That's What He Said

That's What He Said - Cavaliers at Celtics (Game 2)

Read what the players and coaches had to say following Boston's 107-94 victory over Cleveland.

Click on a player to reveal quotes from their postgame press conference.

BRAD STEVENS

RE: You guys had the 11-point lead, they were able to cut it down to six, you called that timeout and you seemed to go right to Al Horford inside. What was the message at the timeout?

Well, you're going to have ups and downs. I thought our guys did a really good job of weathering the initial storm. Obviously LeBron was incredible in the first half, and then they got some good actions with [Kevin] Love and [Kyle] Korver. Korver in the first and then Love with the Love-Korver little tandem screens they have going on on the left side of the floor that hurt us. We've got to improve on some of that stuff, but it's all about responding. They're going to make their runs. They're going to have their moments. You know, the most encouraging thing to me was that we weathered that storm because it's easy to kind of fall apart there.

RE: You have a lot of options late in games. Tonight it was a heavy dose of [Marcus] Smart pick-and-roll in that fourth quarter. What did you like about that action specifically and him sort of running the offense late?

Well, he's a really good ball handler. He's a good play maker. He's a great passer. He's great at the running lob with Al [Horford]. They kept switching the matchup, but at one time they had Love on Smart, and just that's a unique coverage for a big. And then they put LeBron on him some, which they did last year in the Playoffs, and then they put Jeff Green, so there was some switchability there, but we tried to get out of screens quick and tried to find a seam to the rim, either on the drive or the lob.

RE: You mentioned the feasibility to maintain composure in the face of LeBron. How crucial was Jaylen Brown in that stretch to keep the aggressiveness going for you guys?

Jaylen was really aggressive tonight. Jaylen has had a great postseason, but I thought it was crucial. I thought in the first half, we may have gotten better shots than we did in the third quarter. We just made some in the third quarter. But I thought we were really playing well. But it was just like we were doing everything we could just to hang around. We missed some open opportunities, and them going big impacted us. There's no question about that. We had to go big early in the third, and we'll look at all those things from this game and figure out what we do next.

RE: We've seen Marcus do things like this before, dive into crowds, get rebounds when you don't even see him coming. What does he give you guys in terms of an edge? I know this is a tough team, but his edge for you guys, how important is that?

Well, I think he's as tough as they come, right; he's a true competitor. He matches his intensity with a physical toughness. We talked about it before the game. People talk about him all the time. Sometimes they focus on things that don't matter, and the other times they focus on that he impacts winning. We are really glad he's on our team.

RE: You said just a second ago it's real easy to fall apart in those situations. Why didn't your team do that? What goes into making sure that doesn't happen? What about this squad?

Well, I mean, I think part of -- we've got four players back from last year, and we had a couple of games there here where it didn't go well for us early and we kind of let it steamroll on us, and then I just think that when you've got a team -- we've scored enough to kind of keep it at bay, but this team has been like that all year. You know, the one thing, even during our early winning streak this year, we were -- we weren't that good, but we were finding ways to win, and a lot of times we were coming back from down and everything else. Just got a tough, resilient group of guys, and we're going to have to be even tougher and more resilient as we head to Cleveland.
AL HORFORD

RE: Al, they cut the lead down to six points, four minutes to go. You guys took that timeout and it seemed like you were really aggressive, you and Marcus [Morris], going right at the rim there. What was kind of that mentality in terms of stopping their momentum and then taking over the game at that point?

Yeah, it was that point of the game where we needed to make plays. They went on a run, and we felt like we needed to go on a run of our own and make sure that we secured the win.

RE: Even before that, LeBron's first quarter, obviously you sustained that, then I think they had you down by 11 four different times in the second quarter. How were you able to not let that spiral out of control?

You know, I think our team did a good job really keeping -- we kept our poise and just kept playing our basketball the way that we've been playing. Tough on defense, moving the ball on offense, and that's just the way that we tried to play throughout the whole game.

RE: How was your teammate Terry Rozier just able to change this game, especially third quarter with those 14 points?

Amazing. You know, Terry, just like a switch goes off, and he just goes out there and plays. Terry is fearless. He's always been like that. It's just now he's getting the opportunity to show it, and it's a lot of fun to see him just grow continually game by game.

