That's What He Said
That's What He Said - Rockets at Celtics
Click on a player to reveal quotes from their postgame press conference.
RE: Marcus Smart drawing offensive fouls:
“I haven’t re-watched them yet. Obviously, I didn’t have a great angle for it, standing on the other end of the court. It looked to me like he held his ground, and then obviously we were playing pretty well up to that point scoring, and cutting it to one, cutting it to one, playing the foul game. They had hit their free throws and so obviously getting the ball back without them shooting free throws was a big deal.”
RE: Things needed doing to get back into the game when down by so many points:
“I thought that – and I said this in the locker room – I thought even though he did some things that I’m sure he’d like to have back, I thought (Abdel) Nader came in and gave us a great energy lift. I didn’t think we looked like we were matching their level in the first half, and that’s why we started him in the second. And even though he missed a couple of shots in the second, he got some boards back, he was active, and it kind of got us started. Once we settled down and started making some of those shots you felt like you were going to be able to get back in the game. But I thought we played back in the first six minutes of the second half; we just didn’t hit a shot. So, but again, I think we needed everybody. You know, after a stretch like this you need somebody that hasn’t played a lot to play – especially with guys out – and to give you a little bit of a lift. And I guess the hole wasn’t big – too big – it sure felt that way.”
RE: Keys to second-half turnaround:
“Well, first of all, they were unbelievable in the first half, and it’s hard to play from ahead and it’s easy to play free from behind. It’s why you see this in the NBA all the time. But, you know, I thought we – we really guarded, we made shots as tough as possible, and then in the one or two circumstances, whether it was off of loose balls, offensive rebounds, kick-outs where they were wide open, the shots had a little bit more heat on them because you had felt the pressure the whole half instead of you know, you’re just playing free and easy, which they were in the first. They had us on our heels, we tried to be more aggressive defensively; I thought Marcus (Morris) was the key to that, kind of the head of that attack. But everybody added to it.”
RE: Terry Rozier and Aron Baynes’ contributions in the second half, after limited first-half minutes:
“I think it’s pretty hard to play Houston with traditional line-ups. And – but – we were also down a few wings so we were trying to buy a little bit of time doing that. Clearly that wasn’t going to work three minutes into the game. And so, it was one of those games where Baynes is not going to play as much. And Baynes didn’t pout; he sat for 21 straight minutes in the first half and sat for the first eight or whatever in the second – and then he came in and I thought changed the paint for us. He protected everything around the rim. He was tremendous. Got that huge put-back off the offensive rebound, and it says a lot about him. And then, Terry’s one of these guys who he didn’t have his best half, but he’s always able to go to a level.”
RE: What did you say to the team at halftime?
“Go get ‘em. I mean, we drew up some stuff – we watched – we didn’t watch anything. We talked about it. Drew a couple things up on the board and said, ‘There’s a reason why Houston’s hard to guard. You have to play with incredible multiple efforts.’ And we didn’t. So, there’s a lot of excuses that this group could’ve made, but they didn’t, to their credit. And that’s probably the most encouraging thing about tonight. The result doesn’t really matter; it’s the resilience that they showed, which they could’ve easily folded.”
RE: What about this team allows for you to get your best moments when things are most difficult?
“We’ve had some tough losses here at home recently and our crowd tonight was unbelievable and at least for me what kept driving me was that we have to do this for our fans, we just got to push through it. They were so into it, they’re supporting us, their energy was unbelievable, it was about as loud as I’ve seen our arena get. I just feel like that really drove us because you’re looking going into halftime and you can make excuses; the back to back, you’re tired. You just think about putting on a good show for the fans and see what we do, ourselves, as a group. I’m just proud that we were able to rally together and it was a good win for us.”
RE: Last play development:
“Coach Stevens. Coach was the one from the sidelines. It was supposed to eventually get to Kyrie (Irving) and then Coach told me to go and take it and make a play.”
RE: What was comeback like and how did you maintain the will to come back?
“We just didn’t stop believing. We had a special talk at halftime. We had a talk right before halftime, Kyrie (Irving) brought everybody in. We didn’t stop believing and we just felt our fans energy, followed each other’s energy and Smart (Marcus) got us going and we picked it up from there and we didn’t look back.”
RE: What did Kyrie (Irving) say to you during that talk?
“Just that we are playing against a great team, this is a great challenge for us, just block everything out. Things are going bad so people are going to doubt us, but we got each other and we are the ones playing. Basically that type of message. It got us going and it got us feeling good about ourselves. Our coaching staff, every player on this team made sure the person next to you wasn’t down and we fed off of it.”
RE: What did you see on those two offensive fouls at the end?
“We shouldn’t have ever got them. The problem was you’re up 24 and give them credit, they played well. They turned it on in the second half. We just didn’t come out necessarily with rhythm or fire. It was the tale of two halves and we were kind of like them in the first half and they were like us in the second. Tough loss, but we will bounce back and see what happens next game.”
RE: What happened in second half? Did you get caught up in their comeback/crowd?
“We just didn’t move, we didn’t push, we didn’t seem like we had the necessary stuff to take it to them and we just kind of fell into them. They were up on us and they were an aggressive defense and we weren’t moving, and it turned the game around.”
RE: How much did that ball pressure from Terry Rozier and Shane Larkin affect anything?
“Obviously for the second half it affected us, the first half it didn’t. The only way to combat it is you got to go, and we just didn’t have the legs or the energy to be able to combat it. They were up in us well and we didn’t do anything to get around them.”
RE: What changed so much from half to half?
“We know they came off a back to back and we got in good stride early in the first half. In the second half every team has their runs and Boston made a big run in the second half, but unbelievable last minute of the game I’ve never seen anything like that. It’s almost like what can you do? It’s tough to talk about an ending of a game like that.”
RE: Difficulty getting the ball inbounds last two possessions?
“You know they were going to deny the ball and we knew that. We always have all the guards try to go after the ball, but it’s just tough to play basketball toward the end of the game like that when things are going the other way.”
RE: Take us through the last couple plays and how you experienced it:
“First of all, how do you only have two officials on a national TV game. That is the first question. A lot of grabbing, a lot of holding. How else am I supposed to get open? A guy has two arms wrapped around my whole body.”
RE: Why was it so hard to stop Celtics run in second half?
“They are a good team. They are going to make shots, they’re going to make runs, especially because they are at home. We just didn’t execute when we needed to, but like I said in the first statement its tough, you can’t have two officials in a professional game. There was a lot of no calls that needed to be called because it changed the dynamic of the game. You got fast break points, no calls, turnovers or whatever the case may be. This is a professional game on national TV it can’t happen.”