That's What He Said

That's What He Said - Celtics at Cavaliers (Game 6)

Read what the players and coaches had to say following Boston's 109-99 defeat to Cleveland.

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


RE: You guys have been here before. Last year, this year again with Game 7s. What's a Game 7 all about?

Got to get ready to play. Got to get ready to play at a high level, just like every other game, and then it's win or go home. It's an absolute blast to prepare for as a coach and play in as a player. It'll be a heck of a challenge, playing a really good team with obviously a tremendous individual player who put on a tremendous show tonight.

RE: You got the quarter that you wanted in that first quarter, had a five-point lead. Where did it get away from you?

I thought our second quarter, we missed some opportunities. But I thought we also just got lax a little bit offensively. When we get lax offensively, we open up transition opportunities for them, and that's a problem. And then, again, LeBron lowered his head and drove the ball at that time. We did a pretty good job toward the end of that quarter on him, but he had already made a few layups and then he gets to feeling good and hits those tougher shots. I was proud of the way that we fought back. We had a chance there to cut it to four on a shot that didn't quite go down. But this group is resilient. We'll be ready to go on Sunday.

RE: Before the series began, I asked you about having LeBron in your path year after year, three out of the last four years. You said it's really Cavs or Celtics, I don't look at it that way. But when he does something like he did tonight, 46 minutes, and then the numbers, does that ever come into your mind, wow, this is a different type of animal that I'm coaching against?

Does that ever come into our minds? Like, yeah, every time we watch. Every time you're standing out there. Every time you watch him on film. Best player in the game. Special night tonight and special night in Game 4. I can't say enough good things about him.

RE: They seemed to really hurt you guys on the offensive glass there, especially at the end of the fourth quarter.

I thought as we were coming back, the biggest issue was the glass. Other than obviously LeBron. I think we were all obviously consumed with our help, and we didn't either rotate and drop and block out, or we just missed block-outs individually, and they got easy tip-ins.

RE: How did Kevin Love leaving the game with the injury affect you guys as far as your game plan or your defense?

Maybe more on the other end. We would guard obviously a little bit differently with Kevin in the game, but obviously with the different matchups that they're playing and everything else, when they went small, I thought those guys all reacted very effectively. Jeff Green was great tonight. [Kyle] Korver came in and made some shots and did what he does. George Hill was tremendous. Other guys picked up the slack for him being out.

RE: You've played Game 7s at TD Garden, but you've never played a Game 7 against LeBron James with a chance to go to the NBA Finals. What do you anticipate that environment is going to be like Sunday night?

It's going to be a lot of fun, first and foremost. It's going to be a lot of fun. We're looking forward to it. Obviously, we came up short tonight. But we need the whole city of Boston to be behind us. We know LeBron is different than a lot of other guys, but we've got to get the job done. That's no excuse, so we're looking forward to it.

RE: What can you take from the previous Game 7 that you guys played this postseason that can maybe help you this Sunday night?

I'm pretty sure we'll go back and look at film, let Coach do what he does about making his adjustments. But at the same time, we've still got to come out aggressive and play Celtics basketball. We can't just rely on being at home. Can't just rely on us being at home for an excuse that it's going to be easy. It's not. But like I said, we're looking forward to it. We've got to come out aggressive, and we've got to make things happen.

RE: You mentioned you can't just rely on being at home, but what is it in this series where home court has meant so much to both teams?

You've got your fans behind you. It's a whole different feeling when you're playing at home. You're just so amped. Our crowd is unbelievable, one of the best in basketball. We're looking forward to it. It's going to be a lot of fun. Like Coach said, it was the best two out of three. We've got to go back home for Game 7, and we've got to take care of business.

RE: And facing LeBron in that game, you look at his numbers, 46 points in 46 minutes, you know pretty much what he's going to get almost every night. Is it the mindset that let's stop everybody else and let him get his?

