Game Quotes: Cavaliers vs Bobcats

(On the game tonight): “This is a very good win for us especially after the way we played them last time and the way that (Boris) Diaw and Kwame Brown really dominated us in the paint. I thought our guys did a heck of a job taking the challenge; Ryan (Hollins) and J.J. at the start, holding that team to 39% from the field and getting off to a fantastic start. Our bench, (Ramon) Sessions, Boobie (Gibson), Luke (Harangody); those guys were fantastic. We had a lot of guys come in and play pretty well tonight on both ends of the floor.”

(On the play of Ryan Hollins): “He is just a young guy that is still trying to figure it all out. I think after the Miami game his agent probably called Chris (Grant) to see if he could get a max deal. He has shown signs that he can definitely help us, and then he has had those lapses where he hasn’t played as well so he just has to get to the point where he is a little bit more consistent. It goes back to younger guys getting more experience and understanding what they have to do on a night-to-night basis. Tonight was another one of those real good games. I still need him to rebound the ball a lot better and a lot more. I thought there were some times that he could have went after it, where he decides to start getting back on the defensive end which is not bad, but I want him to be a little bit more aggressive as far as attacking the glass too.”

(On being pleased with the good start to the game): “I was extremely pleased because we knew this team was going to come ready to play. They are trying to get into the playoffs so for us to keep up the energy for 48 minutes like we pretty much did (was good). Then we had about a six or seven minute lapse in the third quarter where we didn’t play as well. (I am) very proud of the way we came out and just really took it to them and I thought we were the aggressor and I thought that we ended that way as well.”

(On Ramon hitting his comfort level with his role): “He is. I think he’s done a heck of a job coming in off of the bench and surveying the game. I think he does a good job of really watching while the game is going on to really see where he can take advantage of certain situations and he was able to come in again tonight. When he is in attack mode, Ramon is great because he gets downhill extremely fast and gets to that basket. He makes defenses have to react to him instead of him reacting to them, so we want to make sure he keeps doing that for the rest of the season.”

(On the biggest difference for him in the latter part of the season): “We have got a guy named Baron Davis who is kind of like a big brother to me. He’s been looking out for me since he’s been here, getting me motivated on and off the court. A lot of stuff that he does goes into me playing well.”

(On the addition of Baron Davis to this team): “I’ve known Baron since college. He definitely knows what I’m capable of; he’s a great passer and a great player. He picks up the level of play of our team. All of the players around him: J.J., myself, all of the bigs and Christian; we have a team of young guys, so we need a guy like that.”

(On how much he feels he has learned this season): “I’ve learned a whole lot. (I have been) learning Coach (Scott’s) system, getting better at this NBA game and learning how to play with my new teammates. That’s a big thing. People might take chemistry for granted, but knowing where each other are on the floor and doing the small things really pays off.”

(On the progress the team has made throughout this season): “We have got a young team, so we understand that our future is ahead of us. We are going to play all 82 games as hard as we can because we are trying to build something. Coach Scott is the head of that horse. The philosophies he teaches us of playing hard all of the time, playing defense and playing together, you have got to work at those every game so that we don’t have to (start) the same way when next season rolls around. You start to build a foundation now and that’s what we are trying to do.”

(On wanting to start next season sooner because of the strides the team is making): “I do feel like we are going to be more anxious than ever to get back because we are starting to see the benefits of hard work. After all of the tough things that have happened, we are starting to understand what it’s all about to play basketball the right way and win games.”

(On Bobcats defense from first half to third quarter): “I just told them about our defensive principles that we were not adhering to in the first half. We started to do that in the second half and that’s what got us within four (points). Quite frankly, we just don’t have enough. We’re short-handed, but still, I expect the guys to go out and perform as well as possible. I did not see that in the first half. We just went through the motions in the first half, and I’m just not going to have that. We’re not going to do that.”

(On playoff situation with game tomorrow): “All I want us to do is adhere to our defensive principles, move the basketball on offense and the chips will fall as they may. We’re still short-handed and it’s going to be a real challenge for us. But, I expect these guys to rise to the occasion and we certainly didn’t do it tonight and tomorrow, I expect us to be better.”

(On taking the third quarter effort and using it the rest of the season): “That’s exactly it. If we had played the fourth quarter like we did the third, but of course, they (Cavs) made shots. As I said, when you’re down by as much as we were, and you’re as short-handed as we are, we almost have to play perfect basketball, which is almost impossible to do. It was a situation where we just got too far behind, worked our butts off to back in, but a few plays here or there, we couldn’t match their effort.”

(On last two losses being similar with rebounding and points allowed in paint): “We are and that’s a big part of it because we are so short-handed. That’s the way I really look at it. If I had Jack (Stephen Jackson), if I had Tyrus (Thomas), we’re going to be a much, much better rebounding team. Guys can still box out, that’s the one thing I have a problem with. These guys go for the basketball, are not great leapers and don’t box out. That’s just a simple part of the game that we don’t adhere to.”

(On Bobcats defensive problems in first half): “I think the big thing was that we were giving up the middle a lot. That’s one of the things about our defense, it kind of breaks down if you give up the lane, and we did that a few times. It’s hard to help from that position and, also, we weren’t defensive rebounding really well. So, when you don’t do those things, you’re going to be down.”

(On third quarter to get back in the game): “We did a better job (on defense), but also help-side defense, when we did force them baseline, was a big thing. We messed up on that a few times, but also, in the third quarter, we were scoring the ball too.”

(On playoff situation slipping away): “I don’t know. We need to be more concerned on just coming to play. We aren’t going to make the playoffs if we don’t come to play. It’s kind of unfortunate that we start games like that and expect to play in postseason. It’s not going to happen if we continue to do that these next games.”

(On Bobcats being short-handed): “It’s tough when you’ve got so many players out, so many good players. We’ve got to play with what we have. We’ve just got to listen to our principles a little more and just try to focus in on what we’re doing.”

(On playoff situation): “We’ve just got to win every game we can. To lose a game like this, it was definitely a winnable game, to get down like we did in the first quarter. That was the ballgame.”

(On defensive problems in the first quarter): “It’s the bigs, I know I messed up on the pick and roll coverage, and everybody has to take care of their responsibility on the pick and roll coverage. Bigs need to make sure we are in the right spot and guards need to make sure they tag. Everybody needs to play inside-out, instead of worrying about their guy.”