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1/6 Arbella Quote Worthy: Celtics vs. Wizards

Read what the players and coaches had to say following Boston's 99-94 defeat to Washington.

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

BRAD STEVENS

RE: On what tonight’s game:

“I don't want to take any credit away. I think, ultimately, it's a hard league to win [in]. These guys have won three of their last five against good teams, and so they're doing a lot of great things. And they deserve the credit for that. We were bad, but obviously they played a great role in that, so credit to them. I thought that the players played great coaching was great. Hats off.”

RE: On the start of the game:

“It’s three tough starts in row for our team. I think we're down double figures in all three games this weekend, so, you know, we had started better in three weeks prior to that, but for whatever reason haven’t started well on this trip or this set of games.”

RE: On coming back from big leads in the past:

“You know, I don't know that we've really come back from a fourth quarter deficit. I mean, those first quarter ones are a little bit different. Maybe there is, Adam. That’s a good question. I don't think that that's why we got outplayed I think that they outplayed us.”

RE: On Ish Smith:

“Ish has success against everyone. Ish is good. Real good. I don’t know if you watched the Denver game but he was ridiculous in that one too. Fourth quarter he was amazing. He's on skates right now and he's feeling a great rhythm. You know, when he gets going downhill at your bigs he does a great job if he doesn't have a layup of just keeping his dribble alive. Dribbling it back out, on one on one, did that on a number of occasions. Puts your defense in a real bind when a guy like [Anzejs] Pasecniks is rolling hard to the rim with great energy, so we didn't handle it great but he also made a lot of tough shots. You know, it's a great example of playing a guy when he's in a great groove. You have to break his rhythm and we didn’t do that.”
JAYLEN BROWN

RE: On if they were surprised by how the Wizards played tonight:

“No, they just came out and played really well. Ish Smith dominated the game—had a really good game. Got to give him credit, where credit is do.”

RE: On how the Wizards were able to win tonight:

“Just from the start of the game. You guys saw it out there. We just didn’t match their intensity. They outplayed us and they won.”

RE: On why the Celtics have had a couple of games where they have started the game slow:

“Long season. For whatever reason, we just got to do a better job. We came out slow today, but it’s a long game. We got to be able to pick it up and have each other’s back in certain aspects and find ways to win. Today was a winnable game despite the slow start and we dropped the ball.”

RE: On the biggest reason for Boston’s poor shooting performance:

“I think it was just one of those nights. I think that we got a lot of open looks. I think we turned the ball over a little bit too much, including myself. It was just one of those nights. Washington, we give credit to them, but at the same time we got to be better, and we will be better. We just got to be ready for the next game, put this one behind us.”

RE: On if he thought Boston was going to win the game after tying it 80-80:

“I definitely thought we were going to pull it out, but Ish started the fourth lights out. He hit a couple of jump shots that got the crowd into it and we never could really bounce back. But credit to them again, they outplayed us today. We missed a lot of open shots. We missed a lot easy ones. We could have won this game but we didn’t. Get ready for the next one.”

RE: On how he thought Ish Smith played tonight:

“A lot of respect for Ish. He definitely is a game changer, for sure, even back when he was in Detroit. Being alert to him, his speed and what he is capable of. He just got super comfortable out there and he just made play, after play, after play.”
JAYSON TATUM

RE: On the tonight’s game and the Wizards:

“They played harder than we did. We were not aggressive enough. They deserve all the credit. They outplayed us.”

RE: On what they learned from tonight’s game:

“We have to have better starts. That starts with myself and the rest of the starters. We cannot dig ourselves in a hole like that night in and night out.”

RE: n what he wants to improve on:

“Get to the free-throw line more. I didn’t shoot any free throws tonight, so I gotta do better.”

