Game Quotes: Cavaliers at Wizards

December 26, 2012
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Cavaliers Head Coach Byron Scott

On tonight’s performance: “We got the win tonight so I guess I should be a lot happier than I am. Some of the mistakes we made tonight are just unnecessary. We have to cut down on the turnovers, and have good ball security. Coming down the stretch some of the missed free throws could have been crucial if this game had not gone in our favor. We have to be smarter when the game is on the line like it was tonight. This was a good win and a great lesson for this young ball club tonight.”

On the play of Nene: “We had a lot of trouble tonight with him for sure. He is a force. The Wizards inside presence tonight, rebounding and scoring was a key positive for them. In the second half we did a better job defending him in the paint.”


TYLER ZELLER

On closing out the game: “First and foremost we had to step it up defensively. Tristan (Thompson) and I had to take command of the paint. We had struggles with the Wizards big men earlier in the game, but late in the game we had to turn up our intensity. I believe our team’s play just went to another level and that’s what we need. It would have helped if we made our free throws down the stretch, but we stayed together and gutted this win out.”

On the growth process of the team: “We are coming along just fine I think. Going into this season we knew we would have some down moments and struggles. Coming into the halfway mark of the NBA season, I feel like guys, myself included, are finding their roles. We just have to take it practice by practice and game by game and grow.”


KYRIE IRVING

On back-to-back wins: “Hopefully we can keep up the success. I have confidence in my teammates, I’m ready to win a third one. We have the Atlanta Hawks coming up and the Brooklyn Nets. Two games I look at that can be statement games. The effort that we gave tonight is good, but we have to take it up a notch as we know the road only gets tougher.”

On missed free-throws down the stretch: “I was upset with myself when I missed the previous two. I stepped back a little further behind the free throw line to try something different, but the results didn’t go in my favor. I’m fortunate we got the win and that’s the most important thing.”


WIZARDS HEAD COACH RANDY WITTMAN

On what went wrong tonight: “Making winning plays down the stretch. We turned the ball over at crucial times, and then we won’t commit, all of us, won’t commit to playing defense. We just made too many critical mistakes because we are just not alert down the stretch.”

On Shelvin Mack and Garrett Temple: “They are going to be my point guards. We had pace, we had movement, ball didn’t stick, ball didn’t dribble. I liked that. They were thrust into a situation where I think they will become more and more comfortable. They are going to get more and more familiar with what we are doing and they’ll be fine. Shelvin (Mack) distributed seven assists. Overall, I don’t have a complaint with either one coming in on one day’s practice.”

On Nene: “It will help when we continue to have Nene’s minutes go up. At 25-26 minutes now, it’s hard. It’s hard to figure out where those minutes are played and when they are played. How long do you sit him, especially in the second half? Until we can get him in better shape so the minutes can go up again. He played 25 minutes tonight and he was +25. Obviously he will help with winning games at the end. In terms of saving a minute here, two minutes there, that’s hard for any player coming down the stretch. Since we are putting him in the starting lineup, there are going to be stretches where he has to sit somewhere. That will help solidify things in the second half, fourth quarter, and last six minutes of the game.”


EMEKA OKAFOR

On tonight’s overall play: “We out rebounded them. For the most part we played pretty well defensively. It’s just the turnovers.”

On the loss: “It’s frustrating, but the fact that we’re in every single game, there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. In this situation you just have to have patience.”

On what it takes to win: “When it comes down to winning time, it’s not necessarily always taking the ball and putting down buckets. Sometimes it comes off of the defensive end, sometimes it’s just taking care of the ball. And depending on the game it’s going to be different, but we’re taking the licks right now, we’re learning from them and we can only get better.”

On Shelvin Mack: “I saw growth. I saw a more confident player. He was decisive with his decisions in his passes. He did a great job, I told him on the bench ‘you’re doing a great job setting the pace.’ If you’re running everyone has to keep up with you. That’s what we needed, that quick start.”


SHELVIN MACK

On the first five minutes of the game: “I feel like our offense was pretty good today. We just had a few mistakes coming down in winning time, but just coming out and playing hard and playing together as a team. We were just trying to move the ball, get some easy buckets in transition.”

On what can be taken away from the end of the game: “Hustle. Some of the hustle plays, Daniel Gibson just catching and shooting. Everyone knows he’s a great shooter, so you can’t let him do his thing. Boxing out Tristan Thompson, you know he’s going to go hard to the glass every time.”

On his floor game: “I think I did a great job trying to get everyone involved and just trying to be aggressive. I feel like it worked out for me today. I felt great out there. Playing in the D-League helped me out knowing how to read situations, knowing when to throw the ball and when not to throw the ball.”


GARRETT TEMPLE

On his play: “I felt good out there, I wish we could have came out with a win. I wish I could take back a turnover. I thought that three was going down, but we fought hard. We’ve got to come out with wins like that. It’s going to be a close game and the guys that are here have to be the guys that play. I felt comfortable.”

On his confidence: “I’m a basketball player. This is what I do. They brought me here. Coach Wittman had the confidence to have me in the game at the end and Jordan kicked it out. It felt good. I thought it was going in, but it had a tough, tough roll. But I had the confidence and being in the D-League is something that helps you build your confidence, playing 35 or 40 minutes a game.”


MARTELL WEBSTER

On team confidence: “I’m very confident in our team, we got great looks, it’s just those looks in crunch time that we need and we got some great ones. We just weren’t able to knock them down.”

On the offense: “We were pushing the ball early and making great reads. Attacking the rim, allowing guys to draw in and finding open guys. That’s what you’re supposed to do; you’re supposed to make it easy. Offense isn’t supposed to be hard. A-B passes. We were doing that in the first half and in the second half we just didn’t make our open jump shots. We just have to make them.”

On Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving: “He’s not a number one draft pick for nothing. He was able to really make it hard on us tonight. Found a rhythm early, was able to hit the jump shot and able to get in and draw guys and get easy dump-offs to bigs. And that’s how you want your offense to be. That’s how aggressive you want your point guard to be.”

On what needs to improve: “We do have to be a little bit more aware on the defensive end of the floor. And play for each other. We’ve gotten a lot better, to tell you the truth. From training camp until now we’ve gotten a lot better at that. And it’s those things you have to build on.”

On losing a six-point lead with six minutes left: “You have to make those open jump shots. We’re getting them and they’re easy looks. Once we make those shots, I think we’re able to bust that six point lead open to a 15 point lead, but we have to knock those shots down. And if we’re not making shots we have to get stops on the other end of the floor.”