Read what the players and coaches had to say following Boston's 97-90 victory over Dallas.
Click on a player to reveal quotes from their postgame press conference.
RE: Daniel Theis’ rebounding tonight:
“I thought Theis’ rebounding was great. The best example of our team really flying around is when our guards rebound like they did at the start of the fourth quarter. You know, Shane (Larkin) is in there going above guys as they’re blocking out. Terry (Rozier)’s in there. Obviously Marcus Smart does it all the time. Jayson Tatum does it all the time. Like, those are – that’s usually a good indicator that we’re pretty locked in, but I thought our bench – Theis specifically, Shane, Terry – those guys all gave us great lifts.”
RE: Going deep into the bench – specifically to Guerschon Yabusele and Abdel Nader – in the second quarter:
“I thought they both did a pretty good job, you know? And those guys work really hard. I mean, nobody’s in the gym more than Nader. And it’s good to see that first shot go down and – and then to make a steal and to make some plays in there. And then Guerschon, I thought, did a good job of kind of playing through him. We need to – we need to be able to play through him in the high post and the top of the key, kind of like we do Al (Horford) when he’s in the game, and I thought he did a pretty good job of that. They haven’t gotten a lot of opportunities here yet, but inevitably they will. Because in the NBA, you can have afternoons like today, where all of a sudden you’re down to 11 guys, and the next man up’s got to be ready.”
RE: What changed for the Celtics defensively in the second half:
“I thought we played harder.”
RE: His comfort in playing Shane Larkin after long layoffs:
“Well, he’s been active, I think, most of these games, but he wasn’t able to play the last few. I mean, he’s still coming of that fall in Miami. And, he tried to play in Indiana for a couple of minutes there but he just didn’t have it. So, it’s been good to -- to give him a little bit of a rest. Because you know what he’s going to be able to do. I mean, when he goes in, he can change the tempo. He can – he can get into people on defense. He can – he can drive, he can shoot. You know, he missed a couple of threes, and then he had the moxie to make the next one. Like, he’s a good basketball player. And when we got him, to me it’s all about: games where it’s not going great, he can change the tempo of that. And nights where you don’t have all your bodies, you feel great about him with the ball.”
RE: Is he happy with the team’s growth and progress at this point in the season:
“Yeah, I feel good about where we’re headed. We’ve got a long way to go. Number one concern headed into the season was going to be familiarity, and learning how to play together. Defensively we’ve shown an ability to do that. We’ve added some coverages which we’re not great at yet, but we’ll get better as we go through the season, which is good. We’ve been forced to do that because of the way teams are attacking us. And then offensively we’ve improved. So, you’re not going to have it every night at the highest of high levels on both ends of the court. There are nights like that, but, you know, if you can do it most of the time, or most of the possessions, then you’ve got a good chance.”
RE: How is this team able to come out on top, especially during an up/down game like tonight?
“I think Coach mentioned it after the game that we are at best when we are just flying around and everybody is covering for each other and that is what we did. Guards, our wings and point guards were in there grabbing rebounds and flying around and we made a lot of things happen at the end of the game.”
RE: Does this feel like an extension of the overtime game in Dallas?
“This is a good team no matter what their record is and we’re going to get every team’s best shot and they are going to always play hard. So I feel you could say that. They gave us a tough battle and we had to work for it and we just got to keep that focus for the full game, 48 minutes.”
RE: What did tonight show about the team’s depth with Jaylen Brown/Marcus Morris out?
“We mentioned it in shoot around that everybody just has to be ready, especially when you can call to anyone on your bench and they are ready. We just are covering for one another and we’re a team and we are pros for a reason. We put in all this hard work and you got to be ready.”
RE: Guerschon Yabusele and Shane Larkin performances:
“Shane, a guy that played in the league before and Guerschon just got here but we have a good locker room, we have a great organization where guys make sure that we hold one another accountable so nobody gets down and we got a lot of guys cheering each other on and everybody is just ready and step up when its’ their time.”
RE: How confident are in you with the team’s ability to close?
“Very confident. I think it all starts with Kyrie (Irving) for us, everybody knows that. He came in and made some big plays, big shots. Our defense in the second half was great. I felt like we really locked down and we did a better job.”
RE: What can you say with guys coming off the bench like Guerschon Yabusele and Shane Larkin?
“Just them being very professional, staying focused. Those guys are working harder than pretty much any of us every day because they are in the gym, they are getting extra shots, extra conditioning and it’s just good to see them get rewarded. Guerschon was great, his energy was great. Then Shane, very impressive, came out aggressive and then defensively he had some big plays for us so just happy to see our bench guys able to get some minutes.”
RE: When you see a record of 22-4 what do you think?
“It’s pretty good. I’m very happy! Going into the season, you never have any expectations, but this is good. We obviously want to keep building on it, but we’re doing a good job playing at a high level. We have such a young group and you just never know how quick guys are going to pick up things. From day one, with this group, guys try to play the right way, they’re about the right things and when you have a group of guys like that you get these kinds of results.”
RE: What seemed to happen in terms of the shot making for your team in the fourth quarter?
“Well, we struggled with it – but that’s going to happen in NBA games and when it does you just got to bare down more defensively, and it was a pretty well defended game, on both sides. Obviously they did a better job than we did but holding these guys under 100 – it’s the kind of defensive game we needed. We needed more force on offense. We need more force and we needed more disposition on offense, and we just didn’t do it in the second half.”
RE: What happened after it was tied 85-85?
“I don’t have an exact recollection of it. Irving made some amazing plays, which he always does. We were never able to get any traction, get enough stops and then run-outs, or stops and then scores. To make up the difference in the run in the second half... Our first half was really good, their second half was better. That’s the game and it’s a 48 minute – we got to be able to sustain.”
RE: What seemed to happen in the fourth quarter?
“They were active, had some switching, had some good looks, missed a couple layups around the rim – and they shot the ball well… They have a good team. They keep coming. They play hard and they are well coached
RE: On Kyrie Irving:
“He turned it on there late. But we didn’t really make the runs that we should have when he wasn’t out there.”
RE: At this point in the season is it about adjustments or just digging deep and figuring it out?
“It’s tough to play on the road. It a tough trip for us against three really, really good teams. Yeah, we just got to play hard and stop the runs a little quicker. Get some of those loose balls. Get some of those bad offensive rebounds; eliminate them. They had a couple of those that hit us… Just being a little more solid, getting our hands on a few more balls. In tied games it usually comes down to a few more possessions here and there. Got to be a little smarter, get some big rebounds and you also got to score when it matters down the stretch.”
RE: Did they just dial it up in the third and fourth quarter and play harder and better?
“I think they attacked us first and we have to be the team that attacks first. We didn’t do a great job in the third quarter and we got to improve… I think it comes down to energy, and we’re fighting hard. I believe in the team because were playing hard and we showed it. We just got to finish it for 48 minutes especially against teams like Boston, which is a really good team.”
RE: German pride in the league:
“For us, it’s special for the German Basketball Federation, you know? I think we can make basketball bigger and I think a lot of guys are in the NBA right now because of Dirk- they used to watch him. We can build from that especially with the German national team, that’s important. I’m very proud because I think we have really good players right now.”