BOSTON – Brad Stevens spoke to the media on Wednesday night following the Boston Celtics loss to the Portland Trail Blazers at TD Garden.
Listen to everything Stevens had to say here:
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At the end, were you trying to trap Damian Lillard or trying to foul?
“Ah, trying to trap him initially, then he got away. And came awfully close to the half-court line but I think he stayed on the right side of it. And then obviously if you can get away with not fouling Damian Lillard that’d be good. So, trying to trap and get the ball out of his hands. Good job by Marcus Smart, intentionally miss that free throw, and great job by Kyrie (Irving) to knock in that shot and give us a little bit of life there at the end.”
Re: Strategy against teams (particularly Milwaukee, Philadelphia, and Toronto) with big men (like Portland’s Jusuf Nurkic)
“Well I think if you look at us in the past against those guys, we’ve – you know, we’ve usually played one, one big at a time for the most part. There’s been some times against Philadelphia that we’ve played double bigs, and (Aron) Baynes is a big part of that, obviously, and will be when he comes back. So, Al (Horford) and Baynes will play the majority of those minutes against big posts like that. And you know, we tried to steal a few minutes here or there with (Daniel) Theis on (Enes) Kanter or even Robert Williams for a possession; Marcus Morris played some small-ball five, so that Al wouldn’t have to play 40 tonight. Because that’s hard to do against that size. Those guys are both really good. Adding – adding Kanter, I think, really solidifies their ability to score when things get going tough, and you know in the playoffs when things get tough and you need to be able to throw in on the block to somebody, with that second unit there was just one of those two guards in the game, that’s a good addition and he did a good job tonight.”
Re: Playing engaged and ‘locked in’
“Today was good… I mean, it sucks we didn’t – we didn’t shoot the ball well, but that’s part of it. I thought that – I actually just told the guys, like, you walk out of here a little bit more encouraged because the reason we lost, if anything, was we didn’t make shots and I think it was because we were pressing. Like, I think we were disappointed in ourselves and we looked like a team that really wanted tonight to go well. And it didn’t. And you’re going to have games like that and so, a lot more encouraged tonight than I was last night. Tonight, you know, to come back and guard this team on the second night of a back-to-back and hold them under 100 is – we give ourselves a chance to win. We just didn’t score enough.”
Re: Possession in fourth quarter with zone defense
“I need to go back and watch it. We’ve done that a couple of times; we did it at the end of the first half as well and it got us another possession right before halftime. You’re just trying to break the rhythm and give them a different look and obviously it didn’t go well on that possession. But it was good in the Bulls game at the end; it was good at the end of the first quarter, and, but, yeah, that possession, I’ll go back and watch it and we’ll figure out how to try to not let that happen again.”
Re: Going to an eight-man rotation, without Terry Rozier
“You know, I’m asking probably the same questions you’re asking after the game as maybe those other guys could’ve given us a little bit energy or lift but I thought we were playing hard. I didn’t want to – I wanted to continue with – basically whenever we had to sit two wings we could bring two wings in, so ultimately, you know hindsight might be 20/20, maybe you – maybe you play (Brad) Wanamaker, (Semi) Ojeleye, but I didn’t have any plans to stick with an eight-man – or, I didn’t have plans to go much higher than an eight-man tonight.”