Game Quotes: Cavaliers vs. Hawks

(On the game tonight): “I still don’t have a clue what it is about Sunday games that we just don’t come with that same energy and intensity. Tonight was another one of those games where we got off to a bad start. Our bench came in and did a really good job of getting us back into the game, but anytime you get outscored 46 to 18 by starters at halftime it makes for a long evening. We just didn’t come out with the energy and aggressiveness that we needed to come out with for whatever reason.”

(On getting the guards better looks): “Offensively, execution has been okay. We still need to do a much better job, especially our bigs, of setting screens. We do a good job of getting there and then we either roll too soon or we just don’t make the contact to get our guys open. We have been harping on that all year long. Being much more physical as far as the point of attack. When our guys get there to set that screen on the guard, we just don’t do a good job. We just need to get much better.”

(On taking anything positive from tonight’s game): “They only got two offensive rebounds. They got 12 transition points in the first half and zero in the second, so we did a much better job of getting back. They only had two offensive rebounds but you can look at it the other way; they shot 50% so there weren’t a whole lot of offensive rebounds that they had to get. I’m going to go the other way; I’m going to take it as a positive that they only got two offensive rebounds. That’s something that we have to continue to work on.”

(On the difference in the game tonight): “I think the start of the game. I think all five starters, including myself, came out too slow. They got a lot of fast break and easy points in transition and that kind of was the ball game for us.”

(On if there was a subconscious letdown because Joe Johnson was out tonight): “No I think it was the first quarter, period. (It was) just them getting easy transition points, throwing the ball over the top of our heads and full-court passing for easy layups. I think in the second half we played better defense, but every time we got a little run going, guys like Marvin Williams would hit corner three’s and it kind of killed us.”

(On his mentality when coming into the game with a large deficit): “My approach is always to try to watch the game and feel out the tempo of the game and see how it’s going. If at the time I come into the game I feel like we are down or if I feel like we do not have enough energy, I always try to do something to spark the club: dive on a loose ball, make a shot, do something just to get the energy flowing. When you are in a bench role that should be your role - to change tempo and make sure the starters still have their energy.”

(On how difficult it is to keep that mentality when being down so much early): “You have to (keep it going) because it is a long game and I think all of us have seen where teams have been down 30, 35 points, and then come back to win. So you always feel like you can win; you just have to take it one play, one step at a time. When you are coming in (off of the bench), you cannot expect to get it all back at once. You just got to try break the game down and I think that is what our crew tried to do, but we were unsuccessful.”

(On the keys for the Hawks tonight): "I thought we really played well together. I thought we really shared the basketball. In the first half, we had 18 assists, which is, I believe, an all-time high for us for a half. We really did a good job of moving the ball. I thought defensively we were solid. Our game plan was to try to control the tempo as much as we could and try to stay out of a fast-paced game. I know Cleveland, when they are home and get in the open court, they can be pretty good. Our point of emphasis going into this game was to just control the tempo, which was making sure we got a good shot every possession. We rebounded the basketball, and then offensively we moved the ball. I thought we did a great job with that tonight."

(On Marvin Williams and team responding without Joe Johnson): “I was very pleased. Marvin was really into a rhythm with his shot. I thought we did a good job at moving the ball and getting it around to him, particularly out of the double-teams. We thought we had some mismatch advantages and it was just a matter of getting the ball out of the double-teams and getting it around to the open guy, and he was the guy who was on the tail end of it. He just stepped up and knocked the shots down.”

(On the team responding to clinching a playoff berth last night, travel and not having Joe Johnson tonight): “I was very pleased. I thought we came out and were focused, especially in the second half. They (Cavs) made their runs, but we stayed poised and were able to finish them off.”

(On the team’s ball movement as a key factor): “Yeah, that was important. When we play that way, that’s when we play at our best. We’ve been struggling as a team as everybody knows lately, but to win these last couple of games, it really gives us some momentum from this point forward.”

(On Marvin Williams): “Marv looked very confident out there. He was just taking what the defense gave him and was being aggressive and attacking the rim. When he plays at that level, not necessarily scoring 30 points, just being aggressive, I think we’re really a different team.”

(On his performances, especially shooting): “It was just shots that I work on every day. Shots in the offense, that’s how I play. I was just able to knock them down.”

(On Josh Smith early in the game): “When he went in there and took a charge on the very first play, from that point on, I felt we were all on a string defensively. That’s something that we need more guys to do to make plays.”

(On their recent play): “At least we’re going in the right direction. It’s good to get a couple wins on the road, but we have been struggling. We just need to keep building off of this.”

(On the game): “We did a good job. We came out and executed the game plan today and we got another good win.”

(On his performance and getting a lot of plays early in the game): “I think he (coach Larry Drew) came out and got me going early. He does a great job of taking advantage of mismatches I think and he must have seen something that I was doing out there. I got going early and he (Drew) just kept coming to me and my teammates kept coming to me. I had a big night and our team had a big night.”

(On Cavs defense): “The guys guarding me are pretty strong dudes, but I was just a little bigger than them. Eyenga and Gee, they played hard and were extremely physical. I still think I was a little bigger and I just tried to get to the basket and get to the foul line. I was able to do that.”

(On replacing injured Joe Johnson and filling his role): “This year we’ve played with Joe out for an extended period of time and we’ve played in the past with Joe out. It was something that we had to learn to do. The guy doesn’t miss many games, so we knew what we had to do. Everybody had to chip in a little more, and we got a good win today.”