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2/5 Arbella Quote Worthy: Celtics at Cavaliers

Read what the players and coaches had to say following Boston's 103-96 victory over Cleveland.

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


RE: On Marcus Smart’s three-pointer with under five minutes remaining:

“We had a lot of moments where it felt like, obviously, they were closing the gap and then the one time they took the four-point lead. He hit the huge three, plus one, then he hit another three there but we had a lot of responses that were good and at the end we just couldn’t score. I thought we got a lot of good looks but for whatever reason the ball didn’t go in and we just had to win with stops and we’re fortunate enough to get enough of them.”

RE: On Jayson Tatum’s aggressiveness from the beginning of the game tonight:

“That was very clear right out of the first play of the game when he drove the ball or at least the first play he touched it, I don’t remember if it was the very first play. He was going at the rim all night and I thought that was very good. They chose to guard him smaller, which a lot of teams do and in those moments, the more than he can post, catch it deep, work hard to catch it early where he wants to is really important.”

RE: On Gordon Hayward playing his first game back in Cleveland since his injury last season:

“I didn’t even think about that until this morning. I thought about it in the preseason and then for whatever reason, I probably should’ve thought about it. Like I said this morning, I just think he has played enough now where he’s past that initial hurdle, right? So it’s probably not fun to walk out on the court the first time and shoot around and those type of things but ultimately, I think he probably moved past that really quickly. I thought he was great tonight, both ends of the court. I thought his offensive playmaking passing the ball was as good as his scoring.”

RE: On how tough it is to defend Collin Sexton and Alec Burks:

“Very tough. Those guys are really talented and they’re really getting an opportunity to showcase that here, so when guys with that talent get to showcase it, it’s hard to stop.”

RE: On trying to get to the free throw line more as his game grows:

“That’s the type of player I want to be. All the guys that score 20, 25 a night shoot at least eight free throws a game, so that’s an easy way to get points and you’ve got to learn to insert that into your game.”

RE: On his mindset when teams defend him with smaller players:

“Just go right to the post. If they double, kick it out. If not, then make them pay for it.”

RE: On to be able to adjust to different starting lineups throughout the year:

“I think last year helped with that a lot. Just all the ups and downs that I went through being a starter last year being my first season. Kind of just helped me grow and I’ve been through some things, so you just try to stay focused no matter who’s out there.”

RE: On playing at The Q for the first time since his injury last season:

“I told my wife that I was a little anxious about it for sure, sitting in my hotel room last night just thinking about how everything changed and where I was sitting a year ago from now. Tried to find some perspective I guess, and just happy that I was out there.”

RE: On if his nerves calmed down as the game went on:

“Yeah, they did. After I got up and down and was running around for a little bit, they were gone. Definitely warming up and even at shootaround this morning, just a little anxious about it.”

RE: On tonight’s game:

“I thought we didn’t play our best basketball but, certainly, we’ll take the win. I think there are some things that we can improve on, but they were feisty tonight. I think tonight’s a game where if you don’t buckle down, you can definitely lose it. Just with everything that’s going on with their team and us having guys that are out and trying to find our own energy. Proud of us that we handled their run and ended up winning the game.”

RE: On what he saw out of Collin Sexton tonight:

“I thought he played an overall good game. Early on in the game he did a great job setting the tone with his speed and he made some shots early. I was most proud that he did break the defense down, he got into the paint and he was making really good kickouts which we have talked a lot to him about. He draws a lot of attention on his dribble penetration. I thought he did a great job tonight. He played against a really good Boston defense. I thought he was aggressive at the very beginning and it set the tone the rest of the game for him.”

RE: On what tonight’s game can do for Collin Sexton’s confidence:

“He’s capable of making shots and he’s shown that. Where he has to continue to grow is making the right plays. When the shot is there, take the shot, create a shot. On possessions where there is dribble penetration and defenses are collapsing and guys are open on the perimeter he has to find those guys, that’s what point guards do. I thought tonight he did a pretty good job of that and hopefully he will continue to grow in that area.”

RE: On what he liked with Collin Sexton and Matthew Dellavedova on the court at the same time:

“Well actually that was not planned. That was kind of playing the hand that was dealt. We were short bodies tonight, so we were forced to play small at times, but I liked both guys in there. It gives me two guys that can handle the basketball and it gives me two guys capable of making plays. They seem to play well together and they seem to play well off one another. It’s something that I experimented with a few games back. We’ll continue to do that especially if we play against teams that allow us to matchup with both of those guys in the game. I do like the combination.”

RE: On if this was the most aggressive he has seen Collin Sexton:

“I don’t know if it’s the most I’ve seen him, but I know when he feels that he can get by you he’s going to test you. That was very clear and very obvious tonight at the beginning of the game. He had his mind made up that he was going to get to the cup, come hell or high water. He turned the corner a few times and got to the basket and made some terrific plays. He’s got that type of ability and he’s got the type of skill. Again, when he does make those type of plays his growth comes from being able to make the right plays out of that. He’ll turn the corner and get to the basket at times, but when the defense does collapse he has got to find open guys I thought he grew in that area tonight."

RE: On building off of his play tonight:

“I’ve been working on layups, layups, layups. Last game, I missed a great bit – I think I missed like six at the rim, easy layups that I usually make. So that was one thing I just continued to work on this week, and I made sure I worked on the three ball, because teams are daring me to shoot, so I have to knock it down for my teammates to open everything else up.”

RE: On using his speed:

“I just feel like I can use my speed to my advantage, and also to help my teammates out and give them open looks.”

RE: On improving his shots around the rim:

“You just have to practice on them – in practice, I work on getting fouled so that when the game comes, I can fight through a foul and try to finish.”

RE: On how the team competed tonight:

“I felt like we competed on both ends tonight. I feel like we had some slip-ups, but every team does. We just have to learn from it and get back to it next game.”

RE: On playing with Matthew Dellavedova tonight:

“I’m able to get a little bit of a breather, because he can bring the ball up and I can just go to the corner and set up. Then when he needed to rest, I would dribble it up. So we just fed off each other.”

RE: On the team’s performance tonight:

“We made a lot of winning plays. I know that the score didn’t show that, but I think we took a step forward.”

RE: On the offense tonight:

“A lot of great passes, great plays. We made aggressive moves. I think everyone made great plays for one another and themselves, and it showed tonight in the score.”

RE: On the transition defense tonight:

“I think we did a great job. They capitalized, and good teams are going to do that sometimes. But I think for the most part, we did a great job.”

RE: On Collin Sexton’s play tonight:

“I think he was attacking the basket very well. I think he played under control, which is fast for him. He’s very athletic. So I think he made great plays and great reads…I think he’s been confident ever since I got here. I think it really clicked tonight.”

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