That’s What He Said – Knicks at Celtics

Read what the players and coaches had to say following Boston’s 110-89 victory over New York.

Click on a player to reveal quotes from their postgame press conference.

RE: Why Jayson Tatum’s better shooting tonight:

“He has to shoot the ball when he’s open. I think that the first couple of weeks he had his moments where he hesitated on the catch, and we need him to shoot. I talked about it the last couple days in the media scrums at practice – you know, the idea that when he’s open from three, he’s got great size, he’s a hard guy to challenge on his shot, and for whatever reason, there was hesitation early and he would fake when he didn’t need to, and drive it. We need him to be ready and willing to make shots for our team.”

RE: Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown’s importance:

“So you know – I know, and I’m sure I’ll say it down the road or tomorrow or whenever I’m asked, but they are young guys. But to us, with the situation we’re in, they’re guys. Like, we need them to be guys. So I just got asked by (NBC Sports Boston reporter) Abby (Chin) about if there was any praise I’d like to heap on them. I’ll deal in reality and let everybody else praise them – and we need them to play well on Thursday. And so, we’re in a situation right now where we’re going to expect a lot out of those guys and we need them to be great, we need them to be able to respond to adversity, and we need to be able to respond to pats on the back just the same. We have high expectations for them; they should have high expectations for themselves, and they’re getting a great opportunity. So we need them to continue to be good, and there’s a lot of fun in that, I think.”

RE: What Guerschon Yabusele brings to the team:

“I think one of the things that Guerschon really can do for us is play in the seams and pass the ball, and he’s a really good playmaker, he’s a very capable shooter – and one of the things that I told him yesterday in practice was I really want him to think about, you know, filling that role of being able to play through him, kind of like and Al Horford, with the ability to make the next right pass. He’s had a couple of moments here early on that the game was moving pretty quick because it’s a brand new game for him, and he was out for four months; he didn’t do much. So, we like him a lot. We think he’s going to be a really good player. But the thing that I think he can do really well is play through the seams and pass.”

RE: Defense, especially by Al Horford and Aron Baynes on Kristaps Porzingis:

“A lot of names get thrown around, rightfully so, in the defensive talk around the league. I mean, there’s a lot of really good defenders but Al’s up there, and doesn’t always get mentioned, and that’s okay with Al. I mean, I think that he’s kind of proven that he’s okay with just – just contributing to winning and whether he gets talked about or not. But he was great on (Ben) Simmons on Friday, he was unbelievable tonight on Porzingis, and it’s not just that; the way that we were guarding Porzingis we had a lot of guards switching onto him and doing different things, and I thought that both Al and then, for the few minutes that Semi (Ojeleye) was in the game on him, they both provided a good lift in that regard.”

RE: How were you able to contain Porzingis?

“He’s a guy you have to make sure you stay locked in with. He’s just very dangerous. Can get going easily, and I think we did a good job of really chasing him on everything, contesting all his shots. I feel we really did a good job with the game plan coach wanted us to do with him.”

RE: Is Porzingis a guy you want to make work defensively?

“Yeah, it doesn’t matter who it is, but yeah. I mean, you have to put pressure on the other end as well. He does a lot of things offensively, so on defense you have to make him work.”

RE: Are you expanding your defensive range?

“I guess people really haven’t noticed me being in those positions so much before. But I always felt I’m able to cover some of these guys but also, the reason I’m doing it a little bit more now is I was playing the 4 a little bit. Usually I’m with the big guys down low, but now with Baynes playing at the 5, it allows me to guard those guys, and it gives me a little more freedom on defense.”

RE: 33 points at the half/what kept from finding rhythm:

“Some guys had some rough nights shooting and then we got tentative, guys weren’t making shots, passed up on some shots that they probably should have taken, tried to get to the hole and then we lost the handle so just a rough night for us. We just got to try, when we aren’t having a good night shooting, you really have to execute, you have to set harder screens and not worry about making that shot just play the game and get it on the defensive end. I thought it affected us when we weren’t making any shots.”

RE: Kristaps Porzingis/Tim Hardaway Jr. 5 for 25 neither used to being that main guy/denied by defense how do you get them working through that:

“It comes with screens, it comes with executing, short passes, and they are going to have nights like that and that’s when we got to try and win it with defense. We are going to obviously need them to score the ball for us, but I think it was just a tough night all around. We didn’t get many easies, we didn’t really push the ball and when we did get a rebound or stop we kind of moving ¾ speed up the court, we got to fly it up the court and see if we can get some easy kick outs.”

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