Game Quotes: Cavaliers vs. Celtics - March 14, 2010


(On being aggressive):
“I thought that we played the right way. Usually when you play a team like Boston, the most aggressive team is going to win, (not just) offensively, but defensively too. I thought that we were aggressive on both ends of the floor throughout most of the game. It showed in our defensive production and it also showed in our ability to get to the free throw line. We attacked the right way and that was great to see.”

(On second chance possessions):
“One thing that we talk about when playing a good team like this is 50/50 balls…When you come up with those 50/50 balls that equate to points and/or second chance points like the 27 we had tonight and 17 offensive rebounds, you’re going to get some wins.”

(On needing to play with more intensity against a good team like Boston):
“We told them before the game that the most aggressive team is going to win. We felt we were aggressive and we felt that we earned a win tonight. There’s nothing to tell our guys. Our guys are a tremendous group of guys and have played a physical style of basketball throughout most of the year and in a game like this, you don’t expect anything different.”

(On Leon Powe coming off the bench):
“Leon was spectacular for us. Antawn picked up his fourth foul, and we put Leon in the game and I thought that he was the difference maker. I think it was a single-digit lead when he went in and he helped us get it to a double-digit lead with his toughness, his ability to come up with 50/50 balls, his ability to hustle his behind off and get us heading towards the penalty. A great game by Delonte, a great game by Anderson, but a terrific job by Leon just keeping himself ready until his number was called, which was in the second half.”

(On how to improve the team’s free throw shooting):
“Tell them to make them and hopefully they make them next time. That’s all we can do. There’s no trick to it. We have got some great shooters stepping up there and shooting it. We take a ton in practice and hopefully next time we’ll knock them down. The right people are going to the free throw line; we just haven’t knocked them down. Hopefully, that will change in the future.”

(On the superb bench play and figuring out his rotation):
“That’s the beauty about this team: it’s extremely deep and extremely versatile…Yes, our bench has been a big key to a lot of wins that we have had. (Andy and Delonte) are a big part of coming off the bench (and making an impact) because they are really starters.”


(On the team’s defense in the fourth quarter):
“Defensively, we were awesome in the fourth quarter. Guys who started the fourth (quarter) didn’t allow them to score a point and we outscored them 9-0. That was huge. Fourth quarter time is our staple and that’s when we turn up the defensive aggression. That’s exactly what we did. We had our second unit in and we didn’t allow them anything. They had some great shots, but we had some great contests and came out with the defensive rebound. Anytime we executed our offense it was just another uphill battle they had to face. It was a good all-around performance today.”

(On Leon Powe):
“His defensive activity was great and his activity on the offensive end to get to the free throw line and knock them down was great. To play those spot minutes is a very difficult job and to come in and be ready and do what he did today was huge.”

(On his offense in the first half):
“I was doing a lot of setting up in the first half. I got my guys good looks and opportunities at the baskets. Andy finished a lot, Antawn made a few shots, our guards made a few shots and J.J. made a few. I had to be a little more assertive individually in the second half and attack some of the things that I saw but didn’t attack in the first half.”

(On getting close to 50 free throws):
“Being aggressive against that team is the ultimate (way to play). You can’t settle. Even though we’re a good three-point shooting team, you can’t settle all the time. We’re very comfortable in spreading them out because of our shooters, but you have to attack at the same time and get to the free throw line.”

(On Anderson):
“As a teammate, we kind of take him for granted. You know he’s going to be active, going to play his butt off every single game and give it his all. Tonight, he was a big lift for us as we were undermanned size wise, but our group did a great job defensively.”


(On the versatility of the team):
“It just lets you know how deep we are. We can play with numerous amounts of lineups. We can play with big lineups. We can play with small lineups. The confidence we play with is at a high and not too many teams have that. We’re starting to get healthy bodies back at the right time of the season, and now it’s time for us to start going downhill. Throughout the course of the season, you have your roadblocks, but now its time to get past that and guys know that. We just have to really get focused and do what we have to do to put us in a good position once the playoffs start.”

(On his injured knee):
“It’s one of those things that stiffened up last game but I didn’t have any problems (today). This is the best it’s felt after a game in awhile. I have to continue to pay attention to it and do the proper rehabs and make sure I stay on top of it.”

(On not playing last game at Philadelphia):
“It’s been a good week to take one off. We had a couple of days in between games. I still have to get my timing back and I still have to get things down pat. Defensively I’m starting to do that, offensively I am still trying to get in the right spots. I definitely need this last month or so of games to help me out as far as getting ready for the playoffs.”

