Rapid reaction from TD Garden as a basketball arena disappears and a hockey arena is set up around us …
— Celtics coach Doc Rivers called forward Brandon Bass “the star of the game” for his defense on Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony. Bass limited Anthony to 10-of-35 shooting before fouling out.
“He just defended, and he did it over and over and over again,” said Rivers. “There are a lot of guys you want to defend; I don’t know if Carmelo would be the one you would pick.”
Bass had four points and four rebounds, but Anthony seemed to struggle the most with the larger Bass on him. Bass said defending LeBron James, which he did during last year’s playoffs, is nothing like defending Anthony.
“They’re totally different,” said Bass. “They’re both tough covers, but they’re different.”
On his ability to guard smaller players with some success, Bass said, “Earlier in the season we did a lot of pick-and-rolls that had me switching on the guards. Doc saw I could move my feet so he said, ‘Why not?'”
Bass has not always been known as a good defensive player, but it’s a label he said he’s working toward. Past criticism of his defense has motivated him.
“I thought [the criticism] was because everybody else was so good defensively, and I was the new guy,” he said. “You’ve got to take some criticism. That’s how you continue to move forward.”
— Knicks coach Mike Woodson said he was OK taking one of two games in Boston:
“I feel good about being able to come in here and get one game,” said Woodson. “It would have been nice to close out today, but that’s a tough team, a competitive team in that locker room.”
— Kenyon Martin on missing J.R. Smith:
“We missed him of course. We’re missing 18 points off the bench, sometimes it will affect you. But other guys stepped up and made plays. We just didn’t get it done tonight, but we’ve got nothing to hold our head about.”
— Kevin Garnett on the difference between this game and the previous three:
“Versus talking, we just came out and did it. This is it. We were down 3-0. What else is there to say?”