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Marcus Smart
Brian Babineau

1/22 Arbella Quote Worthy: Grizzlies vs. Celtics

Read what the players and coaches had to say following Boston's 119-95 victory over Memphis.

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


RE: Jayson Tatum’s groin strain:

“No. I don’t know what – what everybody’s been told, but that’s exactly what I was told; it just didn’t sound like it was too bad. I’m not too concerned about it. He’ll get a – he’ll get a test tonight, just to make sure, and we’ll figure out more tomorrow when we travel.”

RE: Tatum’s play before the injury:

“The 23-2 run at the end of the first half, obviously, was the key to the game. I mean, they were up 42-35 and I thought our guys really dug in on the defensive end of the floor, and then he scored a bunch of buckets there in a row and pushed it out. Our other guys were struggling to – to get any real rhythm offensively and he kind of got – got us going, and then the second half, the third quarter, every one of those guys picked up where he left off, and so that was good. I thought he made big plays and (Daniel) Theis spacing the floor really helped us against a guy like (Jonas) Valanciunas. Obviously (Enes) Kanter did what he does. Thought we played, you know, pretty well at times, and I’m encouraged because we took another good punch from them and stayed the course and guarded and played together and that’s good.”

RE: Second straight game where defense got the offense going:

“We’ve said all year – we pressured the ball better the last couple games. I do think we look a little fresher, I think that’s part of it, but I think that we were not allowing the ball to get to the paint before you know you feel pressure. If that happens with us – I’ve said it all year – if they catch it on the block without any resistance, if they catch it inside the three or at the three-point line without resistance, then we’re in trouble. We’re just – we’re not going to be able to impact the ball, or impact them at the rim the way we want to. Our best rim defense is keeping the ball away from it. And, so, like, we have to – we have to be able to push things out with our pressure. And so we were better the last two games at that. And again, I don’t think it’s a huge coincidence; I think that’s part of – we’ve just looked a little fresher in these games.”

RE: Is consistency a “mental thing?”

“Yeah, I guess – I don’t really judge it – judge the consistency based solely on wins and losses, right? I think you judge it based on how you’re playing, you judge it based on how you’re defending, are we pressuring the way we want? Are we making shots is not as big of a deal as what kind of shots are we getting? And we’ve got, you know, a tough road trip coming up, but I think – I’m looking forward to the challenges because we’re going to really have to physically meet challenges to be successful, and that starts with a good Orlando team on Friday night.”

RE: Do you expect Jaylen Brown to travel with the team?

“Yes. It’s like 60 degrees warmer. He’ll travel. Yeah. He’ll have his foot in ice I’m sure, but whatever.”

RE: How impressed are you that you have the ability to have performances like this?

“Very impressed. Obviously, there’s a lot of things we can clean up. Each game we try to get better as a team, but these last couple games for us, we’ve really been focusing on ourselves and our defensive game and we’ve been doing a good job. I’m proud of these guys. Every night we try and come down and give the best effort that we can, and that’s all we can ask for.”

RE: Can you talk us through some of those passes you’ve been making?

“Oh yeah, that’s what I do. I’m a playmaker, facilitator. These guys know, as long as you cut, and you cut with your eyes on the ball, I’ll get it there. If you cut and you cut and you’re not looking, the ball might hit you in the face. So everybody’s cutting now, they’ve got their hands ready. These guys see me make passes like that all the time in practice and things like that. It’s just something I do.”

RE: How were you able to carry momentum over from Monday night?

“I thought that once we finally got some stops, stops in a row, we kind of broke the game open. It was definitely close at first. We kept our poise, we kept on playing, we were playing hard. We kind of broke it open after what I think was consecutive stops that led to easy buckets.”

RE: What was the key to that 23-0 run in the second quarter?

“I think that we got a lot of deflections. I think that we were active defensively. We were in the right spots. Because of that, we were able to get out and run, and then we got some easy ones.”

RE: Celtics 23-2 run in the second quarter seemed like the difference in the game:

“I mean a lot of credit to the Celtics. They brought it defensively tonight. This is something we talked about. It is great for our guys to experience, especially our young guys. Our entire team played elite defense like that. They just got into the ball a lot more, they were in the passing lanes, the driving lanes; we just couldn’t seem to find the open guy or just hold on to the ball. That just seemed to spark their transition, when we did get open shots they rushed us into our shots. We didn’t get our rhythm shots that we needed so it was just great learning. As fortunate as it is, but you strive to play to that level. Credit to the Celtics they played great tonight."

RE: Celtics defense tonight:

“I felt like we had pretty good urgency in the first quarter. We can always get better. I felt that we were playing okay but we could have played a lot better and they just took it to a whole other level. As I said, the word ‘elite’ – and they were elite in that second quarter. We kind of paid the price. Definitely a lot of credit. Obviously we can be a lot better but they were the huge reason why we weren’t that good tonight.”

RE: What does it mean coming back here?

“It’s always good to feel the love from fans and see familiar faces. It is always good thing to come back here and feel the love, so it is always a good feeling.”

RE: Celtics coming off a great game on Monday and they kept it going tonight:

“Yeah these guys are playing really, really good right now and moving the ball well. Everybody is a threat on the court. You can tell it is a really good team they have good camaraderie. Brad (Stevens) is doing a hell of a job. They are moving the ball even though they have so many weapons. I think it is coming together beautifully. It is a tough team obviously; you see what they did to one of the best teams in the league, L.A. They are a tough team to beat especially on their home court. They played well tonight.”

RE: Do you see a difference in their chemistry?

“Definitely for sure. These guys are all connected and they look like they are having fun. You can tell by how they play, and the way they play. Guys are having fun with it. All guys are touching the ball, all guys are moving well, turning down good shots from great ones. When you see that as a team you have a good thing going.”

RE: Strategy for Kemba (Walker tonight):

“Just denied him the ball once he gave it up. I felt like they didn’t deny me the bal;l they just ball screened, they dropped back, guarded behind me. I felt like I had just four shots in the paint instead of just making a simple reads like I was making early in the game.”

RE: Do you love the challenge going up against all-stars?

“I love it. Each and every night I go out and just show that I can compete with the best. I am fine with it.”

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