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Marcus Smart, Daniel Theis, and Gordon Hayward

10/30 Arbella Quote Worthy: Bucks vs. Celtics

Read what the players and coaches had to say following Boston's 116-105 victory over Milwaukee.

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

BRAD STEVENS

RE: The Celtics bench made 8 points tonight; do you think if they continue this performance, you will have problems in the playoffs and potentially the Finals?

“I think we had a problem Friday night. Part of that is we’ve got two really good players out tonight with Jaylen Brown and Enes Kanter. So that adds to your starting lineup, depth, whatever you want to call that. We’ll worry about that later. I think we’ve got a couple of young guys that are playing in this for the first time and you’ve seen them do some really good things, but you also know they are really young and this is a whole brand new experience. The game is fast, especially in our last two home games. We have to get better, our whole team has to get better and we can’t have the first halves like we’ve had in the last two games. Obviously, we are really encouraged by that win and the way that our guys played together.”

RE: The first half. What’s happening in those slow starts and how are you overcoming them?

“They were the first to the ball on numerous occasions in the first half so they looked like the quicker team, both to the floor and to the rebound. We started to settle in a little bit more at the end of the first half and unfortunately it ended up being 15 or 16 at halftime. But I think if you at our 44 shots in the first half, I don’t think they compare to the 48 we took in the second. As far as quality of shot. We really worked hard for good shot in the second half, and it started with the first possession of the second half. The ball whipped all over the place there were multiple opportunities to throw up a tough one and they just found the next right guy. Ball goes in a couple times now every shot becomes a little bit easier because you’re feeling better. So, we just need to keep working as a team and figure out where our best opportunities are. That’s two games in a row that’s happened but there’s always trends like this whenever you are going through a season with 82 games. The goal is to play better, more possessions.”

RE: After four games, three games against teams that are generally considered the top of the East, what did you learn about this group as you are trying to figure out what you have?

“The key is how you handle good nights and then how you handle the storms that are coming inevitably in the season. I’m really encouraged because when this team was in halftime they were saying all the right things, they were thinking all the right things. I thought at the end of the second quarter we wanted to cut into that lead so bad we were just trying to hit it out of the park every time we shot. Finally we settled down and just hit singles and just played the right way and at least you give yourself a chance. The guys really competed, played a really good team. I don’t think it necessarily tells much, we are only four games in.”
KEMBA WALKER

RE: The team hasn’t had someone who can draw free-throws (15) at that kind of rate. Can you explainwhat that ability does during a comeback? What can you impart on some of the other guys that arelearning to attack more?

“I definitely did a great job at getting to line tonight. I got fouled on a three one time which is usually mistakes on the other team’s behalf. Can’t get used to that, can’t get too used to that. I don’t if I’m going to be getting 15 free-throws too often. I think it slowed the game down a little bit for us, it gave us time to actually push through and make a comeback. Some technical fouls, I shot two techs I think. Just trying to make plays that’s all I was trying to do. I was just trying to get into the lane and do what I can to make the right play and I was able to get to the line tonight.” 

RE: Speaking of the comeback, mentally what does it take to turn a game around like that within one game? 

“For us it was more so not letting our offense dictate our defense, man. I think at times in these early games we’ve got so down on ourselves because we haven’t been scoring. When you work so hard in the summer on some shots and you miss them, routine shots early it frustrates you. You have to understand you have to stay in the game, those shots are going to come for us. We’re going to find rhythm at some point, but it takes time. We have to stay together and let our defense dictate our offense, and that’s what we did. Whenever we got stops we got the rebound we pushed the basketball and made the right play. You know we have a bunch of unselfish guys and it was an unbelievable comeback.” 
MARCUS SMART

RE: How much do you personally like taking on challenges like covering Giannis Antetokoumpo?

“Oh, I love it. I am ecstatic about it every single time I get the opportunity. Giannis (Antetokoumpo) is a great player, rightfully so he dictates that much attention from a team and like I said we played really good as a team tonight.”

RE: What was going through your head when you nodded to the crowd after your tangle with Giannis?

“At that moment, don't lose anymore money for me but me and Giannis were battling the whole night. A couple of calls did not go our way early on, but we just stayed with it, so I kept my hands up and when I got the call just that was everything we needed. And that was a momentum changer again and kept us with the momentum; it got the team going and it got me going.”

RE: What are the ways you can tell when you are starting to irritate them, get under their skin?

“That right there, everytime I am boxing them out they are trying to throw me out of the way. It lets me know I am getting to them and especially when especially he isn’t getting to the ball, isn’t getting to the rim, and isn’t getting the shots he usually hits.”

RE: Since you have recovered from your thumb injury Brad (Stevens) said he has you seen an improvement in your shot -- have you?

