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1/4 Arbella Quote Worthy: Mavericks vs. Celtics

Read what the players and coaches had to say following Boston's 114-93 victory over Dallas.

Click on a player to reveal quotes from their postgame press conference.

BRAD STEVENS

RE: Change in ball movement leading to thirty-five assists:

“One of our issues last year was we were a lower assists-to-field goals-made team than we’ve been for a lot of the last few years, so we’ve really tried to emphasize that all year. And it’s been – we’ve had multiple 30-assists games and our averages are way up and the assists-to-field-goals-percentage is way up, so that’s all positive. Even when we were struggling at the beginning, we had some high-assist games. But when we – when we shoot those really tough ones that are un – not potentially assisted – you know, that’s when we get in trouble; if we string a bunch of those together. We had a couple of those tonight but for the most part everybody was in a good rhythm and playing well together and seeking out the right shot, and we’ve just to keep doing that as much as possible.”

RE: Jaylen Brown’s digging himself out of a slow start:

“I don’t think it’s fair to peg the slow start on one player. And I think that certainly I’ve gotten a lot of questions about Jaylen, just because of everybody’s expectations for Jaylen are as high as his are. And at the end of the day, he’s not going to be perfect; he’s going to have his ups and downs, but he stays the course, he gets ready, and he’s – everybody’s going to go through those slumps, until you come out of them. He’s come out of his well, and has really strung together a good couple of weeks of basketball, and we’re going to need him to continue to be that for us. But it was great to be able to, like – (Marcus) Morris, we found out Morris was out and bang, you can throw him right in and not quite as big, but you’re just as versatile defensively.”

RE: Was part of you rooting for one of Dirk Nowitzki’s shots to go in?

“No question. Yeah. I’ve rooted for the opponent to score two times in my life: Paul Pierce and Dirk Nowitzki. That was like, I was sitting over there just like everyone else in the building saying, ‘Go in. Go in.’ Right? But, but what a special player, and, you know, kudos to him.”

RE: Center position without Aron Baynes:

“It’s a bad time for Robert Williams to be down, because he’d be playing probably some, at least here and there. But I think that (Al) Horford’s been good, (Guerschon) Yabusele when called on’s been good; he didn’t get as much of an opportunity tonight because we knew we were going to play small most of the night and play with (Daniel) Theis as our backup, and Theis – I thought Theis was really good tonight. And I think has always been steady for us, and good. I mean, he’s got some match-ups that are tough; you know, when he first came to the NBA he was probably more of a four-five. The NBA has changed in a year-and-a-half and here he is banging with (Joel)Embiid and (LaMarcus) Aldridge sometimes. But he always bring it and you know what you’re going to get from Theis every night.”

RE: Seeing Luka Doncic play in-person…and Jayson Tatum’s shooting 11 three-pointers:

“They went under some stuff, so he took the right shots and he had some kick-outs, and so I thought you know, he’s got to shoot those. He’ll make those, and he’ll have some 4-for-11 days like tonight, and he’ll have some 7-for-11 days. You know, Luka is, like I said before the game, a special player. He’s physical, he’s tough, he’s competitive. He can get the ball where it needs to go against the most physical guys in the league. Like you know, he can drive it and get a shot off against (Marcus) Smart; when Smart’s really into him, that’s hard to do. It’s hard to do against Jaylen. Not always uncontested – we were contesting everything – but that shot at the end of the half I thought gave them a lot of life heading into the third quarter. He’s going to be a special player.”
JAYSON TATUM

RE: What did the coach tell you about starting small tonight?

“We knew we were small, so we were going to have to be connected on defense when the shot goes up. The big boxes out his man, everyone else goes after the rebound.”

RE: What is it about this group that playing shorthanded doesn’t matter?

“We have so many talented guys in this locker-room that when guys are out, guys just step up to the plate. They’re more than capable of playing those big minutes, so they just want to get the opportunity.”

RE: Is there more sense of urgency when you guys are missing players?

“Especially when we are playing small, we have to pick up the ball pressure, just be more active since we’re lacking in size out there.”
GORDON HAYWARD

RE: How much more confident are you guys on offense?

“We were moving the basketball. Guys were cutting. Spacing was good for the most part. It was fun. People knew where their teammates were going to be. I think when we have good spacing, we have talented players, it just makes the game easier. And if you make the right read everybody gets involved and it’s fun.”

RE: What is different when you guys know you are shorthanded?

“It’s something where guys know they have to step up a little bit. But also, like I said, there is more opportunity, so more responsibility for people. When we’re full strength, it’s different, because there’s so many of us that can make plays that they might not be in that situation.”

RE: Do you feel that the Utah Gordon Hayward is all the way back?

“Ah, yeah, not quite, but I think slowly getting there. Confidence wise these last 2 games are going to be good for me. But definitely I think I’ve done some things, these last two games, that I did a lot when I was in Utah. So, that’s a good sign.”
RICK CARLISLE

RE: Three-point shooting tonight by Boston and sum up how you played:

“The early turnovers were a big problem. It got us behind the eight ball early. We corrected it, late first, early second quarter but then you play from behind all night, so it makes it hard on the road and they took advantage. They took advantage with transition three’s and transition layups and we just got to take better care of the ball.”

RE: Thoughts on reaction of Dirk (Nowitzki) getting crowd ovation:

“Pretty amazing and special moment if you think about it. I just would have loved our team to play better, but they have an awful lot of respect for him here. I guess he has his highest road scoring average in this building, which is pretty remarkable too.”

RE: How did you like the way Luka Doncic came in to the game?

“He did some good things, but when you get beat big and you never have a lead in the game it’s hard to look for individual positives. This is a team game and we got to approach it that way.”
DIRK NOWITZKI

RE: Thoughts when you first checked into game and you got large crowd applause:

“Super sweet, super emotional. It’s sweet when, not only your home fans, but fans on the road appreciate what you have done in the last two decades. I appreciate the fans of Boston and unfortunately, I was really disappointed I couldn’t even make one. I had some great looks first half, trailed three, second half a couple in the corner. It’s just really disappointing, but it was just one of those nights. I’ve been shooting the ball really well coming in, but just really disappointing now. I definitely will never forget the reception and at the end how they wanted me to break the record, so I appreciate it.”

RE: What was some of the reaction of the Celtics staff and players after game?

“They wished me well and I’ve had a heck of a career. It’s humbling, the reception here tonight not only from their players, but the fans and staff and I really appreciate it.”

RE: Playing in Boston:

“There’s great cites on the road where you play, and you know it’s a sports town and the night before you step out everybody knows you wherever you go. That’s Chicago, that’s New York, that’s Boston on the East Coast and I always enjoy those moments, playing those games against good teams with great crowds whether the team is doing well or not the fans always show up and its always sold out and you know there are great sports fans in a great sports town and they know the game and appreciate the game.”
LUKA DONCIC

RE: Got within one in third quarter then what happened?

“Yeah we came back, but then I don’t really know what happened.”

RE: What was it like for you to play in this building for the first time?

“Nice. The fans are amazing. They cheer for their team and it was amazing for me to play here.”

RE: Fans cheering for Dirk (Nowitzki) during game:

“He’s a legend, everybody loves him. I think it was great to see that.”
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