Game Quotes: Cavaliers vs Bulls

(On the game tonight):
“We did not help ourselves a whole lot tonight with the turnovers. We had careless passes in the first half and in the second half. Even when we would try to make a run, we would come back and they would make a shot. We would come down and have a couple turnovers here and there and then boom, they get the lead back up to double digits. They are a very good team, but we really didn’t do a good job of taking care of the ball tonight.”

(On playing Baron and J.J. throughout the third quarter to get back into the game):
“We wanted to make sure we at least had a chance to get back into the game going into the fourth quarter, so I played those guys a little bit more. I figured in the fourth quarter, if we didn’t get to a point where we were close enough, then I could just rest them. That’s one of the reasons I brought Baron back with about three and a half left and I told him ‘At the two minute mark if we don’t have this thing to single digits I am going to pull you right back out and we will just get ready for tomorrow’. We got it to nine so we had an opportunity, but they came back down and scored so that was pretty much it.”

(On the execution of the offense in the second half):
“We did not execute real well. In the first half we executed pretty good, but we just really hurt ourselves with our turnovers (and) we hurt ourselves with defensive rebounding. In the second half, I thought we did more standing around. I didn’t think we move as good as we did in the first half. We didn’t do a real good job of setting screens. Semih (Erden) did a real good job of setting screens, but other than him we just didn’t do a good job of setting screens and getting each other open.”

(On getting what he wanted out of Erden tonight):
“Yeah I did. (He played) 11:30 or 11:40 or something like that. The good sign at halftime was that he wanted to play more. He said he felt great and wanted to play 10 more minutes and I told him ‘No, let’s wait until tomorrow’. He walked all the way to the court arguing with me about him wanting to play so I told him that I did trust him because he said ‘trust me’, but I said ‘I also trust George our PT a lot too so we want to stick to this routine and we will see how you feel tomorrow and we will go from there.’ I was very encouraged by what I saw. He looked pretty good for a guy who had not been out there in a while and whose conditioning is nowhere near where it should be or where we want it to be, and for a guy who doesn’t really know what we’re doing offensively, but I was pretty please with the way he played.”

(On how many of their turnovers were caused by the Bulls’ defense):
“They’re a great defensive team, they didn’t give up. With some plays, it looked like we may get a break here or there, but they were still running and playing hard. That’s why they are playing for the number one seed in the east. They’re a great team and they came out and played hard tonight.”

(On if it was Chicago’s defense or if they were out of rhythm in the third quarter):
“Probably a little bit of both. They’re a great defensive team, you guys see it out there. They do it every game. Maybe the ball did stick a little bit, but that was because of their defense though. Hats off to those guys. They played a good game tonight and got a win.”

(On Semih Erden’s play tonight):
“I think he fit in well… He’s real solid, he blocks shots out on the floor and he was doing what he was supposed to do.”

(On how he has been improving):
“I think I’m just talking (out on the court). When I watch film, I see what teams do prior to playing us. I see what type of defense they play, where they double form, how their bigs play in the post and I just take every game seriously. In the past, I was just out there playing. Now I’m really becoming a student of the game and I think it’s showing in my offensive play.”

(On if the game is slowing down for him):
“Of course. I think I’ve been turning the ball over a little more as of late, but it’s all been in trying to hustle and dive on the floor. I think once my turnovers come down, not just myself, but everybody on this team will become better.”

(On clinching the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference):
“It’s the next step. We still have a ways to go, so we’re not done. We’ve got to keep playing, keep improving and get ready for the next game.”

(On the Bulls tonight):
“I loved the way we passed the ball. I thought we were very, very unselfish and the ball was hopping, so I loved that part of it. I thought our defense was up and down. The second half was a little bit better and I thought ‘Joe’ (Joakim Noah) was real active in the second half, blocking shots. Taj (Gibson) did a good job, Carlos (Boozer was very efficient offensively and Ronnie (Brewer) gave us a good lift off the bench. I liked our bench play tonight and Omer (Asik) did a good job and we did what we had to do to get the win.”

(On plans for remaining regular season games):
“We’re just looking at the next game. We’re going to get ready and for the guys, we’re not going to approach it that way, we’re getting ready for the next game. We want to stay consistent with what we’re doing. You want to put as many things in your favor as possible. It doesn’t guarantee anything, but that’s how you have to approach it.”

(On the Bulls bench tonight):
“It was great. In the second quarter, they were playing so well and I wanted to extend their minutes. I thought it would be good for the bench and good for the starters. I probably knocked the starters out of rhythm a little bit, but they were playing so well. I thought, defensively, they were doing a very good job.”

(On playing the starters in remaining games):
“On the teams I have been with, that’s the way we’ve always approached it. I think you look at your team, look at the makeup of your team, and you determine how to pace your team. I think that’s one of the biggest things you think about all year long and you do that when you are planning for your season. We want to develop the right habits.”

(On clinching the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference tonight):
“No. 1 and now we’re going to the sun. We’re going to Orlando (next game) and it’s sunny there. We haven’t seen the sun in a long time. That’s what I meant.”

(On clinching the seed, does it have significance):
“Yes. It means what it means. We are the No. 1 seed and we have home-court advantage and we are not satisfied. We’re trying to catch up to San Antonio and we’re focused on our next opponent and that’s it.”

(On the growth of the Bulls the past three seasons):
“The grown has been formidable. Last year we qualified on the last day and today we are the No. 1 seed and that feels pretty good.”

(On meaning of No. 1 seed in Eastern Conference):
“It’s got something to do with the coaching staff. Tibbs, man, is the coach of the year to me. He’s just been honest, holding everyone accountable every time we step on the court.