(On the rivalry with the Celtics):
“It’s a physical game. Guys (are) not giving up an inch. Guys are playing hard. You know what they’re bringing to the table, but I like the character of this team. We don’t back down from anybody. We play physical basketball and we play the right way. To do what we did at their place says a lot, but the most important thing is to come in and defend the home court.”

(On the collision with Glen Davis):
“I don’t know what was going on. I got him up in the air and he couldn’t avoid me. It’s fortunate nobody got hurt.”


(On the rivalry with the Celtics):
“You get up more for games like this. Boston is a top team in the East and we are the top team in the East, so we get more prepared for these games. We all play hard and we all play physical (the Cavs and the Celtics).”

(On the ability of the team to play at a high level when someone gets injured):
“Everybody is ready to play. I always say we have two NBA teams on one team. If one person goes down, we always have guys that step up to the plate and are ready to play.”


(On 2nd chance as a factor today):
“Fifty-fifty points, second chance points, missed layups, I told our guys it was frustrating for me because you could see in a lot of ways how close we are to breaking out to being really good. I thought one guy completely dominated this game and that was (Anderson) Varejao and that’s the second time. Loose balls, activity, getting under our skin. I mean, he’s doing what he should be do. That was very frustrating. I thought overall our defense was good, but we kept giving them the ball back and that tough. Even the long rebounds, that was on our guards. But, even on those, I thought Varejao was the guy just slapping the ball up in the air and their guards were getting them. He was just so active. He moved his feet and we didn’t.”

(On Celtic comebacks):
“We made a lot of pushes. We closed it at halftime. We just never could get over the hump because every chance we got, they got another shot that led to a three, let to another shot. From the bench, that’s frustrating. I could live with the missed layups, I thought we double-pumped some looking for Varejao or LeBron instead of taking it to the basket and being aggressive.”

(On Kevin Garnett):
“I thought Kevin was taken out of his game because of the fouls. He had a terrific game, in 28 minutes if you look at what he did. But, when you are in foul trouble the way he was, it really hurts his rhythm. And, that hurt us. Out game plan was to go low more and with him out and Rasheed (Wallace) didn’t give us anything, we basically became a pick and roll jump-shooting team instead of the post team that we had planned on being going into this game.”

(On scoring drought late in the third quarter):
“We missed open shots and we missed at least four free throws in that stretch too. That’s the only way to explain it.”

(On Celtics vs. Cavaliers):
“I think we’re close, I think we’re really close. But, we can say that all we want, we’ve got to prove it at some point. We had a chance to win this game, but we didn’t and that’s point I made the other day. We wanted to win this game, then we have to play tomorrow. We’ve just got to keep dealing. Our goal, like I said earlier, to get us at our peak when the playoffs start and see where we are at, but we’ve got to get there and we have to work there. We have a lot of work to do.”

(On Cavs as a quicker team and Varejao):
“Varejao clearly was. The only way to stop quickness is being more physical. That was the game plan coming into the game, but we never got a body on him. There were a lot of times where he was standing right there and we just didn’t get a body on him.”

(On Glenn Davis):
“I thought he played great, I thought he was terrific. I thought ‘Baby’s’ energy was absolutely wonderful. Honestly, I think Baby has been doing that more and more. He’s the only one who made a physical play to me the entire night when he knocked Varejao down. You don’t want that, but you want physical play and we were not tonight. I thought they (Cavs) were the more physical team and they were the smaller team without Shaq. They’ve gone small a lot and we’re big. That’s who we are. But, if we are going to be big, we’re going to have to act big and we didn’t do that tonight. I thought they did and they took the fight to us more tonight.”


(On Cavs being more active team than Celtics):
“Active, stronger, I wouldn’t say overall, but we missed a lot of layups today and a lot of small things we usually do. We couldn’t get over the hump. We fell back, we felt like we were right there, but we couldn’t turn that corner. You’ve got a team on the ropes at their place, you’ve got to find a way to turn the corner. Doc gave us some great things today, that’s when you focus in a lot more and you go deeper within and you execute. That’s when execution is really the main thing and we didn’t do that.”

(On 2nd chance points as a key today):
“Tough, yeah, Anderson Varejao was the key today. If you control him, you control the majority of that, and he was the fifty-fifty game, energy, hustle, all of that. It was frustrating. I wouldn’t say he gets under people’s skin, but he is high energy, he plays with a lot of energy. He’s in a system and they have a nice rhythm with him. He knows his place on this team and he doesn’t come out of his role. At the same time, he’s effective and he’s aggressive. He’s one of the keys, if you want to beat Cleveland, you have to definitely take care of Anderson.”