May 25, 2023
Game 5: Postgame
Boston Celtics 110, Miami Heat 97
Q. Can you comment on kind of the mindset of this group tonight? You never trailed, any run they made you answered with defensive intensity and shots. What was the focus of the group coming in?
DERRICK WHITE: Yeah, I think just having that defensive mindset. We were able to get stops, which allowed us to get out and run and get good looks. We've got to have that mindset for the rest of the series.
Q. Shooting for you tonight, didn't seem like there was much hesitation at all putting shots up. What was going well for you there? And talk about the distribution, guys moving the ball around with consistency.
DERRICK WHITE: Yeah, they got a lot of focus us on JB, JT, so they're always empowering me to shoot when I'm open and I was able to find some openings and knock them down.
Q. You've struggled on defense in this series, and then tonight it seemed like it clicked for you. This team has been trying to sprint around on defense as much as possible. How much do you feel like the activity that you guys have plays into your strengths and allows you to thrive?
DERRICK WHITE: We've got to do whatever it takes to get a win. That's a big side of the ball. Whenever I'm in the action, which I'm in the action a lot of times, so I've got to step up and get stops.
Q. How important is momentum in this three-point shooting? Seems like when the first few don't fall, you guys struggle all night and it's across the board. But when the first few do, you keep hitting the big ones. How important is the momentum behind hitting those throughout the game?
DERRICK WHITE: I think we just consistently got good looks today. Able to get out and run, make that extra pass, and when you get looks like that with the shooters we have, we're going to make them more than miss.
Just continue to make that extra pass and find the right guy.
Q. Was there a moment that you knew you had it tonight?
DERRICK WHITE: Not necessarily. Got some good looks and were able to knock them down, and just kind of rolled with it.
Q. What has been the key for you guys staying together after those first three games of the series?
DERRICK WHITE: We've got a lot of love for each other, top to bottom. We're out there competing, and we know it's a long way to go, and we've got a lot of work to do, but it's always fun competing with the guys in our locker room.
Q. Game 3 was the lowest point of the season. You guys easily could have checked out. Was there something that has turned this around and reconnected you guys? What's kind of happened off the floor, in the locker room that's kind of made you guys reinvigorated?
DERRICK WHITE: Yeah, obviously Game 3 was a tough one. But I mean, throughout the whole year we've been connected in the locker room, have each other's backs, and I was confident that we would come back and just compete. We've been doing that for these last two games.
Q. You talk about maintaining momentum and your open looks that you connected on tonight. You made a few shots that were critical to maintaining the momentum for you guys. What was going through your mind mentally as you approached those different possessions that a miss could lead to a total swing in the game?
DERRICK WHITE: Yeah, I hit some and then JB hit some, JT, Smart. Smart was huge for us today. You can go top to bottom with someone that hit a big shot at a crucial time. They're a good team. They're always going to come back and attack us, so we can never be satisfied.
Q. There was a lot of talk after Game 4 over this galvanizing meeting you had the night before down in Miami. Has there been another meeting since then or was that the standalone meeting that's propelled you to where you are right now?
DERRICK WHITE: No, we had a good shootaround today and everybody is locked in, and we're just focusing on one game at a time.
Q. Just speaking of that, after Game 4, Jaylen, a bunch of you said, we would like to get back down here to Miami for a Game 6. You've accomplished that. What do you think it's going to take to win down there?
DERRICK WHITE: It's going to be a grind. They're going to come back and play well. The crowd is going to be in it. It's not going to be easy. It's going to take 48 minutes of battling, scratching, clawing, and we've got to find a way to win.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports