That's What He Said
That's What He Said - Cavaliers at Celtics
Click on a player or coach to reveal quotes from their postgame press conference.
RE: Was Isaiah's injury something he played through the last few games? Did he aggravate it more tonight?
He's had a nagging hip injury. He aggravated it pretty significantly on Friday in Washington Game 6, went through a bunch of different testing on Saturday and Sunday, was able to play Monday, hasn't felt great either of the two days. But today I thought he looked much different in the first half. When we went back to the locker room, our training staff and doctors got with him. He was pretty despondent not to be able to play. I mean, that guy is a tough guy, and he plays through a lot. For him to have to sit is really hard.
RE: Do you expect him to play the next game?
I think he's going to be reevaluated tomorrow, and we'll see is what I was told. I don't know anything further to that. I don't know if [Jeff Twiss] or somebody out of our PR group will communicate that tomorrow or early Sunday, whatever the determination is.
RE: What kind of an impact did that have on your team, not having your best player at 100 percent?
Not 44 points' worth. But I don't want to put that on any one guy. I think ultimately they were terrific, we were poor. You've got to be able to pick up the slack certainly when other guys aren't available. But they were tremendous tonight. I thought we hit a couple of shots early to kind of stem the tide of the initial run. Then they went on one, and I felt like two games in a row now I've felt like when we've missed multiple opportunities in a row offensively, we've really let that dictate how we played on the other end of the court. That's disappointing. But they've taken advantage of us both nights.
RE: Do you have any -- as this is happening, what are your thoughts while this is going on? Guys are missing shots, they're --
Well, when it's 40 at the end of the third quarter, you just hope that nobody fouls so you can get through the media timeouts because you just need to make sure that you get out as healthy as you can. This game counts as one loss, thankfully. Thankfully they don't do point differential when they're trying to figure out a series. I think ultimately we have to home in on the things that we can do to perform better. I thought we did that. I thought we were going to play better than that, and we didn't. And it was disappointing. It was disappointing for all of us. But as I told the guys, that's a loss, and we have to move our focus toward Sunday. We're going to have to play a lot better.
RE: Mentally how damaging was that? It seemed like Cleveland took your heart, took your will, took your spirit, and kind of enjoyed doing it.
No, I don't think there's any question. Like I said, I thought us having those empty offensive possessions where maybe you miss an open shot and they go down and convert or you have an opportunity and you turn it over and they go down and convert, those things were bigger than just the three points they were scoring. I felt like they had a negative impact on kind of our look, and again, credit them. One of the things that I really leave with tonight was at the start of the fourth quarter, they had a bunch of guys that have been in the league for a long time that were playing their butts off. Kyle Korver, Channing Frye, Richard Jefferson -- those guys were playing the right way up 45 freaking points. Tremendous examples for us to learn from. You play the right way all the time. We didn't do enough good things to even keep it close. I literally just walked out of my office, and Geno Auriemma was in there. He wasn't very good at understanding what I was going through. But nonetheless, I picked his brain for as long as I could before I came down here.
RE: Brad said he thought you guys' misses early in the game kind of dictated how you played. Do you agree with that assessment?
Yeah. They got it going early. We missed some good looks that just didn't go down for us. We put ourselves in a hole real early.
RE: Earlier in this series you said you kind of looked back at that Game 7 when you played against the Celtics here your rookie season and you guys were eliminated when you guys got beat pretty badly. This is a very different scenario where you still have to play after going through a night like tonight. How do you guys keep your psyche high and strong and maintain belief that you can get back and try to grab a win Sunday night?
As bad as it is for us and our group right now, like you said, it's not over yet. You know, we still have Game 3 on Sunday. It hurts right now. It's tough. But we have that to look forward to. We just want to play better. We need to go out there and play better, compete throughout the 48 [minutes] and see what happens. Our backs are against the wall, and this will be a good opportunity.
RE: This game is so mental, and they just seem to be in your heads right now. Did you see discouragement out there? Mentally what are you guys like right now?
Yeah, I mean, obviously I feel like we're down, but our group is staying together. That's the most encouraging thing for me. We have a young group, but our guys in the locker room -- as hard as it was, because it was tough; tonight was very hard -- I saw a group of guys that we were sticking together. We weren't fragmenting. Nobody is pointing fingers. We're staying together. We're owning up to this. See what we need to do. Get some rest tomorrow. See how we can be better and be ready for Sunday.
RE: Considering the way you guys have approached games this season, how embarrassing was it to be caught into something like this, just kind of out of character?
It's hard. It's hard to take. We've worked really hard and put ourselves in this position to be here in the Conference Finals, and it's been tough for our group. Tonight was just real rough. There's just no way to put it. It's definitely a low point for our group. Like I've said, the only thing that encourages me is that our guys, we're all staying together. We're going to fight through it. We have that mindset.
RE: Brad has said the team is more of a finessestyle team. What do you have to do in Game 3 to stay true to who you are while being able to handle the physicality?
That's a good question. I think we just need to go out there and play. There's no magic formula. We need to just go out there and play, help each other on defense. And I'm sure that shots will fall on Sunday. They didn't tonight. We had some good looks, then we started to kind of get discouraged. The biggest thing for us is defensively, do what we do. We need to be way better. We haven't played to our potential I feel like the first two games. Just look forward to Sunday.
RE: How do you describe what happened out there?:
It’s honestly just embarrassing. They came out, not only playing harder but knocking down shots and I think that made it that much worse but credit to those guys. We’ll find out what kind of team we are seeing how we respond. I’m excited about game 3, I know I’m going to bring it. I’ve been going to war with these guys all year so I know everybody else is going to have their A game as well no matter what the outcome is, everyone else is going to come out and play as hard as they can.
RE: What was said in the locker room?:
Brad, I don’t think he said much. He said just bring it Game 3. There’s not much to be said. It was embarrassing tonight and we’re a different team and I think as men and as a team it says a lot about us in how respond next game.
RE: How much was it to lose Isaiah?:
It was definitely a blow. Isaiah brings a lot to this team, not only his leadership but obviously his play. Most importantly I just hope that he’s better. I care about him off the floor so I just hope he’s okay.
RE: What’s your reaction to what just happened in the past couple hours?:
We got our ass kicked. We didn’t come out with enough energy to start the game, now two games in a row. The defending champs swept us off the floor.
RE: Started with a little energy (11-10), what happened from that point on?:
I think we just got to hit shots, that’s the other thing, we got a chance and anything is possible. I don’t think anybody is ready to give up, I think we still have a chance. We have a very uphill climb but I still think we can pull things off. I just think we have to come out and click on all cylinders. We still haven’t done that. We just have to have the mindset that we have to come out and be aggressive no matter what the match-up is or whatever the scenario is we just got to attack the ball and I think we’ll be fine. I think the mindset was to come out and be aggressive but the execution didn’t match it.
RE: Did things get a little demoralizing after a while?:
I mean yeah. That’s gonna happen We just have to stay with it. We have to keep fighting. We have to hit shots, that’s one thing we gotta do is hit shots, but we can’t put our head down when we miss one. We gotta do a better job of cheering each other on, and getting each other open shots and supporting each other when we do hit them.
RE: Throughout the course of the playoffs, several guys on your team have been preaching about trying to accomplish a 48-minute game. James Jones even used the term perfect game to me, been chasing a perfect game. Does this qualify as a full 48-minute game, a perfect game?
It was a good 48-minute game for us on both ends of the ball. I thought defensively, again, I thought we really set the tone to start the game, and that really opened up our offense for us. We played all the way through for 48 minutes. That was a good game for us. You've got to give credit to the team for starting that first half defensively, which is really what set everything up.
RE: After a night like tonight, I hate to ask about worry, but in a game that's so non-competitive so early, do you worry about your guys getting hurt? Do you worry about guys losing focus and just getting off course when things are that lopsided?
No. I mean, it's one game. I don't care if you win by 200 points. It's one game, and we know this team is a very scrappy team. They play hard. They compete. We made shots tonight, and we got a good defensive effort. But they're greatly coached. We know that. You guys all know that. We're going back home. We're not going to get comfortable. We understand that this is a good team. They're not No. 1 in the East for no reason. Tonight was one of those nights, and that's it. We won, and we've got to move on. We've got to get focused for Game 3.
RE: LeBron has had a ton of really amazing games in this building, but this one was effective, efficient, and he just did so many different things. Can you describe the level he's playing at right now?
We've been having this talk for a long time now, but he's playing at an unbelievable level and he's really setting the tone early for us in the games. When we're getting stops defensively and we're guarding the way we've been guarding, he's able to get out in transition and get to the basket. And when he's making his three-point shot, you're in for a long night. He's been really setting the tone for us, and we've really been riding him. First game, K-Love was great; he was good again tonight. Kyrie shot the ball great tonight, 8-for-11, 23 points. And then I just thought Shump defensively on Isaiah put a bigger, stronger guy on him, just trying to wear him down, because Isaiah is a tough cover. He's not Second Team All-NBA for no reason, top three in the league in scoring. So he's a tough cover. The things they run for him put you in bad positions and tough positions, especially with Al Horford being a stretch five. That's why I'm pleased most of all with our defense and how we just kept reacting and kept moving and kept scrambling.
RE: You mentioned Kyrie in the first quarter. All four of his made baskets were in the paint. When he's getting into the paint like that for your offense, how does that open things up and maybe even change what Boston was trying to do?
Well, when he's getting into the paint, and we have shooting on the floor, it's tough. You've got to pick your poison. Tonight we made 19 threes. When we're getting into the paint, either Kyrie and Bron can finish or they kick out for three. We're shooting the ball well. It's a tough dilemma. It was good seeing him aggressive early and playing with that pace. I thought he played with a good pace to start the game.
RE: You had some hard decisions to make late in the regular season about if you're going to rest guys. To do what you did in these two games, does that give you any indication that you made the right decision when you could have gone the other way and tried to chase the seeding?
