Game Quotes: Cavaliers vs. Hawks

March 18, 2012


(On tonight’s game): “First of all, that’s a pretty good basketball team. Second of all, I thought in the first quarter, they came out, and as we would say, ‘punched us in the mouth’ and I don’t think we ever really responded after that. It was pretty even throughout the game after that. I thought they came out very aggressive from the start. We didn’t come out aggressive enough. That’s the bottom line.”

(On if they couldn’t continue their third quarter run because they ran out of gas): “I think it was more the case that Josh Smith was shooting three’s and missing them. We were able to rebound the ball and make some shots on the other end. When they went back to normal with Joe and those guys…when they gave (Joe Johnson) the ball and said ‘we’re gonna put it on your shoulders’, he was able to deliver for the most part.”

(On why he started Gibson in the second half): “I did that more for matchups. I thought them starting Hinrich and Teague was a better matchup with Boobie on one of those guys instead of when they bring in McGrady, Boobie’s giving up seven or eight inches, so I thought it would be best to start Boobie and then bring AP off the bench (for) a little bit more size against Tracy.”

(On Thompson’s effort tonight): “I thought it was alright. I thought Pachulia beat both of our centers up. I thought he physically beat up Tristan and Samardo. I was telling our guys, I thought every now and then when they were shooting the ball, I thought we were shooting because they had us pushed so far under the basket, it looked like he was blocking our guys out. I thought he just physically beat our guys up.”

(On if he considered not taking Kyrie out in the fourth): “No, I thought he was pretty tired playing that whole third quarter and the way he was pushing the ball and getting us in the game. I gave no thought to trying to squeeze out another four or five minutes in the fourth quarter. I wanted him to get a little bit of a rest.”


(On today’s loss): “I think it really came down to how we started the game. I think at times we weren’t playing with a sense of urgency that we needed, especially against a good Atlanta team. To beat a good team, you have to be that much better on that day.”

(On the team’s lack of energy): “We just weren’t making the plays that needed to be made; getting fifty-fifty balls, getting rebounds, and our transition defense. They were executing and we weren’t executing our defense well tonight. Our rotations were off and it was just a tough game.”

(On Atlanta’s physicality): “They were pretty physical. I don’t think that really dictated why we lost, but it’s one of those factors where you have to fight back and we weren’t doing that in the first half.”


(On Joe Johnson’s performance today): “He was making a lot of tough shots. He had a lot of open looks and played a really good game.”

(On Atlanta’s physicality): “They’re a very physical team and they made plays as a team. They made a lot of shots and once they get it going, they’re hard to stop.”

(On having to play catch-up the entire game): “It was very tough because they kept making shots. We’d miss a couple and they’d come back and make some. We went on a little run, but it was tough because they continued to make shots.”


(On the Hawks defense): “Defensively, we made a stand. I thought we kept our composure when they did cut (into the lead). I tell the guys this all the time, ‘Good teams don’t fragment in situations like that.’ I thought we did a good job in staying with what we had to do (to win the game). We withstood the (Cavaliers) run. We could have very easily got rattled when they cut (the lead) to ten. We maintained our composure, stayed with what we did and came out with a win.”

(On Jeff Teague): “He was huge. I thought he got off to a little bit of a slow start in the first half. I challenged him at halftime to come out and be more aggressive and to take the challenge against Kyrie Irving. I thought he did a phenomenal job in getting more aggressive. He was much, much more aggressive off the dribble in the second half than he was in the first half and that’s the way we need him to play.”


(On Kirk Hinrich, Joe Johnson and himself in the same lineup): “I like playing with Kirk (Hinrich). He’s going to help me on defense and knock down shots. His level of intensity on the floor every time he’s out there makes me pick up my energy…Joe (Johnson) is able to guard big guys because he’s a bigger two-guard. It’s working out for us.”

(On his game): “I was just attacking and being more aggressive (in the second half). In the first half, I would come off the pick and rolls and pass (the ball). In the second half, I was looking to score a little more and was able to get some shots to go in.”


(On getting the win): “It was very important for us to get out to a good start and sustain for 48 minutes. Yes, they made a run, but we were still able to stay in control of the game.”

(On Kirk Hinrich, Jeff Teague and himself in the same lineup): “Everything kind of happens for a reason and it’s been beneficial for us to an extent. You now have three guys out there who are playmakers, can handle the ball and run pick and rolls. Our offense has been a lot more fluent, but not having Marvin (Williams) has been a big loss. He’s another guy who can post-up, rebound and defend.”