NBA Finals: Celtics vs. Warriors

Monday, June 13, 2022

Boston Celtics

Al Horford

Robert Williams

Game 5: Postgame

Warriors 104, Celtics 94

Q. Al, the last two games, especially tonight, you seemed to slip into some things that you guys were doing earlier in the season in terms of execution. What do you think happened?

AL HORFORD: Slipping into...

Q. Some of the mistakes you made earlier in the season.

AL HORFORD: Yeah, I think definitely we weren't as sharp as we needed to be during times there. Just tough. Definitely now, our backs are against the wall, and we have to see what we're made of.

The challenge starts back home on Thursday.

Q. Al, when you guys get into the periods in this game where you have pretty long stretches where you struggled offensively, what caused that?

AL HORFORD: Yeah, I feel like almost playing into their hands, some of the things they want us to do, which is taking contested midrange shots and probably play a little faster than we want at times.

So, you know, I feel like that's part of the reason why our offense hasn't been clicking like it needs to be.

Q. Rob, it seems like as the series has gone on, you've had more time to recover, you looked better and better. Have you felt better as this has gone on? Does it give you optimism you can continue to get better?

ROBERT WILLIAMS: Yeah, I've been feeling good. Obviously two days between the games helps me a lot. But feeling good. Man, just looking to keep going.

Q. In the fourth quarter it seemed like the officials, there was a lot of back and forth, even with Ime, some of you guys. It seems a bad habit of when things start going with the calls, you start to unravel a little bit.

AL HORFORD: Yeah, not our best moment. As you guys know, I feel like we've been able to fend those things off, especially throughout the Playoffs. For whatever reason tonight I feel like it got to us.

It's one of those things that we kind of brought it back. We were able to focus back in, but we can never let that get to us. We can't let that affect our game, the way that things are being played.

We feel like we can control a lot of those things. It's something that we have to move on from and be better on Thursday.

Q. Al, why the bad start? It seemed like the biggest game in you guys' careers, one that you need to have. Why?

AL HORFORD: Yeah, I mean, I believe that they came out really aggressive. You got to give them credit. They were pretty good to start with.

I felt like we were okay. We handled their run. The thing with us was we weren't really making shots early on. But I felt like our defense kept us in it.

For whatever reason, they just were the better team to start. In the third we flipped it. We were the more aggressive team and the team that kind of got it going.

So for us it's understanding that, you know, defensively we have to be who we are. The defense was going to give us a chance. Offensively obviously we can't turn the ball over. That was a big thing. But just continuing to be solid on the defensive end.

Q. How much do you feel the offensive struggles in the fourth quarter was the fatigue adding up particularly for Jayson and Jaylen? How much does that impact decision making at that point in the game?

AL HORFORD: Want to take that one or you want me to take it?

ROBERT WILLIAMS: You can take it (smiling).

AL HORFORD: Yeah, I mean, I think -- I don't know. I mean, that's something you're going to have to ask them, about the fatigue standpoint.

But obviously we're a little discouraged after having such a good third to come out in the fourth and not execute like we needed to. We felt like we had opportunities, kind of started playing like we were playing earlier in the game. That's definitely, you know, tough.

Our backs are against the wall. This is the time that we look at each other in the eyes and we got to figure it out. We have an opportunity now. Got to figure it out. There's no tomorrow for us.

Q. Al, I'm sure you've watched a lot of film about these turnovers, the ball-control issues. What are you trying to get to? Are there certain sets you're trying? What is stopping you guys from getting there?

AL HORFORD: Yeah, we just want to be solid. We're trying -- obviously if we get layups, we get in there and get layups. Not as if we have to kick it out. Create movement and things like that. Easier said than done.

We do it at times, but it's one of those things we need to continue to do because that's the way that they defend us, the way they make you play.

Q. Rob, you guys have been in this position before. What gives you confidence going back to Boston?

ROBERT WILLIAMS: We know what we need to do. We know what we've been messing up on. Like you said, we've been here before. Got the most confidence in everybody in that locker room.

Going back to what the OG said, we have to look each other in the eye now, our backs are up against the wall.

Q. Al, the point of emphasis for you guys has been to have some movement on the spacing around, make it so the defense can't stay in their spots. What are you looking for when you see somebody in isolation as far as where you want to space out to? Do you feel you need to be more active to create more openings?

AL HORFORD: No, I think we need to continue to be available. The guys that have the ball need to make the reads. It's a hard job, but they have to identify things.

Outlets are going to be what they are. Defense is going to be what it is. It's just about making the play. It's just as simple as that.

Q. What allowed you to come out so strong in the third? Did that buzzer-beater at the end of the quarter spill over into the fourth?

AL HORFORD: I just think it was -- we felt like we needed to step up. We know in the third they're a really good third-quarter team. We challenged one another to come out in the third strong. And we did that.

Jaylen started it for us. I thought Jaylen was great with his pace, with his energy in that third, kind of boosting us. And then the Jordan Poole shot, that's a tough shot. Shake his hand. Go down the other way.

No, I don't think that had carryover to the fourth. Maybe for them, but not for us.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
121652-2-1042 2022-06-14 04:15:00 GMT

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