That's What He Said - Bulls at Celtics
Click on a player to reveal quotes from their postgame press conference.
RE: What worked so well in the third quarter:
“Well, first of all I thought – I thought we played great in the first half and I thought they played great in the first half. I mean, I thought it was – we walked back in to the coaches’ meeting room at halftime and we were just kind of like, ‘That was high-level basketball both ways.’ And that was the best we’ve played in a while, and we had to be that, just to be up four at halftime, and then we continued it at the start of the third quarter and played with a pretty good purpose. I thought obviously we looked fresher; we looked like we had our legs under us. We were excited to play coming off those two tough losses. And that’s a good basketball team. I mean, and they were really playing at a high level. You could see that in the first half.”
RE: Challenges with transition defense and Chicago’s offensive rebounds in the first half:
“There were a few – a few, like, unique plays that led to their transition. I mean, we missed the dunks that led to their transition baskets in the first half. You make those, the ball doesn’t bounce way out, there’s a chance that you’re setting your defense, you know, those types of things. But otherwise, I felt like we were pretty locked in. We just weren’t – you know, (Nikola) Mirotic was shooting so freely on some of those plays that, you know, we just had to make another step. You know, be even more urgent and alert. But we were there. And then I just thought we played – we continued playing the same way in the third and fourth quarters – maybe they missed a couple of opportunities that they had made – but again, I thought, I thought we played pretty well and I thought even when we were down six we were playing pretty well.”
RE: Jaylen Brown seeming “fresher” after a day off to rest:
“I think that that helps anybody. It’ funny; we only played 48 hours ago, but I felt way better and so I’m sure that everyone else did. And I think that that’s just part of this whole thing. And you’re going to have days where you feel better than others, but you always have to try to play the right way and we need as many bodies as we can. I thought that the bench came in and did a lot of good things today, and that was really encouraging as well.”
RE: Kyrie Irving’s continued ability to produce every night:
“I think that’s the one thing that gets lost in all the handles and all the different moves and the plays that end up on YouTube, is how – how skilled he is shooting the ball. He’s just a tremendous shooter. He’s got beautiful touch. He doesn’t miss when you’re just doing shooting without defense. He’s an elite shooter. So it doesn’t surprise me when he goes on runs. You almost like you take for granted how good he is.”
RE: Semi Ojeleye:
“I don’t have an update, but he took a pretty hard fall, obviously.”
RE: How was the new mask?
“I could see more. It fit better on the court. It’s fitted to my face now and the eyes are bigger so I can see.”
RE: What keyed that 3rd quarter run for you guys?
“I think we went back to our basketball. We played defense, we ran transitions, we made open shots, we shot the ball; we didn’t do this the last couple games when we lost. We also played faster after the misses, so we tried to run today. I think it worked out pretty good.”
RE: Bench unit being more aggressive and get to the paint:
“We lost to Chicago like a week ago pretty bad, like our worst game the whole season. We knew we had to do something, especially for ourselves. Both teams played well, both teams played hard so we tried to come out of the half in the 3rd quarter playing harder. Then at one point Chicago I think gave up because everybody thru the bench played hard for us. On defense we shot the ball so it was one of the better games in the past week.”
RE: The bench unit, what do you guys need to find?
“Defense, putting pressure on the guards and bigs and rebounds for sure. When we have Terry (Rozier), Terry is one of our best defenders on the ball, also when Shane (Larkin) is out there. Our point of emphasis is defense for sure. When the first unit plays like in the 3rd quarter to push the lead we got to keep the lead and try to get it higher and just play defense.”
RE: How were things able to open up for you offensively, especially in 3rd quarter?
“Just playing off our guys. They were blitzing Kyrie (Irving) and I just got some open looks so just playing basketball and taking advantage of my opportunities.”
RE: Kyrie Irving being blitzed but still finding the open guy:
“He’s one of the best. A true point guard, a guy that makes the right plays, makes great decisions and he’s assertive. It makes it easier for guys like me”
RE: Did you feel you were coming out, playing with a little extra edge tonight after loss to Chicago Dec 11?
“For sure, we definitely came out and played. We marked this one down, even after we lost that we wanted to make an emphasis on this game. We feel like they played really well, but we beat them. And when they beat us a few weeks ago I feel like we beat ourselves. Tonight we just had to come out and play and just be the best version of us.”
RE: What keyed the run in the 3rd when you took control?
“Just our pace, staying on the boards, making sure we were communicating what we needed to do to extend the lead as best we could, whether we were making shots or not. We did have a few shots go down which extended it. That is the type of basketball we want to play on a consistent basis.”
RE: Third quarter blues for the second straight game, is that what you saw coming out of the half?
“That first half was a high level, 24 minutes. Both teams playing with great energy, moving the ball, sharing it. You look at our numbers, 17 assists and three turnovers in the first half. We came out and give them a 13-2 run and then seven assists and 12 turnovers in the second half. What I saw was us reverting to some things that I saw earlier in the season, which was hanging heads and stop doing the things that got us 50 points to the best defensive team in the league in that first half. Lost our movement, lost our pace, body language was poor. Something we can certainly learn from a pretty good stretch of basketball the last 10 games going back to the Indiana one where inside the 4th quarter in Indiana in the second half of the night, we played pretty damn well. We can’t let this deflate us. We will come in tomorrow, get a light workout in and take Christmas of, regroup and hopefully come back and play well in Milwaukee.”
RE: When you guys do what you do to Boston a couple weeks ago do you almost expect that there will be not a payback but you know that you’re going to get their best with Kyrie back, they’re not going to forget what happened?
“Well I think that the thing about it, they lost two in a row and I knew that they’d come out with great energy. The thing I was happy about with our guys is that we matched them, we matched their energy for the first 24 minutes and again they came out in the third and threw the first blow and we didn’t ever recovered from it. Those are the kind of things that we have to find a way to get through, again we shut it down there for a stretch and you can’t do that. This is one of the best teams in the league, and against a team like this you can’t shut down. We kept battling against Cleveland and gave ourselves a chance to win the game, but tonight we didn’t have it in the second half. A lot had to do with them, we give the Celtics credit for coming out in the third quarter and setting the tone.”
RE: Tonight it seemed like you dug a hole again that you couldn’t get out of. Was it a difference of having to do it again or you just beat this team 10 days ago and they had some payback on their mind?
“I don’t think it was either of those things. They just had more edge than us, specifically in the stretch of the third quarter. Seems like we conceded a lot. They seemed pretty comfortable out there, especially on offense, I think that they only had three turnovers near the end of the third or something like that.”
RE: Seemed like off the pick-in-roll they were getting into the lane and fanning the ball out and was really effective:
“It was. It was super effective for them, and then I think at times we overreacted to that a little bit, them knocking down a couple threes. I think that they got a few too many line drives straight to the basket.”
RE: Kind of expected there was going to be some payback, especially with Kyrie. Is that in the back of your mind coming into a game like this?
“Not in the sense of that. We knew that they were going to come out, be aggressive, try to get under us because of that game. They did a good job at it today. It’s something that we need to look at on film and figure out how we can fight back when we get down.”
RE: When you guys came back in Cleveland and made it a game seemed like tonight you guys reverted to earlier in the season. Heads went down, body language got sucky, was a tougher fight:
“You know the ball wasn’t going in for us and definitely heads went down and we didn’t fight through the adversity. I think the first half we did a good job defensively, we got some good defensive stops, but they still made tough buckets. It’s one of those days where the ball doesn’t go in and they shot unbelievable so credit to them.”