Quick hits from Doc Rivers
On Brandon Bass' second-half performance Wednesday:
"I thought Brandon, he played the way we need him to play every night, with just energy and hard and not worrying about missing shots. Brandon is an offensive creature, if you know what I'm saying. And when you miss shots, it shows up in the rest of your game. I thought early on in the game, Brandon was missing shots and you could see it on his face. And I told him after the game, I was really proud. He fought that and did other stuff, and then all of a sudden, your offense kicks in. And it always does when you just keep playing. And I thought that was a great lesson for Brandon last night."
On the perception that Jeff Green needs to be more assertive:
"Yeah, I mean, if you're a viewer, that makes a lot of sense. If you're watching Jeff, Jeff's not gonna ever show you intensity, even though he may have it, if you know what I'm saying. He just, he's a poker-face player. You're just not going to get that out of him. What you want to get out of him is great play. And he has to play better, there's no doubt about that. He's proven in stretches that he can really play and play well, and he did that in preseason. So far, in the regular season, he hasn't done that yet, and that's what we need him to do."
On what Green's ceiling is:
"You know, I don't know. Really good. Whatever that means. But really, really good. I think he has it in him. The question for Jeff, is he a guy that can consistently give you 20 points a night, or 18 points a night? It's in him, as far as what we see, ability-wise. But, you have to have the ability and the mental, and that's what we'll find out, if the other part's in him."
On the creative things Rajon Rondo does on the floor:
"The thing is, it's not like he's doing it on purpose, if you know what I'm saying. He's just so clever, and when his brain is on, he's just trying to make things happen sometimes, and sometimes they look like he's trying to showboat, sometimes he may be. What I stay on Rondo about is just being as solid as he can be. But what you don't want to do is rob him of his mind. You don't want to take away his ability to be a creative player, and so you're always walking a fine line with that. But we talk about it all the time, what's good for the team? And, you know, I think he's been walking that line pretty well this year."
On whether it matters who's in the starting lineup:
"No, it's funny, I was going to say that question has always bugged me. It doesn't bother you, but it's who finishes. It's who plays the most, really. It's not even who starts or who finishes. It's who is involved in the game the most on a daily basis. ... I understand the question, media-wise, because [it's] the starting lineup. But, if I was a player, that would have been something I would have not worried about. Now, if I hadn't played at all, then I would worry."
On whether the "we're a work in progress" remark is being used too much as an excuse:
"No, I don't think so. I've done it every year that we've made changes and it's worked pretty well. So, I don't think that's it at all. The urgency thing is something we talk about every day. One of the things we say in the locker room is that we understand that we're going to get better. But we want to win and be better now. So, the whole urgency thing is something that we talk about every day."
On whether Rondo or Leandro Barbosa is faster, baseline to baseline:
"Oh, wow, that's a good question. I'm going to go with Rondo. But that would be an interesting... You know what, we may have a race soon."
On whether Rondo's faster than LeBron James:
"Oh... That's been discussed on our bus. Rondo thinks him. The players, I think they went with LeBron."
Play Podcast Brendan Hall and Scott Barboza wrap up the 2013 football season and look ahead to the future with John Sarianides.
Play Podcast ESPN NFL reporter Sal Paolantonio discusses Cowboys-Redskins, Saints-Panthers, Greg Hardy's emergence, Patriots-Ravens and more.
Play Podcast NFL Films' Greg Cosell talks about the Ravens' improvement, the impact of Rob Gronkowski's injury, the Broncos' pass defense, whether Kirk Cousins is a better QB than Robert Griffin III and more.
Play Podcast Mark Schlereth talks about which outcomes could surprise him this weekend between the Patriots and Ravens. Why the Chiefs defense isn't as great as we thought it was, if Mike Shanahan could be throwing his final games in Washington and much more.
Play Podcast Ravens QB Joe Flacco talks about his health, Baltimore's win over the Lions, his team's four-game winning streak, preparing to face the Patriots, the keys to success in December and more.
Play Podcast Super Bowl XXXV champion Brian Billick dishes on Tom Coughlin's future with the Giants, the state of the NFC North, Patriots-Ravens and more.
Play Podcast ESPN NFL analyst Jeff Saturday dishes on what Peyton Manning is like, Patriots-Ravens, the Cowboys' game management during the Packers' comeback and more.
Play Podcast ESPN NFL analyst Ron Jaworski weighs in on Packers-Cowboys, the scrutiny of Tony Romo, Marc Trestman's decision to start Jay Cutler, Patriots-Dolphins, the Chiefs' offense and more.