Game Quotes: Cavaliers vs. Wizards
(On the game tonight): “We didn’t compete. We had one guy that competed the entire time he was on the floor. That’s Matthew Dellavedova. It’s a concern for anybody when you don’t go out there and compete or you don’t play hard.”
(On how to coach maximum effort): “The only way I know how to coach it is what I did tonight. I gotta find guys that are going to give it to me. It’s as simple as that. I can’t be inside anybody’s body or anybody’s mind. We get paid great money to go play the game the right way and we didn’t compete. We didn’t play hard.”
(On Dion Waiters coming off the bench): “Just wanted to try something different and give us a punch off the bench. With Bynum in the starting lineup, we try to play through him a little bit, see if we can space the floor and then bring Dion off the bench so he could give us some juice.”
(On last 18 minutes of the game): “We can’t afford to do what we did. If we miss shots, we can live with that, but we can’t afford to not play hard nor compete. We didn’t do anything tricky (in the last 18 minutes). I just kept moving the lineup around and I found five guys that are just going to play hard. That’s all we did, whether it was offensively or defensively. We started attacking the rim, instead of throwing the ball all over the place. We started setting solid screens for one another offensively and rolling to the hoop, but the biggest thing was defensively. Anybody can see the difference between the last 18 minutes of the game and the rest of the game. You don’t have to be a basketball player, coach or anything. We didn’t do a single thing differently defensively when I put those five guys in. We just played hard.”
(On what happened in the first three quarters): “We just couldn’t get stops. (The Wizards) were making shots and they just had a rhythm.”
(On if the team’s energy was better in the fourth): “Yeah I would say end of the third quarter with our second group in, with (Jarrett) Jack and (Matthew Dellavedova) leading it. They did a great job of getting us back in the game and we tried to close that gap, but we just couldn’t.”
(On if there was a sense that the team could come back): “Yeah, absolutely. We knew that if we picked up our aggression on the defensive end, our offense would take care of itself. (Washington) is a good team. We just had to try to make them feel uncomfortable, and that’s what we tried to do.”
(On the team’s inability to put together 48 consistent minutes): “We don’t play hard enough. It’s the effort; it’s the one thing you can control. With me being one of the leaders on this team, I feel the onus on that and a certain amount of responsibility for that. There’s nothing coach can do; nobody should have to ask anybody to play hard. At the end of the day, we’re supposed to love this and it’s supposed to be our job and if we don’t come out here and do our job, this is the type of result we’ll get.”
(On if the team is buying into Coach Brown’s philosophy): “I think we are, but you can’t buy into anything if you don’t put forth the necessary effort for it to be successful. At this particular point, that’s our biggest problem. One through fifteen, it’s something that we all have to take control over now or we’ll lose it before it’s too late.”
(On tonight’s game): “You learn the lesson a little bit better when you win. The first three quarters and two minutes of the 4th, we swung the ball side to side and moved, passed, cut – whoever had it, scored it. Then with eight minutes to go, we walked it up with no passes. We tried to do everything off of one option and they dug in defensively. When you’re moving and cutting and making four or five passes like we were, that’s as good of basketball as you can have from an offensive standpoint in basketball. We just have to keep fighting through it. We have these stretches where we have zero passes or one pass and that gets you in trouble. We held on and made free throws coming down the stretch, I think we went eight for eight. Down the stretch, Nene hit a couple big ones when we needed to break that ice when they made that run.”
(On first three quarters of defense on Kyrie): “He is a good player. You also have to take your hat off to a guy that gets going like that. He made some one-legged runners in the lane over our bigs. A lot of times he just got into that attack mode and just made shots. Overall, for most of the night, we did a pretty decent job defensively. We gave up 32 (points) in the 4th, but I like better what I saw defensively in the first three quarters.”
(On playing on back-to-back nights): “Eight playoff teams in the East last year were .500 on the second night of back-to-backs. I told our guys that’s how you get in position to make the playoffs – when you’re tired or you get in late or you had a tough game. You come in and you make that effort to win that second game, and that’s what these guys did. They were ready to go right from the jump ball. There are things we can learn, but I’m happy for the guys.”
(On tonight’s game): “It was rocky, but you can expect any NBA game to be like that. It’s a 48 minute game and we played well for about 40 minutes. That whole 4th quarter I’d say that they played pretty well. It was their second and third units who gave them a lot of energy and we kind of went away from what was working a little bit, but I was glad we were able to stick it out.”
(On the fourth quarter): “We weren’t getting stops. We kind of came together after a couple timeouts and realized that we needed to knuckle down and take pride of the defensive end. We forced them to take some tough shots and were able to rebound out of it and they fouled. Just like last night, from there we went to the free throw line with confidence.”
(On getting too comfortable with the lead): “Of course. It’s easy. The easiest thing to do is get comfortable, especially when you have a 30 point lead. It’s hard to really focus and have that sense of urgency when you have a big lead. You feel like you can just relax a little bit and still get away with things and they made us pay for that. But, we nipped it in the bud and took care of business on this trip.”
- The Cavaliers outscored the Wizards off the bench by a 56-10 margin. In two games against Washington this season, the Cavs bench has outscored the Wizards by a combined score of 78-19 (39.0-9.5). On the season, the Cavs bench is averaging 33.0 points, outscoring the opponent in 10 of 12 games.
- Cleveland shot 18-21 (.857) from the free-throw line. Over the past two contests, Cleveland is shooting 39-43 (.907) from the line.
- Kyrie Irving recorded a game-high 28 points on 9-14 (.643) shooting, including 3-4 (.750) from deep and a perfect 7-7 (1.000) from the free-throw line. He also added a team-high tying six assists and one steal in 30 minutes. Irving scored 18 of his points in the fourth quarter. Irving has scored 10 or more points in the fourth quarter for the fifth time this season. In two games against the Wizards this season, Irving is averaging 34.5 points on 23-42 (.548) shooting, including 7-11 (.636) from deep, 5.5 assists and 1.5 steals in 35.5 minutes per game.
- Jarrett Jack finished with 14 points on 6-10 (.600) shooting, including 2-4 (.500) from deep and a season-high six assists in 28 minutes off the bench.
- Anderson Varejao posted his second double-double on the season (74th career) with 14 points on 7-10 shooting (.700) from the field, a game-high 11 rebounds and one steal in 35 minutes off the bench.