Game 2 Quotes: Cavaliers vs. Bulls

RSS
HEAD COACH MIKE BROWN

(On tonight’s game):
“I thought that both teams played a good game. They (Chicago) played hard, they found ways to get into the paint and they found ways to get second opportunities. Noah had seven offensive rebounds, which affected the game. They were good in pushing the ball in transition and getting second opportunities in transition. Our guys just kept battling, kept battling and kept battling until we were able to find a way to get the lead.”

(On Jamario Moon’s play tonight):
“A guy like Jamario, I don’t know, maybe played five minutes in the last game and he plays 20 minutes tonight. Yes, he hit four threes, and the threes he hit were obviously the result of good ball movement. He stayed and he waited, and when they went to double or they made a mistake on LeBron, Bron did a terrific job of getting that ball out and Jamario was ready to catch and shoot. Not only did he make shots, he had a couple of big blocks for us and he had some nice rebounds. He contributed in a lot of different ways for us tonight, which was good to see.”

(On LeBron’s play tonight):
“Obviously, LeBron did what he does. The fun and exciting thing about it was that in the playoffs, everybody knows what play is coming. A lot of times, it’s about can you stop the players on the other team? We didn’t do anything tricky. We just came down and threw him the ball and he made plays in crunch minutes. Whether he made shots, (went) to the rim, or (took) jump shots or he got the ball out of double teams and found his teammates on the perimeter for a great look, he made plays when it counted. Having a guy like that on your side makes everybody’s job easier, so he had a whale of a game tonight.”

(On going with a different lineup down the stretch):
“I was going to go back to (Shaq) and I was going to go back to Antawn. You can see that I put Antawn to the scorer’s table and pulled him back. The group that was on the floor, they were doing a terrific job out there. I felt a little bit of confidence, swagger and momentum from that group. That’s part of the reason why I left Shaq (on the bench) and pulled Antawn from the scorer’s table. I said it earlier when I first came out here, I said it all year, I said it to our guys: everybody’s got to stay ready. At any given time, somebody’s number can be called and they may contribute significant minutes to us. We just have to keep supporting each other like we have all year and that’s what the guys did.”


LEBRON JAMES

(On if his confidence increased when he came in the fourth quarter):
“I’m a confident player to begin with. I don’t think that it was one instance that really got me going. I just felt like it was the fourth quarter and that’s when I make my mark as an individual, either scoring for me as a player myself or create things for my teammates. I can’t look at one point where I felt like I just had it going, but I’ve always been a confident player.”

(On being “in the zone”):
“It’s a great feeling. You just feel like every shot you put up you believe is going in, no matter the difficulty of it or whatever the case. There’s nobody that can guard you at that point in time and all you have to do is get to that spot that you want to get to.”

(On the Bulls’ bench daring him to shoot jump shots):
“They were talking the whole game. Every time I caught the ball over there (by the Bulls’ bench), they were daring me to shoot the ball…telling me that I couldn’t shoot or ‘You can’t make jump shots, so take the shot’. So that’s what I did. They asked me to shoot a jumped and I did that, over and over and over and over and over and over and over again. I continued to make them.”

(On if he feels the hard work in the offseason on his jump shot has paid off):
“Absolutely. I put in a lot of hard work as an individual to not only better my game, but if I become better as an individual, then our team is automatically better. A lot of hard work and a lot of hours in the gym with myself, Chris Jent and Mike Mancias over the summer. No matter where we were in the world, we got an opportunity to get into the gym every day. It’s good when you can see it happening throughout the summer and then translate what you do in the summer to on-court situations.”


SHAQUILLE O'NEAL

(On the Bulls’ points in the paint):
“They came out and we might have been a bit overaggressive. We tried to defend Derrick Rose better. He’s an exceptional ballplayer and when you come over to help and block shots, it let Noah get easy buckets. We stuck with it and Jamario played well and LeBron carried us in the fourth quarter. Basically, we just did what we had to do.”

(On going on the road):
“We won two games and we know that we are going to have to go up there in a tough environment. We just have to take it one game at a time. We’re a pretty good road team and we know what we have to do. We want to steal Game 3. They kept the game tonight pretty close, but it’s not what they did, they played off our mistakes. We just have to tighten up, not really help too much. We can’t let two or three of their guys get into double figures. In Game 1, we played much better defense.”

