Post-game Reactions

Here’s some highlights of the postgame reaction, from The Garden:

Doc Rivers On The Defense:

“Yeah, our defense was terrific all night. We broke one rule consistently on defense tonight. After the game they all yelled it out when I came in, corner threes. We never give up corner threes, and I think they had four or five of them in one stretch. Other than that, I thought for the most part we tried to make them play against five. That was what we were saying going into the game, and keep them out of transition. The turnovers were too high. You know, it didn’t hurt us as much in the second half, but they still hurt us, and that’s what kept them in the game.

But I just loved their defense. I felt we lost our pace, completely off in the second half. The first half we were running, pushing the ball up, had ball movement, getting early in our offense. I know the second half we tried to just slow the game down, and I don’t want to play at that pace.”

On Pierce’s Return: “Actually when he hit the floor, you could see he hit it pretty hard. I thought he was out, honestly, even when he came back. I asked him if he wanted to go back in when he walked on, and he really didn’t answer. So I actually thought he was out. He came back, he was great. He was terrific. That’s huge. I don’t know if we win if he doesn’t come back.”

On 3rd Quarter Struggles: “I thought it started before he went out obviously, and again, it was our pace. I felt we were looking for things, and I agree with some of the things we were looking for, but I thought we were taking too long. We were trying to exploit match?ups, instead of running our offense and moving the ball. I felt we got away from it, and then they started scoring and then the game got tight.’

Paul Pierce on Shaq’s Debut: “He’s huge for us. I think the numbers don’t really tell you how big he is for us because I remember at one point in the game going to Ray, I think it was the third quarter, we looked up and we were six minutes and in the bonus because Shaq drew about four or five fouls. We’re not a team that usually gets in the bonus that early, and that’s the presence that he brings. Hopefully it’s going to be like that all year long, when you get into a penalty and every foul from then on you go to the free?throw line. Just having him, he’s a great finisher.

I think him and Kevin, they’ve been working well and having a lot of dialogue in training camp. I think they’ve been feeding off each other. I think he opens up Kevin and Kevin opens him up for a lot of one?on?one opportunities. We want to take advantage of that night in and night out. I think that’s where our greatest strength is, on the inside, and I’m glad to have him on our team.”

PAUL PIERCE on Ray’s Big 3 with 47 seconds left: “I mean, it’s just ?? we talk about it every day. That’s what we work on every day, making that extra pass, not trying to play hero ball. I saw him collapse on me, and you’ve got one of the greatest shooters in NBA history wide open in the corner, it’s a no?brainer. I wanted to get it to him. I have total confidence. That just shows our unselfishness and how we play the game. We make the extra pass. We love playing with each other, and he came up big tonight, and I’m glad he knocked it down.”

KG On Rondo’s Play: Well, he’s probably ?? I mean, I think Paul will concur with this, but it’s a dominant force. You have to pay attention to him when he’s on the floor. The things that don’t show up on the stats sheet, the motivation on the side, the things he sees, his expertise, his experience, you can’t teach that. You can’t have someone come in and draw it up on the board and say, hey, this is what you do. It’s instilled in him. He opens things up. Him and I, like Paul said, have been having a lot of extended dialogue about the game, and I think the more we play together, the better we’ll be. But so far, so good.”

Wade on his team’s problems: “A little bit out of rhythm, of course. This is my first ?? LeBron’s and my first preseason game. Just getting a little bit out of rhythm and continuity is still ?? with me being out, the continuity is still not there yet. But I thought defensively we played well. We did a good job of holding this team to 88 points, and we’ve still got a lot of things we can work on. So the offense will come. It just didn’t come tonight like we wanted it. But that’s the least of our worries.

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Brian Robb

Brian Robb co-founded CelticsHub in 2009 and is the currently editor-in-chief. He is a producer and reporter at 98.5 The Sports Hub in Boston and also contributes to Boston.com and Bleacher Report among other outlets.
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  • JP-

    I have a thought on LeBron, there have already been articles about how he was passive last night, until the second half. He was passive in the playoffs last year too. My question is: does LeBron just choose to be passive at times or is it the Celtics doing it to him? It seems odd that he wouldn't come out firing and running, but he did, he was passive until the 2nd half when a Cavs game circa 2009 broke out. Very odd.

  • Dr H

    This whole "it was like watching a Cavs game" is a bit annoying to me, honestly..you look at Wade and Bosh, neither was stepping up to the plate/doing anything offensively to help them get back in the game and win..so is Lebron to just sit there and keep getting everyone else involved or should he do something himself? Clearly he chose to do something himself..smart choice because they got within 3. I think he just chooses to be passive from the start to get his whole team going..because if his whole team is going, it's going to be tougher to defend his team and himself, as opposed to just keying in on one person.

    • moxie

      I don't think the whole "it was like watching a Cavs game" is a negative thing. I thought that while watching the game, but it was in the sense that, wow, LeBron really is capable of just taking things into his hands and carrying his team and completely dominating the game. I mean, we all knew he was capable of that, but I suppose we didn't think he'd have to do that anymore in Miami. But lo and behold, his team is down and no one else seems to be able to do anything about it, and so LeBron once again does his thing–just like when he was with the Cavs. I think that's all it really means. And it's not a negative thing at all.

  • Jason

    If anyone's passive it's the C's O in second halves. I don't get it. Rondo is smart. Doc is obviously pushing for better pace. Why on Earth then are we still seeing these long spells of lethargic offense? So frustrating. Cost them ANOTHER digit lead. This wasn't addressed in the offseason?

    Just want to note that I think one of Shaq's greatest benefits will basically be "get the Cs in the bonus early every quarter." So valuable.

    • John (in Lakersland)

      That's a great point. While their D was great, Celts have nothing to be proud of their offensive. First, without Rondo, Celts would average 70 points per game. Apparently with age, you forget how to run an offense. Pauline Pierce is garbage as a playmaker. He's going to become a spot up shooter soon. Ray Allen can't score without someone making a great pass to him (although he had a great drive along the baseline in the 1st Q). KG's a hollow shell of a shell of his former self. I'm thinking the best lineup is to get Rondo and Nate-no-longer-an-idiot-ballhog-Robinson in the back court together. Have one or the other break down the D and set eat other up.

  • NHBluesMan

    couldn't watch the game, but from what i've seen of the highlights its clear that the Heat aren't playing together fully… HOWEVER, the Celtics are also not at their full roster, and Shaq and JO are still learning the offense.

    Overall, it was pretty ugly, but a win is a win. I just think it's funny that all the Heat fans are saying that Bosh is dominant and they won't need a true center with this kind of talent, or a good point guard. News-flash Miami fans- Shaq, a role player who could have retired 4 years ago absolutely tore you guys up. What do you think Dwight Howard is going to do? Also, Bosh is soft and extremely overrated. It's Miami's Big 2 + role players, and there's only one ball on the court. Rondo tore the Heat defense apart because they don't have a true point guard.

    Yes, there is room for improvement with the Heat chemistry, but they will not mesh like the Celtics did their first year. The Celtics Big 3 works because Pierce is a slasher, KG is a banger down low, and Allen is a pure shooter- they compliment each other's skill sets. Miami's 3 Amigos are all guys who need the ball in their hands to operate, so there will be clashing of skill sets.

    Miami will probably win 50+ games, but they won't get past Orlando, Boston, or even LA in the finals

    • NHBluesMan

      and by finals, i mean playoffs 😛

  • NHBluesMan

    ok, maybe a poor choice of words, but at the very least he's a post presence who demands attention, and sometimes double teams

  • Morpheus

    Nate HAS to stop them drible down the court pull up 3s.He sucked last night,killed our offensive flow and didn't do much else.

  • Kobe's Daddy

    Yea but you're also wrong in sayin he's not at all a good low post player. The truth is somewhere in between those two statements cus he can sometimes be real effective down low. He's just not always.