It's just making it tough for him and all the other guys. We know he's going to make tough shots. We know he's going to be aggressive. But that's not an excuse just to let him score 40 and try to stop the other guys. We're trying to stop him, too. But just show length and make it tough for him as much as we can. We're trying to make him exert as much energy, so it's going to be important for Sunday.

RE: What does it mean to come back home in a Game 6 against LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers and have the kind of performance that you had today?

I'm not really worried about the performance. Obviously, I've been kind of struggling, but it was just good to see the ball go through the basket a couple times. But obviously I'm a winner -- I want to win. I'm going to go back and look at film and see what I still could have done better to put my guys in position for us to come out on top. Moving on to Game 7, and I just want to come out aggressive and play my style of basketball.

RE: On the collision with Kevin Love

It was a tough. I didn’t see him coming. I mean, it was bad. He didn’t return. I got a knot in the back of my head. I should be alright.

RE: (On what encourages him heading into Game 7

We always are going to play hard no matter what the circumstance is or what the score is. It’s one thing we’re always going to do.

RE: On the key to putting road losses behind them

No matter if we win or lose, we don’t look back on what we did, we always look at what we got to do.

RE: On the game tonight

It was a good game. We just didn’t do enough to get over that hump. We were right there and we felt ourselves right there. We just needed to make one more play, one more rebound. It was just right there. We just got to figure out how to get over that hump on the road.

RE: On Cleveland’s run in the second quarter

Let the crowd get into the game. Even Kevin Love went down, but those role guys stepped up. We got to do a better job on the road taking those guys out. They feel a different comfort level here at home then they do on the road so I give credit to them. They came out and played a good game. We came out and played a good game. We fought. Just got to get over that hump.

RE: On what Cleveland did differently defending him after the first quarter

They blitzed, but I got to do a better job of finding my teammates. They started coming, started doubling in the post and stuff like that and I got to do a better job finding open guys. Nothing really different or out of the norm that they always do. It’s just on me to make better reads and play better basketball.

RE: On how their play changed after the first quarter

We couldn’t keep up that pace that we had early. Like you said, we did what we wanted. Obviously, you give credit to LeBron (James), he had a great game, but we have to go back and see how we can be better in that second quarter.

RE: On the way Cleveland was defending him

If you were watching the game, I was getting doubled as soon as I caught the ball so every time I didn’t really have one-on-one position. They did a really good job really doubling and making it hard.

RE: On not looking to throw the ball in the post late in the game

I’m not sure. I’ll have to go back and see but we just weren’t looking for them as much as we were earlier. I’m sure we will try to address that and be better.

RE: Start with LeBron: 46, 11 and 9 in an elimination game. What do you take away from what you saw from him?

Greatness. Championship pedigree. Giving it his all. We needed that, especially when Kevin [Love] went down. We had to play Bron as many minutes as he had to. He delivered. He was up for the challenge. He carried us home as usual. But a lot of other guys stepped up, too. I thought Jeff Green did a great job. I thought [Jordan] Clarkson came in and gave us some good minutes. George Hill being aggressive. Larry Nance plays that whole fourth quarter. Guys really chipped in and helped in the absence of Kevin. And LeBron brought us home, as usual. Big shots, playing through being tired and fatigued. We needed him to be big, and he was big.

RE: After Larry Nance fell into LeBron's leg, what did you see? How did you think that affected LeBron's game if at all?

We were short on timeouts and I was about to take one. Bron said, No, I'm good. And then he came and scored right in the same possession. I think he might have just banged his knee, but other than that, he's fine.

RE: And Kevin, have you had a chance to check in with him?

I have not had a chance to see the medical staff. I know at halftime they was evaluating him, but I don't know anything right now.

RE: You started the second quarter with LeBron, Green, Korver, Clarkson and Nance Jr., down five, outscored Boston 26-13 in the first 8:37 using that lineup in the second quarter. Can you talk about the defensive presence of that lineup in the second quarter?

