May 25, 2023
Game 5: Postgame
Boston Celtics 110, Miami Heat 97
Q. Joe, what's been the key to turning this around and getting these last two wins?
JOE MAZZULLA: Just playing together, playing connected, physical basketball.
Q. Derrick has not had the kind of defensive series or postseason that you would expect after the season, and then tonight it seemed like he was able to take away everything Jimmy wanted. What is it about Derrick that makes him able to be consistent in who he is and continue to get under the opponent's skin?
JOE MAZZULLA: He just plays with a defensive versatility and he does a great job paying attention to detail on personnel tendencies.
Q. How much did Marcus help set the tone with the steal right off the open tip and then Jayson dunking and the back-to-back threes there in the first to get you guys going on a run?
JOE MAZZULLA: Yeah, he's just an emotional key for us. When he's locked in and playing both sides of the ball at a different pace, it kind of gives us our identity and our life.
Q. Is this the best performance in your view in the postseason? And what does it say that you've had probably your best two performances back-to-back games here?
JOE MAZZULLA: It just says that our backs are against the wall and we're sticking together and we're competing at a high level to give ourselves a chance.
Q. What did Al give you tonight in terms of effort, intensity, particularly in the early going?
JOE MAZZULLA: Yeah, everything he does is an intangible that you can't measure. Just his leadership and his physicality and his attention to detail defensively is big for us.
Q. The forced turnovers tonight, you guys haven't ranked very high in those all year, even in the Playoffs. What's different there that allowed you to force the amount of turnovers you did?
JOE MAZZULLA: Just the attention to detail, quality shift activity and awareness to game plan execution.
Q. In terms of managing Malcolm throughout the game here, as you said pregame, you're going to go with the flow there, how did that go?
JOE MAZZULLA: He gave us the best he could, and we kind of went from there.
Q. You got 47 combined points for Marcus and Derrick. Seemed like Marcus and Derrick both made every big shot they took. How does that change the dynamic of the offense when guys like Jayson and Jaylen are able to kick out to them and they're making shots at that level?
JOE MAZZULLA: That just gives us a well-balanced attack to where we could spread the floor and share the ball and just play connected basketball.
Those two guys being aggressive is important for us.
Q. What's led to the connection? After Game 3 you said you guys were disconnected a little, and in the last two games, something on the floor, off the floor, Jaylen talked about that dinner they had before Game 4. Like what's happened?
JOE MAZZULLA: One of our assistants put it in great perspective. The seasons are like nine months long, and we just had a bad week. Sometimes you have a bad week at work. We obviously didn't pick the best time to have a bad week, but we did, and we're sticking together and fighting like hell to keep it alive, and the guys are really coming together.
Q. Has the cause to come back from this brought the guys together? I know it's a pretty obvious answer, but has it?
JOE MAZZULLA: I think your backs are against the wall, you don't have a choice. It builds a connection, and it builds just an opportunity. And so like I've said all year, the guys in that locker room, they always stick together, and when our backs are against the wall, we just have to continue it.
Q. You talked about Marcus kind of being your identity. Given the situation with your backs against the wall, how important is it for him going forward to continue to set that tone every game you have left?
JOE MAZZULLA: Yeah, I mean, it's been that way all year. When he plays at a high level and brings a certain pace and physicality, it's contagious, and he sets the tone for our guys. When he plays like that, it's big for us.
Q. In the last couple of games, you've generated about 30 corner three-pointers. What is it about the offense that's getting you the shots that you've been looking for, the types of three-pointers that you've been looking for?
JOE MAZZULLA: Spacing, and the last two games we're getting the advantage quick, and then the two-on-ones are there, and then we're reading the two-on-one. When we play fast but organized, that's when we're at our best.
Q. It seems like there was a concerted effort to stay down on up-fakes. Is that something that has come up as part of like the defensive plan, just to stay down when Jimmy Butler is throwing the fakes out there?
JOE MAZZULLA: Yeah, it's definitely key to keep him off the free throw line. They're a team that can generate free throws and put pressure on your defense, so just staying disciplined in that is important.
Q. Eleven assists for Jayson tonight. When he's facilitating like that, what does that do for the rest of the offense?
JOE MAZZULLA: Just spreads us out, allows us to create different advantages, allows us to run some different stuff. That just goes to the connection that the guys have.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports