Game Quotes: Cavaliers vs. Raptors
Thoughts on the game…
Give Toronto credit, I thought they came out in the second half and played extremely hard. I thought the big kid (Jonas) Valanciunas was a big difference in the second half. For us to give up 37 points and expect to win on the road in the third quarter was tough. I thought the way we came out was a little flat in the third quarter, but then to our guy’s credit they stayed with it. We missed some free throws, we missed some shots that I think we normally make. We tried to make a little run getting our defence better going into the fourth quarter that gave us a chance, but Toronto had built too big of a lead.
Thoughts on Anthony Bennett…
I thought AB was solid. It was good to see him get out there and make a few baskets. I thought he did a decent job on the boards. The big kid from Toronto (Jonas) Valanciunas hurt us really bad. I thought AB was solid.
Thoughts on Spencer Hawes first game…
I thought he was solid too. We were kind of talking him through the stuff we were going through on the floor. He is pretty smart and he was picking it up as we were going along. Give him credit he plays hard, the defence definitely has to respect him no matter where he is on the floor.
How tough is it when you’re trying to insert a new guy and you’re playing without three regular key rotation guys?
It’s tough but at the end of the day we’re professionals, we’ve just got to make adjustments and I think we did. We played a heck of a first half on both ends of the floor and in that third quarter we came out flat, coach talked about it. We’ve just got to get better at that. It’s bad that our streak has come to an end but I mean it’s part of the game and now we just move on from here, watch film tomorrow and move on.
What is it that the Raptors did in the second half?
No, it was us. In the third quarter we came out soft and stagnant. We didn’t make it tough on the offensive end for them, they made shots. Their big fellas, (Jonas) Valanciunas and (Amir) Johnson got a lot of offensive boards and that’s on the bigs to box out and have them have one shot and we didn’t do that tonight. We fell short and didn’t win.
Is it a disappointing way to end a winning streak?
Yes, the good thing is that we tried to compete at the end, tried to get ourselves back into it. We had it back to a two possession game but it was too little too late especially with a team like the Raptors especially while they are at home. We’ve got to come out and play 48 minutes of defensive basketball and play hard.
How tight do you think this Eastern Conference is going to get down the stretch?
It’s going to be a race to the finish line. Teams are going to have their ups and downs. For us we are playing good basketball but unfortunately we didn’t have it tonight. We’ve got to come out Sunday against the Wizards and get the win.
What’s tougher to pick up, the defense or the offense?
I think the offense for me, trying to get some of the calls. Defensively they kept it pretty simple, we made a couple of adjustments in the second half. I think offensively trying to get the intricacies, not just the offense but guys tendencies, where guys like the ball, guys know where I like the ball. Just trying to figure out the chemistry and that comes with time.
Would you say you are a pass first type of guy?
I think so. I think that’s what gets me going, trying to get everybody the ball.
How have the teammates treated you in your short time with the team?
They’ve been great. They’ve been nothing but very welcoming, very hospitable and that’s what they said about this organization when I got traded here, that’s what everybody said.
Can you explain the difference in the start of the first quarter to the third quarter…
It’s unbelievable. I thought there was a lid on the basket in the first half, especially for Amir (Johnson). Amir had point blank layups that he normally makes, that he just couldn’t get it. I like the way we came about and gave ourselves a chance to win with our defence. We talked about that, we’d been giving up 45 per cent shooting in the first couple of games after the break. We got them down to 39 (per cent) and we did it with our defence. There are going to be nights where the ball just won’t fall and that’s where the defence has to carry you and that will usually travel well.
The performance of Terrence Ross on Kyrie Irving…
His length really was a key asset against him. The one thing you want to do against a young man like that is slow him down. He’s one of the best guys, with the ball; I mean he almost has a string on the ball, so it makes it doubly tough to handle him. Now with (Jarrett) Jack handling the ball they can run him baseline and he catches it with a live dribble which makes him even more dangerous. They are putting together a nice team; we didn’t see (Dion) Waiters or C.J. Miles tonight, and we’ll see them next week, so they’re putting together a nice young team.
Did you say anything to Jonas Valanciunas to get him going in the second half?
We had to give him, our bigs, a wakeup call in the second half and they did. You’re going to have nights like that. It wasn’t from lack of trying or lack of effort. They’d touch a rebound; fumble it out of their hands, miss a rebound here, miss a put-back there. All at once they allow the offence to dictate how they’re playing and how they’re feeling about themselves. So they turned it around in the second half. We reminded them, there’s more to the game than the offensive end. You can get rebounds, you can get back in transition, you can challenge shots and you can go vertical. You can do a lot of different things other than make shots and I thought the second half Amir Johnson and JV (Jonas Valanciunas) worked at it and got it done.
Thoughts on defending All-Star game MVP (Kyrie Irving)…
At the beginning he wasn’t my man, I was suppose to guard Jarrett Jack. Kyle (Lowry) switched somewhere during the middle of the first quarter and I ended up guarding him the whole game. You just have to stay defensively sound, he can score a lot of different ways and he gets his teammates involved. If you slow him down you slow the team down.
What was said in the locker room at half time?
We just had to pick up our defensive intensity. The biggest thing, we were coming out, playing too lackadaisical and we had to pick that up.
Thoughts on Jonas Valanciunas picking it up in the third quarter…
It was big, he managed himself. He was a force inside, it helped out a lot.
What was said at half time?
We just have to pick up our defensive intensity and not let our offensive woes dictate our game. We still have to make sure we play defence and get our defence into the game.
Do you attribute the strong second half to the maturity of the team?
We have veteran guys here and we have young guys that are just learning. We are in a situation where we have to take advantage of every opportunity and we can’t just let games slip away.