“I thought we put up a good effort. I thought the second quarter was obviously the quarter, they came out and pretty much everything, what they wanted. That was the deciding factor I thought. Our young guys played pretty well, we kept fighting and kept playing. But second quarter against this team you can’t let them have a fourteen point lead on you in that quarter because that’s basically just game the way they play defensively.”
Young guys play?
“I thought they played well. I thought all three of those guys had their moments. I thought Christian showed his athleticism, missed some shots, but I thought he was pretty decisive in what he was doing. As was Many, Many did a much better job handling the point position given how young he is. Especially with a guy like Nate Robinson, and Rondo guarding you, they get after you, so I was really impressed with the way he played tonight.”
Christian attacking the basket, seen a lot in practice?
“Not as much, we talked about with Christian every time he attacks the basket he’s got to look to try to dunk it cause of his athleticism. Every time he goes in he feels he’s getting fouled, which young guys do, but their not going to call it cause he’s young. So you got to try and dunk, at least they see you going aggressively. I thought tonight he was much better at that, attacking the rim. Got to keep growing and learning and I thought tonight was another step ahead for him.”
Big picture or game by game in regard to streak?
“I look at it game by game, I don’t care about that crap, I care about our guys getting better and that’s what we’re trying to do. Again, we went up in competition tonight, as I told them before the game, you’re playing the Eastern Conference champ’s so they gonna come out ready, so you got to play 48 solid minutes. But we weren’t able to play 48 solid minutes, but I thought for the most part we represented ourselves ok. We could have done some things better, but we did ok."
What’s the team doing to stop streak?
“Just trying to get better, for 48 minutes, knowing that they're one of the best teams in the East. But just going out and competing, and playing with effort, and just trying to get better as a team.”
Notice a difference in the way the Celtics do their business as team compared to the rest of the league?
“Yeah, definitely, just look at them compared to us. I know we young, and they vets but the way they move the ball, and the way they box out, and the way they do the little things every time, it’s somewhere we would like to get to as a team. And just seeing them play up close and personal, besides on TV and stuff, you can see the reason why they one of the best teams.”
Streak affecting play?
“No it goes in one ear and out the other, thinking about it, or letting it dwell doesn’t affect the psyche at all. That’s something that we don’t need, the biggest thing for us is to go out there and compete, and not worry about what’s being said in the news, and how many we lost in a row, one off whatever record. We just got to go out there and compete, and have the confidence to go out there and have an opportunity to win every time I go out there on the court.”
Whole team have that attitude?
“Some probably do, it’s human nature to feel that way. I think especially a lot of the young guys maybe. And then I tell them, you can’t worry about that, the more you worry about it, the more you dwell on it, the tougher it is, the more you think about what’s going on outside of that basketball court. We need all of our attention out there on the court, but of course it’s human nature to think about how many we lost in a row, and whatever record we set. Losing is tough in general, to be where we at, one of the worst records in the league right now, that’s tough. So we just got to worry about trying to find a way to fix it. That’s about the only thing you can do, can’t worry about what’s being said, people are not going to feel sorry for us, so we got to just move on and compete, and try to make some positive things come out of this situation.”
CELTICS HEAD COACH DOC RIVERS
“I thought he was terrific. I thought as the game went on his timing got better. I thought defensively he was terrific from the start. Just communication, we were loud again defensively which was nice. You could hear him and Kevin (Garnett) barking orders defensively and that makes us really good.”
Pierce’s great stretch:
“Yeah, it was great. I mean, that’s who Paul is. I mean, I think – what did he score more points than he played minutes tonight. And that’s with blowing three layups in the third quarter. So, at both ends, obviously, I wasn’t happy in the first quarter; I told our guys we scored 34 but they had 26. That’s over our number. And then in the other three quarters I thought defensively we were pretty good.”
How much will Perkins play on the road trip:
“It’s the same, about the same amount of minutes. You know, he actually probably played one or two more minutes than we anticipated. He wanted to stay in. But I think that’ll be it for a while, between 16 and 18 minutes.”
Did he struggle over when to bring Perkins back:
“No, not really. I mean, I honestly thought it would be when we came back from the trip. It’s funny, how 24 hours work. Yesterday morning when I talked to (Trainer) Eddie (Lacerte) – because right now Eddie has to give me an injury report every morning which has never been done but that’s what we’re doing right now – and that was yesterday because he has to tell you who’s going to practice. I just asked him, I said, ‘So what do you think – Perk?’ He said, ‘I think when we come back from the West Coast trip.’ And then Perk had a great practice and Dr. (Brian) McKeon and Eddie came up and said, ‘Let’s change what I told you this morning.’ And so in that little time span it changed.”
Perkins and new rules for technical fouls:
“He’s going to get a tech soon. Yeah…Well, see I think because he started so late he can’t get to the number. (laughs) So I think we’re safe there because at the end of the day Perk’s going to be Perk. I mean, he almost ran after the guy the one time. And I was thinking, ‘You’ve got to be kidding me. Perk’s back.’ That’s the whole bench; when he did it the bench started laughing, saying ‘Perk’s back.’ I’m thinking we have a cushion.”
Did Perk bring more energy to the team: “Yeah. I was – one good thing that I thought bringing Perk back would help us tonight. Because they were excited. Before the game, I kind of welcomed him back to the team. You could see it. They were clapping; they were very, they were really excited. And they saw how hard he worked. He looks great.”
How it felt to be back on the court?
“It felt good. The first quarter I got a little tired. After then I got my second wind and I was alright. It felt good to be on the floor. Like I was thinking about playing basketball during the game is different than practice anyway.”
Any hesitation at all tonight on the knee?
“No, not really, I was just wondering how long I could go. I didn’t know how my wind was going to be but other than that I was cool.”
Doc said you wanted to play longer.
“Yeah I did. In the third quarter, I mean when he came and got me in the fourth, I really wanted to stay out there just to keep working on my rhythm and good things and just getting game time. It was just cool to be out there, so it’s alright."
“He is always the guy that has been the hard-hat lunch bucket worker on the team. Just always has a great, hard work mentality when he is out there on the floor. I think it has been well chronicled when he went down; obviously the eyes around the world were on him. Everybody felt a little bit of sympathy for us because we weren’t whole. Him coming back has a great symbolism to it. We know what we are trying to get back to. We are trying to get this team back to where we are 100%.”
Energy in Perk’s return:
“We have kind of been, I don’t know what words to use, but less than ourselves over the three or four months that we have been together just waiting. We have had great success with the guys that we’ve been using, but we haven’t had the lineup that has been consistent in the past three and a half years where we have won some big games including a championship. It was great to see him back out on the floor for one. It just makes us that much stronger with the additions that we made.”
Rebounding from Washington:
"That game is behind us. It’s always something that you have that black mark, that box marked in your memory. It’s a learning point and we have to make sure that it’s always something that you don’t want to go back too.”