Game Quotes: Cavaliers vs. Knicks

(On the game tonight): “I guess the first part is the thing we keep harping on, the defensive end. I thought again tonight, we played great defense. The biggest thing between tonight and last game against Houston is that we rebounded the ball. We did a great job of gang rebounding the ball and guys putting bodies on other people and we didn’t allow 22 offensive rebounds. I thought from the start of the game we were a lot more aggressive and that is a great win for us. I thought our guys are really starting to buy into what we are talking about defensively. We have got much better at that end of the floor and we just need to keep trying to improve.”

(On the key to beating the Knicks): “Again tonight we had great energy from our players and the fans. I thought J.J. would bounce back tonight and play really well because he didn’t play really well the last game and he did just that. We just got a lot of contributions from a lot of different guys. Sessions did a heck of a job of scoring and rebounding and took it upon himself to get those last three boards for us. I don’t know what it is with playing New York but I like what I saw tonight.”

(On the play of Anthony Parker): “AP was great. I wish we could have got him five or six more shots because he was shooting the ball pretty well. Defensively, I thought he did great. (He) made his free throws, made some big shots for us, especially when they made a run. That’s AP. He’s not going to force anything. He is one of our smartest players. He is a veteran guy that has been out here for a while. He took what the defense gave him and he made them pay.”

(On going 3-2 in the last five games): “I put all the credit with that on coaching! (laughing) No, it’s defense. Our guys are really starting to understand what we have to do every day on the defensive end. Like we always say, we have to complete the play. We are doing a really good job defensively, but there are times when we just don’t get the defensive rebound. Tonight was just one of those times when we did a much better job on the defensive boards. Again our guys are starting to understand what we need to do on that end of the floor. Like we said a couple weeks ago, we were going to simplify things. We wanted to be aggressive and have that focus and energy every single night, and lately we have been doing that. So that’s good. Three out of the last five is good and we have got a couple more here at home before we head to New York, so let’s see if we can start a little streak.”

(On showing toughness as a group to close out a win tonight): “Definitely. I think we controlled the tempo also. We weren’t really pushing the ball as fast, we were slowing it down and using the clock as our friend. We had a five-point lead, I believe, down the stretch and we were just trying to run the clock as much as we could. We knew they were probably going to score on the other end, so (we had to) just make free throws on our end. That was able to get us a win against a great New York team, a win that we feel real good about.”

(On looking forward to the new players coming in): “We are looking forward to them coming in and picking up where the other guys left off: working hard every day and competing every night.”

(On improving their team rebounding from their last game against Houston): “We had a meeting with the bigs and said that (being outrebounded) can’t happen. A guy comes in here and breaks a rebounding record in one quarter - it just can’t happen; not with the athletes we have. I think we did a better job with the defensive rebounding tonight.”

(On if they have a secret to beating the Knicks twice): “No secret. Like I said, when we get back in transition and play good team defense, it’s hard for us to get beat. I don’t know what they shot from the field, but I know it’s not what they usually shoot. Once we start talking on defense, use our athleticism and get to running up and down the floor, it’s hard for us to lose.”

(On how they went from being outrebounded by 20 last game, to outrebounding their opponent by 20 this game): “Better effort. That’s something that Coach Scott has been preaching all year. As long as you give effort, he can live with the losses. When you go out and don’t give the maximum effort, that’s what we can’t live with. We can’t let that happen. When we come out and play hard, like I said, it’s hard for us to lose.”

(On tonight’s game): “We did not have enough energy or athleticism to go after the ball (tonight) a lot of times. We fouled them too many times and on defense, we held them to 42% shooting, but they just had so many second chance points and foul shots. That is how we got ourselves into trouble. Then they hit big shots and we did not stop them.”

(On the defensive struggles): “Just a lot of standing and a lot of not moving around enough. Toward the end I thought our offense was better, but we kind of were desperate where we just ran right into pick-and-rolls and just went. I think we will get that and I think we can show them that it will be ironed out and in the mean time we have to play harder and understand that we have to win these games. There is a learning curve and you can’t get around it, and we know it and it is going to take us a little while.”

(On losing tonight’s game because of a lack of playing together): “We got our first win last game against Milwaukee after the trade so there are still a lot of kinks to be worked out. A lot of people still are not sure but that isn’t going to happen until we have a couple full practices together.”

(On finding his shot in a game with another superstar on the team): “To be honest, I just feel like I need to be out there because you have two or three great players out there and they create so much attention to themselves. It is just really the same thing: stay around, spot up, crash the boards and do all of the little things.”

(On tonight’s game): “I just think that (the Cavaliers) played hard. They got after it out there with a lot of energy after loose balls. We are still trying to figure it out on our end so this is to be expected for us, to work out the kinks, so right now we are trying to win by playing hard. Tonight the Cavaliers came out with a great amount of energy.”

(On what the team needs to figure out): “We still have not learned the plays and we are still trying to get better spacing. Defensively we are trying to get it together as far as our schemes. It takes time and again we went through this the first time at the start of the year with the old Knicks team. We are just trying to figure it out so it is kind of training camp mode again, trying to figure out the offensive and defensive schemes. In the mean time, we are trying to get wins by playing hard.”