That's What He Said
That's What He Said - Hawks at Celtics
Click on a player to reveal quotes from their postgame press conference.
RE: Has Terry Rozier surprised him in the last two games:
“Not really. I mean, I think, obviously, you know, he shot it great tonight. Obviously, he got the triple-double the other day. But I think he’s playing a lot of minutes and I don’t know what his per 36 or per 48 numbers are, but he doesn’t always play 36 and 38 minutes in a game like he is now. But he’s a really good player, and he’s gotten better. He’s playing very confidently. And we’re going to need him to play very confidently on Sunday because this group coming in is pretty special, especially in the back court.”
RE: The two wins without Kyrie Irving helping the team feel encouraged:
“Yeah. I think you draw confidence from the way that the guys on the court look. Like, the way that the – the poise they’re carrying themselves with, the aggressiveness. We did not defend in the first half; we scored enough to stay in the game. And then when we started defending in the third quarter, things really started going our way. And I thought that that was a – that was good to come out of halftime after they really kind of had their way with us in the first. But, you know, this is one of those things that you’re only as good as your next game. So, we’ll get ready for Sunday and that’ll be, obviously, a very tough one.”
RE: What he hopes these opportunities will do for player like Rozier and Abdel Nader:
“I just think when you’re young and you get the opportunity to play, it’s great experience when you have the responsibility of the game on your shoulders instead of just, you know, when you increase your minutes played, obviously. Maybe Ab hasn’t played as much in the middle of the flow of the game, where the swings with the second unit might determine the game. Terry hasn’t had as much on his plate where he’s playing four stints now, and that four-stint feels a lot different because you’ve already expended the energy in the first three, and he’s used to playing two. So, it’s just – it’s great experience, obviously, and hopefully that bodes well, but we’ll see.”
RE: What was different offensively in the 41-point third quarter
“Well, first of all, Al (Horford) got going on the post, and I thought we were purposeful in getting him the ball. And then I thought our defensive aggressiveness carried over into offensive confidence. And I think that sometimes you earn your opportunity to make a shot with your effort, your engagement. And it felt like that was more the case in that third quarter. Although we had – you know, we had scored it okay going into the half – but the third quarter was one of our better quarters, I thought, of the year.”
RE: Aron Baynes:
“I thought he was really good. You know, from the standpoint of right off – or right out of the gate – he hits that jumper off of popping off a screen. He was great around the rim. He’s been a huge part of our team with his ability to defend the – defend the rim and protect the paint. But today we asked him to get more out on pick and rolls because of the way that (Dennis) Schroder was really lighting us up early. So I thought in the third quarter, end of the first half, he was very good.”
RE: What was it like playing in the rookie challenge tonight (i.e. playing against a lot of rookies)?
“Just another game, just another game for us. I felt like our group came out tonight with the right focus. We took a good hit from them, we stayed with it and I think in the second half we really got it going especially in the 3rd quarter.”
RE: How were you able to separate yourselves in the 3rd quarter?
“I think we did a good job defensively, really making them score over our defense. I thought the energy was great and obviously a big quarter from Terry (Rozier) and Jason (Tatum) and Aron (Baynes) had some good buckets and I got it going too. It was just good to see that we had a balanced attack there.”
RE: Growth of Terry Rozier
“He’s come a long way. I was always just impressed by his ability, but you don’t know if that’s going to translate. For him the more that we’ve played him, doesn’t matter the positions we put him in, he just keeps learning and growing and he’s playing the right way. He’s playing aggressive, but what I like most about him is that he really commits on the defensive end, rebounds great. I’ve just been very happy to see his progress and I know that he’s going to continue to get better.”
RE: Have you changed your mind about letting Kyrie (Irving) have his job back?
“I haven’t changed my mind. Kyrie is probably one of my biggest supporters outside of my family through this process. I know he’s happy for me and when he comes back we are going to pick it up.”
RE: What have these last two games been like for you?
“It’s just been a blessing, it’s been great. All the praise goes to the coaches and my teammates for allowing me to get open and for making it easy for me. Everybody is playing hard out there and all the credit goes to them.”
RE: Second start, any different?
“Just the same feeling, wanted to come out aggressive and do what I can on the offensive and defensive end. My teammates make it so easy for me because they play so hard and we just play hard collectively as a group.”
RE: How does starting as opposed to coming off the bench change your mindset?
“You just know the whole day that you are going to be starting. When you come off the bench you don’t know exactly the timing. You should come out aggressive and the same mindset and be ready no matter if you’re starting or not. But like I said, if you are starting you can just think about it all day and know you’re starting so it’s just a little different.”
RE: Tonight’s game:
“Feels like we have to get better. A 41 point third-quarter just stands out. Pretty good first half of basketball. Feels like we could have had a little more of a cush than just a six or eight point lead. It was a huge quarter by (the Celtics). Credit to them.”
RE: Maybe a sluggish start at the beginning, but you called a timeout to challenge your guys, they responded at both ends of the court. What changed that first half when things were going well
“The players kind of coached themselves. They talked about what they have to do offensively as far as cutting, screening, and driving and being more physical and stronger. Obviously (the Celtics) are a very good defensive team and if you don’t do things at a high level and match the physicality and the effort offensively, you’re not going to be as good. The players talked about it amongst themselves and really turned it on that end. It takes some pressure off our defense when we’re better offensively.”
RE: Obviously the third quarter in this game was very different, what made it so different than the first half:
“We played really well in the first quarter, we defended them well and made it tough for (the Celtics). We shot well in the beginning and the same goes for (the Celtics). We played with a lot of energy in the beginning, but in the third quarter we let in 41 points, which is a lot. I mean, (the Celtics) are first in the East and they made a lot of good plays tonight. We needed to be more aggressive defensively. We couldn’t keep up with them during their last run, which is a big reason why we lost the game.”
RE: Was it mostly (Celtics’) defense or are you frustrated with some of the things you guys are doing:
"I think defensively they played very well. When you play a team like that you have to be at 100% for the whole game. I think we went into the second half still working with our emotions. We have to keep in mind, going forward, thinking about the whole game, not just the beginning.”
RE: Coach Buzz sensed confidence with you tonight, did you feel a little something extra:
“Obviously, I got the news that I was in the rising stars game due to Malcolm (Delaney)’s injury, sending prayers out to him and his family for a speedy recovery, but it brought a little juice to me tonight because of that. I felt excited, relieved because I feel like I did enough wok in the summer to be in the game in from the jump, but God had his own route.”
RE: Celtics team are very good defensively, what were you doing to get your opportunities tonight:
“Oh man, first quarter I realized they were playing really aggressive, couldn’t leave it in the ref’s hands, but we continued to be strong with the ball and tried to make plays. Our big guys staying tough in there getting rebounds and just being aggressive overall and not leaving the game in the ref’s hands.”