Nets-Celtics Postgame Quotes

Head Coach Kenny Atkinson, Brooklyn Nets

On tonight’s loss being difficult to take:
“Tough one, tough loss. We had our chances, we had our opportunities on both ends, stops, opportunities at the rim. We had our chances and that’s all you can ask against an excellent team. We didn’t close it like we did the other night but I thought the effort was outstanding by our guys, our defense. I told the guys after the game, I said we keep it there, we’re in a good way, we’ll win a lot more games than people think. I just hope we can continue that consistency.”

On the last possession:
“We were looking for Rondae (Hollis-Jefferson) down the gut. Spencer (Dinwiddie) going to the rim and Rondae down the gut, got the ball in the paint and thought we had a couple of shots at the rim. It didn’t go for us but I thought we got it at the rim and had some chances.”

On Spencer Dinwiddie attacking:
“Love it. Yeah, keep attacking, keep attacking the rim. I know he’s frustrated; he didn’t get some calls but I think over the course of the year that pans out. I’d say too their physicality, I’d say extreme physicality. They have elite athletes and their defensive physicality is just tough to deal with. Every cut you make they run you off the cut. Pick-and-roll they’re into your body and it becomes a very, very physical game. Our next step for us is being able to handle that, handle that physicality on both ends. I think that was a difference too, they make it a very physical game.”

On minimal fast break points:
“Our pace was 104 which is above what we’ve been playing. I thought we got out in transition. I never understood transition points, how they do those on the box scores. We look at our metrics a little differently, what kind of shots we get and where it is on the shot clock. I thought our guys did a good job because you just stick with a half-court offense against them. They’re too good defensively.”

Joe Harris

Your browser does not support the audio element.

On what the difference was tonight:
“I thought we did a good job in late game execution. Obviously they have some big-time players who stepped up and made some plays down the stretch, but overall I thought we did a good job competing for a full four quarters. That’s what we talk about collectively, and trying to do it on the defensive end. I think we’ve made some significant improvements here in the last few games, just being able to compete on the defensive end for a full four quarters.”

On his 12 rebounds tonight:
“It’s one of those things where guard rebounding is always a bonus. But tonight in particular, they played small and we went small, so it’s one of those things where everybody’s going to come back to the glass and I just happened to have a lot of balls bouncing my way.”

On how to respond when the game is going physical like tonight:
“You just continue to compete. Control what you can control. Sometimes the offense is not going to be there, and tonight for both teams, it was one of those defensive battles and we did a good job of that, but so did Boston. That’s one of the reasons why we didn’t have the offensive production that we typically do, but the offense will come. The defense has to remain constant though, and I think that’s something we can definitely build off of.”

Jahlil Okafor

On if tonight’s game was another step in getting comfortable as a player on the Nets:
“Yeah, I think so. We played really hard and I try to do my part to do the same and we lost a tough one, but it just another step going in the right direction for myself and the team. Even though we lost a tough one, we’re happy with the way we played. We defended really well, we played our hearts out and we just lost a tough one.”

On how important his impact in the fourth quarter and the overall game was to his confidence:
“I think the key thing with that is just knowing that coach Kenny (Atkinson) has the confidence to put me in, in the fourth quarter and I just wanted to make sure I did the best I can to not let him down. I think when a coach believes in you, that speaks volumes.”

On if he has been playing more aggressively in the past few games:
“Yes. The guys in the locker room encourage me and supported me to try to attack, whether that means scoring or making a play for them. When your teammates believe in you it makes it a lot easier, especially when they’re telling you to score, to attack and be aggressive.”