That's What He Said - Celtics at Nuggets
RE: Winning back-to-back road games:
I mean it’s great from a progress standpoint. Hopefully you can build off this and look back on this and talk about when you gutted out. Both close games, both one point games, both came down to the last shot. Its good, as the league history suggests, this is a very difficult game to get on the second of a back to back, I thought our guys played well. They played well enough, I didn’t think we were great in the first half, but good enough to be in it.
RE: The Celtics' recent success in late-game situations:
Yeah, when I went back to the film, I felt pretty good about the execution, I felt like we missed a couple of simple basketball plays late. I thought we were in the right spots, we just didn’t make an extra pass here, missed a back cut opportunity, those type of things last night. Tonight we did, we executed pretty well. Avery hit two big shots obviously. Defensively I thought we executed pretty well, the last basket was a tip in when you’re stretched out defending the three pint line. We did not defend that Afflalo back screen well, but then on the last play, Tayshaun switched on Jameer. Tayshaun is a hard guy to get a shot over and we felt pretty good with our chances, even though Jameer had such a great night.
RE: Missing two free throws down the stretch:
Of course, I wanted to give [Coach Stevens] some gray hairs. He looks like he is fifteen, I wanted him to go to the bars and not get carded, and that is the biggest thing.
RE: Hitting the game-winner last night and missing free throws in the fourth tonight:
I just have been struggling from the free throw line lately. I think my last 20 or 30 free throws I haven’t been really shooting them well so far. Tonight one went short and then one went long. That’s how it goes, just need to do other things to help us get wins, I need to get into the gym and get my free throws down, and I haven’t been making them like I should be.
RE: Executing down the stretch:
I was able to make some shots because my teammates were able to get me open and we were able to execute. Most importantly, I feel like we were able to get stops on the other end. We forced them to take some tough shots and we were able to convert on the other end, that’s big for us. For us to get stops and score that really helps our offense a lot.
RE: Boston's team defense:
Well we didn’t start the game off very well, but I feel like throughout the game everybody picked up their intensity. Jameer Nelson made some great plays tonight and I just tried to make everything hard don him, he’s a very good player. They were making shots and there was a time in the game where I almost felt like they weren’t missing. We stayed with it and continued to get stops.
RE: The Celtics' trust in Brad Stevens:
I feel like everyone out there trusts Brad. At the end of the game, he brings us all together, calms everyone down and shows that he’s the leader of our team honestly.
RE: The game:
Our guys fought. The third and fourth quarters did us in. Defensively, we held them low enough in the first, second and fourth quarter; they got a 33-point third quarter and it got away from us. The beginning of the fourth quarter was horrible for us because we fouled almost every possession for the first three minutes of the quarter. [The Celtics] were in the penalty with nine minutes to go and we just kept sending them to the free throw line. We built up momentum with the starting group at the beginning of the game; every time I made substitutions, the momentum changed and quickly swung the other way. A big part of that is that [Danilo Gallinari] is still rusty, Randy [Foye] is still working kinks out, [Jusuf Nurkic] played poorly tonight, which is why I started J.J. [Hickson] in the second half; he was giving us energy on the boards and he was keeping balls alive for us. I thought we got some good looks at the end but didn’t make them; the 33-point third quarter [for Boston] and the beginning of the fourth quarter - us fouling as much as we did - did us in.
RE: Danilo Gallinari's return:
I want him to be aggressive. He has been out more this season than he has been available so that’s the tough part for me, because we are going to need him and we are going to need Randy [Foye] to play a role for us and I have to allow them to play, to try to get their legs back. We haven’t had a lot of time to practice; Danilo has had one practice and Randy has had a 30-minute practice. Jameer [Nelson] had his first practice with us yesterday so we will get back at it tomorrow, continue to work, try to play better.
RE: Keeping morale up in his locker room:
I feel like we should have won regardless of all of the circumstances surrounding this game but you can feel better about a loss when you have effort. Some of the games we have played, we didn’t have effort; tonight we did. I thought they fought and gave it everything they had. We made some mistakes and didn’t knock down some shots during opportune moments but they played hard so it’s a lot easier to swallow.
RE: The third quarter costing the Nuggets the game:
Yeah, they got a one-point lead in the third quarter, and they seemed to keep that one-point lead all the way until the end of the game. They won by one point – it’s tough, we have to figure out how to get out of this drought. We have to find a way – we have to fight, scratch, claw, dive and jump on people until we find a way to get out of this drought.
RE: Denver's tough upcoming schedule:
It’s not a bad thing, you know? It seems like when we play tougher teams it brings out more fight in us, and we want to get the win that much more. We need to figure it out, and hopefully we do figure it out against Washington – especially here at home.
RE: The third quarter:
We were trading baskets too much and the defensive intensity wasn’t there in the third quarter. That was there largest scoring quarter tonight. It’s a team that we have to keep their point down and we let them hang around, they just played confident basketball.
RE: Missed opportunities:
We were going tick for tack. They were making a lot of baskets and I had a wide open three to tie the game and I don’t know if that leads us to a victory. There were a lot of plays through the game that we should have capitalized on.