RE: You just used the word fearless. It seems at this point like your entire team is fearless, even after seeing LeBron go off the way he did. Why are you guys so fearless even though you have so much youth?

I think that we just have a group of guys that really believe in each other, and we are trying to play the right way, trying to play hard. Really just buying into what Coach [Brad Stevens] is telling us, and just have a lot of guys that have a lot of fight in them in the locker room. You've been following us, it's been like that all year. It's not like this is something new. Our group, in tough times, we've always found a way.

RE: You took a tough fall there in the fourth quarter on that JR [Smith] flagrant. How are you feeling, and what did it feel like to see Marcus [Smart] come to your back in that situation?

Yeah, it was -- I felt like it was uncalled for, that type of play there, but that's the one thing about the group of our guys. We have each other's backs, and it is what it is. We moved on to the next play, and we just locked in even more after that.
MARCUS SMART

RE: Marcus, people in this town talk a lot about Celtic pride. The energy in the building today was off the hook, your energy was off the hook. Do you feel like you guys are just in a special moment? Do you feel like this is a special group of guys right now?

I definitely do. We're locked in. You know, Brad [Stevens] and this coaching staff always talks to us about being locked in and in the moment, and those are big things for us, so we're just trying to stay locked in and focus on each other and really decrease all the outside noise and distractions.

RE: How important was it for you guys to absorb that first blow that LeBron was going to throw you, 21 points in the first quarter but to not get down there and keep yourself and continue fighting back?

You know, you've got to tip your hat to LeBron. He's been doing this for a long time, and if not the greatest, one of them to do it. We knew coming into this game that he was going to come out and give everything he had and he was going to have a game like this, and you know, our job was to just keep going, make it tough on him all night. Eventually those shots he was hitting in the first half, in the second half stopped falling, and it took a full team effort, everybody off the bench, and guys we just kept sending at him.

RE: You got pretty heated there in the second half when Al [Horford] went down on that foul by JR Smith. What did you see there that got you so upset by that?

Oh, man, we're out there to play basketball. You know, and I just looked at it, Al is a defenseless person. He's in the air. He can't control how his body goes, and he's not even looking, and you go and take two hands to the back, that's a dirty shot. You just can't allow that to keep happening. That's not the first time JR has done some dirty stuff, especially playing against us. He's known for it, especially playing against us. We know that. So you know, it's like a bully, you keep letting a bully keep picking on you, he's going to pick on you until you finally stand up, and that's what I tried to do. One of my guys was down, and I took offense to it.

RE: When Ty Lue was in here, he said they need to find someone that can match your level of toughness. How important is it to you at all times to be setting that gold standard for toughness in the series?

That's me. That's how I was raised. I'm the youngest of four boys. My whole life I had to fight. I had to get down and do things in order to secure my spot in the household. So coming on to the court it's nothing different. We're the underdogs. We're coming in, Cleveland is picked to beat us. We've got to come and give energy, extraordinary energy all the time, and I just try to be that spark plug.

RE: After you saw Jayson Tatum had that collision with LeBron, how did you guys view LeBron's game after that? Ty Lue thought he might have lost a little bit of punch in his game?

You know, I didn't really get to see the play. I just seen the foul called. I was on the other side on the bench. So from what they told me, he got hit in the face, and he went out. I didn't know what was going on. You know, that was big for us. He went out. I don't think Jayson was intentionally trying. He was trying to make a basketball play, it just happened. He went out, and it allowed us to pick up our pressure even more.
TYRONN LUE

RE: Ty, JR [Smith] seemed to have a tough night tonight. What did you see out of him, especially on defense?

I don't know, we've got to look at the film, but a few miscommunications. Of course he didn't shoot the basketball well, but it was hard to get in a rhythm if you're not getting consistent touches. Not too much worried about his shot. We know he can make shots, but just communication defensive-wise.

RE: Did you feel like some of your guys lost their composure as the game went on?

We've been here before, so we've got to keep our composure, like you said, and I thought we did. I thought down the stretch we took some bad shots. Being down seven or down nine with nine, ten minutes, that's a lot of time. I thought we took some rushed shots, didn't close the half well the first half. Had a chance to go up double figures going into the locker room, and didn't really close the half the way we wanted to close it, and then they had a big offensive third quarter scoring 36 points, so that's way too many.

