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1/21 Arbella Quote Worthy: Heat vs. Celtics

Read what the players and coaches had to say following Boston's 107-99 victory over Miami.

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

BRAD STEVENS

RE: Bench struggling to score tonight:

“We just didn’t play as well off the bench as we have. As I just told the team, ‘If you played well, you know, look at the film digest it, and move on. If you didn’t, look at the film, digest it, and move on.’ So, credit their bench, too – and their bench has been really good for them. And it’s changed tempo of games; they change defenses with that bench a little bit more. So, I think it was a combination of things, but we have to play much better for the full 48 than we did. But our starts were great, and when the starters came back in, up five or whatever with 4:39, I thought they were really good.”

RE: Changes in Kyrie Irving’s defense and defensive efforts this year, leading to his career-high eight steals:

“No, I think he’s been pretty consistent with his efforts since he’s been here. You’d have to ask him, kind of, if he feels more comfortable maybe in how we’re trying to guard, from a systems standpoint, but he’s been good about locking in and honing in on the defensive end. And a lot of those steals happened because he was in perfect position. You know, he had a couple where he saw an opportunity and gambled a little bit. But I thought the rest of them were really good positioning and those – those are really good; those are exciting because when you get those, you’re – you’re not only making them take a tough shot, you’re in there to take the ball. And he was active with his hands, he was active on tags on the baseline, I just thought he was really locked in.”

RE: Celtics’ third-quarter run changing momentum of the game (at that point):

“I thought our starters at the start of each of their stints were excellent. Probably not as good at the end of the second quarter, but the other stints of the start of the first, start of the third, and end of the game they were very good.”

RE: Kyrie Irving’s three straight baskets in the lane (in the fourth quarter) to open the lead back up:

“Yeah, he just has a great ability to find those seams and finish. He’s obviously got unbelievable touch. We were trying to get different simple slips or screens for him and just let him do his thing. And he’s pretty special at that. They started bringing some doubles and I thought we attacked it fairly well, although probably not quite as aggressive as we need to. But that’s something that we’ll get – we’ll continue to improve upon. The other four guys should be secretly loving that, because then they get a chance to really attack the basket playing four on three.”

RE: Sticking with starters longer than usual in the third quarter to try to put the game away:

“Yeah, yeah. And I actually thought our bench when they came in at first was giving up some – some buckets and even an answer or two. But it answered a little bit. Semi (Ojeleye) hit the three, and we’ll go up 16, and it’s just kind of like, okay, maybe we’ll be able to kind of slow them down. But we weren’t. Transition killed us. Some of our offensive errors killed us and led to transition points and so then they cut it to five. They made it really tough. They’re a good team; I mean, that’s one thing about Miami is you know they’re going to keep coming.”

RE: Al Horford’s many multi-effort plays on defense:

“I think Al’s played really well on this stretch and I think it’s coincided with an increase in minutes, which I think has been a good thing for all of us. And he feels great, so the whole thing of progressing him through the month of December at the appropriate pace I think has paid dividends, and I think he’s played really well as of late.”
AL HORFORD

RE: The first unit did so good tonight. Why do you think the second unit struggled a little bit?

“I don’t think we probably played with enough pace at times. That happens. Everyone is going to have bad days. I just think we have to look ahead. The good thing is that we won the game. We have to look ahead, refocus and do better on Wednesday.”

RE: What did you notice during that 32 to 13 run to open the third quarter?

“I thought it was great. Our energy was really good. It started early with our guys driving to the basket, putting pressure on the basket and getting some stops on defense. That got us going and momentum just carried throughout the third.”

RE: How has it helped you getting your minutes back up and playing more consistently with getting your minutes back up?

“I think one of them is health. I feel better. I’ve been feeling much better the past couple weeks. Therefore, my minutes are also up. It just feels good to have no restrictions on the court.”
KYRIE IRVING

RE: What is it that made you go all “Uncle Drew” tonight? Put it in your own hands down the stretch when it got close.

I know what I am supposed to be doing, being aggressive. That’s pretty much it. Just trying to make plays for myself and my teammates. The ball is in my hands and I just have to make the right plays.

RE: Career high eight steals. How are you feeling in terms of your positioning out there?

“I felt pretty good. I got lucky on a few of them so that helps the stat sheet. I turned the ball over a little too much after I got a few of those steals. Just really excited that I got one. That’s awesome though.

RE: Brad got his 250th win tonight, which is hard to do. What does it say about the job he has done?

“I think he has done great. Not just with this team but over the last five or six years. Just getting everything out of the groups that he has had. He came in here, in a rebuilding situation and really put his mark on the teams that he’s had. Ended up playing him twice in the playoffs, three times in the playoffs. It’s great to see the success he has had. Just super proud of him to get his 250th win.”
ERIK SPOELSTRA

RE: Second group chances and their consistency:

“Well, we had some adversity we were down in the first and then in the third quarters. We found a way to just take a possession at a time, that is how you develop some persistence and grit, and to just keep on going at it. This is not an easy league; this association is tough particularly on the road. Things do not always happen how you want them to, but there are things you control. Your effort, your body language during tough times, and staying connected, staying together, and playing hard, and that group did. We were able to inch our way back into the game.”

RE: Kyrie Irving’s performance:

“We have to play perfectly offensively when your dealing with Kyrie Irving on the other end. It seemed like he made every single play. When we were trying to get the ball out of his hands, he was just brilliant at the end.”

RE: Brad Steven’s 250th regular season win with the Boston Celtics:

“We wish there were more places like Boston that have great ownership, management, and stability. They know how tough this profession of coaching is. Then when you add in an extremely talented coach, like Brad [Stevens] there is a reason why they have banners and reasons why they have had success. You have to have continuity and consistency practically when times get tough. They have had tough times and they have been able to weather those and take the benefits. Brad is a tremendous coach and has been a great addition to the league bringing in a different background, a college background and has done a phenomenal job.”
DWYANE WADE

RE: Miami’s turnovers:

“This is something we talked about coming into this game, we played them in Miami when they came back in the third quarter it was because of turnovers. We knew the formula we just did not take care of our responsibilities tonight.”

RE: Your role as a mentor:

“It is fine, I am just trying to do my job. Every night is something different. I am trying to leave something with these guys from a leaders standpoint and a player standpoint. Hopefully I will be able to do that once I walk away from this game.”
DION WAITERS

RE: Your career before your injury:

“I am 27 years old, I got a whole lot left in the tank. This right here is the year where I am getting it back, and getting acclimated. I am trying to work on my body, but I have a lot of basketball left. I feel like I am going to show that and prove that I was never worried about that part. My biggest fear was being able to still dunk. I can still dunk, and now it is just getting my body right. My foot and everything else comes first now.”

RE: Miami’s 20 turnovers tonight:

“We have to do a better job taking care of the ball. We just go out there and play the game and have fun. We also have to try and not to overthink. We have to play our game I think pretty much that is all you have to do. There are going to be turnovers that is the game of basketball, but don’t put to much pressure on yourself, play your game.”