(On LeBron’s performance tonight):
“That’s why he’s the unanimous MVP. He’s on a mission, everybody’s on a mission. Moon carried us with those two or three big shots when we needed them.”

(On the team’s three-point shooting tonight):
“LeBron’s going to get a lot of attention, that’s why he’s one of the greatest players in the world, but he’s also unselfish. He has trust in his guys. Guys are going to be ready and Moon was definitely ready tonight.”


ANTAWN JAMISON

(On LeBron tonight):
“It’s a sight to see. To see how close the game was, and for him to take over, you just have to realize that you are witnessing history. To be able to take over a game like that and put your team on top, there’s only a certain amount of guys who can do that. I’ve seen my fair share of that as an opponent and it’s gratifying to be on the same team as a guy like him. You could see it (in his eyes). Guys like that strive off those moments in the game. He was in a zone tonight, he was feeling it. He wasn’t rushing it, but taking his time and seeing what the defense was giving him and then taking advantage of it. It was one of those special moments that you don’t see happen that often.”

(On the team’s three-point shooting tonight):
“We definitely took advantage of it. They did a great job of loading up on Shaq or LeBron, but we are a very unselfish team and were able to knock them down, especially down the stretch. It really gives us confidence and it gives LeBron confidence in us.”

(On losing the rebounding battle tonight):
“We didn’t do a good job tonight. We didn’t box out and they got second chance opportunities. That’s why the game was so close. Transition wasn’t so bad, but points in the paint, second chance opportunities and our turnovers really put us in a situation where the game was close tonight.”

(On Chicago’s play tonight):
“We didn’t step up to the task. They outworked us tonight and we knew after Game 1 it would be a different team. We knew they would bring more energy than they did in the first game and they would play with a lot of confidence as well. We have to do a better job of limiting them to one shot, not turnover the ball because it gives them easy opportunities.”

(On winning tonight):
“It’s the playoffs. It’s not that pretty, but you have to get it done. We did what we were supposed to do, winning both games on our home court. Game 3 is the most important game to me in the series, but you have to take it one game at a time. The (Bulls) losing two games might give them even more confidence that they can win Game 3. It’s a big challenge for us to go on the road because playoff basketball on the road is definitely tough.”

(On Jamario’s play tonight):
“There are going to be certain guys that come in a make a difference. He came in and not only shot the ball well, but defensively he did an awesome job rebounding the ball. He was a difference maker tonight. Coach always says ‘you have to be ready’ because you never know when your opportunity is going to come. He did an awesome job of knocking down shots when we needed him.”


JAMARIO MOON

(On if he felt hot during warm-ups):
“It’s just all about doing what you have to do to stay ready to play. Everyday after shootaround, the coaches and I get together and shoot some extra jumpers after we’re done with the walk-though. It’s all about getting up those extra shots to stay ready. You never know when your name is going to be called.”

(On what he did that was most important):
“The most important thing for us tonight was how we buckled down on defense and kept them off the offensive glass. If we can continue to do that and limit them to one shot, we’ll have a pretty good chance to do good.”

(On how his shot felt tonight):
“It felt great. After that second one, it felt like I was throwing it into he ocean. It’s about being confident and being ready to shoot the basketball. My teammates kept believing in me and I kept believing in my shot and I was knocking them down.”

(On taking advantage of the final five regular season games to earn minutes now):
“I didn’t put any pressure on myself. I understand the business and I understand you have to stay ready to play because like I said, you never know when your name is going to be called...it’s just all about staying professional and staying ready to play.”

(On his journey to get to this point):
“Coming from where I came from and the road that it took for me to get here, it feels great. To understand the opportunity that this team has this season, it feels wonderful.”

(On playing with LeBron when he gets in a zone):
“It feels great to have a front row seat. To me, he’s the best player in basketball. To be on this team with LeBron is just an honor. It all comes from hard work. I watch him every day in practice. He takes pride in everything he does. What he did tonight we see it every day in practice.”

(On celebrating after making three-pointers):
“I think I celebrate everything that’s good. I just try to give my teammates motivation. If we make a bad play, I always try to come over and say something positive. If we make a good play, I always put a little extra on it to keep the motivation going. It’s all about keeping everybody going. I just try to make sure we’re loose, stay positive and are ready to play.”


