Quotes From The Q - Celtics 106 - Cavs 87

HEAD COACH BYRON SCOTT

(On the game tonight): "If you look at their record right now, they're the best team in the Eastern Conference, so you have to give them a lot of credit for coming in here and playing the way they did. The one thing that I did tell our guys is that when you're playing against great teams, and I do consider that Celtics team with the guys that they have, the hall of famers and Doc, a great basketball team, the one thing you have to do, especially on the defensive end, is that you have to trust each other. We got away a little bit from what we talked about doing. Anytime you give up 60 points in the paint, it's going to be hard to win."

(On what changed when they lost the early lead): "I think in the second quarter, they decided to play a little bit. They decided to come out and be a little bit more aggressive on both ends of the floor. It's almost like that boxing match where you get punched in the face and you want to see how you are going to react. I thought we staggered, but we never really threw a punch back and I thought that was pretty much the difference."

(On how hard it is to keep their defensive principles against Rondo): "It's difficult because the one thing you want to do is try to keep him out of the paint as much as possible which is easier said than done, obviously. You still want to stick to the things that you are trying to do on the defensive end, despite the fact that he's trying to get to that basket. We just didn't do a real good job of clogging the paint and forcing him to shoot contested jump shots...It kind of looked like a layup drill at times."

(On J.J. Hickson): "Offensively, he's still trying to find his way, but he had 11 rebounds. He's still searching but he'll be fine, just like the rest of our guys. We'll be fine."

DANIEL GIBSON

(On losing the lead in the second quarter): "I think at that point, we stopped doing the things that got us the lead: that was pushing the ball, moving the ball and being aggressive. I think we started to let the ball stick and once you start to let the ball stick against that team, it gets really tough to score."

(On Boston scoring 60 points in the paint tonight): "You can't allow that. You have to be the more physical team and you can't allow a team to have their way in the paint with you like that. That's nothing but just willing (yourself) and doing what you have to do to stop that. There's no set defense to stop that from happening."

(On if Rajon Rondo looks to be more aggressive against them than he does other teams): "I think so. I think with us and because of the way that we play and because of the way that we are set up, I think he may feel that he needs to be more aggressive to get his guys going. I can see that. Tonight, he did his thing. He had assists, points and he pretty much controlled that team."

(On if it will be weird playing the game on Thursday): "It won't be weird. These things happen. Z is over there, a lot of teammates that I have had have left. It will just be another day at the office."

(On if Thursday will be just another game): "It's another night at the office, it's the next game. I think it's only game 18. You can't make it any bigger than what it is. You have got to go out there and as a team, continue to get better. We are striving to be a playoff team. Miami is our next game and our next game to make that happen."

(On how they will be able to avoid any distractions in preparing for the game Thursday): "There's a focus that you have to have. I think this team has that focus and we understand what this is all about. The media will say that it's the biggest game ever, but as players, we have to be focused and we have to be ready and understand that this is our next game. This is our game to get better and it's an opportunity for us to get things going back (in the right direction)."


CELTICS HEAD COACH DOC RIVERS

(On the bench, with Glen Davis): "I thought the bench turned the game around. When the second unit came in, they got to what we were trying to do to start the game. They pounded it down low with Baby (Glen Davis) and Marquis (Daniels). I thought those were the two guys that changed the game for us. He (Davis) was absolutely sensational. Defensively, he challenged shots tonight and offensively, he was patient. I thought he set the tone early on. We got on him about quick shots and I thought in the first half, he passed up two quick shots, set another pick and got someone else the shot. He's just got to trust that the ball will come back to him. We are an extremely unselfish team, and I thought he learned that today. The entire bench was great and saved us."

(On Rajon Rondo): "He was good. I told him early on that he was attacking too much with the dribble, and I thought he did a much better job when he came back in the game and in the second half. The ball moved and came back to him, then he was attacking. I thought that gave us better offensive balance. The points are good when he scores, but he doesn't have 20 attempts. When he has the 14, 16 or 18 points with low attempts and high assists, that means everybody is involved and the ball is touching everybody. That's what a lot of teams are trying to do, trying to get him to take a lot of shots. Rondo was attacking, Paul (Pierce) was in foul trouble and everybody else had the fumbles. Rondo kind of became the aggressive offensive scorer. But, I still think the bench turned the game around. When they came in, the got us playing the right way and that was it."

(On Marquis Daniels): "Defensively, we put him on Sessions and Mo Williams. He was moving his feet and they couldn't beat him off the dribble. That was huge because we didn't know how long we could go with that. The fact that Marquis could do that was a big deal for us. He surprises me and he upsets me because I know he can do it every night and I am going to stay on him because he has that in him. I think he can be that terrific every single night, I really do. You could see it tonight."


SHAQUILLE O'NEAL

(On the Celtics bench): "The bench played fabulous defense. We tried to hold them to one shot. ‘Fed Ex' (Rondo) had a great game, getting people the ball and scoring. He delivered by 10:30 and it's 10:19 right now, so he delivered. That's what ‘Fed Ex' usually does."


PAUL PIERCE

(On Marquis Daniels): "That's what we hope to get from Marquis on a night in, night out basis. He's got to be ready to do everything. Sort of like myself. He can play two different positions on defense, so night in and night out his role is going to be different. He's going to have to fill in. When he plays more, he's more effective."


MARQUIS DANIELS

(On his role and the bench tonight): "We were a little sloppy with executing plays, knowing plays and knowing where you're supposed to be defensively. We've just got to come here every game, regardless of who it is and play the same way because the starters aren't going to have it every night. We've got to come in and pick them up and try to find a way to keep the lead. I've just got to go out there and be willing to help out, whether it's scoring, playing defense, rebounding. I just tried to be aggressive on both ends."

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