2/25 Arbella Quote Worthy: Celtics vs. Trail Blazers
Click on a player to reveal quotes from their postgame press conference.
What was different about Jayson (Tatum) in the second half?
"I thought he was as good in the first (half), I thought Jaylen (Brown) was unbelievable in that stretch in the first and Jayson came back in and made some tough ones and he’s making some really hard shots. Their defense was good, and he just made them, both of those guys had spurts that were pretty unbelievable."
What are some improvements you’ve seen in Jayson’s game this year?
"He’s done a great job of finding the (three-point) line all year and making that part of his work prior to the year to get better to extend or shoot more of those off the dribble or he can pass. The first few looks that he got were off screens and the screener did a good job of getting him open and the first two looks he got in the second half were wide open threes where someone else made a play for him. You talk all the time when a really good player sees the ball go in a couple times, then the tough shoots come a little easier."
How much does having a guy like Jaylen out there having a big second quarter help open things up for Jayson?
"They are really good great compliments; they’ve done a good job of playing off of each other. They’ve gone through different stretches where one has gotten more attention than the other, they just kind of stayed the course and they’ve both had great years. We need them both to be really good, especially with Kemba (Walker) out."
Jayson gave a lot of credit to Daniel Theis as well, what do you think about his game?
"He’s been great, it’s just his screening angles are great, his rolls are great and he’s very unselfish. He does a lot of unselfish things and I think (Enes) Kanter did a lot of good things tonight too, screening out there they both did a good job. It’s not fun being the guy running up screening and running back on defense or runs up screens and rolls but doesn’t touch and then runs back on defense but it’s the way teams function. We appreciate all that stuff as much as everybody appreciates all the stats."
After the game Sunday, Jaylon was raving about Jayson and didn’t seem to care about the attention not being on him as much, what does that say about him?
"That’s what we have to be as a team, we all need Jaylon Brown to be great, Jayson Tatum to be great, everybody else to be great, we just need that. Our team’s only chance going where we want to go is when all those guys are good, not just one or two guys, we need everybody."
It can be easy to come out slow after a high energy game Sunday, what do you think about the response to a quiet start tonight?
"This schedule is so tough right now, we talked about resilient response is very important. When you get into the playoffs it’s the same way, we don’t want to go and lose in streaks we want to make sure that we’re able in a game to make a 6-0 run 6-2 and not let it get to 12 and in a series of games we need to correct what we need to correct to give us the best chance to win. It doesn’t mean we are always going to do that, but we wanted the respond and be resilient and I thought we did that tonight, I thought we were good. Tomorrow is going to be really hard."
What are your thoughts about tomorrow game against the Jazz?
"We just need to get our feet up and get on the plane and rest. It’s going to take everything we got. Every time we play a team that is as good and well coached and is prideful as they are, and coming off a tough week, we have to play our ‘A’ game tomorrow."
“What’s working so well for you over this last week?”
"Just trying to be aggressive at things that matter defensively, just get better at things, shooting the ball better, hitting free throws, little stuff, that’s going to add up down the line. I’m just trying to have the right mindset about the game, so just continue to get better everyday because the playoffs will be here before you know it. "
“What was it about you guys and shooting tonight, 19 threes, were you just open out there or feeling it?
"A little bit of both, I think the intensity of last game kind of woke us up a little bit. From the Lakers standpoint they played us hard and anytime you have a team that plays you to that level, that level of intensity, if the game isn’t as intense as that level then it’s going to look how it looked today. We came out and we got really comfortable out there. We have a good team to do that."
On his comfortability at the free throw line:
"Trying to get even more comfortable, trying to get to the free throw line even more. Shooting it at a high clip will make my percentage go up. I’ve taken a lot of free throws per game the last few games, so trying to get to the free throw line a lot more and get comfortable. "
How much are you growing as a leader on the team?
"Everyday I am trying to be better. It starts by looking in the mirror, and trying to hold myself accountable, and trying to lead these guys and be a motivator and give them confidence or get the best out of them. There’s a lot of guys in this league who are super talented, but a lot of them don’t know how to win or be leaders, so as I’m learning, I think that’s an important part of the game that people forget about."
On the approach for the game against the Jazz:
"We’ve got to expect their best shot, we have to expect them to come out and bring the intensity. They’ve got some great players over there, some really experienced veteran players, so we have to come out disciplined, be sound, play well and be poised. It’s a tough environment playing in Utah, Gordon (Hayward) can tell you about that, but I know we are all looking forward to it and looking forward to getting a win for Gordon."
On finishing a back to back at altitude:
"Tough, but everyone has to play 82 (games), so we can’t make excuses, we have to just do what we have to do and handle our business."
On playing alongside Jaylen Brown :
“It’s a lot of fun, we get grouped together a lot. We were picked in the draft and it’s our third year playing together. We both took leaps this year, so it’s been fun, and he’s been playing great all season. He’s a lot more aggressive and I feel like he’s a lot more comfortable out there. Last year was tough for everybody and he still had his confidence, that’s what we need from him.”
