Keys to the Game
Kyrie Irving

That's What He Said - Bucks vs. Celtics (Game 3)

Read what the players and coaches had to say following Boston's 123-116 defeat to Milwaukee.

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


RE: Did the Celtics lose focus in the third quarter because of the officiating?

“It’s a good question. I don’t know that that’s – I don’t know that that would be the case. I just think that ultimately they made a lot of plays in that quarter; we didn’t. I thought we got a little deep on the drive, whereas in the first half I thought we were doing a really good job of getting to the right depth and then making the next right play. We turned it over a few times; they got going in transition. They got going downhill. We weren’t quite as tight as – as we like to be, as, as loading up to the ball and making it tough to get downhill and keeping them off the foul line. So you know if – if there’s anything, it’s just stuff we have to do better.”

RE: Was the officiating working against the Celtics when Jaylen Brown picked up his fifth foul?

“I don’t complain about officials. We’ve got a lot of stuff we have to do better and they have a hard job. And we focus on us, and the controllables, and that’s the bottom line.”

RE: Juggling substitutions with Jaylen Brown and Marcus Morris in foul trouble:

“I wasn’t as worried, probably, about the foul trouble as just finding the right group. And when things went south, we had a lot of our guys that play a lot on the court. And so, you knew we had to go to the bench a little bit. But credit the Bucks; they did a lot of good things. We’ll go back and look at how we can improve off that. This thing is going to be a – I mean, every minute of every game against these guys is really hard. This is a heck of a team and I thought in those moments, again, their physicality to the rim kind of separated the game, and then on the other end, again, I just thought we got a little deep on some of our drives.”

RE: Defending Giannis Antetokounmpo and not having as tight a wall defensively:

“You’re saying why wasn’t it as tight? I thought that for whatever reason, again, we were a little bit looser. Maybe because of the threes they hit last game; that was not a plan of attack, we just wanted to be tight, protect the paint first, then get out. But you know, they go 15 of 37 again. So, it’s easier said than done when they shoot threes this way. This is a – the challenge of this team is the – the elite drivers in (Eric) Bledsoe and Giannis that can get anywhere on one-on-one scenarios. And so, you have to provide some sort of help. And when you do, they pick you apart. The play that I – that stands out most vividly – is Giannis is at the top of the key and he just flings it to the corner. And, you know, he throws it through, through defenders, or through where we could be a little bit more active. But if you’re not on your toes they’re going to take advantage of you. And they did that. They’ve got big, tall guys shooting, and so they’re hard to contest anyways. But if you’re not in the ballpark, you’re in trouble.”

RE: How did Milwaukee’s being in the bonus so early in the third quarter affect how the Celtics could defend?

“We have to do a better job of not being in the bonus; that’s certainly a big, big deal. You know, I think that – but then, you’re thinking about that, because you want to be solid without fouling. You don’t want to send guys to the line. And at the same time you’ve got to provide resistance. It’s easier said than done to balance that when you’re already in the bonus.”

RE: What is the spirit of your group at this time and what is the challenge?

“I mean; we have another chance to respond at home. They took care of business. The third quarter is where they really made their mark on the game. You have to give credit, George Hill was the “X factor” having 21 off the bench, going 9-for-12. We just have to do a better job of eliminating that. I think that we did a great job of starting off the game very well. Going into halftime, obviously ending the half in the fashion that probably wasn’t our best. Then coming out in that third quarter and giving up 40 points, that’s not a characteristic you want to carry over into the next game. We’ll be better. We’ll need a little more from our bench, a little bit more consistency from me going to the basket as well as the three-point line. Hopefully, we can even out the free throws, not just in the fourth quarter.”

RE: Have you ever been involved in a playoff game where the officiating is so poor on one side?

“I mean the refs have a difficult job. We have a difficult job. Obviously, I could sit up here and complain. We know the disparity and what it is but I am not going to put all the emphasis on the refereeing. I think there are a lot of controllable things on our end that we can be better at. Obviously the officiating is going to be part of it. You wish things could go your way but they don’t and we have to be able to respond in a better circumstance. We just have to respond better and I think we will do that going into game four. I’m confident in this group. I’m confident in the talent that we have here. As well as the basketball IQ, we just have to bring it to another level of being in the right spots and really focusing on where we can take advantage on their defensive miscues. They turn their heads on plays where guys are driving to the basket. They still have the same frantic defense. They’ve made adjustments and now we go back and watch film of where instances in the game where we can control. We just have to do better.”

