3/6 Arbella Quote Worthy: Jazz vs. Celtics
Click on a player to reveal quotes from their postgame press conference.
What happened after the Celtics were up 11 points (27-16)?
“Well we were playing out of our minds at that point. You know, we made every shot, but they were making shots too and it wasn’t – it felt a little bit of fool’s gold. And you knew that they were going to come back, and their bench is really good; (Joe) Ingles and (Jordan) Clarkson really hard to stop, really hard to play against, and so you knew that they wouldn’t necessarily be able to play that way the whole game but I thought that that first group obviously did a good job. We had a number of good stretches during the game, but it wasn’t good enough to beat them tonight. I was really pleased with how we defended for the most part, with the exception of that, you know, maybe a couple of stretches in the – in the middle of the first half, but other than that, felt pretty good about how we defended. And we held a good offensive team with good players to 99; we just couldn’t score enough to win.”
Sitting Jayson Tatum for nine minutes in the second quarter
“Well, he was going to be in at the four-minute mark; I’m trying to manage that appropriately with him. He’s played a lot of minutes in the last month and a half. And so he played the whole first, which is unusual for him. Usually he comes out in three stints. Because of Kemba (Walker)’s minutes restriction, had to bring Kemba back out in stints, and so Tatum was kind forced to change with – with the other wings on the bench tonight, Jaylen (Brown) and Gordon (Hayward), so a little bit different rotation. You know, obviously, I thought the end of the first hurt us when they came back; start of the second hurt us. If I had to do it over again I might get him back in a little earlier, but also know we’ve just got to figure out a way to play without him some. You know? And it’s obviously a little harder, with those other guys out.”
Are you getting worried about the scoring off the bench?
“It’s so hard to know…We had a guy score 22 the other night; we’ve had a number of our guys play well off the bench and we’ve never really had our full bench in tact because we’ve never really had our full starters intact. So, it’s hard to know. I mean, when we’re full, we’ll see how it looks and see how it goes but it is what it is, and I thought we had a lot of good things tonight. Again, I just don’t – we didn’t score it well enough. Some of that was decision-making at the rim, which they did a great job, some of it was excellent pressure defense by them, and some of it was missed open shots. And so, that’s just part of it. But I don’t – I don’t want to make any generalizations necessarily about our bench until we can see our whole team in full. I think those guys are trying and doing everything we can ask.”
Marcus Smart’s intensity tonight, and his efforts to get his teammates involved emotionally:
“I thought our guys were pretty involved in it. I thought – when you look at the – they started the game really involved and really focused and flying around we got hit by a couple of punches there in that end of first, early second, and then again in the third, after we made a little run at the start of the third. But, he did a good job and brought – but other guys did too. I thought that (Daniel) Theis was really good all night. And, ou know, number of other guys didn’t shoot the way they normally shoot, but they brought good intensity.”
Brad Stevens said your effort was good, just offensively you could not score enough:
“Yeah I disagree, our effort was [expletive]. You know we gave them the first couple of punches and after that our effort died down, we picked it up towards the end but it was too late at that time. We definitely couldn’t made shots and they did a great job of coming out and executing all the way through. They really put us on our heels so we got to move on from it. The game’s over. Give credit to Utah. They came in and did their job and we’ve just got to bounce back on Sunday.”
Words with Daniel Theis in the third quarter:
“Just telling Daniel you deserve to score the ball so if you roll, we’ve got to roll so we can get you the ball so you can get some easy buckets because you work too hard not to get those easy buckets. And when Theis is rolling to the rim he brings more intense to our team – factor to our team – where we are more aggressive, because he is there for if that big commits to the guards we can dump it off to him. Or, if they don’t and we can get the ball on the rim and a big tries to contest it even though he is there to clean us up. And like I just told you, you work too hard to not get those easy buckets. I’ll get you some easy buckets and then step out to the three. And you earned it you deserve it, so he agreed. That is a part of this team we are able to talk to guys to talk to each other and keep it real. We do not sugarcoat anything with each other here, and that is what makes us the team that we are. Tonight was just something that happened and we got to move on because Sunday we got another great opponent we got to play against. We got to be ready or the same thing will happen as tonight.”
What changed after the way you guys started the game?
