Game Quotes: Cavaliers at Trail Blazers
On if he was surprised by his team in the game: "I was a little surprised. I didn't think that we had the focus that we needed. Mentally, for whatever reason, especially on the offensive end, we weren't as focused as we needed to be. I've never seen us that flip with the ball, kind of throwing it everywhere like it was a hot potato. That was my message tonight— we didn't give ourselves a chance to win the basketball game. That's a good team over there, and when you turn the ball over 24 times, you're really not giving yourself a chance against them."
On if there is a silver lining to take away from the game: "Defense was still good. We held them to 41% shooting from the field. If you take away the turnovers, and the layups they got in transition because of the turnovers, they probably shoot in the low 30s. From a defensive standpoint, I'm happy with the way we competed on that end of the floor, but not happy with what we did on the offensive end."
On fast-break defense: "The one thing I told our guys about this team on fast breaks—[Gerald] Wallace gets out, so you're going to have to get back and run with him. Obviously he got a ton of his points on layups. We've been doing a good job all season long as far as transition defense, but you have 24 turnovers it's going to break down sooner or later. It broke down tonight because we turned the ball over way too much, and against that team that wants to get up the floor like they do now, it's going to cost you."
On the outcome of the game: "It was kind of interesting being out there, especially having 24 turnovers. They converted on practically all of them. They were playing well, so give credit to them. We have to limit our mistakes going forward. It was a tough game."
On if the team thought they could win after cutting the lead in the third quarter: "We were trying to make a comeback one stop at a time. Once we got it down to five, we thought we were going to have that turning point, but we didn't. They made their run again, and it cost us."
On the team not defending the fast break well tonight: "I take responsibility for most of it. I wasn't back on most of it, and the guards were just leaking out behind me. Going forward, I'm just going to review film and see what I can do better, and we have to limit fast break points. We are number one in the league, which is a credit to our effort, but they really capitalized on our turnovers tonight."
HEAD COACH NATE McMILLAN
""I kind of felt that a long day yesterday and then we didn't have them really moving around until right before the game and we wanted to get them moving, running them in shoot around. This is going to be an adjustment for us. Sometimes you can lay around too much. Once we got our second wind in the second half, we started to play better basketball and establish a defensive presence and were able to break this game open."
On challenge of managing schedule: "It is a challenge because of this year and the number of games and just the way the schedule is. You have to do different things and you have to learn from games in the past. I knew today that we needed to get these guys moving around because I kind of felt it this morning. You're waiting all day for this game to happen. Normally we have a shoot around. We had a quick meeting yesterday, so they had an opportunity to rest and then a long day, pretty much half the day today. I knew we needed to get that blood circulating. But it took us a half to get going and we finally started to play good basketball."
On message at halftime: "I just felt like we had to work harder. We needed to dig down and work harder on both ends of the floor. Defensively, we were kind of just like in a daze, kind of flat. It looked very similar to the Phoenix game. Then we got going. Gerald was able to get involved, we forced some turnovers and were able to convert some points. But I knew we needed to work harder than we were working."
On going to LaMarcus in third quarter: "We want to go in the paint and establish ourselves through LaMarcus or penetration. Even though we're pushing the ball, when we talk about attacking, we want to get to the rim whether that's post-ups or penetration. If the outside shot comes from that, we'll take that but we don't want to settle for perimeter jump shots. So we want to play through LaMarcus."
"We came out kind of sluggish in the first half, kind of found our rhythm defensively in the second half and we put them away."
On schedule: "It's tough. Guys are tired. We saw that Chicago beat Orlando and then lost to Atlanta by thirty or something like that – teams are going to have tired nights. Tonight we actually felt better"
On third quarter: "I found my rhythm. I was getting good looks all game. The second half, I kind of found my rhythm, got easier shots and started knocking them down."
On opening up the game in the second half: "Defensively we got down, played defense, got some steals and that opened up the game for us."
On Wesley Matthews: "He played big tonight. He knocked down shots, got to the basket. That was big for us. It definitely makes it easier for our offense."