That's What He Said - Jazz at Celtics
RE: Why he looked to Tyler Zeller on the last play:
They switched the play before when Marcus (Smart) couldn’t get it inbounded with (Gordon) Hayward and (Derrick) Favors. So we wanted to try to get that switch again, so we just ran a little action to get that switch again and then (Rudy) Gobert was on the ball so he wasn’t at the rim. So we were hoping to slip and catch it a little bit cleaner and lay it in, but, you know, that was the goal – and it ended up being okay.
RE: If he was surprised that Rudy Gobert was on the ball:
That’s a hard call, and I think that with Marcus Smart taking it out and Gobert on the ball it’s hard to deliver a good pass. If Gobert tips it the game’s basically over, unless it tips right to us. So it’s easy to second-guess that stuff but I won’t because I saw how long Marcus had to throw over just to get the pass to where it was. It’s another reason why we had to throw the ball in the air, though.
RE: Zeller's poise:
He just wanted to enjoy 1.7 seconds at the rim and being the biggest guy, I think, for once. He fumbled it a little bit, but we always say with 1.7 you have two dribbles. So we know there’s time to fumble the ball, regain yourself, and get it back up.
RE: Zeller's stoic reaction after hitting the game-winner:
He’s a very businesslike person, he is an everyday guy, he works really hard, he has a good sense of humor and he’s a good guy. But with some guys you might be concerned about them hitting a last-second shot and how they’re going to react the next game; I’m not concerned with him.
RE: Boston turning the ball over only three times:
That’s one of our five things that we have made a big deal for our team and moving forward. We went into the game eighth in the league in turnover percentages which is good, and last time we allowed Utah back in the game because we threw the ball all over their gym and almost lost that game there. So we placed a huge priority on it, but it helps to have Isaiah (Thomas) handling the ball because he’s a hard guy to get it from.
RE: His overall view of the game:
The way that I walk out of here is, what is it… Game 59? I’m not worried about the misses. I’m worried about the execution as far as late we were a little off in what we were trying to do on the high pick, just because we haven’t been there together. And so we literally walked into the locker room, drew it up, and talked about it right after the game. Because we have a bunch of new guys and we’re not practicing, so we’ve got to get better on the fly and as we’re thinking about it. But the number one thing I walk out of here with is: Damn, their defense is good. Like that’s an outstanding defense, and it’s got the potential to be an outstanding defense for a long time, with that length.
RE: What Boston is focusing on improving:
Making sure we set our defense, playing well on the defensive end, sharing the ball, and doing as well as we can to get the loose balls and those types of plays. That’s basically the quick version of it.
RE: Making the game-winning shot:
I saw Gordon (Hayward) flying in so I shot faked and just got the ball up, thankfully I was able to get up to the rim and was able to make it.
RE: Career game-winners:
This is definitely my first one in the NBA. I just wanted to make sure it was good. That’s really all I wanted to know. It was a great thing and Marcus (Smart) put it right on the money, made my job easier. It’s a great feeling, especially at the other end, Gordon had made the shot on me so being able to come back and make the game winner is an unbelievable feeling and this was kind of a must-win for us so being able to get this win was a big win for us.
RE: The inbound play:
Coach Stevens drew up a great play. The first play was supposed to go to Jae Crowder, Utah played it very well and he came back with the counterattack. It was tough, they put a tall defender on the ball and I had to pass fake the ball to get him leaning one way and Tyler (Zeller) did a great job shoving his man off and just put it at the back of the backboard.
RE: How the team responded after a tough loss last night:
We were expecting to come out and respond very well, the other night was embarrassing to ourselves, to this organization and to the game of basketball. We understood that, so we just tried to come out here and make sure that just not only to the coaches but to ourselves that that’s not the team we were and it was just a fluke game and it’s just something that happened.
RE: The game-winning play:
Unbelievable. It wasn’t the play we had originally drew up - the way they were switching, it was a good play for us the way they were switching, so good play from Coach (Stevens), good finish from TZ (Tyler Zeller).
RE: Marcus Smart's pass to Zeller:
The pass was right on time, he delivered it well to TZ over the big (Rudy) Gobert, he’s pretty long as you all know so it was a great pass.
RE: This win compared to last night's big loss:
I think we answered what Coach was talking about. We came in with fresh minds and knowing we had to get this.
RE: Zeller's silent fist pump after winning the game:
I can’t do that, I’m much more energized. I maybe would have started screaming or something but that’s just TZ. He just stays within himself and just within the moment, he’s just a very quiet guy, not that outgoing.
RE: Marcus Smart's inbound pass:
It was very difficult, we had to call a timeout the first way around but Marcus (Smart) made a great pass. That was an unbelievable pass and an unbelievable catch and finish.
RE: Only committing three turnovers as a team:
That was great. We were decisive, we played with energy and we made the right plays for the most part.
RE: Losing the game:
I don’t think we played. This was a back to back, we looked like we were steps slow for a good part of the game, but the last few minutes we really pulled together and competed and did some really good things.
RE: Gordon Hayward's shot with 1.7 seconds remaining:
They were in zone and a lot of times in zone the play itself doesn’t end up being exactly the way you envision it. That’s the nature of zone. You've got to be alert and usually screen your own man and Gordon (Hayward) was able to get the ball. The main thing is we got the ball to the right guy and he drove it, there was plenty of time and he made a heck of a shot.
RE: The final play:
Yeah, we just weren’t as aggressive on the ball as we needed to be. Rudy (Gobert) was too far back and we let him get on the inside of us where they could throw the ball over the top rather than stay inbetween him and the basket. Two lessons learned.
RE: How to grow from moments like this:
I think just the late-game situation, no matter what you do to win the game you have to close. Oftentimes it comes down to someone making a play and tonight they (Celtics) made a play. It's hard today and it will be hard again if it happens down the road.
RE: Tough loss:
Very tough. I think we were disappointed with our play overall as a team, because it doesn’t come down to the last play. I mean obviously the last play is tough to swallow but it's just disappointing. I think we’ll look at the film tomorrow, break it down and move on to the next game. This one tonight’s going to sting a little bit.
RE: The final play of the game:
It was a great pass. That’s what Coach Stevens does; he’s excellent in those situations of coming up with a play. I know it better than anybody. It’s a great play, great design, they knew we were switching. The pass had to be perfect to get over Rudy (Gobert) and Rod (Rodney Hood) and it was, and then he (Tyler Zeller) made a good finish too. Credit them with their finish too, but that’s not where we lost it though. We should have been better.
RE: If he was where he needed to be on the last play:
I think I could have been more in the paint, I could have turned the other way and it could have been good for us and it turned a bad way so of course we’re going to say it’s a bad choice for me. It's very frustrating to see him (Tyler Zeller) to score in the paint when I could have blocked the shot.
RE: The result of the game:
RE: How the game ended:
We should have won. We made good plays at the end and we had the game.
RE: If the team is taking the loss hard:
I felt like we could have won the game; we made a good play at the end, just got to win.
RE: The last play of the game:
I didn’t even see it, I was denying my man. He was at the top of the key, I didn’t see the pass or the catch. I just turned around and saw him (Tyler Zeller) shoot the ball in the basket. It was a good play.
RE: This season being a "learning season":
Still got a lot to learn, but the losses hurt a little bit more this year. Hopefully in the future we can continue to get better and learn from these experiences and in the future be a much better team.