Timberwolves at Celtics
TD Garden, December 16, 2013
Re: Boston learning about fighting from behind from their last game:
"The other night I felt like it was going to be harder to come back in that situation, because I thought they had a good – the Knicks had a good way about them going into the last eight minutes – and I thought Minnesota did too. But Minnesota’s on the second of a back-to-back. They’ve traveled a lot in the last four days. And we’ve been through that on the other end a couple times ourselves and that’s a really difficult thing. And so I don’t want to minimize that. They missed some shots at the rim that they normally would make, but our guys were advantageous in pulling out a win and made some big plays down the stretch themselves, both offensively and defensively."
Re: Making Kevin Love work for his 27 points:
"Obviously Kevin Love’s in that elite group of guys that you really respect from the outside looking in, and when you get in the middle of it you respect even more because he can do so many things. The best part about tonight was our primary defender on him wasn’t playing much of the night with foul trouble and I thought (Kris) Humphries did a phenomenal job off the bench for us on both ends of the floor, but certainly in guarding and defending Kevin Love. He did it as well as he could, and I certainly was very happy with that, and I was very happy with how we guarded him on the last couple of out-of-bounds plays because obviously we thought that he was the go-to for three in those situations."
Re: Balancing Kelly Olynyk and Humphries' minutes:
"Yeah, we needed them last Wednesday, bad. And I think that having all five guys may be a tough juggling act, but it’s also an advantage to be able to throw five different guys in with five different skill sets. We had a bunch of jump shots made by our bigs tonight and that stretches the floor; that’s a real positive thing. I think Kelly had two threes, Sully (Jared Sullinger) had at least one. And so I feel really good about those guys and the different strengths they bring to the table."
Re: Kris Humphries and the bench:
"I might’ve said this before. My admiration for guys usually goes to the guys that don’t get opportunities because they have to deal with stuff that’s harder than being the guy that plays the minutes. And so, you know, I thoroughly respect those guys that are sitting. And when their time comes, nobody’s rooting harder for them than me for them to take advantage of it. And so it’s nice to see that, and I give Keith (Bogans) and MarShon (Brooks) credit; they have the exact same attitude as Kris, and when their extended opportunities come I think they’ll take advantage of it just like he has because they’re good teammates."
Re: Controlling the game down the stretch:
"We were playing hard. We knew the ball was gonna bounce in our favor, someway, somehow. As long as we stay together, with everything that was happening through the first three quarters, we stayed through it all. I thought the unit I was on - Phil (Pressey), Gerald (Wallace), Kelly (Olynyk), and Courtney (Lee), we kind of gathered each other and kind of picked up the momentum in the end. And then Jordan (Crawford), Avery (Bradley), Jeff (Green), and Hump (Kris Humphries), and then (Brandon) Bass at the end, we can keep going all on and on, a lot of those guys, they played a big part in this win today."
Re: Defending the rim:
"We just tried to make it difficult. We understand that we’re small and we had to play as a group tonight. With Kevin Love playing inside-outside, got big Pek in there, and Corey Brewer likes to leak down and back-cut at times, so we were just protecting the rim as a unit and playing hard."
Re: Jared Sullinger:
"He was phenomenal. Down the stretch especially, he hit a huge three, free throws to seal the game, and a couple big rebounds; not much more you can ask for from a guy."
Re: Sullinger modeling his game after Kevin Love:
"Yeah, you can definitely see that the way he’s shooting the ball from outside right now, taking guys inside rebounding. He’s a good guy to model your game after."
Re: Boston's growth since the last time they met Minnesota:
"I think confidence. At shootaround earlier this morning, me and BB (Brandon Bass) was talking and we just feel like we know it’s gonna be a tough game for the other team when they come in here or when they play against us period. So you know, I think it’s confidence."
Re: The Celtics and Timberwolves being even in second-chance points:
"We definitely wanted the guards to finish at the rim and just stay home on their shooters. They still got a couple rebounds, but we did a good job overall."
Re: The game:
"It’s just a disappointing loss. We had every chance to win that game; couldn’t make a layup, couldn’t make a shot, for our starters it really was a struggle. We just missed too many opportunities that were right there for us."
Re: The T'Wolves struggling from the free throw line:
"Well, yeah, we are shooting 81 percent from the free throw line for the year, and sometimes that happens. Our guys battled and everything, but we just didn’t do enough to win the game."
Re: His starters' shot selection:
"We got some wide open shots. I thought we forced a few in the first quarter, point blank shots at the basket, some of them, break away layups that we missed. There were so many that we missed that were pretty good shots."
Re: Needing the second unit after back-to-back games:
"Yeah, I thought the second group did well - came into the second quarter and played well. Then in the 4th quarter they came out and did a nice job. If anything can be said for that is that we got some contribution there, maybe got some confidence in some of those guys."
Re: Gorgui Dieng:
"I thought he was good, he tired. He’s a rookie, he can’t guard anybody inside without getting a foul. It’s hard for me to understand couple of the fouls that he got and you saw all banging going on on Kevin (Love) and Pekovic (Nikola) I thought he was active; He’s going to be active and make a difference. If the more guys that we have off the bench who are contributing, the easier it is to play guys."
Re: Minnesota's poor shooting:
"We shot the ball terribly all game, myself included. I mean, I thought every shot I was taking was going to go in but it seemed like everyone was hitting the front rim and out. That was the story of our game. I thought J.J. had a great look to put us up with that three and you know, it went wide right and Pek missed a few at the rim. You know that was just the story of our night. We felt we could have beat that team but you know they executed down the stretch, but more than anything we beat ourselves."
Re: Feeling like one got away:
"Oh big time, big time. We beat that team a large majority of the time we play them. You know like they say, **** happens."
Re: Jared Sullinger studying his game over the summer:
"Yeah, he has got a soft touch. Tonight he played well."
Re: The game:
"We weren’t great tonight from the start to the end. So, it’s something that we have to improve. It is one of those things, you know, where it is a lot of shots. Plenty of us have to do it, easy shots and that can’t happen. It’s one of those nights where you just have to get through. It’s sad because we couldn’t win and today was a good way to go over .500, because we have been fighting over and under .500 a lot of times lately. It was a good game to go over .500."
Re: Feeling like Minnesota gave this game away:
"Well I mean, this one hurt. I mean, don’t get me wrong - they are a good team, but we didn’t play good. So when you don’t do your best, that hurts a lot."
Re: Rondo's biggest challenge after his ACL injury:
"It’s hard. It depends on how he feels and how much he trusts his knee. It is something I have been through and I can tell what I have been through, that it wasn’t easy. Even when I was playing it took a long time for me to be myself again."