On playing on Team USA with other Celtics:
“I think that helped out a lot. Kemba (Walker) been playing great, Marcus (Smart), myself, and JB (Brown). Team USA was a great experience for us.”
On everyone celebrating each other’s success on this team:
“Signs of a great team. We all enjoy playing with each other and there’s different guys every night. It’s easy to play with those guys.”
On Daniel Theis’s performance:
“I told (Daniel) Theis I’m going to get something for his birthday. I’m going to get him like a watch or something. Especially for me, he opens the game up so much with getting me easy buckets. That opens the game up for me and he does it for everybody. That’s a thing that doesn’t show up in the stat book. Theis is that dude.”
On jersey swap with Carmelo Anthony:
“Oh man, Melo (Anthony) is, besides Kobe, probably one of my top 3 favorite players. I studied him so much growing up and I’m one of his biggest fans. I got to spend some time with him this summer with Jordan Brand. I really looked up to him.”
What do you take away from tonight’s game :
“Good win in a tough place to play. We got a quick turnaround tomorrow so we just need to get some rest and be ready.”
Overall thoughts on the game…
“First off, Boston’s a really good team. Even without Kemba (Walker) out there, their experience, they’re talented offensively, they’re very well coached, so hats off to them. Jayson Tatum got in a groove in the second half, he’s just in a heck of a rhythm with his shot. Sometimes we look at the box score, we outscored them in the paint, outscored them in second chance points, outscored them from fast break, outscored them from free the throw line, and still lost by 12. I liked the way our guys competed, we didn’t take advantage of some of our opportunities, but other than that I thought we gave a good effort.”
On if we could have defended their three point shooting better…
“They had 11 in the first half, six different guys made threes, Marcus Smart goes 4 for 16 and they’re all threes, so I don’t know. I thought a lot of them were well contested, not to say that we couldn’t have defended better, but particularly in the first half, their threes gave them a lot of momentum and we were still able to withstand their threes in the first half.”
On who’s final decision it is for Damian Lillard to return to play…
“It’s usually a mutual decision. We have to clear him medically, and this is not just Damian, it’s any player. He has to be cleared medically and then the player has to feel if he’s up to play or not. That’s not specific to Damian, that’s just the right thing to do. Ultimately the player knows whether he feels 100% and if he’s ready to go.”
On whether or not Damian Lillard will be on the road trip…
“At this point I’m not sure, I think we’re discussing that.”
What did you think of Tatum?
“He’s good. He’s an elite player. He can get to his spots. He’s long. He’s athletic. He’s shooting the ball extremely well, especially from three.”
What did you think was the difference tonight?
“We didn’t get stops. They went on a couple runs and we weren’t able to sustain a high enough level of play to win.”
Was there anything you could have done against their threes?
“I guess try to contest it better. Some of them were step-backs, some of them were open – a mixture of both, but good players are going to make tough shots.”
What would you say your margin of error is right now game to game?
“We have to be better than we played tonight against teams like the Celtics to win. I think that was the difference. They played better than us. They’re a deep team. They made shots, they got stops, they ran on our turnovers and they played like a playoff team.”
How do you feel about where you are going into this road trip?
“It’s our reality so we’ve got to figure out how to get as many wins as possible starting in Indiana and progressing forward. I don’t know how many –we’ve got 20 games left, 21 games left? 23 – so we’ve got to win the majority of them to give ourselves a chance to make the playoffs.”
How are you feeling – you took a hard fall?
“He got me in my eye but I’ll be alright. It’s just burning a little bit so I had to get it cleaned out.”
What did you think of Tatum?
“I love him. He’s a guy that’s establishing himself, as we’re all witnessing, all watching. I mean, I love his game, I love watching him play. I was able to have some one on one time with him, get a chance to know him better as a person first, but his game speaks for itself and it’ll continue to blossom.”
Tatum said you were a guy he looked up to a lot – what does it mean for you to be that kind of guy for a guy like him?
“It says a lot. It makes me kind of appreciate what I do, what I’ve been able to do throughout my career. Just being able to go out there and play the game the way that I’ve played it, the right way, the way that I continue to play it. For guys to acknowledge that and see that and watch that and want to learn from that, for me, that’s what it’s all about - when you can pass that knowledge down to the younger generation.”
What’s your mentality going into this road trip?
“Just win in Indiana. For me, that’s the only thing that we should be thinking about. Because the first game on the road trip is always the one that if we have a chance to get, we want to go in there and get it. I’m sure they’ll be thinking about them coming in here losing to us on our home court and they want to get that win back.”
How much are you aware of the standings right now?
“It’s hard – I mean, we’re aware. Some guys are more aware than others. We’re aware – we know where we’re at. We understand what we have to do and the circumstances. But we’ve still got to play ball. We’ve still got to go and win some basketball games. In April when it’s all said and done, where we’re at is where we’re at and we’ll see at that point.”