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Game Quotes: Cavaliers at Boston Celtics - April 12

Cavaliers Head Coach David Blatt

Scout Celtics in real time/facing them again: “You learn from every game. Teams don’t change drastically from when the season ends to the beginning of the playoffs so I suppose you’re going to gain ground from a normal situation where maybe you’re in a back to back or something like that. Probably for them to gain a lot because we sat so many players, that might be the caveat in that.”

Not having 4 or 5 starters what did you expect: “I just wanted the guys to play hard. Its almost not a fair situation to put them in because most of these guys are used to playing with the other guys and feeding off them and suddenly there in primary roles so that made it difficult for those guys that were on the floor. I was just hoping to see them play hard and work harder and better on the defensive end than we did.”

Kendrick Perkins

Seeing Geno time as opposing player: “It was different. I was looking forward to seeing him though, it had been a while. It was good just to be back; its always good to be back in Boston. The fans are great, organization is great, always a good feeling to be back.”

What did you do here in Boston: “I didn’t do too much, went to Strega yesterday and really chilled.”

What did you learn about Celtics last few games: “They’ve been playing really well especially the second part of the season after the All-star break. They got a lot of guys that are playing with a lot of confidence and they’ve been doing a great job so we knew what to expect we don’t take them for granted. We know that they are a capable team of beating any team in the league so we don’t take them for granted at all.”

Full roster tomorrow/mindset: “You just want to approach the game and play the right way. It doesn’t matter who’s on the court, you just want to play the right way all the time. Where there are different rotations you just want to go out there and play the game the right way on both ends of the court.”

Iman Shumpert

Leg today: “It was alright, it was fine. Made it out healthy.”

What were you looking for today: “To get into a flow into a bunch of calls that would make us comfortable. Playing without certain guys sometimes running those same plays just because its habitual for us, to run those play in certain times we have to understand the personnel and sometimes you got to switch it up. Tonight was a learning experience for us.”

Celtics Head Coach Brad Stevens

will he allow himself to look to the playoffs now that the magic number is 1 – and will he watch tonight’s Pacer’s game: “I’ll have it on, but I’ll watch it anyway. I’ve said this befoI like sports. So yesterday I watched some of the Masters, and then I had the Toronto/Miami game on. Obviously I was watching Toronto and kind of more studying and job-type thing last night, just to make sure that we’re as prepared as we can be for our next get-together, when we do that. But I just told the guys, I said, ‘You know, all year we’ve been talking about focus on what’s next. And what’s next is Toronto. And yes we are one game away, but winning a game in the NBA is awfully difficult.’ And so we’re just going to go as well as we can and try to play well on Tuesday. I’ve never been big on spending too much time on things I can’t control.’”

the Celtics forced 25 turnovers and only committed 9; which is more impressive: “Well, I like the fact we’re not turning the ball over a ton, but let’s be real: they didn’t have a couple of their best athletes defensively to force turnovers and they didn’t have a couple of their primary ball-handlers offensively. I was very encouraged by how we played because as you all know when guys sit, that gives other guys who are paid too the opportunities that they sometimes don’t always get. And often those guys play with their hair on fire and you overcome the absence of others – especially in a small amount of time, like one game or maybe two games. And our guys just played very maturely the whole game. They defended hard. They tried to do what we had all talked about as consistently as possible. I mean, every possession I felt like defensively – I didn’t feel like we took possessions off at all. We played for 48 minutes, all the way through the game, and that was encouraging. Very encouraging. I thought the ball moved well. I know we played well, but obviously they didn’t play their best players.”

will he rest players if they clinch a playoff spot: “If (Head Athletic Trainer) Eddie (Lacerte) tells me they need it, or if the players, you know, if somebody comes up and says I don’t feel good, but we’re going to keep gaining steam here.”

20 steals – and do his coaches track them: “No. None. Nobody keeping track. Everybody around here does that well enough for us. We talk about hot hands, we talk about active hands, but we don’t chart deflections or have it as a major talking point. We talk more about – we talk less about what happens after they pass and more about how we can make it as difficult as possible with our body positioning and our hand positioning. Marcus Smart was phenomenal today on the ball, as were other guys, certainly. But I felt like he just made every pass really difficult from the point.”

if the team clinches tonight, what are his next steps: “Toronto walk-through at 11AM on Tuesday…Nothing changes at all.”

Isaiah Thomas

Take aways from win “Just how locked in we were…what we’re trying to do is get to the playoffs so Coach said we were a very mature team tonight, for 48 minutes. That’s a good thing.”

If in playoffs, what’s the feeling “It’s everything. In my NBA career I haven’t been to the playoffs so it’s something that I want to experience. I heard it’s fun, it’s exciting and it’s a new season. Once you make the playoffs, everybody’s 0-0 and it’s a new season so I’m excited about it, hopefully we do get it.”

Intensity last few weeks “We’ve just been trying to lock in and focus in on what we’re trying to do which is get to the playoffs. Staying in the moment, taking every day by day, game by game, and like I said, really focusing in on what we’re trying to do.”

Feeding off of Coach Stevens being able to stay in moment “He’s just laid back, you try to feed off of him as much as possible but he’s so even-keeled, you can’t really read his mind. He’s just always about staying in the moment, no matter what it is, good or bad, stay in the moment, don’t think about the future or the past, have a short memory. That’s one thing Coach is very, very positive with.”

Coach’s attitude make it easier for you to take same approach? “No doubt, your coach is your leader, basically. You look to him for advice, for confidence, things like that. He’s so even-keeled that he’s at the same [point], he’s never too high, never too low. That’s a great thing to have, everybody’s not like that.”

Tyler Zeller

Feelings after big step today “It feels great…we’ve been trying to get in [the playoffs] for a long time. We didn’t even know we had a chance back in the beginning of January and it says a lot about the group we have just coming out every night and competing and trying to put ourselves in the best possible position.”

When started to believe playoffs real possibility “You just try to focus on one game at a time, you don’t want to get ahead of yourself…we have to take the next two games very seriously and make sure we put ourselves in the best position.”

Coach Stevens making it easier to focus “It helps a lot. He’s never talking about the game after the next one or things like that. He’ll make a comment about making the playoff push but at the same time we’re only focused on the next team. Tonight we were only focused on Cleveland, we weren’t worried about Toronto and Milwaukee to come and that says a lot about [Coach Stevens] making sure we’re on the right page and making sure we’re as focused as possible.”

Marcus Smart

What would it mean to make playoffs “It would be an amazing feeling, especially for me in the league for my first year, it would be my first year in the playoffs so it would be the ultimate...for me.”

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