1/13 Arbella Quote Worthy: Bulls vs. Celtics
Click on a player to reveal quotes from their postgame press conference.
RE: Winning the last two games, after a losing streak:
“Yeah, pressure was better both games, and…they’re a hard team to play against. If you take your foot off the gas for even a second offensively, they turn you over and turn it into points. But, and then we moved the ball. You know, I think that we need to keep doing those two things. I said before the game: the way that they guard, the pressure they put on you, the way that they trap, the pass was the most important thing tonight. And if we caught ourselves iso-ing and all that stuff we were going to have a long night. I thought we moved it well. Just got to keep building off of it.”
RE: How would you assess the team’s play right after halftime?
“Not very good. On a – I mean, that was probably the worst part of the game for us, but I thought the group that came in did a good job, and the guys that stayed in did a good job, and then when we came back with Enes (Kanter) and Gordon (Hayward) later on I thought we were fine. We’re going to have moments in the game. I thought we started the game great; played well most of the night.”
RE: Does Gordon Hayward get down on himself when he misses shots?
“That’s a good question. I mean, maybe that’d be a good question for him. He’s never been a guy that I’ve worried about, like starting off slow and not being good at the end. I mean, I think he’s got the wherewithal to do that. He’s making a concerted effort to just make the right play on both ends. And other than the shot-missing, I thought he was really good in the first half. And, you know, it’s really important that he – he helps lead us with his reads and passing and getting others the ball at the right times and stops and he’s done a good job at that. So, hopefully – he won’t have nights where he starts out 0-for-8 very often, but if he does, it’s good that he recovered the way he recovered.”
RE: Grant Williams’ defensive play:
“I thought he actually had a couple better nights in the last couple weeks than tonight. I thought he had a couple of moments tonight where he was good, but I thought he had a couple better nights in individual defense. And largely due to the – they did a good job of attacking and they’re hard to guard anyways. But his isolation defense has been good, and he and (Assistant Coach) Brandon Bailey spend you know, 10-to-15 minutes every single day on his footwork and on his stance and in guarding different guys with different tendencies and strengths, and some of our younger staff members have to run into that chest a couple times a day. That’s not – no fun. I mean, he’s a big, strong guy.”
RE: Marcus Smart:
“His last – obviously had a huge scoring game against Philly, and was maybe our best player in that game. And, but his last two games have been just as good. I mean, he was so engaged on Saturday night and leading and talking, and then today, I thought he was great. So, whether he’s – has nights where he gets open looks and is able to knock them down, or nights where they’re guarding you tight and you’ve got to make a play for somebody else. I mean, it’s going to be really critical that he continues to do that. He’s been a great boost for us, and I think he’s starting to find himself after being out so long, in these last three, four games.”
RE: Is that what you’re capable of, that 1st half?
“Yes. Obviously, we didn’t the start of the 2nd in that way. That’s us. How we responded was pretty good. So, every quarter, possession, is not going to be perfect. It’s how you respond shows a lot about your team.”
RE: To what do you attribute the breakdown at the start of the 3rd quarter?
“Chicago, they came out and played; they just played harder than we did. Start of the 3rd quarter we were a little loose with the ball. They gave us some uncontested layups. They just came out. Played tough.”
RE: What was it like to have more core guys together?
“We’ve finally got a majority of our guys healthy. We’ve finally been able to play together, so we knew that, with the core group of guys we had, and with everybody else that’s here, what we can do when we’re all healthy. We’ve got to get healthy. Fulfill the prophecy.”
RE: What is the key to sustaining the aggressive mindset from New Orleans going forward?
“Just the mindset. We’ve got to come in every game with the mindset and we’ve got to fully understand that. We’re a good team, but we’re not a great team. We’re not where we want to be, and we can’t just turn the switch on at any given time. We tried it, and obviously it didn’t work for us. So, we have to come out the gate, ready, so we’re going to give it.”
RE: On the game:
“We talk often about winning the first quarter and how important that is in our league. We lost the first quarter on Friday and I think by like two, and we won the first quarter on Saturday by 15. We lost the first quarter tonight by, I think, 14 and the difference in the game was 12. We talked about that after the game; that’s what we have to understand. At halftime we were disappointed in how we played. I thought we picked it up in the second half and competed. We talked about winning the third quarter and we talked about winning the second half. That would help us win the game. We didn’t win the game but we won the third quarter and we won the second half so we will try and build off that. We got to six twice and we couldn’t make a play to get it to four or three whatever it is. I thought they made some timely three’s in those moments to get it back to nine. But again, you are sliding uphill the whole game and it is difficult. I thought Thad (Thaddeus Young) was terrific and he kept us in it and I thought we played better basketball in the third.”
RE: It looked like you used Thaddeus Young in the post some – was that by design?
“We have a couple things for him. They were small a lot and they were doing the one-through-five switch and playing Jaylen Brown at center so we had to figure out ways to score against those lineups. That is difficult for us when they put those four 6’8” guys out there and switch everything.”
RE: What did you see in the first quarter?
“We didn’t get a lot of movement on offense. They are a switching team. They came out and jumped on us early on the home floor. I think we started playing a lot more aggressive and getting to the free throw line in the second quarter, trying to make a little run. Third quarter we came out the right way. I think we got in the penalty early and had mismatches, but just too little too late. It is hard to sustain that for the whole game.”
RE: It seemed like you were deferring a lot when you came out in the third quarter...?
“Just trying to get us involved a little bit and not try to force anything. I missed a couple of open looks. I think I was 2- for-6 in the first half but obviously in the third quarter we needed a little bit of a push. I’m going to try and get out there and jump start it. Thad did a great job of finding the mismatches and it was just a little too late.”
RE: Slow start in the first quarter. What did you see from the team?
“Just like you said, a slow start. They came out with more energy, they played with a lot of defensive intensity, turned us over a little bit and made us take some tough contested shots. They were getting some easy layups.”
RE: Can you and Lauri Markkanen play together?
“I think we can. I play with guys who prefer to be outside a little bit more than the usual. Miles (Turner), he wasn’t a post-up player in Indy, he wanted to play outside. So I played inside. Same thing with Brooke Lopez. So playing with those guys has just helped me build my all-around game. Just being able to do a lot of different things. One of the biggest things is just understanding who I'm playing with, so when I understand that and I know who I’m playing with then I just try and let them play to their strength and try to just figure it out for myself by playing around with the guys that I’m playing with.”