I thought it did a great job defensively. That's what got us back in the game. I thought we got stops and they were able to get out and run in transition. I thought Clarkson came in and gave us a defensive lift -- five rebounds, rebounding the basketball. Nance was great -- switching out, guarding smaller guards and having two steals and rebounding the basketball. Jeff, a versatile player who can guard multiple positions. Bron. And you've got Kyle just fighting and competing. I thought we had a scrappy unit out there, and they provided and helped us out in that second quarter.

RE: Only nine turnovers tonight for seven points. How much of an emphasis was there from you, the coaching staff, to the guys about value the basketball in this elimination game?

A big emphasis. We know that they scored off our turnovers. Tonight, I think we did a great job defensively as far as getting back in transition. I thought they hurt us by getting it up quick and trying to attack early, so we've got to do a better job with that. But our half-court defense has been really solid this series. We've just got to do a better job in transition and taking care of the basketball, which helps with that.

RE: Have you ever had a playoff series just from an offensive standpoint where it's been so strong at home and not as strong on the road, and if so, how do you get that going to carry that into Game 7?

I've been in a lot of playoff games so far, and it hasn't been so night and day my whole career. I don't know what it is, but I have to program myself mentally to do better. Take it upon myself and be more aggressive on both ends of the floor in a go home situation.

RE: Have you talked with Ty Lue or anyone about that or what they've seen with you, some advice or something that your teammates are seeing?

No. I think he trusts me. He kind of lets me go. Other than just saying be aggressive. But I can't blame anybody. I was never at that point to say it's this guy's fault or it's this because I can't do this. I take all the blame for it, and the way I've played on the road is unacceptable. As a player, I've got to be better.

RE: You were aggressive tonight. Did you tell yourself you needed to be even more aggressive when Kevin Love went down with that injury?

No, I think I had the mindset of being aggressive from the start of the game. I don't think Kevin's injury had anything to do with how I was going to play. I took it upon myself to just put myself in situations where I can be aggressive. It's kind of like that moment where you don't want to go home. It's not time to go home. I think the adrenaline kicked in where I had that pressure and I was saying, I'm not going home today.

RE: This series is about home-court advantage. How do you guys as a team, not just as an individual, take what you guys did tonight as a team and win where you haven't won yet this series?

It's going to be tough. No team has won there in these playoffs so far. We've got to try to be the first. We know it's going to be a tough atmosphere and a crazy time, but we've got to focus on just one game. I think if we take that same energy from tip-off that we brought tonight, I think we'll be fine. But we can't go in there and settle. We can't go in there and get back on our heels. We've got to go put the pressure on them.

RE: We've seen you play two elimination games now with the Cavs, Game 7 against the Pacers and then tonight. In both games you seemed to go to the hole. That seemed like that was your game plan. Why when you absolutely have to have it, have to have a game, why then go to the rim?

I don't know. I think it's just overall, like I said, mindset. The thing that they say, if the jump shot is not falling, be aggressive. I felt like the last couple games, Boston, I may have settled a little bit for a couple jump shots or kind of went away and didn't assert myself in the offense. Just take it upon myself of trying to be there for my teammates, knowing that my play from last game was unacceptable. First thing I did was just try to get to the basket, get some easy looks. I think driving to the basket opens up the feeling of your game with jump shots going in. But just the mindset of just attacking early.

RE: How would you say your teammates responded with Kevin Love out? How encouraged were you with that?

I think they responded exceptionally well. Our second quarter, our guys that came off the bench -- Jordan [Clarkson], Jeff [Green], Kyle [Korver] and Larry [Nance Jr.] -- they just gave us a huge boost in that second quarter. That's the reason why we outscored them by 16 in that second quarter. It was just huge. We needed it obviously more than ever tonight with the situation that we were in.

RE: We didn't get a real good look at what happened to you. I think you banged knees, and then how you were feeling after that? I think you scored 12 points to close it out.

