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Sixers vs. Nets Game 1: Postgame Quotes

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NBA: Playoffs-Brooklyn Nets at Philadelphia 76ers Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Brett Brown, PHI

On Tobias Harris’s shooting…

I mean I’m always putting it on me to help him. You know, ‘how do you help your players?’ I’ll stick with that. You know, I got to find ways to help him. He cares, at times, too much. You know. You learn quickly in the NBA playoffs that the first kind of open look you got, is going probably going to be your best look. The game will tell you to shoot, and at times, I feel like he’s trying to maybe press a little too much or go someplace else, when you know, he can shoot more than seven times. Is that what it ended up? You know, I will own that. I got to find ways to help Tobias.

On the decision to play Joel Embiid

I mean I’m always just a recipient of news as opposed to like any kind of level of a decision-maker. When it gets to the health, like I’m the head coach. I listen more than I advise, as I should. I was advised that he could come in and play really late. Joel really wanted to play, he really, really wanted to play. I think the thing that I was most concerned about is what’s going to be the like outcome? We don’t want to look in the rearview mirror and have regrets. It’s game one. Somebody’s going to find a way to win four games and it happens as we all know, in many ways, shapes and forms. I thought that Joel looked like he hadn’t played for a while yet was still dominant. Look at his numbers and look at the free-throw attempts, but it was clear that the pace of the game, the speed of the game types of stuff, you could see that he was tired. Those are my initial thoughts without seeing the tape.

On Jimmy Butler’s performance and why the team didn’t rally…

First, I’m so with you on Jimmy, like that was the adult in the room. That was a man and I think that especially like we’ve seen it from time, we see it here in Philly in the regular season, fourth periods stand out a lot, you saw it kind of consistently spread throughout the game. The physicality of the game. The elite athleticism, the toughness. It is true, he was the adult in the room, and he was trying to like, you know, pull others along. When you look at the starting five as an example, Ben [Simmons] had a down game, JJ [Redick] had a down game, Tobias [Harris] had a down game. You know, if you go straight to the three-point shooting, think about this now, we were 3-for-25. Then if you take a little bit of a pivot on a stat sheet, you’re going to see that we were only 69 percent from the free-throw line. And so, you know, we missed a bunch of shots, we had three starters down, our bench was outscored heavily by their bench. I think it was 59 to 26. I thought Boban [Marjanovic] did some good things. We’re trying to find participants outside of Joel, who we really weren’t sure was going to play. It didn’t happen tonight. For whatever reason. I give Brooklyn credit, more than I do anything, but I feel like the room that we have to get better and find a way to change some things to win, I see it, it’s not like a mystery to us.

Joel Embiid, PHI

On when he knew he could play with his knee and how he felt he did…

I mean, I decided about 15 minutes before the game, 20 maybe. I was out there just thinking “Oh my gosh, push through the pain.” And obviously, it came with a loss, but I was just trying to do the right thing.

On the plan going into Game 2…

We’ve got to – i think, we’ve got to be extremely physical. Hopefully, I’ll feel better and gain a couple more of my athletic abilities so I can be down on the block, but that’s got to start just be physical starting with me. Jimmy [Butler] did a great job today attacking. We couldn’t back him up so Monday we’ve got to do a better job.

On if the team feels disheartened by this loss…

I don’t know. I think it’s—I mean we’ve had so many setbacks since the Miami trade, since we got all together. We haven’t really gotten the rhythm that we hoped, but it’s basketball. We’re all so talented, so it’s on us to figure it out, with the help of coaches, but you know we only basically played 10 games together, so we just have to make sure we talk to each other, we communicate, we watch film, try to figure out what exactly is going on and what happened tonight and get back on Monday and win that game.

Jimmy Butler, PHI

On his performance…

I mean, hell. A loss is a loss. No matter how well or how bad you play, I mean, I think the point of the game is to win. We let one slip away at home. As everyone you’ve talked to before me probably said, we’re going to be okay. I think so as well. Back to the drawing boards.

On Brett Brown’s comment that he was the adult in the room tonight…

I mean, I think I can score the ball pretty decent. The thing that bothered me most though, tell you the truth, is the fact I didn’t have a single assist. I think if I’m getting everybody involved and getting everybody else easy shots, I think the game goes a different way. You know, I’ll go study the film and see how I can find my teammates better to tell you the truth. I think if everybody’s clicking, Tobias [Harris], JJ [Redick], it takes away from my points, so be it, I’m fine with that, but I think we have a better shot at winning.

On if they need to step up their physicality…

No. No, I just think we’ve got to guard better. I think, you know, you’ve got to man up and guard one-on-one. I think that’s what it’s going to come down to in this series. The one after that, the one after that, and the one after that. You know, whoever it may be, myself included, you’ve got to man up and you’ve got to stand in front of your man and try to get a stop.

Caris LeVert, BKN

On if he sensed that he could take the 76ers off the dribble just about any time he wanted to…

Yeah, I think so, especially in the second unit. You know, there’s a lot of matchups that we like to exploit. I think, Spencer [Dinwiddie], myself tried to just come in there and give us energy any way we could, and I think it worked out for us.

D’Angelo Russell, BKN

On the momentum he gained…

The same shots I was missing early, teammates kept putting me in a position to make those shots, so I just kept taking them and they started falling.

On the matchup…

It’s early to tell. Trying to add our regular-season games into this series is just impossible to do, but when you got a player like Jimmy [Butler] and Joel [Embiid] over there, like those caliber players, you can never count them out. Our job is to keep getting stops, have a defensive-minded mentality going into the game and our offense clicks so we’re not really worried about our offense.

Kenny Atkinson, BKN

On the most gratifying part of his team’s performance...

We weren’t rattled. You’re afraid with this crowd, and the team they have, that they’re going to knock you out of the box quick. I thought that we kind of took a couple of punches from them, took a couple of runs and still kept our composure. That’s big progress for us. Like I said before, earlier in the season, we just wouldn’t have the composure to close a game like that out.

On Joel Embiid and his health…

He’s just such a dominating player. Even when he misses, he goes and gets it. It’s hard to figure out a way to stop him. And we tried some things, obviously, to give up some things to help more with his strengths. Obviously, the guy’s been out for a while. I guarantee Game 2 you’ll see Superman Joel. I just know it. He’s a heck of a competitor, a heck of a player. We just got to be ready for another level from him. I know he’s got it, but even being where he is right now, he’s still pretty darn good.