12/6 Arbella Quote Worthy: Nuggets vs. Celtics
Click on a player to reveal quotes from their postgame press conference.
RE: It’s been a great stretch for both Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown; is this what you’ve been building up to?
“That story’ll be told down the road. Those guys are still getting better. They’re clearly improving in a lot of areas but I think they’re really enjoying playing together and figuring it out with the rest of our team. And it is more fun to be a central player that we’re going to in those occasions, and they’re taking advantage of it and doing a really good job of it. As I’ve said many times this year, our five best players are really clear, and everything we do has to be focused around complementing them and maximizing them. Those two guys in particular have done a really good job in this early part of the season of just focusing on making the right plays. But we’re still – as a team, and those two guys – we still have a lot of room to improve.”
RE: Tatum’s pulling back from attacking offensively:
“He’s seeing a lot more doubles, he’s seeing a lot more blitzes than he’s ever seen. A lot of times the game starts, people are back, you hit a couple shots, they get a little higher, and by the end they’re blitzing. And so he’s seeing more of that, because people know what he’s capable of, and that also challenges you as a player to make the next right play, and it’s not always the most fun because you’re usually making a hockey assist against that blitz so it’s not the seven assists or five assists, it’s what it leads to after that usually. He’s doing a really good job of that, and you know we’re running a lot of action for him and Kemba (Walker) and they’re doing a great job of reading and playing off of it. And then obviously whenever you run anything, Jaylen’s just playing off of everybody else. His ability to shoot or drive powerfully is just different. It’s unique.”
RE: Do you feel like this year the team is holding its ground in the fourth quarter?
“Well statistically we’ve been excellent in the fourth quarter, but tonight wasn’t a Mona Lisa from an offensive standpoint. But I didn’t know if either team was going to score after the first three minutes of the fourth but what was okay because we were up. We kept getting stops and then finally found a way to put some shots in. Thought the key to tonight’s game was: we kept out with great energy. We played really hard and well together, and then when they made their run we hit really timely, often tough shots. Sometimes it really is that you make a shot at that moment that you needed to make a shot to kind of start a run and tonight felt like that. They cut it to five, to eight, (Nikola) Jokic was hitting the one-foot floaters and then we had to come down and answer. Couple of those threes we hit were tough, so that was part of tonight’s success. We did make shots against a really good defense.”
RE: Tatum and Brown’s supporting each other, and their on-the-court dynamic:
“I think I’ve always felt that way about those two guys. I think that everybody wants them to do really well. The great part of the whole situation is all the players, all the coaches, all the front office, the whole city; we all want Jayson and Jaylen to do really well, and it’s on us to all bring out the best in them and help them continue to grow through tough times or success. They’re having a lot success right now, so with that comes the different challenges of new defenses and more attention and how do you handle that. Those guys have shown themselves well thus far.”
RE: How is the oblique?
“The oblique felt great. That’s a good thing for me and for everybody. It felt good; the extra padding helped. I don’t know how much it helped tonight; nobody got anywhere near it so that is a good sign. But, all the tests we did earlier helped us with the decision to play tonight so it should be fine, just continue to do the rehab and continue to get stronger.”
RE: How much were you thinking about the oblique when you were out there?
“Actually not at all. I was just trying to play and really focus on my wing and run up and down the court and kind of get myself back into it.”
RE: What is like seeing Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum come together this season?
“It feels good. I mean I think everybody sees the steps they have been taking towards becoming better basketball players and I think it shows.”
RE: How important was it for you to be out there today?
“It was tremendously important. Today is a special day – my mother’s birthday. It was just one of those nights where it is no coincidence that I come back from my injury today. Like I have said before it was kind of meant to be.”
RE: You guys have won five out of six what kind of rhythm are you in right now?
“I think we are playing good basketball here, and we have to keep it up and keep coming out with the right intensity and try to win.”
RE: What is working so well for you guys offensively – particularly you and Jayson Tatum?
“Just being aggressive, just coming out and being aggressive coming out and executing the game plan. Our coaching staff, our front end just believe in us, so we just try and come out and be aggressive. There is a lot of responsibility with that but I think we are coming out pretty good.”
RE: How has your relationship with Jayson Tatum developed?
“It has developed a lot, I guess. At first, we were cool but at the same time we were totally different. So, we kind of just did our own thing as we’ve gotten older it has just made sense. At first I didn’t like JT – no, I’m just playing – no that’s my guy. He is family oriented and he handles himself the same way every day. You can’t really be too mad at that."
RE: What about the Celtics’ defense challenged you today?
“They are into you. They are very physical, very aggressive and I think there are guys who wanted to continue to protect their own court but also exact some revenge from our place a week and a half ago. They made us feel them all night long. That was big. Obviously, they made threes, we did not. We’re 5-30 on the night. We spent all of our threes in New York City yesterday, unfortunately. The biggest thing I thought for us was our inability to guard one on one. They did a great job of it, made everything hard. We had at least 16 blow-bys. Which they scored 25 points on. Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum had great nights and we just didn’t do a good enough job of guarding them.”
RE: What is so challenging when they start picking up speed? How do you stop that?
“Yeah, it’s hard. Those guys are both talented players. They can beat you in the post, they can hit the three-point shot and they both have the ability to break it down off the dribble. Which is an underrated skill. That’s where you have to have great one on one defense to contain and then there has to be help behind that when that person is beaten off the dribble and we didn’t have that. Obviously it was a competitive game and then next thing you know it’s 11-0 run to close that third quarter I believe. Which kind of blew it open. Went back to some of the starters to try to get back in the game but just never able to do that. The only silver lining tonight was Nikola (Jokic). Obviously, Nikola played great. He was aggressive, scored in the post, scored from everywhere. That was great to see.”
RE: How did the Celtics make you feel?
“It was just a rough night, honestly. You know I got frustrated. I’ve been making my first seven, six shots (recently). You know that kind of put us in a slump early. Got some good looks, (Nikola) Jokic played really well. We’ve had nights where one guy is clicking the other guy is not and tonight it happened with me. I put that on me. I tried to pick it up defensively but in the second half they were in too much of a rhythm to really stop them especially at home. They made some tough shots and we didn’t make enough down the stretch.”
RE: How did their back court challenge your guys’ defense?
“I think the paint was packed. We didn’t realize that until later. On top of that, when the paint is packed and you aren’t making shots it’s a bad combo. It was a tough night, like I said, offensively. I think we had some good looks even when they packed the paint and we just didn’t make them. We’ve just got to be better.”
RE: What were you able to take advantage of with a very good Celtics defense?
“I mean I had a good night offensively. I think me and my teammates – I think we didn’t play a lot of defense. We were kind of loose we were not on-top of our screens we were kind of retreating the whole time. Seems like it was too easy for them.”