Game Quotes: Cavaliers vs. Bulls
(On the game tonight): “I thought we got a lot of good performances from different guys. I thought Kyrie set the tone early with his pace. I thought he did a nice job pushing the basketball, trying to get some easy looks in transition and early offense. That’s something for a guy with his speed we encourage him to do every game because I don’t know if there’s anybody in the league that can stay with him in the open court. We want him to push that pace and I thought he did a nice job of it, especially in the first half. That set the tone for what we wanted to do offensively. I thought Tristan was terrific with his double-double. I thought his activity defensively was very good. I thought Andy’s activity defensively was very good.”
(On Kyrie Irving finishing with zero turnovers): “Kyrie with the six assists and zero turnovers, that was a big game from him because last time we played these guys we had a bunch of turnovers and they scored a lot of points off of our turnovers. So with him having the ball in his hands as much as he does and for him to have zero turnovers in 38 minutes was a big game.”
(On Andrew Bynum’s play tonight): “Everybody saw a little bit of what Andrew is capable of bringing to the table for us. He’s a guy that hasn’t played in over a year. So for us to continue to have patience with him and understand it’s a process is something that we’re going to continue to do. Not only that, we have a young team and we’re still trying to learn how to play with him the right way, and he’s trying to learn how to play with our young team. I thought he was big for us offensively. I thought he was big for us on the glass. I thought he was big for us protecting the rim. You guys can see he’s a willing passer. He’s got a good feel for the game. He’ll make the right pass, especially if he gets doubled.”
(On Alonzo Gee’s defense): “If there was an unsung hero in tonight’s game, I thought it was Alonzo Gee. He ended up playing 36 minutes for us. He had five points, four rebounds, three assists and one turnover. Luol Deng was hurting us in the first half. So we kept our biggest perimeter guy on him, our best defender and that was Alonzo. So whenever Luol Deng was in the game, Alonzo was on the floor. You’re not going to stop a guy like Luol. He’s an All-Star, but what you try to do is try to slow him up as best you can. I thought Alonzo worked his tail off to try to force Deng into some tougher shots than what he was facing when Alonzo wasn’t on him.”
(On getting the win tonight): “It’s great. That’s what we play the game for. We feel like we’re better than what we’re sitting record-wise. We also understand that it’s a process for us. Every time we step out on the floor, we feel like we’re making strides. You can go back to the Boston game, I thought we made strides offensively. We got some of the same looks against Boston as we got tonight. It just didn’t’ go in for some reason. So it definitely feels good to get a win.”
(On having a little more jump tonight): “It’s actually good to jump and see that it wasn’t too bad on the landing. I think, more so than anything, it’s about getting more and more minutes and getting out on the floor and getting my touch back.”
(On what he felt was most impressive about his game tonight): “It was being able to read a double-team. I think they came to double two or three different ways. I was able to pass out of it and as long as the team keeps making shots like that, then I’ll get one-on-one opportunities and it’ll be a lot easier to play.”
(On the team’s energy level tonight): “It started with myself, trying to lead these guys and just bringing the energy from the beginning. I was being aggressive on both ends of the floor, trying to pressure my man and just pick up the pace for my teammates.”
(On if he likes playing at an up-tempo pace): “Absolutely. Coach (Brown) wants me to do that every single game. I just want to continue to get better and continue to get my pace better for my teammates so we get used to a flowing game.”
(On playing with Andrew Bynum): “When you have someone that you can just throw it down to, you know he can get his shot when he wants. Guys respect him on the opposing team; he draws so much attention and it opens a lot of opportunities for all of us to play off of.”
(On Dion Waiters coming off the bench): “When he comes into the game, we just want him to be aggressive on both ends of the floor. That’s what we need from him on a night to night basis. For the last four games, he’s averaging around 20 points and that’s what we need him to do. We need him to be aggressive game to game and have that consistent effort on both ends of the floor.”
(On tonight’s game): “The start of the game – the first six minutes (of the first quarter) and the first six minutes of the third were the same. Right now, I think we have to get our concentration back and our edge back defensively. I think everyone is worried offensively about how we’re going to score and I like what we’re doing offensively. I thought the guys shared the ball and made plays for each other, turnovers were low and we shot a good enough percentage but the defense and the rebounding really hurt us so we have to get that straightened out.”
(On Bynum): “It’s just post-up and then we have to give the appropriate help. We have to have the discipline of when to get in and when to get out. Right now, you have to make a second, third and fourth effort and the ball pressure has to be better. I think it’s a tough matchup, but we have to help more appropriately.”
(On heading back to Chicago): “We have to do better. We learned a lot just being on the road. These guys have to play a lot harder. We’re too sluggish starting games and we just have to do better – that’s the main thing. Just because we are going home doesn’t mean anything. It’s even harder when you’re coming home because teams tend to come in with a chip on their shoulder coming to Chicago thinking they can get a win. We just have to come in straight, watch some more film and get things right. Just because we’re going home doesn’t make it easy.”
(On what is improving): “There is just more of us studying about the game – knowing more about our opponents, making sure we know them better than they know themselves. We’re just trying to go out there and stop them.”
(On working with the other guys on the court): “I’m trying to go out there and make plays. They’re trusting me that I can make plays too. We’re just really trying to build that trust with each other.”
• The Cavaliers picked up their fourth win at The Q this season with a 97-93 victory over the Bulls. Cleveland is 1-1 against Chicago this season.
• Cleveland outscored Chicago off the bench 33-20 and has now outscored their opponents off the bench in 14 of 17 contests.
• The Cavaliers shot 16-19 (.842) from the free-throw line. This was the sixth game this season where Cleveland has shot a least .800 from the line.
• Andrew Bynum posted his first double-double on the season (120th career) with a season-high 20 points on 8-14 (.571) shooting, a season-high 10 rebounds, three assists and a season-high five blocks in 30 minutes. The last Cavalier to block five shots in a game was J.J. Hickson on February 25, 2011 versus the New York Knicks. Tonight was the 36th career game with at least 20 points and 10 rebounds for Bynum.
• Dion Waiters recorded a team-high tying 20 points on 8-10 (.800) shooting, including 2-2 from the three-point line, two rebounds and one steal in 27 minutes off the bench. This was Waiters third straight performance of 20-plus points off the bench and the third time in his career with three straight games of 20-plus (2/24/13-2/27/13, 3/10/13-3/15/13). Waiters has scored in double figures in 10 of his last 11 games. Over the past three contests, Waiters is averaging 21.7 points on 22-42 (.524) shooting, 4.0 rebounds and 3.0 assists in 31.7 minutes per game.
• Tristan Thompson posted a double-double with 14 points on 4-7 (.571) shooting and a game-high 14 rebounds (Career high tying 12 defensive rebounds) in 36 minutes. This was Thompson’s eighth double-double (48th career) and second in as many games against the Bulls this season. In two games against Chicago, Thompson is averaging 14.0 points on 10-18 (.556) shooting and 13.5 rebounds in 37.5 minutes per game.
• Kyrie Irving finished with 19 points, three rebounds, a team-high six assists, two steals and zero turnovers in 39 minutes. Irving has scored in double figures in every contest so far this season.