Postgame Quotes - January 19, 2011

Pistons at Celtics
Detroit: John Kuester | Tracy McGrady | Charlie Villanueva

Boston: Doc Rivers | Paul Pierce | Shaquille O'Neal

Pistons Head Coach John Kuester

Re: Game was in their grasp much of the whole night, what happened in the final minutes? “We had some good looks, we had some shots, making sure we did some good things. Stuckey had a good look, off of Tayshaun’s drive. I thought that Ben Gordon got fouled when he went to the basket. They are an experienced team. They took their time, they were poised. I was very proud of how my guys played.”

Re: Second chance points being the difference: “They are usually a team that shoots a very high percentage. We did a great job of defending them. The problem is we had to keep them off of the boards. Rondo’s offensive rebound at the end, those little things end up hurting you. Again, our players played with a sense of urgency throughout the night. I thought they were poised, and I’m very pleased with their effort.”

Re: Did they execute their game plan night, but just fall short at the end: “There were a couple shots where you get into situations where you give players a comfort level and an understanding of what is a good shot and what is a bad shot, but I’m telling you right now, there were some things that were done.. again, we get back to Stuckey’s ability to get to the paint, he had a great look. The thing about “BG” driving to the basket is very important, and you just want to make sure you get quality looks. In the past, we’ve had some shots that as of late going in.”

Pistons Guard Tracy McGrady

Re: Do you look tonight as encouraging: “Yeah, it’s very encouraging, very encouraging for my guys. We competed with the best team in the East, and one of the better teams in this league on their home court. If we can give this type of effort night in and night out, we’re going to give ourselves a chance. We just have to learn how to close out games and to execute down the stretch of games.”

Re: Being one offensive rebound away from winning: “Yeah, Rondo is a savvy guy, great rebounder at his size, and he snuck in there and got one.”

Re: On controlling Rondo tonight: “Tayshaun did a great job at making him stay out on the perimeter and not penetrate so much, and really probing under the basket finding his guys. We got to credit Taysh’ for doing a great job on him on that.

Pistons Forward Charlie Villanueva

Re: Changes that have them winning are working: “So far we’re on a roll. There is a lot of positives you can take from this game. We have another one in New Jersey, and we have to take care of business.”

Re: Would this team have the confidence to respond to the runs the Celtics made: “I think we’re playing with a lot more confidence. We’re a different ball club, I think. Earlier on in the year, we just have to keep playing like that with a lot of confidence. We’re a very talented team and it showed today and a past few games.”

Celtics Head Coach Doc Rivers

Re Ray Allen’s late shot: “Yeah, he’s hit a lot of big shots. It was more than him as the option. He was the first option on the play. And then Paul (Pierce) was the second, on the flare. No, Ray just makes shots, you know? He’s one of those guys, he can go 0-for-10; you know the one guy that believes he’s going to make it is Ray. And the second group is our team. When we drew it up, you could tell, they thought it would work and they went with it. It was great.”

Re did he hesitate to go with a player who had shot 1-for-7: “Not with Ray. No. No. Ray is a shooter. Shooters make shots. So, no.”

Re Shaquille O’Neal: “He was great. Shaq – I thought Shaq was the difference in the game, with his energy. Forget his size and all that. His size and energy. I thought Shaq was – he won the game for us tonight. He did all the little things: crashed the glass, was physical, blocked shots. He was absolutely wonderful tonight.”

Re Kevin Garnett’s comment that if the Celtics are ‘in it’ in the fourth quarter, the first three don’t matter; is that playing with fire: “No, I think they’re not doing that on purpose but I think what he’s – I’ll translate. What he’s saying is when we do struggle in games, we still feel we’re going to win the game. That was better, right?”

Re does winning games come down to defense: “Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. Yeah. The defense down the stretch of games. Listen, nothing was working today. We were bad. Execution was bad. As good as the ball moved the other night, it was the exact opposite today. I thought we massaged the ball all night. We always say shoot it, pass it, or drive it, but don’t massage it. And I thought tonight the ball should feel great. It got a great massage the entire game.”

Re where did Shaq’s energy come from: “You know, listen, all I can reach back is my last year, which is not even close. But honest to God, when you get old, there’s days the legs work and days they don’t. And you can’t call them. Honest to God, in my last year, there was no rhyme or reason. You can play a back-to-back game, the second day you felt great and the first – it made no sense. And you know, I think that’s who he will be.”

Re Glen Davis down low: “Tonight was a good match-up for us. We wanted him in the post more. And I thought he did pretty well.”

Re decision to play Semih Erden over Luke Harongody: “The size. They were going to – their second unit with (Greg) Monroe and guys like that – because they only play three bigs. And they keep one small and one big on the floor. We didn’t want Luke guarding (Charlie) Villanueva, so we thought, go big. I thought Semih played terrific tonight.”

Celtics Forward Paul Pierce

Re: Win without playing your best? “Every game is important for us to win, especially on our home court. That’s what we try to do, we’ve had a great stretch of home games over the last couple of weeks. And all of these games, no matter who we’re playing are big. Because when you look at the standings it’s going to come down to the end of the year, the last couple weeks of the season. We’re playing for home court advantage throughout the playoffs, so all these games are big for us”

Re: Ray being there when needed? “That’s just Ray. That’s self explanatory, you’ve seen him do it a million times. He’s such a great player, such a clutch player, I can’t even describe being out there with him, I love playing with him. He takes so much pressure off of me, Kevin, Rondo, when you got a guy you can go to. Me and Kevin remember days when we would get the ball every time down in the fourth quarter on our respective teams when we weren’t winning. Now you got a situation, you got guys who can come through in the clutch. It’s just such a relief when you got guys who can make baskets for us”

Re: What Detroit did/ You didn’t? “I think it was our communication defensively was a big point because there was a lot of cross matchups. Tracy or Tayshaun, one of them would guard Rondo. Then in transition we got mixed up a lot, that’s what caused a lot of layups. Cross matches, doubling T-Mac in the post when Rondo would have him, where I should have picked him up. It was a lot of miscommunication in the first half, but I thought we really got it together in the second half, especially the fourth quarter”

Celtics Center Shaquille O'Neal

Re Rebounding: “The whole team was flat. I just had to pick it up. I’m not really playing a lot of minutes. I’m not really tired. We haven’t been rebounding the ball that well. I just tried to get every loose ball and when I got back in the fourth quarter and we were down ten, I just had to get everybody involved.”

Re veteran experience: “The good thing about this team is that you have four similar type people on the court at the same time. It’s vital that one of us is doing something on the floor. All five of us can’t be out there messing around. It was a slow game, it was an ugly game. I just wanted to do my part and try to get us close so we would be able to win.”

Re taking one guy to get it going: “Yeah, you got any one of the big three or the other dos, me and Rondo, can take over a game at any time. We just got to continue to play harder. We got to learn to get up for every night.”

Re the game: “We just try to go out and do whatever Doc asks. I just tried to get everybody to rebound. Tried to hustle, diving on the floor. Just trying to get everybody going.”

Re the timeout and attitude: “Yeah, always is. We knew that we were out there messing around, not helping too much, not focused. It’s kind of hard getting up for teams like that. If you want to win the whole thing you have to get up for every game. We have to realize that teams are going to come in here and play above their heads and we have to be ready for that”

Re the “I’m in excellent shape, only playing 19-20 minutes a game. I could do that with my eyes closed. There really is no excuse for me to be tired. I’m not tired. Dc does a great job of managing my minutes. We were down ten and I just felt like I had to do something; dive on the floor, knock people around, I think that helped a little bit.”