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June 10, 2022

Ime Udoka

Boston Celtics

Game 4: Postgame

Warriors 107, Celtics 97

Q. What did you see from your guys in the last five, six minutes offensively? What is the latest with Rob? Did you think about calling timeout there to get him out of the game sooner?

IME UDOKA: Offensively, stalled out a little bit. We got some good looks from three. But other than the one that Al made -- I wouldn't say we got stagnant. We did get some good shots off, but we would like to get a little bit more downhill and get some things to the rim and kick out. Credit to them. They stepped up defensively when it counted. Our offense wasn't as sharp as it needed to be, no doubt.

Regarding Rob, I didn't see anything with Rob, and haven't heard anything.

Q. Just seemed like all night the offense was stagnant, guys are standing around, kind of looking at each other. What happened throughout the game that you were not able to run a cohesive offense?

IME UDOKA: We had plenty of opportunities, obviously. Every time we got a five-, six-point lead, it felt like we made some poor decisions, whether it was rushed shots in traffic or, to your point, standing around and looking at each other a little bit there.

Not sure if we tried to pick on mismatches too much. Got stalled out a little bit. When we did run off-ball actions and got some movement, we got some really good looks.

We wanted to get the ball up quick and get into an offense. If we don't have anything, still make them work the clock. A lot of times it felt like we were standing around, unsure of who we were trying to go after, and it led to those stalled-down possessions.

Q. Defensively down the stretch, what did you see about the way you were playing the screens? What led to some of the offensive rebounds and shots they were able to get off?

IME UDOKA: We started switching a little bit more, take away the threes, got them off the line. Obviously, that presents some cross matches there. In general, it wasn't even the bigs on the smalls; it was more Wiggins crashing from the wing. They got some extra positions as far as that.

Like I said, defensively other than the late free throws, we guarded well enough to win, even though Curry kind of got loose. Our offense wasn't as good as it needed to be and it aided them on defense.

Credit to them. We knew it wasn't going to be easy. They weren't going to come in and lay down. We had our opportunities, especially in the first half.

Q. What are you seeing from Tatum with his struggles at the rim in the paint?

IME UDOKA: At times he's looking for fouls. They are a team that loads up in certain games. He's finding the outlets. Shooting over two, three guys. That's the balance of being aggressive and picking your spots and doing what he's done in previous games, which is kicked it out and got wide-open looks.

That's the ongoing theme so to speak, him getting to the basket, being a scorer as well as a playmaker. They do a good job with their rotations. Sometimes hunting fouls instead of going to finish. I've seen that in a few games so far.

Q. You talked about Steph getting loose a little bit. Sometimes is that his shot making and you're doing what you can do to stop him?

IME UDOKA: Yeah, at times we're obviously focused on him, keeping others in check. But some of those were some crazy shots that were highly contested that he made.

You look at the overall numbers, the attempts, getting those off, it is the number we don't like, the 14 attempts in general. He came out bombing early, had nine in the first half.

Some of the threes he hit were highly contested and you can't do anything about those. When we did switch, it kind of got some cross matches and guys on the rim. Went after him a little bit later. They made some plays.

Q. A lot of times it can be pretty damaging, down to a three-game series. The way you have played on the road I'm sure gives you confidence. What was the message afterward?

IME UDOKA: Had our opportunities tonight, especially when we did have a five-, six-point lead. It felt like we didn't have our best possessions, and kind of let them back in the game, whether it was turnovers or poor offense. That's gone along with our season, especially this postseason. We had to do it the difficult way. We have been battle-tested throughout some series, Milwaukee, Miami. We have to do it again.

It could have been an easier road, obviously, if you get the win tonight. But it is what it is. We're 2-2 now. We know we can do it. We've done it before. Keep your head up and let's go get one on the road.

Q. Is there anything you can do to get Tatum better shots? Seems like he's either attacking in lots of traffic or trying to take contested threes.

IME UDOKA: Yeah, what I would say is don't be opposed to taking twos. Some pull-up jumpers, some of those things, instead of going all the way to the rim. It doesn't have to be either/or as far as that.

We talked about the balance, how much we rely on him to score and get other guys involved. Sometimes that balance leads to taking some shots or over-penetrating when he has a clean pull-up or two. Nothing wrong with the floater, mid-range pull-up to get yourself going, especially when the crowd is sitting there at the rim.

Q. You talk about not taking the easy way, not doing it the easy way, always doing it the hard way. Is there some element of playing with fire here, constantly not doing this, getting yourself into a position to go up 3-1? Back to Golden State, with their history, their experience, two games there, I mean, that's going to be a bit different than the past battle-tested?

IME UDOKA: Yeah, you'd like to take the easier route. We had our chances, like I said. It's not only solely dependent on one team. It's a championship-caliber opponent that's not going to lay down. They made some tough shots, but also guarded well at the end.

As much as we'd like to do better on our own, you've got to give them credit for how they stepped up defensively. Miami is a team that we went and did it against. We've proven we can do it, being down two games, two elimination games to Milwaukee. That's proof that we can do it.

The opponent is what it is. It's a lot to do with us. That's how we feel about the game tonight, for sure.

Q. I know you're not as concerned with the defense. The big men around some of those screens playing low sometimes. Do you think you need to adjust that at all based off the shots?

IME UDOKA: Yeah, we have. It's not a stagnant offense that they run, where they're just sitting back. Obviously, they have some movement prior to it, some off-ball actions that get our guys off the bigs some. We do want to be up much more at times, especially on the hand backs and certain actions. It's a little different rather than the regular static pick-and-roll.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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