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Game Quotes: Cavaliers vs. Nets
April 16, 2014
(On the game tonight): “It was good to see our guys go out and put a stretch of minutes together that were very productive on both ends of the floor. Obviously, we had a lot of guys that played well for us. You get excited when you see the 32 assists on 46 field goals made. When you look at the 38 percent defensively, they didn’t have all their guys but for us it doesn’t matter. We’re not in the same position where Brooklyn is. Brooklyn is on their way to the playoffs. They have a lot of veterans on their team. They had a couple of guys tonight, individually, that have more playoff years than everybody that plays for us. We needed to play the right way, and hopefully playing the right way results in a win which it did. I’m very proud of all of our guys. I’m proud of the way that they played on both ends of the floor. To end on a high note, especially on a night like this when it’s Fan Appreciation Night, because these last couple of games, you look up in the stands and our building is full. You really appreciate the fans and people here in Cleveland. They’re like no other. I experienced it when I was here before and it’s the same thing now. So, it was a great night by all of our guys.”
(On winning the last game): “Obviously, we want to win every time we step out on the floor. For me, even if we would have just played the right way, I would have been satisfied with that. To win adds the icing on top of the cake. I thought our guys didn’t just win, I thought they tried to play the right way which was good.”
(On playing winning basketball every night): “It’s hard to just get that all of a sudden. I played 10 guys tonight, and Jason Collins himself has more playoff experience than all 10 of those guys combined. Andre Kirilenko himself has more playoff years than all of those 10 guys combined. That’s a telling statement, so we have a lot of learning to do when it comes to that. We had an opportunity going down the stretch to play some meaningful games, and it was the first time a lot of these guys were under a different type of pressure going down the stretch in April. It was good for them to experience it. It was good for them to feel. Whether we won, whether we lost, anytime you go through experiences in my opinion you grow.”
(On his thoughts about the season): “The time I was disappointed in was the month of November. We were 4-12 in the month of November and then in the month of December, we were 5-9. I think that team in that locker room has a chance to be a playoff team and a chance to grow together, but I don’t know if we’re quite good enough to start the season 9-21 and think it’s going to be that easy to make that ground up especially with the inexperience that we have in a lot of areas. I thought if there was something I can take back, maybe the month of November and December. If I can take some of those games back so that we wouldn’t have been in that big of a hole coming down the stretch from January on. I’m proud of the guys. I’m proud of the season that they had because I think we made progress. The two games prior to tonight were tough to go through, especially the outcome because to a certain degree people look at ‘what have you done for me lately’. These guys have been pretty good for the past two to three months. Not just two to three weeks or two to three days. They’ve been good for two-plus months and played better basketball so I give them credit for it. I give them credit for trying to stick with it, trying to get better, trying to go out there and prove to themselves that they can win in this league consistently. So I look at it more as a positive than anything else except for the first two months. I wish I can take some of those games back.”
(On what he can take away from this season): “We hold our heads high walking out of (The Q). I’m proud of our guys. We were all a part of something special, (we) fell short, but I can live with that. We put ourselves in position to make the playoffs, but we just fell short. That happens sometimes. These are my brothers and we went down fighting, so I’m happy.”
(On how coming up short will fuel his offseason workouts): “I’ve been thinking about (offseason workouts) for about a week or so. After we got eliminated completely, it’s been on my mind. There’s definitely a lot of motivation going into the summer. I expect a lot from all of us; just to be with each other and make strides in the right direction and prepare for next season.”
(On what he needs to improve on for next season): “This year was just constant learning, strictly that. I learned a lot about myself and I learned about being a better point guard from all aspects of the game and becoming a better leader. I’m a work in progress, which I’ve already admitted. I couldn’t have done it without Coach Brown and my teammates helping me along the way. There’s always room to get better and I’m looking forward to the summer and just taking my game to another level.”
(On what he can take away from this season): “You just have to go into the offseason with confidence and know that you can do it and just continue to work and continue to get better. I’ve got a long way to go to be able to do it night in and night out, but I plan on working on it.”
(On missing out on the playoffs): “We were kind of down for the count to start and we didn’t have a great record. I think we did a great job of figuring it out. We really fought every team and I thought we had a chance to make it.”
(On what he needs to do in the offseason to get better): “Just continue to grow. Hopefully every year I continue to get better and get more comfortable. I got a lot more comfortable this year and I’m going to do a lot of work this offseason to be even more comfortable next season.”
(On the game tonight): “We’re healthy now and no one got hurt tonight. Guys played hard for 48 minutes and actually had a really good first half. I’m proud of those guys, but now we turn the page of the regular season and now get ready for Toronto.”
(On upcoming series vs. Toronto): “They’re well-coached. I’ve played for coach Casey, so I know they will be well-prepared. It can be a very hostile environment and they have great fans. They have a great team – a team that won the Atlantic. We’ve had four pretty good games against them that have gone back-and-forth.”
(On state of Nets heading into the postseason): “I like right where we are. We are in a good place and playing some pretty good basketball of late. We’ve rested and guys have gotten their work in at the same time. Now it’s time to figure out how to get a win on the road.”
(On upcoming series vs. Toronto): “All four games (that we played Toronto) were pretty tough games for us; great competition and they’re a competitive team. Nobody expected them to play so well this season, but they traded Rudy Gay and they started playing better. I think it’s going to be a tough matchup. If you want to be the best, you have to beat everybody.”
(On the Toronto Raptors): “I think one of their keys to success is Kyle Lowry. He has really blossomed this year by organizing their team and of course, DeMar DeRozan is playing at an unbelievable level this season. Those two guys are going to be the main threat as well as the other guys that support them.”
(On having Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce’s playoff experience): “You have those two guys that have a thousand games in the playoffs. They know how to play in a tough matchup and know how to play when the situation goes right and the situation goes wrong. It’s very important to have those kind of guys with that type of experience.”
(On preparing for the playoffs): “It’s like a new season starts right now. Right now, every game counts. Every possession and every set you play on the floor is important. Right now it’s going to be very important to stay concentrated and keep our heads in the game.”
• Cleveland scored 114 points on 46-87 (.529) shooting, including 8-20 (.400) from the three-point line, and dished out 32 assists. The +29 margin of victory ties the season-high (at PHI 2/18/14). The Cavs shot at least .500 from the field for the 12th time this season. Since March 18, the Cavs shot .478 from the field and averaged 24.8 assists per game. Over that span (15 games), the Cavs averaged 103.7 points per game.
• The Cavs held the Nets to 30-79 (.380) shooting from the field. Cleveland has held five of their last six opponents to under .400 shooting at The Q, as their opponents have combined to shoot .391 (204-522) over that stretch. Cleveland finished 15-2 on the season when they held their opponent to under .400 shooting.
• Seven Cavs players finished in double figures in scoring, including all five starters: Tyler Zeller (22), Dion Waiters (19), Kyrie Irving (15), Alonzo Gee (12), Tristan Thompson (11), Carrick Felix (10) and Spencer Hawes (10). Cleveland had seven players finish with 10-plus points for the sixth time this season, including for the second straight game. The last time Cleveland have two straight games of at least seven players finishing with 10-plus points was Dec. 23-26, 1991. The Cavs have also had at least six players score 10-plus points in four consecutive games. The last time Cleveland had four straight games with at least six players scoring 10-plus points was Feb. 26-Mar. 4, 1993. (Elias Sports Bureau)
• Cleveland outscored Brooklyn 60-30 in points in the paint. The Cavs have allowed fewer than 45 points in the paint in 20 of the last 21 games. Offensively, the Cavs have scored at least 50 points in the paint in four straight games, their most since Jan. 26- Feb. 1, 2004 (four games).
• The Cavs outrebounded the Nets 51-36, blocked seven shots and swiped 10 steals. Cleveland swiped at least 10 steals for the 14th time this season.
• Tyler Zeller registered his third double-double of the season with a game-high 22 points on 9-11 (.818) shooting, a team-high 11 rebounds, two assists and two blocks in 26 minutes off the bench. Zeller has scored in double figures in four straight games, averaging 15.8 points on .711 (27-38) shooting, 7.5 rebounds and 1.0 block in 23.8 minutes per game over that stretch.
• Dion Waiters tallied 19 points on 7-12 (.583) shooting, two rebounds and two assists in 27 minutes. Over his last 15 starts (since Mar. 18), Waiters averaged 21.2 points, 2.6 rebounds and 4.3 assists in 36.0 minutes per game.
• Kyrie Irving recorded 15 points on 6-12 (.500) shooting, five assists and a game-high three steals in 27 minutes.
• Alonzo Gee notched a season-high tying 12 points on 5-9 (.556) shooting, five rebounds and two steals in 30 minutes. Gee scored in double figures for the second straight game, including for the sixth time this season.
• Tristan Thompson posted his team-leading 36th double-double of the season with 11 points on 5-9 (.556) shooting and 10 rebounds in 27 minutes. Thompson has posted a double-double in three consecutive contests, averaging 14.3 points on .552 (16-29) shooting and 10.0 rebounds in 31.7 minutes per game over that stretch.
• Carrick Felix finished with a career-high 10 points on 4-6 (.667) shooting, including a career-high 2-3 (.667) from the three-point line, a career-high tying two rebounds and a career-high three assists in 12 minutes off the bench.
• Spencer Hawes tallied 10 points on 4-7 (.571) shooting, including 2-4 (.500) from the three-point line, seven rebounds, three assists and two blocks in 24 minutes. In 27 games with the Cavs, Hawes averaged 13.5 points, including .448 (47-105) from the three-point line, 7.7 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 1.0 block in 29.8 minutes per game.