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3/24 Arbella Quote Worthy: Spurs vs. Celtics

Read what the players and coaches had to say following Boston's 115-96 defeat to San Antonio.

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

BRAD STEVENS

RE: Meeting with the team postgame for longer than usual:

“I listened. I talked. And you know, there’s frustration in there but we got beat by a good team and I don’t – ultimately, we don’t need to ride the emotional roller coaster; we need to get a lot better. We’ve given up 115 or more in a lot of games here recently, and our defense has to improve dramatically if we’re going to make a push to ultimately get what we want out of the next couple of months. And you know, I thought we got good looks for the most part; we just shot it poorly. But I thought they were really hard to guard. They were really purposeful and (LaMarcus) Aldridge was just fantastic. I mean, he – you know, we doubled him, we tried to over-help, when we did, he found open shooters and when we didn’t, he scored. And he scored on a really good defender in (Aron) Baynes and one-on-one he was just really, really good. And too much for us; every time we made a run at him, he made it difficult.”

RE: What the Celtics need to work on defensively, besides transition:

“We have to be better. You know, we were a better defensive team in the first two months of the season than we’ve played at any time in the last month. So, to me, it’s not about what we’re doing, it’s about how well we do it every single night, and that’s – that’s where we have to get back to. And so, we’re getting exposed by good teams; tonight, again, Aldridge was incredible, but at the end of the day we have to be a lot better for 48 minutes defensively.”

RE: Have you wondered how low things might go as the team takes shots to the chin and staggers?

“Yeah, I mean, that’s a good question…I think that ultimately, like, perseverance, grit, I said this before the game: Your mettle, it all shows when things are tough. And, but, ultimately, that’s what we all get paid for. You know, it’s not just about riding the wave of the good times and the praise and the pats on the back; it’s about buckling down when things are hard, getting back up off the mat, writing your own ending, and doing everything you can to be the best you can when it’s all on the line. You hope that these are all things that we can take with us. I don’t think we’ve given any reason to suggest that right now, but I think ultimately we’ll see how the rest of this story plays itself out.”

RE: Did the difficulty shooting threes translate into problems with offensive execution?

“I’d have to go back. That’s a great question. I didn’t think we were like, unbelievable execution-wise on offense; I think they do a great job defensively. Their defense in the last 12, 15 games has been outstanding. And at the same time I thought that we did miss some open ones, you know? But I don’t want to be a team – and I’ve never been a part of a team – that was solely reliant on whether you make shots or not. And right now, in the last month, that’s – that’s our deal. Like, we’re just relying on whether we make shots. Instead of being a buckle-down, get stops, find a way to win. Nothing better than winning when you’re 5 for 35 or 7 for 35 from three. That means you’ve – you’ve figured out what’s important and you’re going to play to that every night.”

RE: Last group playing “loose” and moving the ball more freely:

“Yeah, I think it’s easier to play loose when you’re down by 20, though, too, but that’s a good point. Everybody is – everybody wants to see (Greg) Monroe do well. Everybody wants to see Semi (Ojeleye) and Brad (Wanamaker) and PJ (Dozier) and Guerschon (Yabusele) do well. And obviously, hate that they got put in that circumstance. I actually thought Guerschon gave us a lot of good minutes last two nights, which I’m excited about.”
GORDON HAYWARD

RE: How do you put in perspective where you guys are?

“Definitely a tough loss for us, we couldn’t get any stops defensively and they have some good players for one. Definitely tough to guard, I feel like we could have done a little bit better. We didn’t shoot our best tonight so I think we have to pick ourselves up and get ready for the next one. We can’t dwell on these. I mean it was a tough one but we will pick ourselves back up.”

RE: The Celtics have seemed to rely more on their shooting game then their defense:

“I mean certainly there have been times where we have been really good defensively and other times where we haven’t. So, I think we should be a really good defensive team we have the capability of being it with all the stability we have guys being able to play many positions, athleticism, length so we have got to be better.”
KYRIE IRVING

RE: What happened tonight?

“Just our energy wasn’t right, it is as simple as you can put it. Basketball is a great energy game and you got to manage it well. Obviously a lot of it has to do with skill and X’s and O’s but our energy has to be there and it just wasn’t. You know we just have to move forward from this point for these final eight games.”

RE: The absence of Jayson Tatum and Al Horford tonight:

“It means a lot you know they are big pieces in our team system so you know we are missing them, but it gives everybody else another chance to set up to the plate and have opportunities to play.”
GREGG POPOVICH

RE: On how he knows (LaMarcus) Aldridge is in one of those zones

“You just watch. He played a great game. He was very aggressive offensively. When he got doubled, he kicked the ball. He just played a fine game, kind of like being a quarterback out there.”

RE: On DeMar DeRozan’s playmaking:

“He shot the ball aggressively when he had it. When he didn’t, he trusted his teammates, so he played a good game, played a smart game.”

RE: On their defense, Celtics being without star players:

“We did a good job. Obviously two of their best players weren’t there, so that’s always tough for a team when that happens. We’ve been in the situation before and it’s difficult. But, you know, it’s the NBA and you’ve still got to come and play.”
DEMAR DEROZAN

RE: On not taking anything for granted tonight:

“Man, it hurt to lose that Houston game. You know, that game dropped us two games in a row. We didn’t want to come into a hostile place, playing against a desperate team as well and take them lightly. We had to come out and play and that’s what we did.”

RE: Watching LaMarcus go off for 25 in the first quarter:

“That’s the beauty of being able to play with a dynamic scorer like that. It always makes your job, you are a scorer as well, easier as well. For me, I enjoy getting everybody else in the game, finding everybody, putting pressure on the defense by passing and finding everybody else. When LA (LaMarcus Aldridge) is being dominate like that, it makes everything else easier for us.”
LAMARCUS ALDRIDGE

RE: DeMar was disappointed you couldn’t get 50 points:

“It was just one of those nights, my shot felt good. I looked up and saw that I had 48 and it was like aw man.”

RE: On knowing he had 48 points:

“No, I didn’t. It was just one of those nights, my teammates were finding me. I was just trying to take the shots that I was feeling were good.”

RE: Does it make it easier to find other players when you’re getting doubled?

“Yeah, I think it makes it easier because everyone on the floor should know they’re going to double. You know, guys move early, be ready to go and I’ll be ready to shoot the ball. I’ll pass it, I’ll find them, but tonight guys were ready to shoot it for sure.”
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