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Sixers vs. Raptors Game 3 Postgame Quotes

NBA: Playoffs-Toronto Raptors at Philadelphia 76ers Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Brett Brown, PHI

On the difference between regular season Jimmy Butler and what he’s seen in the playoffs out of [Butler]…

I mean we’ve talked since we all have met each other long ago—the playoffs—it’s a different sport. It’s a whole different kind of everything in general. And you know Jimmy’s focus, I think his leadership, [his] attention to detail with the pieces, the integral pieces that we’re trying to get done defensively, [is] heightened. And we need it all, we need it all. And it’s appreciated and respected.

On Joel Embiid’s performance…

I mean for me it goes straight to the blocks. You know, we can talk about a windmill dunk. You can talk about some finesse post moves and that. But I go to defense. That’s what interests me the most to date with this series. When we talk about whatever we’re going to talk about, my mind goes straight there. He is our crown jewel defensively, and I suppose offensively, too. But certainly defensively. And his rim protection and blocking shot ability tonight stood out as much to me as anything in an incredible performance.

On finding the line between balancing individual players’ strengths and what is best for the group…

It’s a good question. And I can’t give you like ‘Third game, Brooklyn’ or ‘Last week of the regular season.’ I can’t be that specific, but you are correct. It’s evolving, that is for sure. And it is a lot easier to say and sell when you win. And [that] we have taken great pride in our defense is the thing, as I said five minutes ago, that interests me the most [and] that I think connects the dots. Because normally teams that I have coached that you want or you wished did better let their offense sort of dictate their mood. And then if we felt pretty good, you’ve got a chance of playing some good defense. There’s an inverted attitude that I love—like we’re trying to guard. We’re really trying to play defense. And how about our crowd? It was spectacular. And so when we come down to the offensive end, the evolution of Jimmy [Butler] with the ball, or posting Jo [Embiid], or utilizing Ben [Simmons], bringing JJ [Redick] off screens, making sure Tobias [Harris]—you know, who can score a bunch of different ways—is used. I think it’s evolving, but I can’t pinpoint a time. I can tell you winning sure allows us to keep it moving forward.

Joel Embiid, PHI

On what those celebrations do for his energy level and approach to the game…

I think for everybody that knows me, you know, I need it. You know, I want to have fun. My game just changes. You know, I’m always told that if I don’t smile during the game, I’m either having a bad game or I’m not into it. You know, when I know that to get my game going, I got to have fun on the court. At the same time, I got to beat players. That part of the theatrics, it has to happen for me and the game is more fun that way. We all have fun as a team. You know, you can see it lifts my teammates and we all do a good job.

On what kind of message his performance tonight sends to Marc Gasol and the rest of the Raptors

I mean, you know they’re a great defensive team. You know, they double and triple-team a lot, so it’s a team defense. I’m not really focused on him. Great player, have a lot of respect for him, but it’s a team game. If I’m open, my teammates are going to find me and if they’re open, I’m going to find them. So, I’m not really worried about them, I’m more worried about my team. You know, how we coexist on the court, how we play together. We know that we got to move the ball, we got to take up the ball and defensively just, we got a couple of guys on the team that have the potential to be defensive player of the year. So, that’s what we got to do. My job is just to get it moving.

On if he’s noticed a difference in playoff Jimmy Butler versus regular season Jimmy Butler

Obviously, he’s a great player. I’ve noticed a difference. You know, playoff Jimmy is a different player. You know, it doesn’t matter. Both playoff or regular season Jimmy, both guys are the type of guys you want on the team because when it matters, you know when it’s the last shot or the fourth quarter, you know that he’s going to be there. He’s going to show up, no matter what he has going on. You know, the way we’ve been adjusting and the way we’ve been playing together, I still feel like we have so much potential, especially with Tobias [Harris], Ben [Simmons], JJ [Redick]. Just like [Jimmy] said, chemistry is overrated. When you have great basketball players on the floor, it’s easy. It’s not that complicated. We all — we’re passers, we play slow, we’re so unselfish. We understand that it’s all about moving the ball. We don’t want to ever get in situations where, you know, one guy has the ball and trying to create, we know that we got to move the ball. It just makes it easier.

Jimmy Butler, PHI

On improvements he has made from the last game…

The way that they guard pick-and-rolls a lot, I think it’s—you have to be able to know where they’ll be and where the guard is going to be and we talked about getting big fella [Joel Embiid] the ball and making him make a lot of plays. Obviously, he is a force to be reckoned with, especially when he is making trey balls like he does, but then attacking the rim at the same time. I think that’s how we’ve got to play, you know, you get the ball to him, he’s going to score, make the right play. Same thing with myself, same thing with Ben [Simmons], you can go down the line, but all in all, we share the ball.

On his chemistry for pick-and-roll plays…

I think chemistry is a bad word, like everybody wants to say that because we played together, however many games we didn’t play together, however many games—it’s simple enough to know that whenever you have some good basketball players out there, the game happens. You make the right plays, you do what you’re supposed to do with the basketball, and that’s all it is. The game is really, really simple. I think at times we, as players, decide to make it hard, but if you’re open, shoot it, do not pass.

On his commitment to play hard in the playoffs…

I just do what my teammates and what my coaches need for me to do. I try to find the line to keep everybody happy, to tell you the truth. I think if everybody’s happy, everything runs smoothly. You win and that’s all it’s about, it’s not about being aggressive or not being aggressive, whenever we lose and I’m not aggressive, you all have something to say, but when we win and I’m not aggressive, it’s nothing. So just win and nobody says anything about anything.

Nick Nurse, TOR

On the team’s passiveness throughout the game…

Yeah, I think we got outplayed in just about every area we could get outplayed in. Just in overall physicality, energy, cutting, rebounding, passing, you know, all of that kind of stuff, we got thoroughly outplayed and it’s been a while. Right? It’s been a while since we’ve seen this team play that way.

On the performance by the starters…

I think—I mean there’s a lot more things we can do better. Listen, we can’t let the shot-making affect so many other parts of the game. There’s—pick a thing tonight, right? You can’t—we didn’t make shots, you’re right, but pick anything else, right? But I think, if I’m not mistaken, we had three starters on the floor to start the fourth, but it just was a bad run. I think, again in the second was similar—with three starters to start the second, and that part of the game in the second was—came down and got three or four wide open ones in a row and got nothing to show for them, not even a two or anything, but then they raced them back on us and scored them and kind of busted that open early. But those first couple minutes of the second and fourth were big, huge momentum swings in the game.

On the offensive changes he will make for Game 4…

I think the first adjustment, we’re going to have to make it, I guess we’re going to have to play all of them a lot harder. We’re going to have to play a hell of a lot more physical. I mean if we don’t do that, the prettiest things we decided to do offensively aren’t going to matter much.

Kawhi Leonard, TOR

On Joel Embiid tonight…

He played great. He made his presence [felt], got to the free-throw line, hit some big threes, had five blocks tonight. You know, he did his job.

On team’s struggles in opening minutes of the fourth quarter…

We didn’t score the ball. We ended up finishing the fourth quarter with 14 points. In those first five minutes, we just really didn’t score the ball. I think they got a few turnovers in transition for easy layups. They did a great job scoring and we didn’t.

On what the Raptors need to do to keep up with the Sixers’ offense in Game 4…

I think it starts with defense. They had two 30-point quarters in the first half. We’re not going to win like that. They scored 115 points tonight. They got some easy looks at the basket, we didn’t do well in transition early on, [they] shot 50 percent from the field, 40 [percent] from three. We’ve got to play better defense.