Game Quotes: Cavaliers vs. Pacers
(On tonight’s game): “I thought it was a fun basketball game in the first half and even part of the third quarter because it was ugly and nasty and neither team had a rhythm. We weren’t shooting well. They weren’t shooting well. I thought it was a physical contest. Our guys were doing what they’re supposed to do. I put the young fellas in towards the end of the third quarter. Indiana turned it up and our young guys were a little shell-shocked and they didn’t know what hit them. Obviously, having six or seven turnovers towards the end of the quarter opened it up and gave Indiana confidence like it should because they’re a veteran team. They’ve been there and done that. They took advantage of the situation and jumped on us.”
(On what his team could have done better): “The reality to it is there were some things we could have done better in the first half. I thought a couple of times we didn’t move the ball and it stuck a little too much at times. Defensively, without watching the tape, I thought we were flying around and it wasn’t always perfect. We were pretty good. It was just late in the second half or towards the end of the third quarter, we didn’t do a good job of responding to Indiana’s physicality when we had that young group out there on the floor, but I enjoyed the game.”
(On the timeout in the first minute): “This is the preseason. I’m challenging out guys to guard their man. We have five guys that guard the basketball. Everyone should be on a string defensively. In post-up situations, I want to see if we’re good enough, tough enough, physical enough to guard some of these other teams bigs when it comes to post play. Andy (Varejao), who’s extremely active guarding the post, is a little ahead of the group right now and he was doing something that I would allow him to do later on, whether it’s a month or two months, and he was reacting a way that he will eventually be able to react down the road. I just had to tell him ‘I know you’re guarding Hibbert, but don’t worry about it. Fight him, if he catches, play him. You don’t have to front him.’ Right now, if he fronts him, our guys don’t really know how to react to it and it could have been a long night if I continued to let it happen. So I just wanted to say ‘we’re going to play basic simple D, when he catches it, guard him. Be physical with him and guard him.’”
(On the end of tonight’s game): “(Coach Brown) told the starters to be ready to play in the fourth quarter, but we just wanted the second unit to learn. That’s an Eastern Conference Finals team. (The Pacers) are a veteran team. They definitely picked up their physicality.”
(On if he’s anxious to get the regular season started): “Any type of preparation that you have, especially going into the next season, is something you need. If the season started today, I think we’d be ready, but extra preparation can only help us at this point. We’re still learning.”
(On how he feels the starting unit is meshing together): “We’ve been coming together for a little bit now and we have a rhythm, especially me, (Anderson Varejao) and Tristan (Thompson). We’re starting to figure our spots out, along with Dion (Waiters) and Earl (Clark); they’re also figuring their spots out. We’re gelling well and it starts in practice. Our practices are harder than our games, I feel. That’s the way it should be. We can only get better from this point on.”
(On tonight’s game): “We were able to further explore our roster flexibility, like working on some combinations with Copeland and Roy (Hibbert) together and David (West) and Luis (Scola) together. I liked both combinations and it was good to get the win. We didn’t shoot a good percentage, but we were aggressive and got the bonus early and we were running the (third) quarter, so that contributed a lot to it. I think the offense was really fluid the first half, but I think we were missing a lot of open shots. Tired legs and even on the free throw line it looked like we had tired legs, we’re fatigued but we’re battling through it and I think we are learning to trust the pass.”
(On the third quarter) “We started exhibiting some will, desiring to get that win, whatever it takes to get the win and playing more up-tempo offensively. We try to live at the free throw line. Physicality, driving the basketball, crashing the glass and really just posting that physicality.”
(On tonight’s game): “We have to give credit for this one to the bench. They came in and took over, made the lead. I’m extremely happy for them. David West carried us, kept us in the game. We didn’t shoot free throws for a while so whenever we practice next – we have to learn.”
(On tonight’s game): “We were down at halftime and just wanted to come in and get the win. We didn’t think we were playing up to our standards, so we came out and just played better as a team.”
(On being on the floor with the team): “It’s fun. It’s erratic at times, but it keeps up the play. It drives our team, pushes our team.”
• The Cavs held a 55-39 rebounding edge over the Pacers, including 17 offensive boards that led a 19-12 advantage in second chance points.
• Kyrie Irving finished with a team-high 15 points, along with five rebounds, a game-high tying five assists, one steal and one block in 24 minutes. Irving has scored in double figures in each of the five preseason contests.
• Anthony Bennett recorded a double-double with 11 points, including shooting 5-6 (.833) from the free-throw line, and a game-high 10 rebounds (four offensive) in 26 minutes off the bench.
• Anderson Varejao tallied six points, eight rebounds with five of those coming off the offensive glass and three assists in 24 minutes. This was the second straight game that Varejao has grabbed five or more offensive rebounds.
• Tristan Thompson recorded a near double-double with 11 points on 3-4 (.750) shooting from the field, eight rebounds, one steal and one block in 21 minutes.