Game Quotes: Cavaliers vs. Timberwolves
(On tonight’s game): “I thought there were a lot of good things in the ball game. It’s great that we got a win. Obviously, we still have to figure out how to close out games the right way on both ends of the floor. The bottom line is we had to get a stop to win it and our guys managed to get a stop. I thought they went out there and tried to play defense the right way. Kevin Love is a great shooter, but he took a contested three and you kind of live with that and go from there.”
(On coming out with the win after Minnesota’s late run): “It was a great learning experience for our group and hopefully we can build on that so that if we’re in that position again, especially in the near future. I can’t take away from the fact that (Minnesota) is a good team. They average 100-plus points and almost 40 points in the first quarter in their three wins. They came out here and had 23 against us and then 15, 23 and 31. They got a lot of their stuff in transition. I thought in the half court we were pretty good versus a really, really good offensive team that’s way ahead of the curve on that side of the ball. Again, it’s stuff for us to work on, stuff for us to get better at but I do take my hat off to the guys for the way that they played most of the game and then also for closing the game with a win.”
(On Andrew Bynum): “He’s a skilled big guy. He can pass it. He can shoot it. He can do a lot of things. He has a big body and can post up. Our trainers said we can increase the time we play him in both halves. For me, it was an easy decision. I thought he played very well. I thought he showed some of his skill. You see him post up. He can shoot the basketball. He stepped out 15 to 17 feet and shot the jumper. I’ve been saying for a long time that he can shoot the ball. Defenses aren’t going to be ready for that. I don’t think anybody thinks he can so they’re going to play off him. He’s going to have that shot because he’s very skilled. It’s going to open the floor up, not only for him, but for everybody else. I thought he played well and impacted the game for us.”
(On his second quarter performance): “I was just able to get some good looks. I got to the basket a couple of times, I got some wide-open looks. I feel like I’m supposed to knock down all of those. When you get a couple of easy ones, everything else just feels like a rhythm after that.”
(On what the team was doing right in the second quarter): “We were playing hard. We were energetic, got some steals, we rebounded the ball and got out and ran. We ran the stuff we wanted to when the way we wanted to, inside and out with (Andrew Bynum) out there being able to play a little bit more minutes.”
(On the last five minutes of the game): “We just got really loose offensively. There was poor defensive balance. A lot of their buckets were in transition; we weren’t back and we had costly turnovers. They got back in the game.”
(On what the team can learn from tonight’s game): “Maintain the pressure on both ends of the floor and just staying aggressive on both ends of the floor and we’ll be fine going forward.”
(On if he had any flashbacks to last season during Minnesota’s run): “No. I don’t think about last year, it’s about this year; I learned from it. Last year, the game could have gone either way, but we got a stop at the end and that’s all that matters.”
(On the team moving forward): “We accomplished our goals early, especially going into that five minute mark. We were holding them to under 40 percent shooting. They were moving the ball and bodies. We pressured them defensively, but our offensive got stagnant, so our defensive balance was poor during that last five minute stretch.”
(On how he felt tonight): “I felt alright. Coming back, I’m coming along (but) not there yet.”
(On shooting jump shots): “I have a good touch and I can shoot the ball. I just haven’t ever been in a system where that was required or anything like that. Here, with Kyrie and running the pick and roll, when other teams drop, that’s going to be available.”
(On tonight’s game): “It was a great job in the 4th quarter by our guys; we just got too far behind. We had a great shot to win it, but it didn’t happen. We were just trying to get an advantage, but we just didn’t do it.”
(On changes made): “We started defending them – we didn’t defend the whole first half and into the third quarter but then we got active and started defending them. We had more points in the paint, and at halftime we were way down in that area. We wanted them to take jump shots and not give them things at the basket and in the second half we did that. Everything has to go right. We were just trying to get a basket. J.J. (Jose Barea) is really tough on breaking people down and trying to get him to the basket, with Derrick (Williams) or the shooters on the floor.”
(On their transition play): “We got to the open court, we got our hands on the ball, but you have to play the whole game. That’s what we talked about before the game and at halftime. They came out very aggressive and we didn’t. We didn’t get into the game and we got down big. I give our guys in that fourth quarter credit, they really gutted it out.”
(On shot selection): “We missed a lot, but it’s all about your mental approach to the game. I think the only one who was really making shots was Kevin Martin in the first half. We didn’t have the ball movement we needed to have, we were very staggered. They were physical, they watched our game last night and you have to be able to play through that.”
(On the fourth quarter rally): “We took our time to make our run, but we gave ourselves a chance to win. In a game like that, especially after playing at Madison Square Garden, that’s all you can ask for. I got a really good look at three’s, it felt good. It just kept hitting the back of the rim and out. It seemed like K-Mart (Kevin Martin) was really the only guy that could find his legs from outside tonight but we’ll get a chance to rest tomorrow. I mention that short term memory – win or lose we just have to get back on that grind.”
(On final shot of the game): “If it’s there, my team trusts me to make that shot and more often than not I believe that I’m going to make the shot. I had confidence. J.J. (Barea) hit me with a good pass and I went up, good rhythm, but it just went back rim and out.”
(On changes made): “We fought. We started getting out on the break and started getting some points in the paint which is really what did it. And we finally decided to play some defense in the fourth quarter. We just kept telling ourselves, in the first three games we had seen some teams come back from pretty large deficits so we had a chance to fight back and gave ourselves a chance there at the end, but just didn’t convert.”
(On C.J. Miles performance): “He has the green light for that team and he showed what he can do tonight. He knocked down some big shots and got to the basket. He is a big factor for them off the bench.”
- The Cavaliers improved to 2-0 at The Q on the season with the 93-92 victory over the Timberwolves. Cleveland started quick and led 55-38 on 24-44 (.545) shooting from the field at the half.
- Cleveland held Minnesota to 34-94 (.362) shooting from the field including 5-28 (.179) from the three-point line.
- The Cavs outscored the Timberwolves off the bench by a 40-27 margin.
- Tristan Thompson posted a double-double with 12 points and a team-high 11 rebounds in 37 minutes. This was Thompson’s second double-double on the season and 42nd of his career.
- Kyrie Irving had a solid all-around game as he finished with 15 points, eight rebounds (career-high eight defensive rebounds), a game-high 6 assists and two blocks in 33 minutes. Irving is averaging 6.8 assists in four games to start the season.
- C.J. Miles continued a strong start to the season with a team-high 19 points on 8-13 (.615) shooting, including 3-5 (.600) from three-point range, five rebounds, two steals and two blocks in 19 minutes off the bench. Miles scored 12 of his points in the second quarter. Through four games thus far this season, Miles is averaging 14.8 points on .523 shooting from the field, 3.0 rebounds and 1.8 steals in 20.5 minutes per game.
- Andrew Bynum tallied 10 points including a perfect 6-6 (1.000) from the free-throw line, to go along with four rebounds and a game-high three blocks in 19 minutes off the bench.