I didn't get a good look at it, either, or I would have been able to avoid it. After the game, I didn't know who got me. But after the game Larry asked me if I was I OK, so I'm guessing he was the culprit of it. I just felt someone fall into my leg and my leg kind of went in. I felt some pain throughout my entire right side of my ankle into my leg. I was just hoping for the best, obviously, because I've seen so many different injuries, and watching basketball with that type of injury, someone fall into one's leg standing straight up. Luckily, I was able to finish the game.

RE: After that second long three in the fourth quarter, you kind of let out a scream and pounded your chest a little bit. What caused that reaction, and what were you thinking in that moment?

The love of the game causes reactions like that. Understanding the situation and understanding the moment that you're in. It was just a feeling that you can't explain unless you've been a part of it. That's all.

RE: We were talking in the '15 Finals when everyone was out with injuries and you said I can't play all 48 in The Finals because I burn too much energy. You didn't play all 48, but it's pretty close. With what you did in Game 7 against Indiana and tonight, have you exceeded stamina wise and energy wise what you are able to do on a court in a game like this?

Just try to put myself in the best possible shape each and every year to be able to go for the long haul. Now, obviously I get a minute, couple minutes here, per quarter, would be great, but it's not what our team is built on right now. Our team is built on me being out on the floor to be able to make plays, not only for myself but make plays for others. It's just the way we've been playing, and we've been succeeding with it. I was able to play 46 minutes today. I got my couple minutes, I guess.

RE: Can you kind of take us through the next 48 hours and how you're going to get yourself ready to be in Game 7 the way you were tonight?

As soon as I leave here, I'll start to prepare. I'm going to get in the car and head back to Akron. As soon as I get home, I'll start my treatment. I'll do the same all day tomorrow from before we leave to go to Boston, and then once we get into Boston I'll do that as well. Try to get as much sleep as I can with tonight and with tomorrow and even on Sunday before the game. That's the best recovery that you can possibly get, is when you're sleeping. It'll be around-the-clock treatment, and we'll see what happens

RE: On the collective effort when Kevin Love came out of the game due to injury

It was a natural thing. You never want to see one of your guys go down, obviously. Everybody is hoping Kevin is alright. At the same time, it requires other guys to step up, and I think we certainly did that.

RE: On the resolve of the team heading into Game 7

It was big-time for us. Obviously, it was a must win game, so we’re just excited to get a Game 7 and there’s nothing to be left out there. We’ll be taking it all to Boston and leaving it on the court.

RE: On what he’s learned in his first playoff experience

It’s all about the fight. It’s all about the toughness. Every possession matters – whether it’s after a timeout, the first possession of the game or first possession of the quarter. One play can change the whole game, and we just have to be keyed in all of our coverages and all the plays we’re running. Playoffs are a different animal.

RE: On the team’s effort tonight

“I think we just played like the season was on the line. Guys were playing hard, scrambling all over the place. Obviously LeBron (James) – I’ve watched him play a lot of really great games, but that one’s right up there towards the top. That was a really special performance and we needed it…It’s just so much heart (from him). He wanted this game so bad…I think just his performance was amazing. I’ve said this a thousand times, but I’m glad he’s on my team…I think he just craves those moments. He loves those moments. When the game is on the line, when the season is on the line, he’s just been rising up and that’s what the great players do.

RE: On Kevin Love going down and other guys stepping up

I think we all had to step up. We rely on Kevin so much and he’s been so good for us. But Jeff Green stepped in played a great game. Jeff is just so versatile. He’s able to guard anybody, he knocked down some shots tonight and played really well. Larry (Nance Jr.) came in and just gave us huge minutes. I don’t know what his stat sheet says he did, but I thought he really changed the game in a lot of ways. So that’s what you have to do. When someone goes down, you can’t just plug someone in. It takes a collective effort.

RE: On George Hill’s effort tonight

We need that out of George. He’s just being aggressive. We need whoever has the ball to be attacking the basket. It can’t just be LeBron (James) all the time. But that’s kind of how we play – we need to get the ball in someone’s hands and attack the basket try to create things for other people. George is phenomenal.