HEAD COACH VINNY DEL NEGRO

(On if letting LeBron score and trying to stop everyone else was a goal tonight):
“Well we had a lot of goals. All those things are easy to talk about. He’s so effective with his vision and the way they shoot the ball. If you come with the double too quick, they spread you out. You have to pick your spots. We have to do a good job on everybody. LeBron, I thought, took the game over like stars do in the league. We single covered him and tried to force him baseline a little bit. Then we came with the double team a couple times, or two or three times and they moved the ball to the weak side. It’s nothing they haven’t seen all year. You have to pick your spots.”

(On tonight’s game):
“Overall, I thought we did a much better job, obviously, on the glass and our turnovers. Guys really played hard. We had an opportunity, but they made a few more plays down the stretch. We have to get their field goal percentage down a little bit. A lot of them were iso’s that they just shot the ball well. We contested shots but they made them. Jamario Moon hit a few big shots for them. Overall, I’m pleased with the effort, not pleased with the result. I think our guys feel better today than they did the other (game), in terms of how we played. I thought we played much better. We were sharper and much better on the glass, which was great.”

(On the difference from game 1 in rebounding):
“I think we were just more aggressive from the start. The other night, we weren’t getting bodies on anybody. We were kind of just watching the ball. We really just emphasized ‘when that ball goes up, get a body on somebody’. The things you always talk about and teach. We’ve worked on it all year. We’ve been very efficient on the glass. I thought tonight we put a lot of emphasis on not trying to give them second chance points and getting bodies on people. It worked out well. Another thing is, obviously, our turnovers in Game 1. We did a much better job in those two areas. We got good solid performances from a bunch of guys, which I was pleased with. That’s what they do. Looking forward to getting back home in front of our crowd. Make a few adjustments. Try to make it even a little more difficult. I thought, tonight, we played well enough to steal a game but they earned it. They made plays and that’s what it comes down to.”

(On if he was happy with how the game played out strategically):
“If you go into the fourth quarter and you’re tied up and you have an opportunity, that’s what you’re looking for. I thought our guys battled the whole night. We’ll make some adjustments and try to make it a little bit harder. Rebounding was much better. Our turnovers were much better. We got to the line a little bit more. I think we can get to the line even more. But the pace of the game, we got up 93 field goal attempts. The pace of the game was good for us I thought. We have to get their field goal percentage down. You can’t expect to win many games when you give up 56% from the field, but like I said (they had) a lot more jumpers and tough shots, especially in the fourth quarter. LeBron hit some tough shots in front of our bench. So we’ll have to hopefully make some adjustments and make it even more difficult.”

(On Joakim Noah’s night):
“Joakim is a free spirit. He has great energy and just continues to improve. He’s going to play hard all the time. He was very, very effective tonight, from the tip. He did an excellent job in all phases for us, I mean he was just fantastic for us. We need him to play at a hard level. I thought Luol (Deng) really stepped in and had a solid game for us. Derrick was solid. We got good bench production. Flip (Murray) came in, did a good job for us. A lot of positive things for us. No question we’re not pleased with the result, but I’m pleased with the direction and the feeling the guys have for Game 3.”

(On what a team can do against LeBron when he played like he did tonight):
“That’s what the great players do. I thought we contested it well. We tried to get into his body a little bit and make him put it on the floor. When he’s that hot, we try to make him shoot it over the top the best he can. The problem with LeBron is, with his size and strength, when he goes by you, not only can he get to the basket, but then you collapse on him and he finds players with his size and vision. Now you’re running out on close outs, which is very difficult. Guys are banging threes and they shot well from three. It’s not easy. Our double team came a little bit late and they handled it well. Their spacing was good, they dove a big. They swung it to the weak side and they hit a couple threes on us, which makes it hard. We’ll have to look at that a little bit. Tighten that up. Try to make it a little bit more difficult, which is hard. ”

(On LeBron):
“You never like when the other teams best player beats you, but with him, you have to pick your poison a little bit. Make other guys make shots. It’s easy to say, hard to do, because other guys are shooting the ball well at a high percentage. The other guys are shooting the ball well. And if they spread you out, you have Varejao and their bigs on the glass giving them extra possessions.”

(On Deng’s injury):
“He just kind of banged his knee. Probably a little bit sore for sure. He’s fighting some other things. He came back in. Luol had a solid game in a lot of aspects for us. We didn’t settle as much for jumpers. Kind of attacked a little bit more off the dribble. Our ball movement was a little bit better with 25 assists. A lot of positives, but now we have to just regroup, get our legs back under us. We’ve had a tough stretch and have to get ready for Game 3.”


DERRICK ROSE

(On LeBron tonight):
“It was just one of those nights. He was just hitting good shots. If anything, we would rather have him hit those shots than drive to the hole and get other people open, so you live with it and they won.”

(On the series going forward):
“We are going to continue to fight. That is all we can do, just go out there and play the games. It’s not going to be easy, but we are in the NBA. That’s why we’re here, to play against them, and we’re not backing up.”

(On Joakim Noah and Luol Deng tonight):
“Those guys are the veterans on the team. They were trying to lead us to get the win. Tonight we gave a little more effort than we did the other night, and we’re going to get one of these games. We just have to continue to fight and play team basketball.”

(On having five guys in double figures):
“It takes a lot of pressure off of everybody else on the team. When everybody comes up and makes big shots and makes big plays, that’s what we need almost every night against this team.”

(On what they have to do in Game 3):
“Just play hard. We’re back on our home court. Our fans are going to be crazy. If we can come up with a win we can get back in the series.”

(On LeBron in the fourth quarter):
“You saw the shots. It was just crazy shots. It makes you want to be in his shoes the kind of stuff he’s hitting, but I know one day it will come.”


JOAKIM NOAH

(On what Chicago can take from tonight’s game):
“I think we played real hard tonight. I think they just hit some real tough shots down the stretch. They didn’t get fazed by our runs. We can’t get discouraged right now. They did what they were supposed to do. They just took care of what they had to do at home. We’ll have our fans ready to go for the next game and we’ll be ready to go on Thursday.”

(On whether he’s been booed as much before):
“Yeah. I was booed a lot. My whole life I’ve been booed. College, I was getting booed a lot. Boston, they don’t like me over there. They don’t like me over here either. It’s ok. I have my friends. I don’t care.”

(On the difference between the two games):
“We were really focused tonight. We started the game with good poise. We understood that they really hurt us in the first game with the rebounding. That was something we definitely tried to take out of the game, their offensive rebounding. Varejao is very active. Big Z, you might have him boxed out but he still gets his hands on the ball just because of his length. It just came down to them hitting big shot after big shot. LeBron is pretty good; he’s a pretty good player. He’s actually an excellent player. He hit some unbelievable shots when his team needed it most.”

(On having regret about his comments on Cleveland):
“Not at all. You like it? You think Cleveland is cool? I’ve never heard anyone say I’m going to Cleveland on vacation. What’s so good about Cleveland?”

(On whether Chicago was deflated after some of LeBron’s shots):
“Duh. LeBron is hitting unbelievable shots. Yes, it’s tough, but we have to play them again so I don’t want to be up here and just give LeBron all this credit. Yeah, he played an unbelievable game. It’s tough right now; I hate losing so I’m a little frustrated about that, but like I said we’ll be ready to go come Thursday.”

(On Chicago trying to play on Thursday like they did tonight):
“I think every game is different. There are definitely things we can do better. We took care of the ball well tonight. Me, personally, that elbow shot I’ve got to knock down, just to keep the defense honest. I missed a bunch tonight. We just have to find a way. I think this is great for our team. We’re playing against the best team. I think this is great for our team. The competition doesn’t get any higher than this. We just have to keep fighting and understand that this is great for us. In the big picture when you go into the summer, you can say we played against the best team and we know what we have to do to get better. That’s all it is right now. It’s all about getting better and trying to win ballgames.”


LUOL DENG

(On the team’s performance tonight):
“I thought we played well. LeBron played great. The first game he kind of got everybody going and tonight we gave him the jump shot and he was making them. That’s how you have to play him, but I thought we played great. There are just a few adjustments we have to make.”

(On defending LeBron):
“He is tough to defend the whole game. You try to take away some stuff. You don’t want him going to the rim, but when he shoots like that, he is tough to stop, but you have to take something away.”

(On Joakim Noah’s performance):
“It was great. He played hard. He got rebounds and gave us second chance points. That’s what he has done all year before he got hurt.”

(On LeBron in the fourth quarter):
“That’s the shots you want him to take. He did a good job of making them, but I thought when we switched, we did a good job of keeping him out of the paint. He was hitting some unbelievable shots and you have to live with it.”