Game Quotes: Cavaliers vs. Bobcats

March 7, 2014

Cavaliers Head Coach Mike Brown

(On tonight’s game)
“I thought we did a nice job defensively. We were moving the ball and moving bodies.  We were able to get some good looks at the rim and our pace was pretty good.  Defensively, we struggled, especially guarding Al Jefferson. I thought our defense in the second half picked up, but in the fourth quarter offensively we missed shots.  We had the ball in the paint a couple of times, but did not convert.  They were able to covert because of our turnovers in tough situations.  The sense of urgency has to be there in this last stretch of 20 games or so.”

(On Al Jefferson and Kemba Walker pick-and-roll)
“You have to give them credit.  Kemba does a great job with the ball.  He doesn’t play with it.  He comes off the pick-and-roll and goes at the big guy which kind of gets you going on your heels. The big guy has to make a decision; ‘do I continue to retreat or do I step up’?  He made some big shots because the big guy retreated a couple of times and he made some great passes, right on target to Al Jefferson at the right time. You have to just give both of them credit.”

(On inexperience causing mistakes under pressure)
“Maybe you can attribute our inexperience to some of that because we are, but that is not why the game got out of our hands.  I thought the ball was sticking too much.  I’ve been talking to them about getting off the ball.  In the second half, I don’t think we did that.  We held on to the ball one dribble to long.  We really didn’t make them work on the pick-and-roll...”

Dion Waiters

(On tonight’s game)
“It’s tough, we can’t keep trading baskets, we have to get stops. We didn’t get key stops when we needed and traded basket-for-basket and we have to do a better job, especially on the road. There isn’t much room for mistakes when you’re away.”

(On a tough 4th quarter)
“The ball just didn’t stick. We weren’t moving the ball as well as we were in the first half. I think that cost us too. When times get tough everybody tries to do it on their own, including myself. We have to move the ball and get everybody involved, especially on the road.”

(On the playoff push)
“I can feel it man, especially knowing that we have a chance. Why not us? At the end of the day we have to have that sense of urgency, time is ticking. It’s up to us to go out there and take it, it’s right there.”

Bobcats Head Coach Steve Clifford

(On tonight’s win)
“In the first half, sometimes when you score quickly and we made a bunch of threes, you don’t lock in on the defense like you need to.  I thought that was what happened.  In the second half we fought hard.  We played a lot better and that was a good win.  Obviously Al had another great game and Kemba, in the second half was terrific.  That’s a really good win because to me, they have improved more than any other team I’ve seen, from the beginning of the season until now.”

(On Chris Douglas-Roberts)
“He’s smart and he’s tough.  One thing he’s done well, from when he was playing with the group, until when he was out, he came in early every day.  He wants to play basketball and he’s a hard worker so he deserves to be playing this way.  Obviously if he’s four for seven from the three every night, I’ll find a way to get him in there.”

(On Luke Ridnour’s adjustment)
“I think Luke knows how to run and organize a team.  He hadn’t been playing so it’s going to take some time for him to get his rhythm back.  I don’t think he’s been in a game much for three weeks and that’s a lot but he’s very bright.  I think he’ll be fine and play well.”

(On Al Jefferson scoring 30+ points in the last 11 games)
“He’s gone from a guy that was thinking score first o now making a ton of plays.  The first time I met with him back in the summer, I made an edit of pick and rolls to watch with him so that we could start to lock in on things.  The first thing he said to me was ‘Why don’t I make more passes?’ Instantly you like him because his concern is why he’s not throwing more passes.”

(On earning the sixth straight win at home and protecting a Playoffs spot)
“It’s been against good teams.  I don’t think people realize how good of a win this is.  Indiana, Memphis and Dallas were all in there, then beating Detroit after beating them in Detroit the night before, which is difficult to do.  We’ve had some really good wins.. Earlier in the year we were playing better on the road and struggling at home but we’re playing a lot better.”

(On Jordan talking to the team before the game)
“I asked our Owner to come speak to the guys today before the game.  He was the one that gave the pregame speech and he talked about what it takes to play in significant games.  I think with 20 games left it’s time to start talking about the Playoffs and not just qualifying for the playoffs but getting out team game and individual games ready for the Playoffs.”

Al Jefferson

(On tonight’s win)
“Cleveland is one of those teams that doesn’t have the record to show it, but they’re a talented team.  They went and beat OKC in OKC and that’s something we couldn’t do.  They’re one of those teams that you can’t sleep on.  I don’t think we had that mindset we had Wednesday night (against Indiana), but once again, when it got down to the end of the game, we got stops and we did what we had to do.  At the end of the day, it wasn’t the best win like the one Wednesday night, but it was a win, a win that we needed.”

(On being in the playoff race and their growth as a team)
“The playoffs started for us about two or three weeks ago.  I remember Coach (Clifford) said at the beginning of the season, when you’re in a situation where you’re at the point in the season where you’ve got 20 games left and you’re in that playoff picture, you’re pretty much there.  Today, with 20 games left now, we’re right there.  So now we’ve got to turn it on and keep it on from here on out.  All the way from two weeks ago to now, from here on out we have to be focused and locked in like the playoffs have started.  We’ve got to get to the point where he shouldn’t have to call timeouts to correct us on something we discussed at shoot-around.  That’s all about growing and that’s all about getting better, the things that Michael (Jordan) was saying before the game.  We’ve got to continue to grow and be professional on the next level.  We can’t be satisfied.  Where we’re at right now, it’s a long way from where we were two years ago, and we want to continue to get better.”

Kemba Walker

(On the six-game home winning streak)
“We’ve got to protect home and try to win as many games as possible here, make it tough for guys when they come in here, and that’s what we’ve been doing.  Hopefully we can keep it up on the road.”

(On what Michael Jordan talked to them about before the game)
“Just keep going.  He told us he was proud of us, of how we’ve been playing on a daily basis and how hard we’ve been working all year, and he told us to keep pushing.  Don’t stop.  This is not where we want to end.  We’re not satisfied and we’ve just got to keep going.”

(On his increased assist numbers lately, including 14 tonight)
“At times I draw a lot of attention, and whenever I draw the second defender, I know someone is open.  I’m just finding my teammates and those guys are making shots.  It’s about me having confidence in those guys and that’s all it is.  They’re making shots, they’re running with me and I’m trying my best to find them.”

(On scoring 12 of his 20 points in the fourth quarter tonight)
“I was trying to be aggressive and trying to look for my shot, but I was kind of off at one point, but whenever I drew another defender, I just found guys, especially Al (Jefferson).  He’s been on, so as much as I can find him, I’m looking for him.  CDR (Chris Douglas-Roberts) running the court made some big threes and some huge plays.  Down the stretch, I knew I had to be aggressive because so much attention was on Al.  (Assistant Coach Patrick Ewing) is always in my ear telling me to be more aggressive, so that’s what I did tonight.  I was able to be more aggressive and make some shots.”