That's What He Said
That's What He Said - Hornets at Celtics
Click on a player to reveal quotes from their postgame press conference.
RE: Why the team was effective on offense tonight:
“Just, to be honest, I thought we played with force. I thought we executed well. But that just was one of those nights where you had great, great shot-making. Sometimes it is, as much as it – if the ball’s going in the basket or not. And, you know, we hit a number of shots that we want to get, and we hit a number of shots that we executed very well. We also hit a number of them that were end-of-clock or were a little bit tougher. So, as I just said in the interview with (NBC Sports Boston reporter) Abby (Chin), you better win when you shoot it like that, because you don’t have nights like that all the time.”
RE: Coming out after the All-Star Break:
“I felt really good about our structure; probably the best I’ve felt about our structure all year, heading into the break, on offense. At least since Gordon (Hayward) went out. And we had – we did not shoot it great at times against Cleveland, but I felt like in that last week or so we had some things that were going our way even though the numbers weren’t showing. So, I felt good about that. I didn’t think we needed to do a whole lot other than make sure we execute at a high level. Our first practice out of break was hard, long, and real. And you could kind of tell that our guys had a good focus about them. We would be able to pick up offensively, as least as well as we could, and then defensively we still have to do a better job. I thought tonight in the first half we weren’t very good.”
RE: Is the unit off the bench, with multiple players in double figures, starting to gel?
“Well I think obviously, you know, when you go through the past month, no matter what, even if you’ve played poorly, there’s always something that you can take from that. And one of the things – Terry (Rozier)’s growth has been evident. He probably really benefitted from starting those three games and playing as many minutes and being counted on the way we counted on him. And then Marcus Morris just looks more comfortable every time he takes the floor. And so, the way that they’re scoring the ball, Marcus Smart coming back obviously is a double-figure scorer for us, and then what Greg (Monroe) gave us tonight was great. So, I think that we’re going to need as many guys to put the ball in the basket as possible; we can’t rely on one or two guys. And we’ve got a team that if we soar with our strengths, we can do that.”
RE: What has changed in the last few games?
“Well I think obviously, when shots go in, everything feels a lot better. We did small changes on actions, we’ve tried to play a little more off of our cutting, but we’re also just getting a lot more comfortable playing together. And that sometimes takes a little bit of time. We had our moments in December where we showed that we’re capable of it, and then we struggled in January and early February, and for whatever reason, in the last four games, we’ve been a little bit better. But we’ve got a really hard game on Saturday and that’s a team that not only gets credit for historically good offense, but they’re also a really good defensive team and they make it really tough to score. So, we’ll have our hands full.”
RE: Kyrie Irving’s run:
“He’s very locked in. I thought he was really – he went into the break hurting a little bit for how we play it. I think that that was a shared – a feeling shared by all of us, on how our team performed on the last few days leading up to the break, and I thought that he hopefully had time to relax and kind of get away for a minute. But clearly when we came back on Wednesday, we were ready to go, and he was as locked in as anybody.”
RE: Team Season high for points/field goal percentage. What was the key to that?
“Just playing with pace, playing with aggressiveness and just trying to take care of business on the home floor and just trying to play fast.”
RE: Came off the All-Star break hot. Is the focus different? Were you worried before the break?
“No I wasn’t worried at all. We got a short amount of time to make a push to go deep into the Playoffs and try to get into the Finals and win. We got things we got to clean up and coming into the second part of the season we knew that. Right now we are just trying to get better and just trying to play with the poise and assertiveness that we know we can play with.”
RE: What does a game like this do from confidence standpoint with a team built on defense, but offense was really big tonight?
“Next one, that’s it. We are looking forward to the next one. We got Houston in Houston and they are a really good offensive team. Defensively we got to be really poised, got to be really locked in. This one is gone and we got to worry about the next one.”
RE: How did you feel tonight did you feel like you got into a groove?
“Yeah, II definitely felt like I got pretty good rhythm. Coach (Stevens) went to me and I just tried to be aggressive. He (Coach) was telling me just take your time, get your legs under you so tonight I just got into a rhythm, got a little more comfortable. Pretty decent game.”
RE: What was it like to show the Celtics fans you could do this?
“Was fun. I know what these fans expect out of the team and this team has been playing at a high level. I just wanted to come in and, like I’ve been saying, just try to enhance what they already got going. It’s just been tough for me getting a rhythm, especially with my situation this year, but it felt good to get some extended minutes, actually get out there, get into the flow of the game and just try to be as effective as possible.”
RE: What has been the biggest difference on offense since All-Star break?
“Our pace. We simplified some things and being able to read and react on the fly and play with a high intense effort for longer period of time. Whether it be us being tired or just heading into All-Star break just kind of going through the woes of the season. Coming out of it I think that for the first few games we’ve done a great job at responding and we just want to keep it up because the season definitely doesn’t end tomorrow. We have a lot more games to consistently get better and I’m looking forward to it.”
RE: Has ball movement been what’s getting you better looks, more efficient?
“A little bit of that and also just playing with an aggressive mindset like I’ve been doing, but probably more of an emphasis on it from my end. When I’m being aggressive it just creates a lot of opportunities for my teammates.”
RE: How difficult is it to get a win in a circumstance like tonight:
“It’s hard. What we got was what we deserve. Our defense was embarrassing, starting with the way we guarded our guys. I thought we had turned a corner for four days. We got locked in. Starting with personnel, starting with coverages and started right from the beginning. Mistake. Mistake. Mistake. One-on-one when we broke up the line up and that’s what happens. They made some tough shots because we’re easy to play against.”
RE: You have two more really tough opponents, what are your biggest take- a-ways from tonight to take into Philly:
“We have to play the way we played the first four games. It’s got to start with defense. We have enough offense, to play. We have enough offense. Tonight, we played well offensively. (The Celtics) are a great defensive team. They had 57 at half time and we were down 9. So, we have enough offense when we play the right way. We just have to defend.”
RE: Boston is the best defensive team in the league, but tonight it was their offense that got them the win. What did they do that was so effective on that end:
“They did about everything. They hit the three. I think 15 or 16 of them. They just had a really good game tonight. They shot like 63% from the field. Teams scoring like that are very hard to beat.”
RE: Did you watch Kyrie go off tonight?
“I tried not to watch him. I didn’t even look up to see what he was doing. He made some really big shots, some deep threes. It’s tough when he’s making all these shots. That’s a product of how we started the game. So, we need to do a better job of starting and making sure we don’t allow the other guys to get into a rhythm."
RE: At halftime the game was sort of under control, what happened?
“We just didn’t make enough plays as a team. That’s it. (The Celtics) played well, they got a lot of shots up.”
RE: Coach talked about a lot of individual players doing things on their own, especially in the second half, do you agree?
“I’m not really sure. I mean we didn’t make enough plays. I about myself, I know I wasn’t active enough. I should have been in the passing lanes more. I could have rebounded better. I should have made plays for my teammates.”