make the elbow shots. Early in his career, even most of this year, basically it was either the corners or to the basket. And now he’s starting to make those shots on the elbows, which have been very good for us. And I think he’s being – he’s aggressive but he’s also being patient as well. I think him and Paul (Pierce) are trying to figure each other out, and who has the matchup. We don’t know going into the game who they’re going to put the small – if there is a small – guard on. And so you have to figure that out; doesn’t take long. And then we don’t want to get stuck on one side. But overall I like the way he’s playing.”

Re does he like the dynamic of Pierce and Green together: “I do. It’s amazing, we’ve practiced it all year, but Jeff just wasn’t ready, honestly. Defensively. So I do like that line-up, though.”

Re Green: “I just think he’s playing now. I don’t think he worries about who’s on the floor with him or anything like that. I do think that takes time though, when you’re playing with Paul and Kevin (Garnett) and (Rajon) Rondo earlier in the year. I think that’s hard. You see those three guys and you tend to think, ‘Do I, should I, be aggressive?’ We still want him to push the ball more, and when he rebounds – you know, he did it the one time, it was a big play for us – I think we had four or five more we thought he could have done it. So we’ve got to work on that. But overall he’s been great for us.”

Re mismatch on inside: “Listen, they had 25 offensive rebounds. The fact – we won a game when a team had, what was it 25? 25 offensive rebounds, they had 22 more shots than us, and they had more free throws than us. When you just look at those numbers – we shot the hell out of the ball. We were over 50%, and they didn’t shoot the ball very well. They shot 37%. So that’s why we won. You know it’s funny, defensively, you could make a case that we had an unbelievable defensive night. They took 22 more shots than you did, and you still outscored them. That means you had to do a lot of good things defensively, and then offensively you have too be too efficient. And we were.”

Re Brandon Bass doing a lot of little things: “He really is. You know, hell, maybe the blessing is without Kevin we’ve removed the security blanket. And Brandon – he has to be the talker on defense now. He has to do the things. It’s great: he was upset at someone early in the game because they were in the wrong position, and I was thinking, ‘Wow, that’s really new. And that’s really nice.’ That’s good, so maybe it’s a blessing.”

Re are other coaches rooting for Jeff Green: “Yeah, I think a lot of guys are cheering for Jeff. They want him to do well; Chris (Wilcox) too. Our league, it’s funny, we hate each other, we hate the opponent, but then when a guy goes down you really want them to get back healthy and do well. I mean, on every team. I was telling Tyson Chandler the other night when he got hurt in Denver, I thought it was his knee and I was sitting there like, ‘Oh please, G-d, no’ even thought that’s your opponent. I don’t think anybody wants to win that way. You want to play the best and see what they’ve got.”

Celtics Forward Paul Pierce

“I mean it’s very tough. You’ve got a guy who’s taking it upon himself in these types of situations to step up, along with myself, along with Jason Terry. So it’s nice to see, just to have that dimension.”

Re: How does it feel to have playoffs locked: “We knew we were a playoff team before the season started, you know despite the injuries and everything. Right now we just want to focus on continuing to play well going into the playoffs.”

Re: Was this one frustrating regardless of the win: “Well, yeah. We had a 14 point lead there late in the third. With like a minute to go they trimmed it to 7. You know I think we just made things a little more difficult than they were suppose to be. Guys have got to be ready when they come in the game, to step up. I thought we let them back into the game a little too easy. They out-rebounded us, they pushed us around. The one constant I say we can have regardless if our shots fall is our defensive rebounding and we didn’t just do a good job in that department tonight.”

Re: Green being a main option now: “Well yeah. You have seen a lot of flashes of that this year. A lot of times teams come into this game really focused on what I’m trying to do and the scouting report. And you’ve got a guy like Jeff who can put up big numbers like that, who can take over like that. It’s fun, it’s fun to watch and to be a part of.”

Re: Playing without KG until playoffs: “Well there’s some value in winning and there’s also a lot of value in getting some of these other guys some playing time and some confidence going into the playoffs. The playoffs is a totally different game, it’s nothing like the regular season. But at least these guys will go out there and get there feet wet. See some shots go in, rebound the ball and get some experience while they’re out there.”

Celtics Guard Avery Bradley

Re: Up and down game: “Definitely. I feel like we’ve been doing this all season. You know, playing up and down, in spurts playing basketball. I think it was in the third quarter we weren’t playing the right way, got the lead, you know we’ve got to keep continuing to move the ball. If we stop moving the ball for a second then they showed, they started coming back.”

Re: How confident you guys will be playing right way in playoffs: “Very confident. I’m confident in our coaches, I know they’ll get us prepared. Not only them but our leaders. They’re going to make sure everybody knows what they’re doing when they get on the court.”

Re: How do you spend next two weeks up until post-season: “Taking steps forward every single game. Executing our plays, getting our defensive coverages right. Me personally continuing to get better every single day. And I know my teammates we want to prove as a team to be the best team we can be going into the playoffs.”

Re: Jeff Green producing: “Very dangerous. Especially when KG gets back.”

“Brandon Bass is a very good player, a very good shooter. He played hard tonight on both ends of the floor. He had a great game.”

Re: Continuity with injuries: “It’s hard, but at the end of the day we know how to play Celtic basketball. And that’s moving the ball and playing the right way. So we’ll be fine, no matter who’s on the floor.”