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: The need for young players to come through in the playoffs, and what Jayson Tatum and Semi Ojeleye did today
“Well, that was the point of playing guys that we don’t usually play late. And I thought some guys did some really good things. I thought Semi was obviously playing with a lot of confidence on the offensive end, which we need him to, to continue to soar with what he does best. But, you know, be able to take advantage of defenses that are really helping off of him. And then Jayson, obviously, he’s done it all year. He’s been really good all year.”
RE: You didn’t play four of the starters in the fourth quarter; was it about young players’ time or starters’ minutes?
“That was it. That was it. Getting the appropriate amount of minutes but also then, you know, I was going to let those young guys play in the fourth. And they did a really good job at the start of the fourth, then they let their guard down a little bit defensively, got Atlanta back in the game, and then Atlanta made huge shots. I mean, I thought that (Taurean) Prince, obviously, was great tonight, but they put a little heat on us with their shot making.”
RE: What’s it like knowing this early that the Celtics’ playoff position is locked up?
“Weird. Yeah, I mean it’s strange. But, you know, to be able to play those guys and to get them reps and to be able to do some of that stuff – you know, I wish Guerschon (Yabusele) would’ve been available, because he would’ve been able to take advantage of that as well. But obviously when you start looking down our bench with (Marcus) Morris and Guerschon out, we’re pretty thin and pretty small. So, we needed to give those guys a chance to make plays and I thought they did some good things. But, obviously, not enough to win the game.”
RE: Importance of getting Greg Monroe into the “system” since he joined the team late in the season
“Well we need him to play well. You know? He’s a good offensive player, and so we need him to continue to take advantage of the things that he does best: score around the rim and pass the ball and those type of things. And we need him to play well. Again, I think the biggest thing, when you start talking about – obviously we’re going into the playoffs with less people on our roster, and down some guys. The bench play is going to be huge for us. And I think that that’s something – whether it’s two deep, three deep, four deep, whatever it is – it’s going to be big for us.”
RE: Whether Jabari Bird is contributing in a way to possibly be under discussion for a playoff roster spot
“Those aren’t my discussions or my job, so I don’t really get into that. But at the end of the day, I think he is playing well. He’s doing some good things. I thought offensively he was pretty good, especially early. Everybody’s going to be a little bit better when you’re younger and when you’re in for the first time when you’re not at the end, like they were when they were more featured. When they can play off of the other guys. And so I think that he’s done a good job in the last couple of games, and will probably play some of the next two.”
RE: What is your take on game?
“We just have to finish the game. I think from our side it was a sloppy game. We have to be better on the pick and roll, guarding the ball. They got too many easy layups at the rim so we got to be better.”
RE: How comfortable are you getting with this team?
“I’m fine, I’m comfortable.”
RE: How important are these last few games for you?
“They’re important. There are still games to play. I’m going to go out there and try my best, try to execute the game plan and do the things that Brad (Stevens) and the team needs me to do. That’s really my focus.”
RE: How important will the bench be in the Playoffs?
“Very important. The depth of this team has been one of its strengths and that will only be seen more in the Playoffs with the caliber of players that are out. We are going to have to rely on our players so guys have to be ready when their number is called.”
RE: How has your role changed?
“I didn’t have a vision originally. In the beginning it was just coming in and getting acclimated. Obviously it’s not just me, but it’s a bunch of guys that have to play more because of injuries so we all have to do a good job of stepping up and embracing our roles and making sure we are doing what we need to do to make the team successful.”
RE: What was your mentality tonight?
“I didn’t play last game so I was well rested so I had a little bit more energy.”
RE: 3rd quarter dropping 10 points, what did you see there?
“We were just out there for a long time. I think we played the entire quarter because we knew we weren’t going to play the 4th so it was just an opportunity.”
RE: Did you want to play the 4th?
“I knew before the game that the starters weren’t going to play that much so I figured that we played the whole 3rd I knew we weren’t going to play the 4th. I was happy for the guys that got to play in the 4th because the entire year sometimes they don’t play games and when they come to practice every day and work they deserve to be out there.”
RE: How much work do you still have to do on your rotation?
“We aren’t perfect. There are a lot of things that we need to work on, but I think the main focus with Brad (Stevens) is to make sure we are well rested and that we are ready for Saturday.”
RE: Today’s game
“Great win on the road against a great team in a great environment here. Just happy with the way the guys competed. I think we went down 13 in the fourth quarter and we were able to battle back, go on our own run. Some of the execution down the stretch, I think the rebounding in the second half was better. Of course, (the Celtics) didn’t play their starters in the fourth quarter. I think they got a lot out of today, those (Celtics) played well for three quarters. I’m proud of the way our guys played for all four quarters. It’s a good sign the way they’re developing.”
RE: What about Taurean Prince’s overall performance
“I thought his overall game was great, especially a couple passes there in the fourth quarter to (Mike) Muscala for a three pointer with the foul, to (Dewayne) Dedmon for the basket. I thought (Prince’s) floor game is growing, he’s getting more opportunities, he’s seeing things. Just really happy with the way he’s growing.”
RE: What does a win so late in the season against Boston mean for the team
“It just helps us knowing we’re getting better, playing to the end of the season still even though we’re not going to the playoffs. We still try to get better each game. I’m just happy to be out there. I’ve been hurt a lot throughout the season, so I’m just trying to get some reps up. We love playing with each other, and we play well together, we just haven’t been able to win as many games as we should. We just enjoy playing as a team."
RE: Late in the fourth quarter (Dewayne) Dedmon was able to help seal the win
“Yeah, Dewayne made some big shots, hit a three for us, but (the Celtics) also didn’t have their main guys out there. It would have been fun to play against some of those guys, but they’re getting ready for the playoffs. We still came out with a great win tonight."
RE: For you guys to beat the Wizards and the Celtics back to back must make you feel good with the momentum:
“Most definitely. Especially gratifying knowing you have a couple impact players out and still be able to do what we do, even through the course of the season. It’s good to see what we’re able to do, even without a full team.”
RE: You had 31 points the last time you played the Celtics, are you feeling good in Boston
“I like the environment, I like the competitiveness their team hold. I got a couple friends over there, you get more up from a game you know people on.”