Postgame Quotes - December 18, 2013

Pistons vs Celtics

Detroit: Maurice Cheeks | Greg Monroe | Brandon Jennings
Boston: Brad Stevens | Courtney Lee | Avery Bradley

Pistons Head Coach Maurice Cheeks

What liked most about win tonight: “I thought our second half was obviously better than the first half. The first quarter, number one, our energy was low. We picked our energy up, got back in the game, went in the locker room down 11 and our energy picked up in the 3rd quarter. I thought we made plays, got our defense back, got set a little bit and that changed the game for us.”

What stopped Celtics momentum and turned game around: “We just kept reiterating about the defense, about continuing to play defense, get ourselves back, get ourselves set and try and take the three ball out of the game. That’s what we just kept talking about time and time again.”

Brandon (Jennings) making plays: “He made plays. In the 4th quarter when you have a guy that has the ability to make plays and Chauncey (Billups) was on the floor as well so he really couldn’t help as much when you have another shooter on the floor. He had more one-on-one space although Avery Bradley, pretty good defender, kept him in front of him pretty good, but he still made plays. If it wasn’t for him, he made it for other players, like Monroe (Greg) had plays down low. We had a lot of guys that made plays.”

Play in last second of 3rd quarter Kyle (Singler) draws foul on Humphries (Kris): “That was a huge play because we got a travel and then they get the ball out of bounds and Kyle stays with the play and we end up getting two fouls shots. That ended up being a huge play because we could have been down 13 or if they make a three or a two, we stayed with the play, more than anything, we stayed with the play and stayed in the game.”

Last timeout with 5 sec substitution for Josh (Harrellson) to guard Jeff Green: “Well they weren’t small, when they were small it helped us out a little bit so we could put another small guy in there and allow Josh to guard a bigger guy, which was Jeff Green, who’s pretty quick getting to the rim, but we had the ability to match up that time.”

After Indiana and tonight what does this win do to team: “Well it can pick us up. To win that game in Indiana, to lose a tough game, I think losing a tough game in Portland was as big as winning the game because we just realize that we really had to come together and stay together and to make plays down this stretch of games. Tonight was another example of making plays down the stretch of the game, because we got the lead, went 5, 7 and they got a three point play and we had to make plays and Brandon (Jennings) ended up making plays and Greg (Monroe) made a couple plays. That loss against Portland allowed us and made us to really come together to win that game against Indiana and then to come in here and regroup once again and with this game tonight.”

Pistons Guard Brandon Jennings

“He (Coach Cheeks) tells me to go be great with five minutes to go in the game, so that’s what I’m trying to do. It’s not all about just making shots all the time; just making plays or trying to get a big defensive stop.”

The attitude when you guys were down early: “It was tough at first. I mean, we gave a team 35 points in the first quarter, you usually don’t come back from that. But we came back here in the second half, Mo went off on us and kind of woke us up. That third quarter was amazing for us.”

Was the win important to sustain momentum after the Indiana game: “Yeah, and plus, if we want to be a top team in this league, we can’t beat the best teams and then lose to teams that we should beat. We gotta get these games. But we got another tough one. Bobcats is right behind us, they’re right on us right now, so it doesn’t get easier. But, like you said, last five minutes I want the ball. That don’t mean I’m a scorer, but just make things happen.”

Pistons Forward Kyle Singler

Were there certain plays that helped you climb back in it: “We did make some plays that kind of changed the momentum of the game, but it was just effort. We didn’t play great basketball in the first half, but yeah little plays kind of add up.”

Did you feel like it would end on a big defensive play: “Yes and no. Brandon hit a big shot and then we got stops, so you could kind of call it either way. But we just came up with big plays today to win this game and it’s a great win for us.”

Coming off the win at Indiana and then you come out so flat tonight, was this important for momentum: “I wouldn’t say we came out flat, we just didn’t get back on defense, we just weren’t in rhythm.”

Boston Head Coach Head Coach Brad Stevens

Regarding final play: “I thought we got Sully (Jared Sullinger) setting the screen for Jeff (Green) at the top of the key and then they were going to play off that, just single pin-down. And with four seconds left I think the bottom line is to try and get it to a guy that you think can make a play, and even though it wasn’t a great night for Jeff overall, getting it into the middle of the floor with him driving in that direction – we’ve all seen him make those plays time and again so that was – I don’t have a problem with the last shot we got, by any means.”

Did he almost dread the last three quarters after such a strong start: “No. No, I wish we would’ve played better but you know that there’s a lot of game left. You know, the easy part is to say that we were up 19 and we didn’t hold on, but the bottom line is they outplayed us for 36 minutes out of 48. So we outplayed them for 12, and it wasn’t good enough. And it’s not going to be good enough. They turned us over, and that was the difference in the game, I thought.”

Regarding second-to-last play: “There was a flare away that we were setting actually for Sullinger. And Brandon (Bass) didn’t think it was there and it probably wasn’t, so it was great defense on Detroit’s part. And then he did, you know he could’ve tried to score that, but at the same time what’s going through his head is probably the play first and then he didn’t end up taking the shot. And so we called a time-out and got it back and again got what I would consider to be a reasonable look after that.

Were turnovers piling up the biggest problem after the first quarter: “Clearly. 30 points off turnovers is not going to do you much good. I think it’s easy to – it’s easy for all of us, myself included, to be really focused on ‘we had a 19-point lead and didn’t win the game,’ but we got out-played for 36 minutes. And in a 48-minute game, that’s usually a bad sign.”

Why did he think they got outplayed; were they too confident: “I don’t know; that’s a good question. I think that they played very free, obviously, but they also know, as we all know, everybody that’s in this room knows there’s been a lot of NBA games and 19 points is nothing. Especially with 36 minutes to go, and the fire-power and athleticism and talent that they have. So, I thought they got shots at the rim off of our turnovers and that was the key in the game again. I just think you can’t give them angled points. You can’t give them points without a guy between them and the basket, because they’re going to score enough with a person between them and the basket. So you can’t just give them run-outs and dunks and all that stuff and put-backs. That’s just a recipe for disaster.”

Does the team’s fighting to the end make it easier for him, as a coach: “It’s a good question. I think that I hate to celebrate that, because I think should be how you always should play. But that’s just kind of my outlook on sports. So, I think, I appreciate it being something that we talk about as a real positive, but it should be an expectation to play through the buzzer.”

Boston Guard Courtney Lee

“I just wanted to be aggressive as much as possible. Watching the game at the end of the third quarter and then watching the game at the start of the fourth quarter we was stagnant a little bit, we wasn’t scoring, we was turning the ball over and they were beating us down the court. So, one thing that crossed my mind was just be aggressive.”

What was the difference between the first quarter and after? “We started off executing well and playing for each other, getting stops. I think we started off the game with like four stops in a row. So, that was the key. In the second half they was coming down hitting shots and getting what they want.”

Boston Guard Avery Bradley

“All we can do is learn from this game and go into the next practice and prepare for our next game.”

In reference to Brandon Jennings. “You know he was just able to make some tough shots tonight.”

“Like we always say, that’s what kind of team we are. We are always going to fight until the buzzer goes off.”

Difference in the last three quarters. “We turned the ball over a lot. We weren’t playing the way we played in the first quarter and you know that resulted to the loss.”