Ainge quick hits: Little room for error
On remaining objective during the team's recent five-game losing streak: "Well, I think that we're still looking at the big picture, so I don't really get too caught up in the game-by-game performances. I think that there are some individuals that have played well and some that are not playing well. But I think Doc is doing a good job of keeping our guys fresh and we're trying to get through a tough time with all the injuries that we've had and at the same time give ourselves a chance to win in the playoffs."
On the important plays leading up to Jeff Green's game-winning layup on Wednesday: "There're so many plays when you're down 14 in the fourth quarter that have to do with it. I think Jordan Crawford gave us a great lift again. He's been a huge offensive boost for us recently. Even in the losing streak he's given us opportunities and chances to win. Paul has had some great moments. I thought last night our defense, we got some stops finally, and that's what it always boils down to. But it seems like our team is just not consistently paying the price that it takes. We aren't the team that we were a few years ago where we have this great margin for error where we can play at 80 percent and just sort of win with talent. We have to be all in sync and executing and playing with a lot more passion and energy than we've been giving over this last couple-week stretch that we're not playing very good basketball. We don't have very much room for error."
On how he defines his team not "paying the price" enough: "Well, I think that it's just maximum effort on each possession. You hear the term "locked in," often, as well, when you're just really focused. You're in the right spot and when we're not, when we're half a step late, when we close out short -- meaning we close out to a foot and allow a guy to go up for a shot, as opposed to closing out into his body -- when we're defending the screen-and-roll, when the defender is up touching his man with his forearm on his hip, into the body, going over the screen, as opposed to being a foot away and getting screened. All those little things -- the angles of the show, the guys helping on the screen-and-roll -- there's just so many little things that you can just tell we are not doing what we're supposed to be doing.
"We're not doing what we practice, we're not doing what it takes to win, and a handful of teams are capable of winning without doing that night-in and night-out. Every team has their lapses in the details and the execution at both ends of the court. It's a long season and I know what our team is capable of doing and it's sometimes frustrating that we don't do it, even though we know the urgency of the win."
On the Chicago Bulls snapping the Miami Heat's winning streak: "Well it just goes to show you -- we talk about it often, you've heard me say it today -- the margin for error. Miami has a big margin for error. They're young, they're athletic, and they're very talented, and they have the best player in the league on their team that plays both ends, that can shut down other teams' best players, play multiple positions, and he is becoming a force offensively in the post and his perimeter shooting is getting better. So, they can get away with lapses and still come back. Last night, Chicago, without Derrick Rose, without Joakim Noah, they were still able to -- and you can see their focus. They haven't been playing very good basketball lately, but you can see how locked in and focused they were, and a team with much less talent was able to beat the Miami Heat. And Miami, believe me, wanted to win that game very badly. It was a very entertaining game and very intense game and it had a playoff atmosphere, and you can see that even the best teams can lose."
On LeBron James complaining of hard/flagrant fouls: "I don't think either one of those were flagrants, and I think the one -- LeBron against Boozer -- was flagrant, yes. I think the officials had it right... I think that it's almost embarrassing that LeBron would complain about officiating."
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