Hakim Warrick, postgame, discusses Kevin Garnett – “He’s always gonna bring it, give you 110% and just raw, raw emotion. He’s gonna bring it on both ends so when you go up against a guy like that you’ve got to play at your best. He always talks. He’ll talk trash to you so much. If you don’t talk to him, he’ll talk to himself. He’s a guy I grew up watching and I always try to take pointers and emulate my game from him. When I’m going against him I’m always hyped and ready to go against him.He’s one of those types of guys that can impact the game without scoring a bucket. Whether its playing defense or passing on a shot or just talking out there on defense, he’s a veteran guy and you always have to account for him. That’s another thing: Even when he’s not scoring, you still have to account for him.”
Mike Dunlap, pregame, regarding effort, intensity and injuries – “I could say it 100 times and it doesn’t mean anything but when it comes from competitors, it means something. If somewhere along the line we’re able to steal games here and there as we go through this. Our guys know we’re not getting up on anybody by huge margins. A couple times we have, but most of the time it’s been win by one, lose by two. We have games where we’re flat physically, but we’re on the margin. The other thing is that we’ve had a lot of guys injured during this journey, and a lot of clubs have, but what we’re trying to tell our guys is, ‘Come on guys.’
Mike Dunlap, pregame, on Jeff Adrien and team culture in general – He brings a Reggie Evans type to our group. He’s physical. He’s got energy. He gets his nose in on everything; a take no prisoners kind of player. I think Boston’s culture is like that. They have guys like Sullinger, they go and get those guys year in and year out. San Antonio gets long wings that can shoot. Everybody has their little trademark but what we try to do is when we look at a team like Boston we say, ‘What is Garnett providing?’ Let me give you an example. We were in Toronto and I said, ‘Hey, how long have you been here?’ to one of the people attending to us from Toronto. He said ‘Five years’ and I said ‘Hey, tell me a story’ and he goes, ‘Well, one time Garnett came up here and lost and came up here and chucked a table in the locker room in postgame. It could have been even at Rondo and they had a dust up. That’s what we’re trying to create here with Jeff Adrien.
Rajon Rondo, Hornets pregame, on variation of Celtics running plays - “We’re not even running a lot of sets, really. We didn’t run a lot of plays at all. We just got the ball in transition, created mismatches. It varies each game. You can’t go out and say, ‘Tonight we’re not gonna run anything,’ because tonight the defense might be a little better than the past team or our offense might be a little slower, so it depends, but you can’t go in with the mindset that you’re not gonna run anything. If you need to execute down the stretch of the game – I mean, that’s what we did when we got the lead back up to double-digits when we beat Charlotte.”
Rondo, Hornets pregame, on his assortment of off-the-backboard shots he practices – “Nah, I can’t give you my inside scoop out on that man. I know there’s a lot of guards out here trying to get better, so I can’t give you all that.” Talk about competitive…..
Rondo, Hornets pregame, on learning he was wanted on Boston as a rookie – “I felt like I was the man even more. I was still here and there was about 15 people traded and it felt good to be wanted. I could have been in that trade but I think Danny wanted me here and Kevin wanted me here and some other people wanted me here, so I’m still here. During the trade I was sitting on the couch at home and I didn’t cry or anything but I did get a little emotional.”
Doc Rivers, Hornets postgame, on being complacent in practice the day before – “Just let our guard down , I thought, a little bit. Felt it yesterday and didn’t do anything about it so I’m kicking myself more than them. I always write stuff down after practices and my first note – ‘Guard down, guard down’ – I think I wrote it three different times, and I I thought we came out and played like that.”
Doc Rivers, Hornets postgame, on his teams refusal to get into the paint – “They scored in the paint and we refused to go in the paint. We had an electric fence around the paint tonight. We just settled, I thought. I mean, that’s how you play when you don’t bring it, or whatever you young people use these days. We settled. We took the easy shots. We didn’t cut. We didn’t space offensively. I thought we played six great minutes at the beginning of the game and then we just stopped. It just dissipated.”
Kevin Garnett, Bobcats pregame, on the perfect game – “The ideal game would be 30 points, 30 rebounds, 15 blocks and 10 assists, with a Celtics blowout.”
Kevin Garnett, Bobcats pregame, on getting lost in dribbling around the block as a kid - “I wasn’t always tall growing up. I was just kind of bigger than the other kids. Obviously in AAU it was different. In the summer you would see kids who were the same size. Just kind of handling the ball. I would get up early in the mornings and just dribble and as I got older I just continued to keep that skill with me. Dribbling used to do something for my mind for some reason. It was like reading a book; I could get lost in dribbling and before you knew it I went up three blocks and wouldn’t even know where I was. I don’t know people here, what everybody uses to get away; some people use drawing, some people read a book. Me, I would just take my ball and get lost in the neighborhood so it was kind of like my therapy, if you will. So I don’t know, I just never lost that skill. I just kind of inadvertently never lost it.”
Kevin Garnett, Hornets postgame, on playing against Austin Rivers – “It was strange for everybody in here. We felt old, we felt a little old. Seeing a little kid who used to say absolutely nothing and used to dribble the ball and be in a whole world of his own to being a young man now and being in this league and trying to make something of it.”
Kevin Garnett, Hornets postgame, on Anthony Davis – “I haven’t seen enough of him. That kid is long. I think he makes me look like a midget, man. His arms… I was nothing like him. He’s gonna be really good. He’s gonna be really good.”
Paul Pierce, Bulls postgame, on whether the Celtics felt they let the game get away – “Definitely. I think we had the game in our hands a couple times but we let it slip through our fingers both times. It just goes to show you that in this league little things can prove costly if you’re not on point throughout the whole game and it bit us tonight.”
Kevin Garnett, Bulls postgame, on Chicago being similar – “We’re mirror images of each other. Mirror styles. Both hard nosed, tough coaches. I think the physicality of Chicago is one of the things you have to be ready to meet. They cut hard, they do everything hard, they crash the boards hard, they play hard, so if you don’t meet that you get blown out, easy.”
Jeremy Bauman is an aspiring scout and shooting coach who blogs and writes columns for SheridanHoops.com. Follow him on Twitter.