Click on a player to reveal quotes from their postgame press conference.
RE: Slow start, followed by playing well in the second half but losing:
“Well, first of all, hats off to New York. They made shots. And ultimately, sometimes that makes the difference in the game. Oftentimes that makes the difference in the game. But, I thought the three biggest threes they made, other than the (Trey) Burke three at the very end, was the (Allonzo) Trier three at the end of the third – off of a great pass, I believe it was Burke off the pick-and-roll that just sprayed it across the court – those guys made every right play off those screens; it was really good. And then the two (Kevin) Knox threes, where, you know, we just didn’t get into their airspace enough to make them feel us. And at the same time, they’ve got to knock those in. And so, that’s a – hats off to them, for that. As far as coming back and winning, not winning: it would’ve been a shame for the Celtics to win that game. Knicks deserved to win. And, you know, we gave ourselves a chance, but that’s all it was. We’re not – we’re certainly not a 48-minute team. I’m not sure we’re a 24-minute team. But I did see some good things, out of that line-up, so that was good.”
RE: Coverage, and sustaining it for 48 minutes:
“I think it all starts with what kind of resistance are you providing at the point of attack, and, for us, tonight, it was very minimal. It was nothing like what we looked like at Charlotte defensively, and they scored the same amount of points, but we really guarded with way more force against Charlotte than we did tonight. And when we did get a little bit more pressure on the ball, we allowed some drives and we got beat off the dribble and those type of things. But, you know, this is one of those things – and I know we’re going to ask about specific parts of the game, or whatever the case may be, and I’ll answer anything you want, but this is a lot of things. Right? And so, we have a myriad of issues that we have to fix.”
RE: Have you ever had this much to deal with, in this point in a season?
“Maybe not this much, but I’ve had two – two seasons before where we came back with, maybe not this high of expectations relative to level, but at Butler we brought everybody back my third year as a head coach and I thought we started off just, you know, kind of like this. Up and down. But our defense was the one that was really hurting us. And what turned that around was we just decided to be nasty-tough. And we just went with it, and then, all of a sudden, everything fell into place and we just put everything else aside and grit our teeth and played. And then couple years ago here, when we had mostly everybody back in, we added Al (Horford) and we started off, what, 11-and-11 or 12-and-12 or something like that, and then ended up with 53 wins. You know, it’s not guaranteed that you’re going to be able to turn it around, though. And the reality is you have to grind it out, you have to work, and you have to be able to weather all this other stuff that’s going on with it. I heard (Sixers Head Coach) Brett Brown say this earlier in the year, and this is where coaches are sick, in a twisted way, because the losing eats you alive. But the storm is part of the job. And I’m looking forward to getting a chance to really dig in, and hopefully we can weather it.”
RE: Comfort level in taking on this situation, compared to earlier in his career:
“Tomorrow’s Thanksgiving, right? We all have a lot to be thankful for. We lost a basketball game. We got outplayed. We’ve lost a few in a row. It’s been a tough stretch. I think that we’ll work, and we’ll do our very best. And that’s always been good enough for me. I’ve always – but, that’s okay. You’re not going to have great days every day in this, and part of this job description is, like I said earlier, is weathering the storms. And so, this is a – this is a job, and we’ll work to correct everything we can. And so, but, we’re all so very thankful for all that we have, even on nights like tonight.”
RE: What made the difference at the end?
“Well at the very end, they hit a couple of big time shots. So that kind of helped them out a little bit. But, ultimately, we built ourselves too big of a hole. We tried to climb out of it, but it makes it that much more difficult to win when you do that.”
RE: Can you encapsulate what’s going on with the team losing 7 of the last 10?
“I think it’s still early. It’s not that early, but it’s still definitely early. So we’ve got to try to turn this ship around. Get it going in the right direction. I don’t think it’s smart to get too down on ourselves. But we’ve got to improve. I think we have times, like in the first half there where we’re just …for whatever reason we’re just not executing the game plan and we find ourselves down. We have 5, 10, 12 minute stretches where we just aren’t very good. And then we have other stretches where we look really, really good. We play the right way. We play Celtic Basketball, and we find a way to come back and we find ourselves in the basketball game. Coach has said it a lot about playing the whole game, playing 48 minutes. We have not done that yet.”
RE: The first half:
“It was just ugly. It’s a scary sight when it just comes down to us just playing hard. Score 40 points in the fourth. Give up 33, but it’s 19 to 20 in the third quarter and I believe they scored over 30 points in the second quarter. We’re not going to beat many teams playing like that. So, effort is on us.”
RE: What needs to change?
“Oh we just can’t wait anymore, honestly. For myself, everyone else as a collective, our coaching staff, we just don’t have time to really be waiting to see if guys are going to give that extra effort, including myself. It’s just an accountability standpoint, that we all have to have, and I think we’re taking steps in the right direction. I think it’s just tiring at this point, when we show flashes of brilliance, and we put ourselves in a deep hole and we’re consistently coming back, and we can’t play like that.“
RE: Overall what are you most proud of tonight?
“They stuck with it. Young fellas on a back to back, in a hostile environment and just played extremely hard and played through a lot of adversity. Thank goodness that clock ran out (laughs.)”
RE: Celtics made runs three different times, what was the difference in the defense tonight to close?
“Maturity. They settled down and played more mature when they got punched and they didn’t try to bring it all back whatever we lost in one play. We just kept working the game and trusted each other and the ball movement and we got some great contributions.”
RE: Trey Burke; what did you get from him tonight?
“Complete effort from him, he really competed. They got some serious guards over there and he (Trey) and Emmanuel (Mudiay) both did a great job of running the team and being aggressive when they had the opportunities.”
TIM HARDAWAY JR.
RE: What did you see from Trey Burke tonight?
“It’s the will and grit; that was built into Trey (Burke). Knowing that kid for the past, been in the league about six and Michigan for two, so eight years and very time he stepped on the Michigan campus I already knew the type of mindset he had and what he brought to the table. He didn’t play a couple games this year, but he didn’t let that affect him. He came out, competed, took it to those guys on the other end, and he willed this team to a win.”
RE: What was the difference defensively tonight?
“I think the difference was having that lead, a comfortable lead and not settling. The guys picked me up tremendously after just giving them the basketball, seven turnovers are just uncalled for. I need to be better as a ball player to take care of it. That’s what this team is for, they have your back when you’re struggling and I’m thankful we got a win.”
RE: Played entire 4th quarter tonight; what did you learn about closing out a game?
“Coach always tell me be disciplined on the ball, don’t throw the pump fakes and challenge every shot at the rim and I took that in my head and went for it.”
RE: What does it mean for this team to experience that winning feeling?
“We keep talking about that we are trying to get better and better as a team every game and we came through to night and hopefully we can keep going.”
RE: What did you see from Trey Burke tonight?
“I saw a lot of leadership. He came out there and competed on the ball and off the ball and he got everybody involved.”
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