“Utah played good tonight and we’ve just got to play tougher and play harder. They were the tougher team tonight.”
How were they able to take the ball out of your hands?
“They did a good job being at the touch, and blitzing the screen and making the extra pass. We got some good looks but we just did not go down in time.”
Playing tougher on offense rather than on defense:
“They go hand-in-hand. The game involves toughness and the tougher team usually wins. We got to set the tone on both ends.”
Is it harder to play with Kemba in those short stints?
“We don’t think about it when we are out there. We just worry about the guys that are on the court at that time and play the way we are supposed to.”
Did you come in tonight with a different mindset?
“Well I think really that Boston came out hot and it would have been easy to kind of look around and what’s going on and we just dug in and we just kept doing the same things. We did them better. And Tony (Bradley) and Rudy (Gobert) did a great job of being up in pick and roll and taking away some of those clean looks from three and making those guys attack. And then obviously what our guys coming in the game, you know Joe (Ingles) early, JC (Jordan Clarkson), Tony, Georges (Niang) all those guys did a terrific job for us.”
Mike Conley thinking less and reacting more:
“Well that’s why a lot of the questions before the game I just don’t think he over analyzed what he’s doing. As I mentioned before, you know it takes everybody some time to process change and he did some of the things tonight. The things maybe that I see too are maybe not as obvious, but I saw him just working his tail off to front the post and get a deflection. Saw him taking charges last game, saw him getting on the floor the game before that. So he’s just competing and when he does that you know the things that he does offensively obviously you know you can see.”
What was done differently in the closing minutes of the first quarter?
“I think they started, we were defending as a team when those guys came in, and they took it to another level. You know I thought they shared the ball there were a few possessions where there were some switching situations. One time Jordan hit Georges in the corner and cut through and Georges drove it. Another time Joe pass the ball and swung it to the top and came and played pick and roll. So it was a collective effort they were really playing for each other offensively and getting one and another shots. And when you trust each other like that. That’s a group. They’ve got between Mike and Joe and Jordan and Georges those guys, they can play. They know how to play and I thought Tony as well did a terrific job.”
Did it feel good to play that way tonight?
“Yeah man, it’s a big win. You know coming to Boston it’s very tough to play here and they have a great team, well coached. You know for us all to come out and play with the passion that we played with and just compete the way we did. For us to come in and you know just be aggressive, be assertive at all times was a lot of fun.”
What was working for you specifically?
“Man, I just got into a lot of pick and rolls you know? That’s kind of where I’ve made my name is in the pick and roll and being able to read coverages. And we kind of try to exploit a lot of the things they were doing. They were switching and kind of going under and over screens. And found some guys on some rolls we got some open looks on the three-point line and when we started making those it really opened up a lot for all of us.”
Has your chemistry with Tony (Bradley) happened organically?
“Yeah you know at the beginning of the year I wasn’t playing with Tony as much as I am now. I think Coach has a good rotation and the groups he likes to put out there together. Tony is a smart basketball player, he’s a great finisher and great hands and unselfish. And he’s just trying to get us free off the ball screen and allow us to make plays for him and the team and I think I our chemistry is just getting better.”
“Everybody has been talking all year about Mike. You know what I mean like Mike will be fine. You know what I mean, I’m really happy for him he’s making the right plays, right decisions. You know it’s just funny how people work. You know he’s a guy that just, he said it in the interview the other day, you know he has two kids, he has a family, he’s really just locked in on that. You know this isn’t really going to affect him. And like I said y’all can continue to hate and say what y’all want. I see it and I know he does too and in games like this it’s like you’re not going to say nothing you’re just going to wait. But like that’s Mike Conley you know what I mean, he’s a Hall of Famer, he’s one of the best players to play this game at his position. And I think you know you see it he’s been playing well the past couple of games and he’s continuing to going up and I’m happy for him.”
How big is this win?
“Big time. You know like obviously like I told you the other day like you know it’s good to beat teams that we should beat. But when we beat teams like this that – I’m not going to say we shouldn’t beat the Celtics but like you know like teams that are above .500. Obviously coming in there and losing back home this one meant a lot to us. It’s just going out there and competing. You know we didn’t really score the ball outside of Mike, we just did a lot of little things that we necessarily do back home.”