RE: Third quarter:

“We just have to play better. This is apart of our test. We got all the tools that we need in this room. We just have to play better.”

RE: Attitude and emotion in the locker room tonight:

We just got to play better, that’s it. I don’t even know what to say. I’m looking forward to game four on Monday. I know we’re looking forward to game four. We have too many good players, too many dogs in this locker room. We’re all looking forward to it and that’s the mindset."

RE: On the game:

“I’d just like to say first, I think the defense and the togetherness tonight as we worked our way through the game and the 3rd quarter stood out to me where we could get stops, and we could get out and go. Guys coming in off the bench like George Hill and Pat Connaughton just fabulous tonight. The spirit of the group is in a good place and now the challenge is to keep it there and get ready for a couple days from now.”

RE: What’s been the difference after Game 1…what adjustments were made?

“I like our activity. I like the way we are scrambling and covering for each other. Then I think we are playing similarly offensively; we’re playing with a lot of force, guys attacking and sharing the ball. I just think Game 1, give credit to Boston, they were really good, they did a lot of things to put us where we knew we had to be better and we’re going to have to better in Game 4. I think the activity of the group has been the difference.”

RE: Can you expound on what you saw from Pat (Connaughton) in that 2nd quarter to make things tight at half?

“That was a big stretch of the game. I think we were down 12 at one point in the 2nd quarter and he had a couple three’s in the quarter, I know he had the offensive rebound put back, he’s just been doing it for us all year. He’s been a great contributor in so many different ways and lots of times I think his shot blocking as a guard has been outstanding and tonight he’s making shots; it was a critical stage. We were not very good there for a while and he kept us afloat, him and George (Hill).”

RE: Giannis (Antetokounmpo) thoughts on tonight managing physicality and aggressiveness into productivity:

“I think he just stayed aggressive the whole game. I think he had the right mindset from the start to the end. He’s constantly putting pressure on the basket and I think making reads and decisions, he’s just such a force and he can get through cracks and I think he’s going to finish or get to the free throw line a lot if he keeps playing like this.”

RE: Do you feel like you have control of the series now after Game 1?

“Yeah. We made some adjustments after Game 1, but I think most importantly we played hard going into Game 2 and now Game 3. We just got to keep playing good basketball, keep defending, and just keep believing in ourselves. I think if we do that and trust one another we are going to get control of this series.”

RE: What was your approach to get to the line and how do you deflect the home crowd in making those shots?

“I’m just going to keep being aggressive. That is what my teammates want me to do, I’ve said that in the past, and that’s what I’m going to keep going. I love getting to the free throw line, I’ve worked on it, I’m shooting my free throws with confidence so it’s easy points for me and my teammates. I’m just going to keep being aggressive and keep making plays and sometimes if I got to take it all the way, I got to take it all the way. I’m really not focusing on the crowd.”

RE: What do you remember about last year and how did that motivate you tonight?

“Same.” (Agreeing with Khris Middleton first question)

RE: What do you remember about last year’s series and how did that motivate you tonight?

“Really all I remember was just losing that series and I don’t think this year we came in to prove a point. It’s different seasons, different teams. We’ve been playing well on the road all year long. We’re not worried about who we are playing against really, it’s about us and trying to find ways to win games in advance. We forgot about last year and moved on from it.”

RE: Celtics cut lead down in final minutes with free throws. How much of that was you holding door open or them pushing the door open and what was your level of concern in those final minutes?

“I think it was half and half. They did a great job of forcing, we just got to do a better job of playing without fouling. I think we had lapses a little bit between the quarters or whatever but, for the most part I think we played the full 48 of basketball.”

RE: How did it feel playing in your old stomping grounds?

“It felt great. Anytime you can get out, on the road, with a win, is huge, obviously. Growing up six miles away (Arlington, MA) doesn’t hurt the fact, makes it a little bit more fun. But at the end of the day, my focus right now is to make sure we beat the opponent that’s in front of us. It happens to be the Celtics. It happens to be close to where I grew up, but it this is my mentality and the approach I have to have.”

RE: How much does it help to make that first shot and get in a rhythm?

“It helps a lot. I’d like to make every shot I take. Quite frankly, I think I missed a few I should have made. But at the end of the day, it’s about making sure you take the shot with confidence. It’s making sure that the way I shoot it feels good. The result will take care of itself if I do that, and my teammates trust me, and quite frankly, it’s on them to get me the shots. It’s my job to make it, and they do a phenomenal job of making sure they drive the paint and then finding me wide open shots.”

  • Facebook
  • Twitter