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May 17, 2017

Brad Stevens

Boston, Massachusetts: Pregame

Q. Just wanted to get your reaction to winning the Draft Lottery last night.
BRAD STEVENS: It was great. Obviously it was good to get a little reprieve from all the other stuff we're focused on right now, watch 20 minutes of TV, things go your way, turn the TV off, celebrate with your kids, and then go back to work. It's a great opportunity for us. I think it's been very well-documented, and rightfully so, all the great things that Danny [Ainge] has done to help put us in a position to be as competitive as we've been, and also hopefully the way that we've all looked at it, we've had a lot of talks about it, hopefully sustainably competitive, which is a hard thing to do. So we'll see how it all shakes out.

Q. To follow up on that subject, sort of looking at how Jaylen [Brown] has developed this year and you bring in another high draft pick, what kind of a situation do you have here right now that you can sort of bring up young talent?
BRAD STEVENS: Yeah, is there a better development than getting a chance to play in the playoffs and playing in the second round, Game 7, and making huge plays, then winning Game 7? To me, going through the ups and downs of a year, we usually just talk about development in terms of minutes, but going through the ups and downs of a year, especially when you're a young guy, and then taking all those good things and applying them in a game with that kind of intensity is invaluable.

So we're really lucky to be in the position because we've got a really good group of players that -- I want to say older. We're not old; we're young in comparison to a lot of our competition. But I think one of the things that's been really good is that Jaylen has played because he adds value to winning. I think that that is something that you have to earn. It's been a great situation for us to see his growth, and it's been pretty evident.

Q. What makes them such a difficult defensive rebounding matchup? You guys have struggled at times with other teams, but them in particular.
BRAD STEVENS: Well, [Kevin] Love and [Tristan] Thompson are great offensive rebounders, first and foremost. Those other guys all will go [to the offensive boards] at different times. They won't go all the time at the offensive glass, but the bottom line against Cleveland in my opinion is that when you get in transition and you're scrambling all over the place or if you get scrambling all over the place in pick-and-rolls, you're toast, because they just find the right shooters.

LeBron has the ball. He's the center of it all. You can guard for the first 16 seconds really well, but the next extra pass is to like a guy who shoots 75 percent of his shots from three. So then you're flying all over the place and you're in terrible position to rebound. And then if they get it, then you have to fly back out to find those guys again because they're looking to kick out for another three.

It's a really tough matchup. It's a really tough thing to guard. They're great at a lot of things. One of the reasons they're great at rebounding, from Love and Thompson specifically, their effort to the glass is great. But they're also working against a scrambling defense a lot.

Q. Playing [Kyle] Korver and Deron Williams and [indiscernible]. That's really been [indiscernible] since the last time you played them.
BRAD STEVENS: Yeah, really hard. Bottom line is you always saw this a little bit in LeBron's years in Miami when they just filled that roster with shooters around him. This is a perfect roster with regard to how many predicaments they can put you in with all the shooting around him. You never want to double when you have that much shooting because eventually, like I said, they're going to find a good shot. If not, they're going to get the rebound.

But how do you not pay extra close attention to the best player in the world? And with the way Kyrie has scored the ball on the biggest stage over and over and over, and with his ability, there's another one that you have to react to over and over.

So there are all kinds of issues with defending them. They're the defending champs for a reason, and we're going to have to play well.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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