Keys to the Game
That's What He Said - Raptors at Celtics

That's What He Said - Raptors at Celtics

Brad Stevens

RE: Boston's defense after Jae Crowder's game-winning shot:

Well we did what we always do defensively, or what we’ve done a lot defensively in that time, and that’s just kind of zone up and try to read what they were doing and pass guys off and make it as difficult as possible to run what they run. And this is just – we were fortunate to match out to (Kyle) Lowry. Lowry made a good read where we weren’t, and Evan (Turner) closed the gap quickly. You know the Crowder deal was you knew they were going to be tight on Isaiah (Thomas), they had great length, Evan had just hit a shot, and Tyler (Zeller) had set a great screen to get Evan open so it felt like Tyler screening was a good option. We had a couple of options on the play and Jae was one of them.

RE: His team coming to play even after clinching a playoff spot:

We talked about it. We sent out a text last night, talked about it this morning. We have an opportunity to compete, and when you have an opportunity to compete you compete as well as you possibly can. Obviously there are going to be distractions as we move forward, so every night there’s going to be distractions and that can’t be an excuse for playing well and playing together and gutting it out. So I was pleased, really pleased with how we did that. Because that was a tough game and we were behind a lot of it.

RE: Toronto making plays in the final minute:

They did. They did. They drove the ball and we couldn’t – that’s about eight points on drives in the last two weeks that they’ve gotten on us inside 30 seconds. So we’ll have to be better than that when we play them again next year, and I just think that at the end of the day our guys just hit big shots. Tougher shots, probably. We weren’t laying it in; we were shooting it from off one foot and all that stuff.

RE: Matching up with Cleveland in the first round of the playoffs:

You know what? I’ll think more about that as we go through the next couple of days. Obviously we play tomorrow night, and we’ll go deep into our bench tomorrow night. And that was kind of the plan of attack anyways; we’ll see when we play, either Saturday or Sunday, and our guys will be excited to play. Hey, to have a chance to compete against the very best in the league is a great opportunity. And, hey, it’s a big mountain but it is a great opportunity.

RE: Avery Bradley's quad contusion:

He left the court – I don’t know if you saw that – he got bumped above the knee, kind of in the quad, and he was a little stiff coming out at halftime and (Head Trainer) Eddie (Lacerte) actually told me to take him out at the 9:00 mark of the third quarter and he just took him back. And I have not talked to Avery directly but everybody that I’ve talked to says he’s fine. He will not play tomorrow, though.
Jae Crowder

RE: His game-winning shot:

IT (Isaiah Thomas) curled off me, right when he curled off TZ (Tyler Zeller), sets the back screen on my man. We knew they were going to get the switch but not quick enough with playing with two bigs at the time so I was able to get the corner shot.

RE: The final play call:

Brad draws up some good stuff. He knows exactly how they are going to play the inbound at that time of the game. You just got to believe in him and execute it.

RE: Boston's effort in the fourth quarter:

We started off a little slow, they came out pretty aggressive. We just wanted to end on the right note and give our fans something to cheer for going into the postseason. I think we played the way we wanted to.

RE: Making the playoffs:

It's exactly what we wanted, no matter who it is, whether it be the Atlanta Hawks or Cleveland. We’re focused on Milwaukee tomorrow and (getting) ready for the postseason.

RE: How he feels heading into the postseason:

I’m ready to go to war with these guys; I’m ready to go to war.
Marcus Smart

RE: The final play of the game:

Coach drew up a good play, we had plenty of options. The first look was Evan (Turner) posting up at the rim, we kind of knew that was dead so we went to the second option with Jae (Crowder) coming off. Jae made a great play at the end and came out with us with the W.

RE: The challenge of guarding Lou Williams:

Everybody knows what Lou can do, especially in the late games. He turns on another switch and it's hard to guard him. I just stuck to the scouting report, when he goes left he wants to step back so stay down and contest it.

RE: If he feels like he's not a rookie anymore:

Yeah. It's weird. Even the regular season went by faster than I expected it to go. I don’t really look at myself as a rookie anymore, these guys might but I don’t. That comes with games played and the experience of these games.

RE: The first game of the playoffs:

It's going to be a good game. Two teams coming out, playing hard, playing competitive and the atmosphere like the playoffs - (there's) nothing like it.
Evan Turner

RE: Boston's fourth-quarter intensity:

We’ve been saying time and time again, we can’t really worry about anything but each game. We have to fight for everything we get, earn everything we get and go into the playoffs with a full head of steam and that’s the biggest thing.

RE: Facing Cleveland in the playoffs:

Rock out! We've got to go play Milwaukee tomorrow, try to finish off the season right. Going to Cleveland we will once again have to play tough and bring the physically; if not, we’ve seen what they’ve done to us prior to the past couple times we played them.
Dwane Casey

RE: The game:

We played a really good game, we switched out the way we wanted to. Again, two things... One: (The Celtics’) 17 offensive rebounds. We’ve got to get rebounds. We did a heck of job of defending, held them to 38 percent, a good offensive team, held their scorers in check, but then we’ve got to come up with the rebound. And 20 turnovers, those were two bugaboos we had, and a lot of momentum mistakes that we made. Soft passes, those are the kind of things that we’ve got to make sure that we clean up before next week.

RE: Disappointment in the loss:

No, not at all. Again, the way we lost tonight - yes, we’re disappointed - but it doesn’t poo-poo the season these players have put together. Forty-eight wins so far, and we’ve got one more to go. And the effort this group has given, the injuries we’ve had, I’m proud of the way they’ve competed. Both of these games (against Boston) have come down to a tough shot and one layup so that was the luck of the draw on those two plays.
Kyle Lowry

RE: Not being able to get his shots to fall:

They’re right there, so I’m confident that they will fall. This was a game I needed and tomorrow night will be a good one, then a couple days before playoffs start, so I’m getting back in the rhythm.

RE: How much he wants to earn a record 49th win for Toronto:

I think we want it, I think we want to break the record. It would be big for us and I think we wanted the 50th win but that’s out the window right now, so let’s take as many wins as we possibly can get.
Greivis Vasquez

RE: How to improve after tonight:

We just have to play more aggressive, protect the ball a little more and play under control. We went out of control for a few possessions and it cost us the game. I thought overall we played well. We held them for (38 percent shooting), that’s pretty good defense.

RE: Finishing the season correctly:

We’re finishing the season the right way. I thought our rhythm was good, Kyle (Lowry)’s getting back, he’s helping us, so we’re fine. I think we played well, hit some shots, we just couldn’t get the rebounds. We held them to 38 percent and then we’ve won the last three out of four games so we go back home and get this last one at home and let’s finish with 49 wins.
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