Game Quotes: Cavaliers at Thunder

November 11, 2012


On the fourth quarter: “I think the main thing is that Russell [Westbrook] got hot. [The Thunder] got some transition baskets and we took out most of our starters to try to give them some rest. Our second unit guys didn’t react that well. They got a nice little run.”

On Cleveland’s defensive play: “I thought we were okay. Any time you allow a team to shoot 55 percent, you’re not going to win a whole lot of games. We have to continue to work on that transition defense, and we have to continue to work on and get better at that aspect of the game, too…we need someone else to just really step up.”

On Jon Leuer: “He was okay. I don’t think he did terrible. I’m going to stick with him for a few games, and see how it goes. I’ll see if he can get comfortable as well, and we will go from there. But again, if we allow 55 percent it’s going to be hard to win, especially against a team like this.”

On Russell Westbrook’s buzzer-beater at the end of the third quarter: “I though t that I had kind of relayed the message to everybody that we had a foul to give, and we needed to take that foul once they caught it and dribbled it up the court. [Daniel] Gibson thought he was just going to throw up a bad shot….and as I told him that’s why we want you to foul him before they get to half court and have them take the ball out. That kind of shifted the momentum because at that particular time it was a three point game. It’s just one of those things where it’s a heck of a shot and you have to give them a lot of credit for it. We didn’t do what we wanted to do and what we should have done.”

On Daniel Gibson’s role in the second unit: “I think he’s doing all that he can. He’s playing both ends of the floor, and we’re trying to get him as many shots as possible, because he seems to be the one guy right now that’s hot in the second unit. He’s doing a great job on the defensive end. We just have to get someone else in that second unit to step up.”


On if he is back to 100 percent: “I’m about 90 percent to 95 percent. I’m getting back to the basket now and feeling a lot more comfortable and that’s taking my game to a new level. I can really play and not depend on the 3-point shots.”

On Cleveland showing the defense they had in tonight’s third quarter in all four quarters: “We always show spurts of what we’re able to do. The growth of this team will show whenever we’re able to be consistent and play a full 48-minute game again, again and again – that’s when we’ll take the next step.”

On the mindset of the team’s second unit: “We got to hold the floor. It’s our job to hold the floor. The first group plays phenomenal and we have to make sure that we sustain that with whatever is necessary. Whether that’s playing off of our defense, whatever we’ve got to do, we’ve got to improve. That’s the ownership we’ve got to take.”


On what the Cavs need to focus on: “We’ve just got to keep going, you know? Keep our focus. Like we’ve said before, this is about defense first and then our shots will fall.”


Opening statement: “I thought after a slow start offensively, we battled back on the defensive end and it ended up being a pretty good defense game for us. I thought even our shots early in the first quarter, they were good shots we just weren’t making them and they made some pretty tough shots. I said before the game, those point guards are really good and some of the best young point guards in the league, but I thought as the game went on, our defense played good tonight.”

On the priority of defense: “I don’t know what the other teams are focusing on, but I know we focus on. We play our best basketball when we’re thinking defensive thoughts, when we’re contesting, when we’re challenging passes, when we’re rebounding the basketball and getting out in transition. That’s when we’re at our best and that’s what we’ve been focusing on. Majority of our time, defense is talked about and we work on it and we’ve had a lot of success on the defensive end.”

On Russell Westbrook: “I thought he was good tonight. He had a good offensive game going. Defensively, he was really solid and sound and like I said, it’s a five man defense in pick and rolls. You have to really engage in those two guys up top and Russell did a good job of gageing in the ball. I thought he was good. He had a really good game tonight.”

On the Thunder’s defense: “That first quarter, they made some shots. The second quarter, we were exchanging baskets, but I thought the second half we really buckled down and focused in on the defensive end. We made them take even tougher shots. They were making and taking some tough ones, but we were making them take tougher ones. I thought Serge was protecting it. He had a lot of energy coming up the court and around the basket I thought he was good. Varejao is one of the most active bigs in the league getting offensive rebounds, setting screens, rolling hard and making decisions in that center spot but I thought he did a good job on him also.”


On leadership particularly in second half: “I tried to pick my leadership up. That is a good team and they are going to continue to attack. I was trying to stay in attack mode and keep us going and get the crowd involved.”

On distributing the ball (10 assists tonight): “Our guys made shots. I was trying to pass the ball and make the right plays. If some of those plays weren’t turnovers, there would have been more assists.”

On defense “Our defense is a good trend to have. Keeping teams under a certain amount of points per quarter is important and at the same time we are making shots.”


On five players scoring in double figures: “That should be us nightly. Four or five guys should have double figures every night. There are great offensive players on this team and when we aren’t selfish or turning the ball over that can happen on a nightly basis.”

How much fun is this for you: “It is great. It’s been a long time waiting playing on a team like this. It is just a great group of guys from the organization to the players. Opportunities like this you never know when you are going to get them so you have to take advantage of them.”