May 21, 2022
Game 3: Postgame
Miami Heat 109, Boston Celtics 103
Q. Guys, since you're up there together, I guess I'd like to ask Bam when he realized this had to be a night where he had to sort of take charge a little bit. And P.J., for you to answer after that, what's it like to see a guy like Bam seize a moment when that kind of moment is needed?
BAM ADEBAYO: Well, as everybody knows, in the previous game, they beat us like we stole something. That should wake anybody up, getting beat like that at home. From my point of view, that says it all.
P.J. TUCKER: Regardless, we need Bam to be aggressive and make plays for himself and for everybody else. The way our team is built, he triggers the most out of everybody. His versatility just opens everything up for everybody. You've got to attack and you've got to be there when he gets the rolls. Offensive rebounding. He's such a force. His versatility, people got to be there and it helps open the threes up, be able to get in the pocket, pick-and-rolls, a lot of stuff.
So it's essential for him to get going. It was good to see him get going early because I knew it would be a long night.
Q. Bam, was anything changed in terms of play calling to help you or did you just take this upon yourself?
BAM ADEBAYO: No. Same old play calls. Just different mentality. Like I said, they beat us like we stole something in Game 2. So that woke a fire up in all of us.
Q. I know you're good at reading the game and knowing when to be aggressive offensively, but was there anyone in your life or in your ear close to you the last couple days encouraging you to take a more aggressive offensive approach?
BAM ADEBAYO: No. You know, my camp kind of leaves me alone.
P.J. TUCKER: (Chuckling.)
BAM ADEBAYO: But UD is the biggest person I can say. He just, he can impact the game so much without even being on the court. You know, he'll do it for any of us, and so definitely UD.
Q. P.J., Coach joked that he can't not play you, and that you even see him talking to the trainers about you, like you shoot him a glare. How hard was it to get out there? We see the way you walk in and out of other places, and how meaningful are these moments that no matter what it takes, you want to be there?
BAM ADEBAYO: I'm thankful to have a teammate like P.J. You know, he's one of those guys where you'll have to cart him off the court for him to not play. I appreciate that. My whole team does and the organization does.
P.J. TUCKER: Thanks, man. (Laughter.)
No, you play enough on bad teams where you start making vacations in December and January -- you know, for my 16 years, a lot of the early ones were like that. To be fortunate enough to be back-to-back years in the Eastern Conference Finals, to play in the playoffs every year, to get far, this doesn't happen, and you never know when you're going to get back here. So you want to do everything you can to be there for your team. I told guys tonight, I didn't know what I had, but I was going to give them everything I did have, and that's it. There's no regrets. There's no nothing. Leave it all out there and try to get the win.
I love the energy we came with. Everybody who stepped on the court gave it everything they had. We've been doing that all year. That's just part of our culture.
Q. Your depth showed even losing Jimmy. I guess, P.J. for you, what did Vic provide in the second half? Obviously four steals and a lot of other good stuff.
P.J. TUCKER: Yeah, it's usually his offense. He comes in, be the spark. But his lateral slides and quickness, it was unbelievable. I told him tonight, that was some of the best lateral foot speed I've seen anybody have because Jaylen Brown, when he gets going, especially right, he's tough to get back in front of. For Vic to square him up was unreal. He gave us a spark.
We talked about it at the half, knowing he was about to start the half and play. To not play at all and then step in and do what he did in the second half, that level of professionalism is few and far in between.
Q. You set the tone from first minute of the game. You respond after the Celtics run in the fourth quarter. The way that you won tonight, how big was that mentally-wise for the rest of the series?
BAM ADEBAYO: I mean, mentally-wise, I feel like everybody walked into this arena locked in from the jump. Like I said earlier, they beat us like we stole something. Just having that bounce-back mentality and being able to execute and finish the game, I feel like that's a plus for us.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports