Game Quotes: Cavaliers at Bulls



On the game:
It was a good win. Some guys came in and did some good things with Kyrie out of the game. We knew it was going to be tough. I thought guys stepped up big time, especially Luke Walton. To me he deserved the game ball, if we were giving out one.

On the steal by Walton at the end of the game:
I thought Luke just played well all night long. He did some great things on the offensive end and played defense. He just knows how to play. Having him in here along with Shaun Livingston really calms the guys down. They know what they are going to do. That play at the end was just big time. It's not just settling, the game wasn't over. He kept playing and playing and that was a big steal.

On Shaun Livingston's rebound just before Walton's steal:
That was big too. We talked about that on the bench. Luol Deng got a rebound when we had a five-point lead and he got two free throws. So we talked about all five guys have to rebound. We have to go get it somehow, force them into a tough shot and go get it. The one that Shaun got, there were three of us around the ball so that was a big one.

On your best player being out of the game and everyone stepping up:
I think everybody understands you've got to pick it up. You can't do it by yourself, it has to be a collective thing.


On stepping up with your best player out of the game:
A: I think Kyrie is one of those guys who is so good a lot of times you just rely on him. Without him we knew we were all going to have to play a lot harder and a lot more focused. The Bulls have been kicking our butts the last eleven games. As athletes and competitors, that leaves a taste in your mouth. We knew it was going to be tough. The Bulls are a good team, very well coached.

On playing better basketball the last few weeks:
A: We've been playing very solid basketball. We still struggle in that stretch once in a while. We are growing and we are definitely a much better team.

Bulls HEAD COACH Tom Thibodeau

Same running line as last couple weeks?
“I guess. Tonight the offense was fine, the defense was terrible. Out-rebounded, got beat to loss balls, their bench crushed us.”

On Cleveland play:
“You cannot pick and choose, and we cannot play one sided ball. We be offense one night and then defense another night, or only play one quarter. In this league, everyone is capable of winning. Cleveland played very well. Until we get the level of intensity up, play with high energy at both ends of the court, and play for 48 minutes; the results are not going to be good. You get what you deserve in this league, and we are getting what we deserve right now. Till we change that, we are going to have problems. We are short handed. We have to play with great intensity and you have to do it for the entire game. We are not doing that right now.”

On Cleveland playing without Irving:
“Teams have to step up and play more when they are missing a player. When you are down a player, you have to do it collectively and we were doing that for a long time. But now we have exhaled. The result is not going to be good. We have to correct that.”

Bulls playing without Taj and having to go small:
“We have more than enough. We have been through this before. We've rebounded well before when we were small so are capable. Our smalls have to get in there and come 5, 6 or 7 rebounds each. They have to go after the ball. We have to re bound with 2 hands and snatch the ball. We've got to make contact and fight. There is no easy way out and our road is not getting easier.”

The Bulls played so well for the first 3 months, are they worn out from playing with such high intensity?
“We are not the only team that has played this much time. Every team in the league has. This is what separates the teams in the league. The teams that can get it done when they are not feeling their best and still be committed in doing the job and getting it done. Those are the teams that have success.”

Joakim Noah

“We're not playing very well right now. It is very frustrating and there are no excuses. Cleveland played very well tonight. They hustled, went after the ball. We have to find a way to play with more urgency.”

Kirk Hinrich

On the game:
“We have to keep grinding and get back on track. In the NBA every team is tough and there are no guaranteed wins. They played hard and they played well. We need to get back to where we were and start finishing games and make no excuses.”

On his injury:
“Every team has injuries, injuries are a part of the game. I felt good tonight. I was a little winded. The elbow felt ok.”