Game Quotes: Cavaliers vs. 76ers
I thought we played very well throughout the course of the basketball game. I really thought that we moved the basketball offensively – 28 assists on 40 made field goals. It was a good night for us offensively. I thought our bigs did a heck of a job: Tyler (Zeller) with a double-double, Tristan (Thompson) with a double-double, AB (Anthony Bennett) with a double-double. That's great basketball from our bigs, but the thing I was most proud of was that defensively we were really good throughout the game. There was a little lull at the beginning of the second half, but our guys picked it up rather quickly. I thought our awareness defensively was really good. To hold a team that gets out and runs in transition the way Philly does to 13 fast break points was really good. We stressed that going into the game. The second area I thought we were good in was boxing out and preventing their ability to get offensive rebounds. When a team shoots 36 percent from the field, there are a lot of rebounds available. In the first half, they kicked our behind in that area, getting 13 offensive rebounds. We talked about it at the half and to our guys credit, we held them to only 5 offensive rebounds in the second half. That was big for us in the second half. Overall, it was a good team win, especially on the defensive end of the floor in the first game coming off of the break.
Q: You had a winning streak going into the break. What does it mean to pick up where you left off?
Give the guys in the locker room credit. They've done a heck of a job throughout the course of the year. It's been a year of ups and downs and our guys just keep fighting. They're trying to play the right way and I give them credit for that. They understand that if we don't defend, then we're not going to give ourselves a chance. So they keep fighting that way and keep giving us a chance to win. I tip my hat off to the guys in the locker room.
Q: Going back home tomorrow for the second half of your back-to-back what is the mindset?
Same thing that we did today. Come out strong right from the start, play strong defense and make sure they get one shot per possession.
Q: This is your second career double-double, is the game slowing down for you now?
I wouldn't necessarily say that. I feel a lot more comfortable going out there and playing. People trust me and I trust them, so I just have to get out there and make the right plays.
Q: In the winning streak, what has stuck out for you in this stretch of basketball?
I think just how hard we've been playing. We're continuing to get better and better as far as making sure none of their bigs get the ball and defensively we communicate and trust each other.
Q: Were you trying to really establish your presence in the paint early, or were things just coming to you?
Some of it was just coming to me. They weren't doing a great job on the backside of tagging the rolls, so I ended up being open a lot more than I thought I'd be. Then they adjusted and we started hitting some shots.
Q: It’s getting harder and harder for you guys to score, can you figure out why?
I think some of it is I give the league credit. As the season gets deeper and coaches dig in more, they learn a lot more about new players and we got a bunch of new guys that are being scouted. I give Cleveland some credit to that tonight. Some of it I think at this stage of the year, when it gets deflating legs, legs aren’t in it as much, your confident side gets shaken up. I think all of those things factor into it.
Q: Do you think it was more legs or at a point lack of effort in regards to getting outrebounded and giving up a lot of open shots?
I think there were some effort problems there no doubt and I think that you can’t hide from that. I think when you’re losing games at this stage of the year, there’s a beat down effect that we’re trying to avoid. I want those guys to feel good about themselves. I want them to find a way to help themselves. When you don’t feel great about yourself, you see a bunch of problems that I think are consequential. My job going forward is to help them get better, to be with them to demand some things and expect some things, but to also make sure that we coach them. That’s all I know how to do and my coaching staff will do the same. That’s how we’re going to choose to treat this final third of the season.
Q: It seemed like it was tough for everyone to get going tonight.
Yeah for sure, none of us shot too well. We didn’t get any good breaks and once again it really just didn’t fall our way.
Q: Coach Brown talks about getting something out of losses individually and as a team, can you get anything out of them?
I think when it comes to these types of situations you have to look at yourself and see what you can do more as opposed to pointing the finger and doing whatever else.
Q: Why do you think the defense struggles so much?
I honestly don’t know. When it comes down to it, sometimes you have stretches where the ball kicks off somebody’s foot and things like that, but honestly I don’t know. I think for the most part the efforts there, but when you get an offensively scoring team like this confidence makes for a long night.
Q: Coached talked a little bit about spirit as a team - the feeling out there amongst yourselves and chemistry with the team, is there a way to get that back?
Yeah when you lose the way we’ve been losing it gets deflating a little bit. But, as a team we’ve been trying to keep ourselves together, talking to each other, staying positive and just trying to figure everything out.