RE: When you come back to JR like that even when he's not been shooting the ball well, is that defensive-minded and are you thinking he can get a good look?

It's both. Defensive-wise and he can make big shots. He's taken big shots, made big shots for us. No matter what he's shooting in the game, we know he can get going at any point in time, so that's the reason.

RE: He had just gotten tangled up with Marcus [Smart] at the other end the previous possession. Was that frustration?

Just competing. They're playing physical, so that's just part of competing.

RE: I know you're not getting a lot of contributions out of a lot of guys right now, but why is Rodney Hood still in the rotation?

Because I want him there. I'm going to keep playing him. He'll be better, and I thought last game, Game 1, he really played well for us, going 5-for-12, getting in double figures, so that's why I went with him.
LEBRON JAMES

RE: How did you feel after the collision with Jayson Tatum in the first half, and do you think it affected your game in the second half at all after the collision?

I felt like I needed to go back to the locker room, which I did, and kind of recalibrate. It was a tough blow. Obviously incidental. His shoulder hit me right square in my jaw. Just wanted to go back to the back and make sure everything was fine. But I don't think it -- it didn't affect my game after that.

RE: We've talked to Ty [Lue] and a couple other guys about this. Do you feel like as a team you kind of lost your composure in the fourth quarter?

No, I don't think so. I think that's easy to say. I think we had some good looks. We had an opportunity. It was a two-possession game. We were down six. We had a great trap in the corner on Jaylen Brown, and I felt like we played great defense and a foul was called on Al Horford, he goes and makes two, we don't score, and it kind of sends it back to a 10-point game after that. Not as well as we would like to play in the second half. It was a two-possession game at one point. We had a great defensive sequence that ended up in a foul for them, so that didn't work out for us.

RE: What is your reaction to Marcus Smart's impact on tonight's game and this series so far?

I think Marcus always makes plays at the right time. His ability to play multiple positions, but they put the ball in his hands and they trust him to take plays for others. He has a really uncanny ability to get into the lane and either creates for himself or create for others, and he did that tonight with the nine assists and also had some offensive rebounds and also some missed shots. He's always been very productive for their ballclub.

RE: I asked Ty, that stretch bridging the end of the first half into the third quarter, how did that turn around in the game?

With turnovers. Turnovers and not defending full shot clock, especially in that third quarter. We've had our third quarter woes this whole season, and tonight was another example of that.

RE: LeBron, you use that phrase zero concern the other day after the game, one loss. When you have 42 and a triple-double and you still lose, what's your level of concern now?

We have an opportunity to go back home, protect home court. We're going to use these days to really dive in on what needs to be done to help our ballclub be successful. They did what they had to do, and that was protect home, and now it's our time to try to do that, as well. We have a few days, like I said, and we're going to see what we're made of on Saturday.
KEVIN LOVE

RE: Kevin, you guys at times throughout the Playoffs, it's been staggered where LeBron would be on the court basically at all times so you have that as an offensive weapon. There was some success with the lineup without you guys in the second quarter but not so much in the fourth. What's it going to take to get consistency out of the rest of the Cavs outside of you two scores in these Playoffs?

I mean, I think you can actually take a lot from the Boston Celtics. They had all their starters in double figures, and that comes a lot, I think, with not only [Brad] Stevens putting them in the right position but their level of activity. They move the ball, they He was a plus 21 in this game. He just seems to do everything out there on the floor. I think we can definitely learn from them, and we have guys that are very capable, too, so we just need them to be themselves, but I think like Bron said, just getting back home and digesting what we need to do over these next few days will be big for those guys, and going back home in general and playing at the Q will be huge.

RE: Kevin, how do you guys go about generating the kind of energy plays Boston fed off of in the fourth quarter? How do you guys get those as you go back home? Is it all your crowd, or are there other things you guys can do?

It's a little bit of both. We definitely need to get to those 50/50 balls. LeBron mentioned the play in the corner where they were able to get the ball out of that trap and Horford got to the line and got two free throws and that was a big momentum play for them, especially there in the fourth. It kind of broke into not scoring the next play and breaking into several other momentum plays for them that really kind of sealed it for them. That's just something that I think we can use our crowd for one, but also we just need to be better. We need to get to those 50/50 balls, create extra possessions on the offensive end with offensive rebounds and get that ball moving.