Game Quotes: Cavaliers vs. Pistons
(On playing with a sense of urgency):
“Our sense of urgency the last two ball games has been non-existent. The way we play defensively, you can live with some missed shots because I thought we had some open looks, especially in the first half. I think almost every one of Alonzo’s looks from three were open. A lot of Earl’s looks from three were open. I thought we had a lot of good looks in the first half. The one thing we didn’t do is we didn’t attack the rim. We settled even when we missed shots. That part is disturbing but just our grittiness and our sense of urgency defensively has not been there, not just the last two games but even some of the games we’ve won. Against Milwaukee, I didn’t’ think it was there. We just outscored them. I thought against Portland it wasn’t really there because of the way they beat us up on the glass. I’m not sure why we’re playing like that defensively. All of us can see the mistakes that we’re making defensively. We’ll go through stretches where we try to pick it up like we did in the third quarter but then we revert right back after making a little run. That’s something that we’re going to correct. I’m going to keep moving pieces and searching until I feel like I have a group of guys that are going to consistently play at a high level defensively. We have to rebound, defend and be physical out there without fouling.”
(On improving in the rebounding area):
“It’s not a product of crashing the boards. It’s a product of boxing out. That’s part of the sense of urgency I’m talking about. Right now, when the shot goes up, we’re turning and taking a step towards the rim. All our opponents are doing is their pinning us under the backboard or because we’re not boxing out, they’re reacting to the ball when it gets kicked off the rim. That’s what our bigs are doing. Our guards aren’t doing a good job of rebounding at the elbow or at the free throw line area. We’re going to keep emphasizing it and keep watching it on film. It’s my job to get guys out there that aren’t going to give up the second shots that we’re giving up right now.”
(On the team’s mental approach):
“I don’t know right now if we mentally understand what it takes to keep doing this every time we step out on the floor. It’s hard to keep bringing it every time you step out on the floor, whether it’s practice, shootaround or games because nobody is going to give you anything. The mental approach is probably tougher than the physical approach. We haven’t arrived. We’re getting hit in the mouth right now and I’m interested to see if we can respond the right way.”
(On what he’s seeing out there right now):
“We’re just not being physical enough; that’s what it basically boils down to. We’re just not starting off the games in the right way like we normally do. (Opponents are) just playing too comfortable out there.”
(On how the team can get its physicality back):
“I’m not too sure. We have to figure that out internally. We just have to figure it out as a team; how we want to start games and just go out and execute.”
(On the team’s attempt at a comeback):
“We’ll just watch film. I think our rotations were kind of messed up out there and they were getting lobs. I feel like we guarded the perimeter pretty well, with the exception of their transition game. We just have to look at film, see where we can improve and go from there.”
(On the team’s game plan to slow down Detroit’s big men):
“The game plan was to come out and be physical with their bigs. They don’t shoot often from the free throw line, so the key was to come in early and kind of knock them on their butt a little bit. We failed to do that tonight.”
(On how the team failed to execute its game plan):
“We just didn’t follow the game plan. Coach (Brown) told us what we needed to do and we didn’t execute; it’s that simple. When you don’t do what coach says, or do it the way he feels is the way to win, we’re going to get our butt handed to us.”
(On if he thinks the team is lacking urgency):
“I agree. The last two games, we’ve played against teams who play well defensively, but they don’t really score that much. (Chicago and Detroit) scored 100 points on us and we waited until about the six minute mark in the third quarter to really pick it up. It’s too little too late and we got our butt handed to us tonight.”
(On tonight’s game):
“When the game started, our energy and the way we wanted to play was all there and we just finished it out. I talked about it before the game, we usually play more 48 minute games on the road than at home, for whatever reason, and tonight was another example of this. We played 48 minutes.”
(On what it is about road games):
“I can’t put my finger on it, but our energy from the start, our focus of pushing the ball up the floor, and getting easy baskets was the reason why we got up such a big lead and just the fact that our defense was better, and that we played 48 minutes. The game is 48 minutes, but at home we play 36 or 38, so most of the time we haven’t played a full 48 minutes.”
(On tonight’s defense):
“We closed off the paint. I thought when they drove the basket, we got inside the paint and when Bynum got the ball we doubled him down low and we rotated out. Our transition defense was good. Everything we did, pretty much, was on a string tonight, for whatever reason, for the full 48 minutes. It allowed us to get some easy baskets, it allowed us to rebound balls and get out on the open court.”
(On guarding Kyrie):
“It was definitely a team effort. He did have 19 at the half so we knew coming into the 3rd, he would be way more aggressive so we just tried to trap a lot of pick-and-rolls and just take him out of the game early.”
(On the key to the road success):
“To me I think, it might sound silly, but it’s the fact that we are shooting around at the arena. At home, we don’t have shootarounds at the arena. I’m not saying it’s an excuse, but we’re not really used to the arena because we don’t have it at the practice facility. If that’s where we play, that’s where we need to try to have shootaround.”
- The Cavaliers scored 41 points off the bench tonight. Cleveland continues to have the highest scoring bench in the Eastern Conference, averaging 40.0 points per game. Cleveland has scored at least 40 points off the bench 13 times this season.
- Kyrie Irving tallied a team-high 21 points on 7-14 (.500) shooting, including 3-6 (.500) from the three-point line, three rebounds, a team-high seven assists and one steal in 29 minutes. In 13 games at The Q this season, Irving is averaging 24.2 points, 3.3 rebounds, 7.4 assists and 1.0 steal in 36.2 minutes per game.
- Tristan Thompson recorded 17 points on 6-10 (.600) shooting and six rebounds in 30 minutes. Thompson has scored in double figures in each of the last five games, averaging 13.6 points and 8.4 rebounds in 28.4 minutes per game over that stretch.
- Matthew Dellavedova finished in double figures for the second straight game after finishing with 10 points on 4-6 (.667) shooting, two rebounds, a career-high six assists and one steal in 27 minutes off the bench.
- Tyler Zeller tallied a season-high 13 points on 6-7 (.857) shooting and four rebounds in 14 minutes off the bench.