12/27 Arbella Quote Worthy: Cavaliers vs. Celtics
Click on a player to reveal quotes from their postgame press conference.
RE: How Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum have expanded their games, and combined to score 60 points for the first time:
“Obviously scoring is – they both have been able to do a lot and have consistently grown and gotten better. But I don’t think we saw anything today that we haven’t seen out of both those guys in the last couple weeks, last couple months. They’ve been playing well, they obviously are playing confidently and – and feel good, and they did a good job of creating their own at times and also getting created for. And, you know, as I said to (NBCSports Boston reporter) Abby (Chin) just now in the TV interview, I still think we’re missing some plays on offense as a team – and our defense wasn’t very good today – but those two guys obviously, you know, have been scoring at a good rate.”
RE: Are you seeing what you envisioned when first seeing Brown and Tatum playing together?
“We’ve known from the moment that they stepped on the court when they first started games together, even before Gordon (Hayward) got hurt – when we had those guys in that first training camp you could see it was pretty unique; when we drafted Jayson we thought that being able to have those two versatile wings that could guard in a number of different positions and do a number of different things, but also weren’t exactly the same players but would be good complements for each other.”
RE: Might they players be looking past the Cavaliers (to the Raptors) in not playing strong defense today?
“I don’t want to project that, but all I know is when you give up layups it’s hard to – you know – it’s a good thing we scored 129. But, and we gave up 23 points in the last four minutes, so that’s part of it. That was part of it. But we also had stretches in the first half where we were excellent; not great at the start of the game, excellent in the middle of the half, bad at the end. We just have to be more consistent on the defensive end of the floor. They put you in tough spots, I mean, their downhill pick-and-roll players are tough; (Kevin) Love’s shooting while posting is tough because you want to guard him with an athlete but you end up, you know, sometimes sacrificing size. And he takes you inside and then you over-help and (Tristan) Thompson gets the rebound and they present a lot of issues and situations. But, yeah, if we play like we did today, tomorrow we’ll get beaten.”
RE: Enes Kanter’s defense:
“I think he’s really engaged in what we’re trying to accomplish. Obviously his rebounding’s excellent. I thought he had a couple of good moments on that end and he certainly has made a huge difference on the offensive glass and scoring in the post.”
RE: Was it nice to build up a big lead (after the Cavs cut it to 8) given the back-to-back game tomorrow?
“Yeah, yeah. I mean we were thinking – we had hoped to keep everyone under the 33-to-35 mark and we’re going to, we, I thought it was looking good there in the middle of the first half at then again at the end of the half we weren’t great; start of the half we weren’t – or start of the second half we weren’t great and that put us into a position where we were going to have to go on that little mini-run. Jaylen hit those back-to-back threes and that kind of separated it for us and allowed us to sit guys. I think Tatum might’ve led us in minutes, as he has, but I think that, obviously, nobody above 33 is a good thing.”
RE: Career-high for you again, what kind of confidence do you have out there?
“The same confidence that I always have. I’m just coming out there and trying to be aggressive and try to find ways to win, really.”
RE: What does it feel like when you and Jayson Tatum are both going off like that? Do you feel unstoppable at that point?
“It is kind of hard to pick when you are in the moment. I just try to keep going and stay locked in as much as I can and not get lazy or get casual with the basketball and try and continue to apply pressure and keep going. We got a big game tomorrow and I think both of us are focused on that one, and less of this one. We did what we were supposed to do tonight.”
RE: How much does the floor open up for you in situations like this with players like Kemba Walker, Gordon Hayward, etc.
“We definitely have to continue to have the right balance and make the right plays and the right reads, and continue to get better. We still have our best day in front of us as a team. We have to continue to strive, and make it less about the opponent and more about us. We have to get better. We are looking to be a team playing defense into the postseason this year, so every game counts and every game is a chance to get better. Every game is an opportunity, and we have to make sure we seize it."
RE: Do you take the talk about Celtics needing another big personally?
“Not really, I think we are doing an amazing job. Not just me, but (Daniel) Theis, Robert Williams, Grant Williams, Vinny (Vincent Poirier), and even Tacko (Fall). I think we are doing an amazing job protecting the rim. I think we are the top five defense in the NBA right now, so shoutout to all the haters out there.”
RE: Offensive rebounding:
“It’s all in our team’s confidence. When I’m out there with them, I’m always telling them to shoot with confidence; if you miss it, I’m going to go get every offensive rebound. So just shoot with confidence; if they miss it, I got them.”
RE: Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown:
“I think one thing that makes them so special is that they’re not just making themselves better, they make everybody else better around them. Obviously, please don’t forget to vote for Tatum and Brown. Obviously the NBA All-Stars are now doing that, so vote for them.”
RE: The game overall:
“Every time I watch Boston, I'm very envious of what they have out there and remind myself that they were much like us five years ago. They just have four guys out there that are explosive and can score at any time. Watching Jaylen Brown hit those five threes is just like something nobody would have dreamed of a couple years ago. They’re really hard to guard, and hard to score on, as you can see at the end. We got a little bit of a rhythm in the second half and scored some points, but just a tough team for anyone to beat, let alone us right now.”
RE: What were you seeing in Kevin Love’s game tonight?
“When we can get him open anytime, we sort of take for granted that he’s going to knock down the three. I think that what’s underrated is his ability to get post position and then sometimes get to the foul line or just get a layup out of that. He really has been playing well for us, because I think he’s healthy right now and it’s been a big difference.”
RE: Has watching Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown developing been an eye-opening moment?
“Yeah, and where their game is goin, especially if on most nights they have an advantage at those positions. It’s an advantage with Kemba (Walker) playing at such a high level. When you have that it just kind of opens up the game for everybody else. You see progression from both of those guys and they’re going to continue to get better because they’re so young and hungry to get better.”
RE: What are some things you can grab from the Celtics that you can use for your team?
“They are actually a little bit like Miami (Heat). They really put pressure on you and they cut. Everybody passes the ball; plays for each other. They play extremely well together. They have that continuity out there on the floor; it doesn’t matter who’s out there. And then they shoot the ball well from deep. That’s why those type of teams are playing well, just because they are so shifty. They make you play on your heels. When you do that you are able to pick apart defenses, and on both sides of the ball I think that just gets them going.”