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June 10, 2022

Ime Udoka

Boston Celtics

Game 4: Pregame

Q. How is Rob after the one day off? How is his knee feeling?

IME UDOKA: It was good this morning. Felt solid. As usual, will get tested here shortly.

Q. You talked coming into this year about putting players in a defensive system that maybe they weren't used to. They kind of had to get used to it early on. That paid dividends in a series like this, the way you guard this team. Take me through the process this team went through to get great at the switching and all the different things you guys do.

IME UDOKA: Yeah, first it starts with the communication. But you look at the personnel across the board, not a lot of weaknesses as far as size, strength and versatility. You got to have that.

In years past, had some more offensive-minded guys here, small guys. To have a point guard that's physical, big wings, undersize-ish bigs at times that are versatile, that all plays into it.

Communication is the first thing. A lot of guys are not used to it, were not used to it initially early. Some guys did it more naturally.

Took a little bit of time, but I think guys bought into it very fairly quickly, and we had success pretty much off the bat early in the season when we were healthy.

Q. With the one day in between, do you manage minutes at all differently tonight with Robert and other players?

IME UDOKA: I wouldn't say manage minutes. I think we're more conscious of that. But what we've tried to do is monitor stretches anyway. So we flipped it a little bit last game to get him out early and bring him back in. But that was due to the rotations and lineups we like more than anything.

At the same time keeping him off those longer stretches may be beneficial. It depends how he looks and how he is moving. It was much better in Game 3 than he was in Game 2. We're always kind of watching how he's moving, base it off of that.

Last game he had a pep in his step, a good pop, finished with a heavy amount of minutes.

Q. You always say this is just another game for you guys. We've been in Boston for a little bit. Is it different? Are you starting to feel like you are in the Finals, playing for a championship, or still games as usual?

IME UDOKA: No, I mean, just another game as far as the game at hand in the fourth game. Same as one, two, three. For us being in the Finals, obviously we know the situation. That's how everybody else kind of perceives it, see how guys react to stress, anxiety, pressure.

For me, I was walking in the office this morning like a regular day. No different because we're in the Finals now.

Everybody else approaches it a little bit differently, but we understand what's at hand. I think the importance of a Game 1 or Game 7 in the second round is very similar as far as this. We understand we have a chance to do something special, put some pressure on tonight. You have to come out with the same mindset, understand it's a long series, long game, not try to get it all in the first quarter, basically.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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