Keys to the Game
Kyrie Irving

That's What He Said: Celtics vs. Pacers (Game 1)

Read what the players and coaches had to say following Boston's 84-74 victory over Indiana.

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


RE: Talk about Marcus Morris and what he did:

“Marcus was great. You saw that coming in the last two days of practice. He was terrific at practice on Thursday when we went live. I think he probably benefited as much as anybody from being out for a couple of the last season games, I think two of the last four or two of the last three. I thought he did a really good job and we need him to. He played big and strong, rebounded the ball for us on the defensive end. He’s a hard guy to guard with bigs because he spreads the floor for you.”

RE: What was the key to that third quarter?

“I’ll go back and look at it, but I think there will always be some possessions and shots they’d like to have back. We were really connected, and we were really playing hard and we were really flying around. That doesn’t mean you always get stops and there’s probably some bounces that didn’t go their way. We gave up two or three, maybe four rolls and dunks/layups there in the 2nd quarter and we wanted to be a lot better at protecting the rim and the paint first.”

RE: Did you guys start out tight and needed some adjustments?

“I was asked that at halftime too and that’s not fair to Indiana. I mean those guys guarded their butts off and that looked like a 1980s playoff game with the score. It’s tough, those guys are tough and physical and for us to say we were just tight, and we missed shots would not be fair to them. I thought that they were tremendous defensively and they did some things a little differently then they had in the last two games in a lot of ways. I just told Abby (Chin) this not like Game 1 this was almost like Game 3 because we had played each other a couple of times in the recent weeks. We have a lot to get better at to make sure that we get the looks we want and then knock them in. We missed some open looks in the first half, but there were also times where we didn’t own our space and they were very physical with us.”

RE: How important was it to set tone defensively early?

“Both teams were. This is not a series for the timid, we’ve known that going in. This is a heck of a team with a heck of a coach and the minute you let your foot off the gas or you don’t play the right way you’re going to get beat.”

RE: Speak to what Al Horford did in 3rd quarter and him as a whole on this team:

“He was great on the glass, he was great protecting the paint, and I thought he was just good generally defensively with good ball pressure on their bigs on some of their handoffs. Offensively he had a couple of key baskets there, the spin and one to tie it. Even though we started the third quarter on a run it took a while to get the run going; we missed a couple of possessions. He’s our stabilizer in a lot of ways. We need to do a better job of giving him space and getting him into advantageous actions as a team and as a coaching staff and so that is what we will try to figure out.”

RE: 3rd quarter physicality – was that a point you made at halftime?

“The biggest point we made at the break was protecting the paint. Not as much physicality wise, but more from just the standpoint of those roles that I talked about where they got down in the middle of us and on us and laid it in. You can’t give teams layups and you got to challenge shots as well as you can and then rebounding and owning your space on offense had been our number one and two emphasis over the last four days. Disappointing the way that they got up under us a little. We knew that they would come at us, you watch the film of the last few Game 1’s they’ve played; at Cleveland the last two years, at Toronto the year before like they get after you and we knew that was coming. Still shocked at us a little bit, but we did a great job on the glass for the most part.”

RE: What did Marcus Morris bring to this game?

“He just brought a really intense veteran mindset. Just being able to go out there and impact the game. He is not so much about scoring as much as he is the attitude coming in and really just throwing himself into the game. I appreciated that. I think we all did. Just by the way we started, down six twelve. Not being able to hit the shots we wanted to. Not being aggressive. We just need that. It can be anyone’s night in the playoffs. The ultimate goal is to just get a W at the end of the game. Doesn’t matter how you do it. We have the luxury of having him in, as well as other veterans, but everyone is filling in around that. I felt pretty confidant. I wasn’t hitting any shots in the first half as well. So to have that be sustained by him, just being aggressive, that shot just really helped us.”

RE: Did you feel that this type of defensive effort and attitude was coming for this game?

“Yeah, I expected it. I just think that, just on the offensive end, there were things that were going to happen, but defensively, I knew that out length, our versatility, were going to be a positive for us, especially in this series. We know them very well. We played them four times throughout the year. We know each other pretty well. Defensively I knew we were going to be in the right spots. It was just matching that effort, being smart about it, knowing who we want to gap off of. Really just focusing on the game plan. Just doing the right things.”

RE: After waiting almost 2 years for this, how did it feel to finally step out there?

“It felt great. Especially, because we got the win. What do I have to say, it was fun out there. To be out there with my teammates; it was a very good feeling.”

RE: After having roughly a week off, any rust in the first half:

“I don’t know about rust, probably a little anxious for sure. I mean it’s the first playoff game so we’re definitely a little anxious. Credit them, they played really tough defensively, didn’t really get very many easy shots for us. So, everything was difficult. They had a good game plan.”

RE: What was the difference in the 26-8 third quarter?

“I thought we did a really good job guarding and being physical. Making them, same thing, making all their shots difficult. We had a couple breakdowns at the end of the half but for the most part, I thought we were pretty solid defensively. If we guard like that, we didn’t play very well on the offensive end. We still gave ourselves a really good chance.”

RE: Having a few games off, did you feel rejuvenated?

"Anytime we get any days off it’s great for us. I think I played 70 something games, so it’s a time to relax and reflect on the season and just get better.”

RE: What was opening up for you in the first half that let you go off like that?

“I just tried to enter the game and stay aggressive. I had a couple bigs guarding me and just trying to space the floor and just read their close outs and they were closing out pretty short so just letting the game come to me. I was just trying to come in and make an impact.”

RE: Becoming accustomed to coming off the bench again:

“At the end of the day I’m a hooper. So, if I start or come off there will be small adjustments and just trying to come out and help the team. If I come off just make sure I come off with an impact and if I start it will be the same way.”

RE: What was the problem in the third quarter?

“Well you know, first it was turnovers. Our first two possessions were turnovers. We didn’t establish ourselves in that third quarter and the turnovers led to poor execution and missed some shots. I thought we had some open looks in that third quarter and really lost our rhythm. I thought we kind of lost our way in that third quarter.”

RE: Execution from starters:

“Yeah, they played most of that third quarter. As I mentioned, we held Boston, I don’t know if we held them, but they scored 84 points. I don’t know if Boston has scored 84 points the entire season. So defensively we did some good things. We did some good things offensively in that first half. We made shots. The third quarter, we started off as I mentioned with two turnovers. We had open looks that we did not down. I thought we lost a little confidence in that third quarter and they got the momentum and really never let that go.”

RE: Corralling Bojan Bogdanovic:

“Well, they got length out there. You add (Jaylen) Brown to the lineup and they’re pretty long other than Kyrie (Irving.) I thought they got physical with us. I thought they got up the second half which the game is going to, that sense of urgency is going to get higher going into the quarters. From the start of the first, second and third and going into that fourth quarter, I thought we came out and played that third quarter like the first quarter. As if we thought it was going to, we were going to have our way. They turned up the intensity, we didn’t respond to that. They got physical, started to body, got more aggressive defensively. We didn’t do a good job of executing.”

RE: What happened in that third quarter?

“We just didn’t make enough shots. We had a lot of good looks in that third where we were coming out of transition and we gave them wide open looks. They were rallying in and out of it. It was just missed shots. Definitely as a team, you hate to see those not go down. I think we did a fairly good job of going out there and playing defense. I think the biggest thing that killed us in that game was that third quarter. We were outscored 26-8 in the third. Then free-throws, free-throws really killed us. If you look across the board, we’re pretty even.”

RE: What was the difference in the third quarter?

“I thought we got out good looks. Our first few went in and out. So can’t hang our heads too much. Shots weren’t falling. I thought we did a good job getting good looks, like I said. But I think we had a couple turnovers there early that allowed them to get out in transition. Once you get the crowd into it, it’s tough. Once you get an opponent’s crowd into it, it’s tough to dig yourself out of that hole.”

RE: With how well these teams know each other now, how do you make a quick turn in just a couple of days?

“We feel like the series started two weeks ago. We’ve been playing these guys…we’ve played them 3 times in the last 2 weeks of the season, so we just have to stay with it. We’re very familiar with each other. It’s going to come down to who executes. Who takes care of the ball. Who keeps their confidence up. We’ll do our best to get a good couple of nights of prep, and get ready for these guys on Wednesday.”

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