RE: On having the Boston fans in the crowd:

“That felt good. Celtics fans travel and we really appreciate it.”
SCOTT BROOKS

RE: On Ish Smith:

“If it were a two-game season, I would have to agree with the crowd: MVP. And he's bringing back the mid-range. He plays. Man, that guy, he's hard to stay in front of. He changes direction, his pace, speed, it's hard—it's hard to stay in front of him. Then he's able to find our bigs. AP [Anzejs Pasecniks] and he seems to have a really good synergy and screen-n-rolls. He's playing just like he played last game. I'm looking forward to Orlando to see how he can bring it on the road.”

RE: On holding a team under 100 points for the first time since November 4:

"We've been playing a little better defense. We have so many moving parts so it's hard to judge us in a lot of areas. I think our players feel that we're getting a little bit better defensively, and it feels good. It feels good to beat them. I mean this team is, I think they're second right now in the East and they have three potential All-Stars. They're missing Kemba [Walker] but they still this team is going to compete for a championship like they've had for last three or four years. I love the spirit we're playing. We just got to continue to do this and get better and grow and learn how to keep continue to do this.”

RE: On the defense in the first quarter:

“I think it also helps that we're not as wild on the offensive end. We seem to be getting some good shots and good looks and we're making an extra pass. And then our wild group comes in, which has to play that way right and Ish leads the pack and they play hard. I think our starts have helped the last couple of games. Even the Miami [game] wasn't a good start but we still had a lot of good looks, and they made some tough shots in that first quarter. I think they went up 10 or 12 [points].”

RE: On coaching this team:

“I love coaching these guys. I love being around them. When you come into practice or meeting or film session, you're like, okay where are they going to be? When we lost a couple of games they always come back ready to get better, and even on their optional off days, we have eight or nine or 10 guys in there, working on their game. They're hungry. That's part of the game, you got to stay hungry, and we have guys that are hungry now. We have to continue to be hungry. We got 50-something games [left] and we gotta keep playing, but it feels great. I love the fact that we're being rewarded, our guys are being rewarded and these aren't easy wins. These are hard-fought 48 minutes of toughness, and we're making plays down the stretch. It seems like everybody is coming up big plays.”
TROY BROWN JR.

RE: On why the defense was improved tonight:

“I just think it’s effort. It’s a full team effort. Everybody is out there trying to play 100 percent and try and give their all towards the win.”

RE: On what he has learned from Ish Smith:

“It’s kind of hard to compare his game to mine because he’s so fast. There’s certain stuff he does where I’m like, ‘I can’t do that.’ Just the pace he plays at and how calm he stays, how collected he is and his composure. He’s definitely a great player and somebody definitely to look up to that’s been in the League for a long time.”

RE: On if the last two games has given the team an identity they want to have:

“I feel like we have – just us setting the tone. Our coaching staff has said it throughout the whole year. I feel like just this week was the week that we actually went and we set our minds to doing what we said we were going to do.”

RE: On how he has gained so much confidence in such a short period of time:

“For me, personally, it’s just about me being aggressive – that’s the biggest thing. I try to do other stuff on the court and sometimes I let my versatility mess me up because I can do multiple [things] on the court. I feel like I kind of shy away from being aggressive offensively because I feel like I’m impacting the game in other ways. For me, it’s just about being assertive and making sure I’m getting downhill and making plays. From there, I’m a basketball player and I feel like I have an IQ and can make plays for other people.”
ISH SMITH

RE: On tonight’s game:

“I’ve been around the league a while. Boston tries to grind you out. We knew it was going to be a slugfest. I don’t think we’ve won a game like this. Every one of our games that we’ve won against the top-tier teams have been 115, 120, 125. Tonight was attributed to our defense.”

RE: On what they’re doing better defensively at the beginning of games:

“You know what, I think our defensive coach in Longo [Mike Longabardi]. First and foremost, we’re a young team, so now we’re getting it. We’re communicating, which is the biggest thing when it comes to defense, communication, our transition defense, so we’re doing those two things. Once you get into half court – I had a coach who told me, ‘You just have to guard your yard.’ Basically just guarding guys and making them take tough shots. We’re getting better and maturing in that area. It’s still an ongoing thing that we’re trying to get better at, but we’re taking strides.”
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