“Definitely, I practice on my shot every day. I am always working and my confidence just shooting, shooting and that’s what I have been doing. My teammates give me confidence, Brad (Stevens) gives me confidence, and like I said every day I work and put in the work and it is showing.”
MIKE BUDENHOLZER

RE: The game overall:

“Obviously a lot of cred to Boston. The second half, just offensively, we couldn’t stop them. We need to be so much better on that end of the court and I think we’ll look at the film to see how we can get better defensively. That’s mostly what’s the concern, I think 64 points or something like that. Second half was just discouraging, concerning.”

RE: What did you see in the way the Celtics were defending Giannis (Antetokounmpo)? Was it more physical than what you’ve seen in the past?

“Nah, everyone’s physical on Giannis. I think he takes a lot of beating. It’s important he continues to play with force, continues to play with his teammates. He’s played through this for several years now. Boston in general is a physical team, kind of knew that coming in. He’s seen it, he’s played well through it before, and he’ll play well through it in the future.”

RE: The third quarter

“It’s a game of momentum, it’s a game of runs. They started feeling good, they started getting stops, they started making shots and everything flipped. You’ve got to be able to sustain runs like that, sustain hits like that. There were a couple big plays where they just got some easy baskets too. The free throws, there were a couple easy ones on turnovers. Those will probably hurt more than anything.”
WESLEY MATTHEWS

RE: The lagging second half

“I credit them; they turned the pressure up, they started making shots, we started missing shots. We’ve gotta put together a 48-minute game, you know, this is the second time where we put together a great 24 minutes, but we gotta make it 48. They did what they were supposed to do, they took it home, and we’ve gotta learn from it and be better. The beauty of the NBA is you’ve got another one coming around corner to flush this one, learn from it, grow, and be ready to take care of Orlando.”

RE: Are you guys getting the right looks from behind the 3-point line?

“Yeah, unless they’re heavily contested, yeah. This team is built up of guys who can make shots, guys who have made a lot of shots in their career. An amazing talent in Giannis, who creates mismatches and double teams, and you know some of our looks that we made in the first half we didn’t make in the second half. They turned their intensity up, and some of the stops we were getting in the first half we didn’t get in the second half, so it was a combination of things. We’ve gotta credit them, they fought back but we have to put together a 48-minute game. This is two times now that we’ve let this happen, we have to figure it out.”

RE: What happened in the second half defensively?

“It’s so easy in basketball to play hard defensively when shots are falling. It’s easy, and that can’t be the way that we look at things. When shots aren’t falling, that’s when we have to tighten up more. That’s when we’ve gotta talk more, we can’t get quiet, we can’t let the little slippage and breakdowns in. And again, they made some tough shots, they got the crowd going. They’re a talented team over there, but a lot of the night was controllable.”

RE: Where does the frustration come in when what’s going wrong is things you can control?

“You don’t sleep very well that night. Cheers to that. I wouldn’t say the issue is effort. We all go hard, and we compete. Some of it is mental, some of it we just can’t hang our heads on a missed shot or aturnover or a bad offensive possession. We’ve gotta have that mentality all the time that if you score, you’re gonna earn it. Obviously taking care of the ball helps, obviously getting quality looks helps, because they’ve gotta play against a set defense and obviously when you’re making shots they’ve gotta take the ball from that so it goes both ways. It’s a two-ended court, but whether we make shots or not we’ve gotta be dogs on the defensive end, and we’ll get it.”
GIANNIS ANTETOKOUNMPO

RE: Bucks defense tonight:

“We kept fouling them at one point. I allowed them to get back into the game and give up a six-point lead. I think we weren’t active enough defensively and obviously they made some tough shots, but we have to do a better job.”

RE: Giannis, what was different about the Celtics defense in the second half?

“I don’t think they did anything different, they always play hard, always help one and another defensively, but we missed a couple open shots that we usually knock down and unfortunately tonight wewasn’t able to knock those down and they came back into the game when you don’t play defense and you’re not scoring offensively, you don’t make no shots you can’t win the game.”

RE: For you individually what do you have to do to make your shots go in down the floor?

“I just got to keep making plays, I got to be aggressive doesn’t matter what goes on, how you feel down or up you got to keep making plays you know that’s it.”

RE: What are some positives about going through some ups and downs at the beginning of the season?

“I feel like when things go well, everything is good. Everybody is feeling good and playing well, but at the end of the day you got to feel some adversity and things got to go bad at one point and you got to feel like a good average team at some point because that is the only way you excel and the only way you get better. And obviously it hurts that we give up a 16 point and didn’t win the game, a game that we thought we would be able to win. At the end of the day, we got to take this as a lesson and try to get better, andtry to excel and get through some adversity.”
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