On Parsons: "Yeah, Parsons had a great game, really from start to finish. The shotmaking was there. A lot of really important drives. He was just aggressive and he had some big rebounds, too. We need a lot of guys to really step up and play big. This is a man's game when you're going up against athletes like this like Westbrook, who are doing historic things. When you get down in the third, it's easy to hang your head, but we didn't do it, we kept fighting, got the crowd back into it, kept chipping away and just getting it tied going into the fourth was huge."
On what he hoped the offense would look like with Rondo: "No, I hoped it run better. We missed a lot of easy shots. We're still looking at the offensive stuff. I liked everything about the way Rondo played tonight. He was aggressive, he was attacking the paint. I really believe we're going to keep getting better, and I believe he's a big part of us keep getting better. The final score is a little misleading, because there were a lot of free throws and stuff like that, but the bottom line is, everyone who stepped foot in that game had to step up and play with heart, play with courage and play fearless."
On Rondo's leadership: "I thought his keeping guys focused -- and there's a lot of emotional stuff going on out there, there's a lot of guys getting physical, there's a lot of physical instigation going on on the inside. Our guys were getting a little distraction and he did a great job keeping our eye on the ball. Guys on our team listen to a guy like that. He's been through the wars and he's been the starting point guard on a championship level team."
On Tyson Chandler's presence: "That's a man's man out there. He stood in there, took one or two charges, took a charge of McGary -- a muscle-bound 300 pound guy there. You have to have some guts to stand in front of a guy like that. Knocked in those two huge free throws there at the end. Those were huge."
On Parsons' creating offense: "He can play point guard. He has those kind of ball skills and that kind of awareness out there, and there's times where we need to take pressure off Monta Ellis. We've dumped so much on his plate this year that there's times we need to give him a break and attack other guys. Part of it is that balance, part of it is he's a damn good playmaker, and we're got to keep working to strike the balance that we need. This wasn't a very good offensive game."
On rebounding: "How do we even it out? We've got to get some monsters that push and shove and throw people out of the way to go get the ball. We've got to get more of those guys."
On how to improve that with this roster: "We've just got to block out. We've got to have five guys going all the time. When it mattered, we got the rebounds."
On his comfort in the system: "I've been studying with coach a lot. He called me in before the game and gave me a little test, and I think I continue to pass the test. We're on the same page a lot more throughout the game. I'm calling some of the plays before he calls them, so we're on the same page."
On what changed in the second half: "Our defense. When we get stops, we're a tough team to guard, especially in transition. Our transition offense is causing a lot of problems mismatch wise. Guys are trying to get back in the paint and you have guys like Dirk knocking down trailing 3s. Monta out in the open court is hard to guard. Tyson facing the open rim rolling, he's hard to guard. It's causing defenses to collapse and it's getting CP open shots. When we struggle is when we don't get stops, and it shows."
"What's different is they're giving me the ball a lot more on the break. I think I've earned these guys' confidence. They know when they're going to get the ball back. Obviously it's a miss-make league. CP's been playing unbelievable, shooting the ball extremely well. Dirk shot the lights out tonight. It has been a great effort."
"It was a team effort. Three different guys took a charge on him. I don't think he saw too many gaps all night. I think when he did capitalize, it was when we turned the ball over, so I think we did a bad job in the second half taking care of the ball."
"I'm just going to continue to have to shoot it and continue to have to make it. If not, I come out [of] the game."
"Guys made shots tonight. I wasn't all by myself. It's a miss/make league. I missed the shots I normally make, which are layups, and I made the shots I normally miss. It happened. I continue to work on my shot, I continue to work on my floaters and layups. It was just one of those nights where things were falling for me individually and for us as a team. I don't think CP can play any better. He's playing with confidence, he's keeping his turnovers down and he's making plays for his teammates as well."
"It puts a 3-man in the pick-and-roll which they don't see too often. You know, LeBron, when Melo's playing, but other than that, it's not too many 3s who can handle the ball and make plays for their teammates. Defensively as a 3, you aren't used to guarding pick-and-rolls. That's the advantage we have with CP handling the ball."
"It's just coach and I in the room. He's yelling at me a lot. I try not to crack under pressure and give him what he needs. It's calling out plays. For example, if I want to get Monta a shot on a pindown [screen], if I want to single ice [isolation], a lot of basketball terminology to make sure we're on the same page." Do you yell back the answers? "No, yelling won't get it. Yelling got me suspended. Yelling got me a bad rap so I'm going to continue to try and have an even keel when we do our tests."
"Yeah, Doc did the same thing. I think that's why Doc gave me a lot of the freedom in Boston, but I played for Doc seven, eight years. It kind of came naturally. I think what's undervalued in this league is keeping guys together for so long. We had a group of guys who played together for five years and there's no play that needs to be run when you have that kind of chemistry."
