BOSTON – Brad Stevens spoke to the media on Wednesday night following the Boston Celtics win over the Detroit Pistons at TD Garden.
Listen to everything Stevens had to say here:
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Re: Decision to start Gordon Hayward
“I think our offense is really – when our offense started taking off, I feel like we’ve had a couple of point guards in the game at once. And playing him as a second point-guard with (Marcus) Smart we thought was really important. You know, when – when Kyrie (Irving)’s not here usually we start Terry (Rozier), Smart and kind of keep that – keep that thing going. But you know, that was the general thought and then we knew we were going to switch a lot and the bigger that we could be along the perimeter, the better. You know, those guys are a load. (Blake) Griffin’s a load. We wanted to guard the three-point line as well as we could and we wanted to make sure that we just tried to a body on him at all times. And another 6’9” guy’s a – a good thing.”
Re: Hayward’s body of work in the last few weeks
“Well I mean, 18 on eight shots is pretty – pretty darn good. And eight assists. And you know, he rebounded, I thought, and he did some other things. You know, we’ve been playing through him a lot, period, but I think obviously in the last few games with the ball going in, people are – he’s obviously in a good rhythm. He played well against the Clippers, that kind of got overshadowed by the way we played as a team, and obviously played well in these two games.”
Re: Back-to-back wins against ‘quality opponents’ right before the All-Star Break
“Well this was – these were – these were ones you had to gut out. Like, yesterday you had to gut out because of how you felt going in. You know, there was – there was a – a reason to be down on Sunday, there was a reason to be licking your wounds a little bit. And then Monday’s practice was good; you felt like we were headed in the right direction. I thought we’d play well yesterday. But that doesn’t mean you’re going to win. And to come out with that one, and back it up with another physical team that had been playing really well, that was fully healthy, I thought this was a real – this was a good two days for this group. I thought it showed a lot of good – good character and hopefully we can enjoy the rest. And like I said before the game, ‘It’s a lot easier to enjoy it when you’re that sore if you’ve won a couple games.’ Because I’m sure they’re going to be sore; they were cashed at the end.”
Re: Al Horford’s standing out in all phases of play
“Yeah, I thought his two games were outstanding, and when he wasn’t in the game the night we struggled, when he was, we were – we were better. And that was clear last night, too, obviously. I mean he’s – against those guys with size that protect the rim so well, he gives you the ability to stretch it out and drive it.”
Re: Reaction to people saying the Celtics play better without Kyrie Irving
“No. We need Kyrie to be the best version of ourselves. And we all need to be – we all need to consistently play better as a group. We’ve done that at times, and we’ve rode Kyrie in a lot of cases, and he’s carried us in a lot of games. And we need everybody at their fullest and there’s no question about it, that he’s – he is – he’s going to be a guy that is going to make a ton of plays for us moving forward. We just need him to get healthy.”