Not really. Like I said, it's only two games. The series is not over. But for me, I just wanted to make sure we were healthy and we could start the playoffs healthy. I knew if we did that we would have a good chance of being pretty good. Give us rest and health, and then we've got to figure it out from there. But to be a championship team, you've got to win on the road anyway. The last two Finals we've been to, we've had to start off on the road because out West the way they're playing is tough. Either way it goes, if you're going to win, if you're going to be a championship team, you're going to have to win on the road. We just kind of chose health and rest over everything else.
RE: The MVP voting came out a couple minutes before the tip tonight. I'm wondering if you saw those results, that you were not in the top three, and if that fed into the game at all, and whether or not you even saw your reaction to not being in the top three.
No, I didn't see it. And what are you going to do about it at the end of the day? My only job is to try to be the MVP for this team every night, put my teammates, put our franchise in position to be successful and ultimately compete for a championship. For me, I know what I bring to the table. This league knows what I bring to the table. That's for you guys to write about. It's not for me to be concerned about.
RE: Before the playoffs, you said you thought that you had enough to win a championship this year. What are you seeing from your team now, 10 straight? And obviously tonight's game was what it was. Where do you see this team right now?
We just want to try to get better. I also told you we had another level. You looked at me crazy when I told you that. I believe we've got another level as well. As well as we played tonight, there were still some things we could have done better. We had a few bad turnovers offensively that we could do better. We had a couple miscues defensively where we gave up some open looks. We can get better. That's the positive for our ballclub. There's no complacency with us right now. There shouldn't be. It's the postseason. But we like where we're headed and the direction we're headed right now.
RE: Even before the series started Brad Stevens said that he felt like the Cavs had a perfect roster. What do you feel about the roster composition and the pieces that you have and what you are potentially able to accomplish with them?
Well, that's a huge compliment, but there's no such thing for us. We don't have a perfect roster. We don't have a perfect team. But we can make up for mistakes, and we can make up for maybe some deficiencies that we may have because we communicate, we fly around and we sacrifice for one another. That could put us as close to perfection as possible, which you can't ever get to. But our communication level, our sacrifice, what we give to each other every night kind of covers that, kind of covers some of the faults that we may have. And with the faults that we do have, we try to get better and better at it so we can be as great as we can be every single night.
RE: You said this team had another level, but now you've won 13 straight games in the postseason. Is this the highest level that you've played offensively in your career?
I don't know. I'm a guy who lives in the moment. Our team is in a great groove, and I'm happy to be a part of that groove. At the end of the day, we want to try to put ourselves in position to win every game. That's the goal. Can you do that? Sometimes you come out with an L, but it's how you learn from those experiences that's going to help you out the next time. We are in a good groove as a team, and we want to try to continue that going home.
RE: Isaiah sat out the second half. Brad told us before you came out here that he's been dealing with an injury since last week. Can you sense something physically different with him throughout these first two games?
No, I don't really pay attention to those things, to be honest. I only pay attention to what's going on with our guys and how we can put a lot of pressure on the opposing team, from IT to the rest of those guys. Obviously we didn't see him in the second half. Marcus Smart started the second half, but that was not our concern going into the second half. Our concern was not get complacent. Don't do what we did in Game 1 in the third quarter here, where we gave up I think 36 or something points in that quarter. Don't allow them to get into a good groove. It's not my concern.
RE: What does this game say about preparation, sticking to game plan:
We did just that. We’re playing at an unbelievable pace. I think I’ve echoed it throughout these Playoffs, when we are playing at a high level and we’re pushing the basketball we are a tough team to keep up with. We’re getting stops, contesting every single shot, making plays for one another and playing selfless basketball it’s beautiful. It’s great to be a part of. We don’t take this for granted at all, I’m going to continue to say it, because we understand how valuable it is to win on the road or win any games in the Playoffs. Now we put our focus to Game 3 and prepare for a home court game against a great team like the Celtics. It’s going to be tough. We understand they’re going to come out, hit first mentality for us and just stick to the game plan and we’ll be alright.
RE: Take another notch defensively tonight:
Yea we had to, especially on a Game 2 on the road. It’s a very important game, very vital for us to get a great start. Even not just making shots, but just coming out aggressive on the defensive and making them be uncomfortable and I think we did a great job of that tonight.
RE: How good are you guys:
I just feel like we are in a great place where we’re not looking for any excuses, not looking for anything to really motivate us other than for ourselves. We motivate each other. Our coaching staff does a great job of laying out the game plan and it’s our job to execute at a very high level. As a professional you want to go out there and play well and especially in the Playoffs we have so many veterans and we’re led by so many leaders on this team that help us stay focused and help us stay grounded and just keep us prepared.
RE: Composition of the pieces you have:
Griff (David Griffin) did a great job just putting some pieces together that I sometimes even marvel at going home because we could almost have a 10 guy rotation out there and it becomes very dangerous. We’re throwing different guys out there, different lineups and we match up very well with almost any team. T Lue (Tyrone Lue) has got a tough job to do just trying to manage everyone’s minutes, but when you have so many selfless guys and guys that understand their roles and just are willing do anything to just get one rebound for a minute or get a stop for a minute that’s a team I love to be a part of and I’m glad I’m here.