On Parsons' game: "He was great. Really set the tone early for us offensively. Honestly, he's been playing great ever since he came back from this injury. He was out over two weeks. Sometimes, it's tough to find a rhythm but he's been amazing, shooting the ball well, getting to the basket on some pick and roll stuff. He's been great. We knew this was going to be a tough game. They've got a lot of monsters in there. They'
On the offense: "I think if a different position, if you trade for a 3 or 4 or 5 man, it's easier to adjust on the fly. For a point guard, it's pretty hard to come in a new place, especially for a point guard who runs the show like he does. I think it took him a while, and obviously when he got kicked in the face he was out again. That unfortunately took us a longer time to get used to him. I think his body language is great, he's fighting, he's pushing people in the right direction on offense and defense."
On the physicality: "Both teams are fighting. If you look at OKC, they're holding on. They want to make the playoffs and they're hoping their players get healthy. They've got to be one of the No. 8 seeds ever if they get in, but they've got to get healthy. We're holding on as well. We're trying to move up still in a tough conference with the Clippers right there. Houston's right there, they lost a couple. Both teams had a lot at stake and that's what it looked like."
On Tyson: "Yeah, he needs to fight through it at this point. He's doing that. No one is really 100 percent at this point, almost 70 games in. Sometimes you just have to suck it up, and he's that important to us. If he's not out there, we're really struggling. I'm glad he's a tough guy and hopefully he'll get better as time goes on. He also made some athletic plays tonight where I thought he looked like his old self."
On Parsons' offense creation: "I think Monta has the ball in his hands so much, and Rondo as well, and when Devin and JJ are out there they're having the ball. It just gives us another ball handler, a different look, a taller guy who can get in the lane. With his finishing, his long legs, he's got those Ginobili steps going. When he gets in there, he's tough, he's a good finisher but he's also a good passer on the move. I just think it gives us another weapon and another ball handler we've been missing when he was out, but also his shotmakings been great. Ever since he's been back, it feels like his shot makings been automatic."
On having more rest: "Yeah, like I said, it's great. I get some good work in, mix in some rest, and also lifted some, got some good cardio, played some 1-on-1 even yesterday. Try to stay sharp and at night I've been resting up."
On what happened when they went down 15: "Probably that we were down 15, not playing too well. We've been in these situations before and I always say we've got a veteran-seasoned team, and nothing can really can affect us. We never count ourselves out of a game and we stuck together, kept playing hard and competed harder than they did."
On getting the ball in his hands: "I love it, and that's what I came here to do. That's what I want, and I've got to continue to play well. I think I'm a really good playmaker and can make the guys around me better, although I had zero assists tonight. I think good things happen when I have the ball. We have a lot of guys who can score the ball. ... when we have a balanced attack like that, we're so much harder to guard."
On Rondo: "He was great, setting up our offense, pushing the ball in transition, just finding the open man. It's really easy for him and he's one of the better passing guards in this league. When he does that, it makes things seem so much easier."
On Rondo and the team dynamic: "Just get used to it more. Understanding him, him understanding where I can excel on the court, where my spots are, making sure I touch the ball every other two or three times down the court. I'm not a standstill shooter. I'm not just a spot up shooter. I think my best attribute is playmaker and attacking the rim. For us to do that, we have to balance the ball, and we've been doing a great job of that. He's really good at cutting and moving, so even when I'm handling it or Monta's handling it, he's able to be effective."
On the "law of averages" evening his shooting out: "Yeah man, you guys wanted to panic when I wasn't shooting well, and now I'm shooting well, and I'm sure you guys will hype out. But it'll all average out."
On playing through injuries and stuff: "I know my team needs me out there. I'm important to my team, especially down the stretch. I was never really outside of myself, to be honest. Just doing things that was necessary out there."
On Rondo: "He's doing great. He seems like he's comfortable with his teammates, comfortable with our sets, personnel, able to be vocal right now. It's a taken a while for us to all understand each other. Right now, we've kind of come together at the perfect time."
On playing well these last two games: "I honestly think our defensive intensity, we picked up, we're talking and playing unselfish. For some reason, when you're playing unselfish on one end, it happens on the other end. Guys are able to to get going."
On second half: "We got motivated. We had a chance to win the ball game. We came out in the second half with all the aggressiveness and focus we needed."
On Rondo: "Yeah, he's out floor general. He's doing everything we ask him do. He's very demanding. Offensively, he's done everything we've asked him to do. This is what we know of Rondo. He's been that way his entire career and he's starting to do that here."
Amar'e Stoudemire: "Right now, we're starting to realize how good we can be."— Tim Cato (@tim_cato) March 17, 2015