Game Quotes: Cavaliers vs Bulls
(On the game tonight): “I’m proud of our guys. They’re battling. They’re playing as hard as they can right now. A lot of things are not going our way, but in that first quarter, we kind of let it get out of hand. We couldn’t make a shot and we couldn’t get stops, but after that we played pretty solid. That’s the problem with us. We have to play a near perfect game on both ends of the floor. The effort has been great, and it was great tonight. We’re just going to keep working. That’s the only thing we can do. Twenty-five percent of the season is gone, so we still have a lot of games left. We’re going to keep working and keep getting better…If you keep working hard and keep playing hard, good things will happen, and they’ll start to happen for us.”
(On playing without Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters): “We’re still there. We’re not the only team that’s going through with having some guys that are hurt, that you need out there and that you wish were out there. One thing we’ll be and always will be is a no excuse team, and we’re going to play the guys that we have available. We’re not going to cry about the guys that aren’t here and can’t participate because when they’re healthy, they’ll come back and supply us with the parts that we need. Right now the guys that we have out there are playing as hard as they can and that’s all you can ask for.”
(On Bulls defense): “You have to give them a lot of credit. They’re one of the best defensive teams in the league and always have been for the last three or four years.”
(On if the team felt that they could come back during tonight’s game): “We thought we could, there was a chance. Obviously we give them credit for keeping their foot down and not letting us back into it. We had it down to ten and then a couple of times under ten and felt like we had a chance. We just ran out of gas in the end.”
(On what Joakim Noah does defensively that is bothersome): “I think his length and athleticism. He did a phenomenal job of protecting the paint. When teams make quick passes, he’s fast enough to get back to it and contest the shot.”
(On how he was affected by Noah’s play): “I was affected by his length, you’ve got to give him credit. He’s got great hands, but at the same time he can block shots, which is something most players can’t do; they can usually do one or the other, so you have to give him credit for that too.”
(On Chicago’s defense tonight): “They play great team defense. They’re quick to the ball and load up in the paint. They have a lot of length and height, which has a lot to do with their defense. At the end of the day, we had a lot of open looks and we missed easy baskets that contributed to the score early in the game.”
(On being back on the court): “I’m just always staying ready. Coach is just trying different things right now and I’m just staying focused and ready to go.”
Bulls Head Coach Tom Thibodeau
(On Cavaliers Anderson Varejao): “You tip your hat to a guy like Varejao. The guy never takes a possession off. He’s relentless. Even though he wasn’t shooting the ball particularly well, he never changed his demeanor or the way he was competing. He keeps going, and he never stops. I have a lot of respect for the way he plays.”
(On Joakim Noah’s technical foul): “We can’t afford fourth quarter technical fouls. We just can’t. It’s too hard to make up. We have to clean that up. It’s an emotional game and he’s an emotional player but we have to control our emotions particularly late. There is an appropriate way to make your point to an official and that is something we have to learn, as a team.”
(On play of Kirk Hinirch): “Every night, his defense sets the tone for our team. He kept us organized and that’s huge. That’s what a point guard does.”
(On Cavaliers Anderson Varejao): “Tough player. He’s a hard-playing dude. I got to give credit where credit is due. Do I like playing against him? No. He is one of those guys that never takes a play off. I really respect him on and off the court. Brazilians are usually pretty cool people.”
• Six players scored in double figures: Donald Sloan (14), Tristan Thompson (11), Anderson Varejao (11), Daniel Gibson (10), Tyler Zeller (10) and CJ Miles (10).
• The Cavaliers had a season-low 10 turnovers.
• Cleveland outrebounded Chicago 14-10 on the offensive glass, which led to a 22-13 advantage in second chance points. The Cavaliers have now tied or outscored their opponents in second chance points in 17 of 19 contests.
• The Cavs have tied or outrebounded their opponents in offensive rebounds in 18 or 19 games. Cleveland recorded their 13th straight game with 10-plus offensive boards. This is the longest active streak in the Eastern Conference and the second longest in the league (Memphis-14).
• Anderson Varejao recorded his 10th consecutive double-double with 11 points, 15 rebounds (five offensive), three assists and a game-high three steals in 36 minutes of action. Varejao becomes the third player in Cavs history to record 10 straight double-doubles in a single season, joining Kenny Carr (10 straight in 1980-81) and Elmore Smith (11 straight in 1977-78).
• Donald Sloan recorded a season-high 14 points on 4-8 (.500) shooting from the field and added three assists in 24 minutes off the bench.
• In his first start of the season, Daniel Gibson recorded 10 points, including 2-3 (.667) from beyond the arc, in 28 minutes of action.
• Tristan Thompson tallied 11 points on 5-9 (.556) shooting, five rebounds (all offensive), two steals and two blocks in 32 minutes.