Game Quotes: Cavaliers at Magic

“We can’t allow ourselves to get down by 16 or 17 points and then expect to try to come back. The end of the first quarter was a killer we get down 33-17 then it’s an uphill battle all night long and against good teams like this it’s going to be hard to win. We just need to figure out a way to stay closer the first half of the game and hopefully we can make a run the second half.”

On Cleveland’s effort in game:
“I don’t think it has to do anything with effort to be honest with you, I think our effort is there. We are playing some real good teams right now. We obviously have less talent with all the guys that are hurt and the guys who are playing some of them are hurting. It’s just a matter of still trying to figure out how stay close the first half of the game, because like I said it’s been like that for the last 5, 6, 7 games where all the sudden we’re down by 20 and then in the second half we’re trying to stage a comeback it just takes too much out of you.”

On Cleveland’s lowest game deficit:
“We cut it down to nine, they called a timeout, they came out and hit a couple shots, we came down the floor and really on the offensive end maybe one pass shy, instead of really making them work on the on the defensive end. Sometimes we’re our own worst enemy by coming down and not working the ball. I told the guys at halftime we can have the same shot at 18 where we can probably get that same shot 10 or 8 seconds on the clock. Just trying to get them to move the ball a little bit more so we can get Orlando to defend a little bit more, instead of bailing them out like we did. I thought about three or four straight possessions where we came down with one pass shots or no pass shots and you’re putting the ball right in there hands.”

On Daniel Gibson’s injured ankle:
“Might have to sit out the next game, I know it was really bothering him last night. I saw him before the game when he was getting treatment and its black and blue. Daniel is a warrior so he wants to try to go, but it may be in his best interest to take a look at it tomorrow to maybe sit down tomorrow and wait a couple days to wait to see if that ankle can get a little less blood flowing to it, because right now its swelled up. So if we can get the swelling down it’s a different story but we might have to shut him down for a game or two.”

On Cleveland’s defense throughout the game:
“Overall I thought it was pretty good except for the first quarter, after that I thought we settled down and we played pretty good solid defense for the remainder of the game but again it’s not a 36 minute game its 48. The things we changed, tuned and are working on defensively are coming along a lot better so we’re going to stick with that and put more of an emphasis on defending guys the way we have been defending them and hopefully out offensive will keep coming, playing smarter on both ends of the floor, but again it’s a 48 minute game.”

On when Cavs cut lead to 9 points:
“We made a run and they called a timeout. Then they came out and made some big plays to push the lead back up. I wish we could have stayed focus a little bit more in that time period and got a couple of more stops so we could have cut the lead down a little bit more.”

On how team is dealing with adversity around 20 game losing streak:
“We just come in everyday whether it is a practice or a game and try to get better as a team. We continue to try to work hard, stay positive, and have a great attitude. Eventually we will break that streak.”

“He (Anderson) made some big shots. We goofed up a little bit on our rotations, but when you have a guy like Dwight and Bass, you have to help off of those guys. Ryan Anderson was able to get some open looks and knock them down.”

“We have some coaches on our coaching staff who have been there before, and they come in everyday with a positive attitude and everyday continue to keep our confidence up. (They have held their heads high) throughout this whole process. That is coming from our leader who comes in positive like that and we feed off of that.”

“I have been a starter my whole life, but I am just here to do anything the team wants me to do…start, come off the bench. It doesn’t matter.”

“We can’t have any mental lapses like we have been having as of late. With their quality of talent, they found a way to utilize that to their advantage. They have been playing with each other for awhile. We have a lot of guys who are searching and trying to understand the game. We are playing with a lot of effort, but we are also learning on the go as well. You still have to go out there and play.”

On why team has been getting off to very slow starts at beginning of games:
“We have talked about it and stressed we have to come out ready to play and focused. Defensively, we don’t have the energy that we need to have in order to sustain a good first quarter or half. When we get down 16 or 17 points, that is when we decide we are ready to play and you can ill afford to do that. It is just a learning curve. I think a lot of the young guys think you can go through the motions early and then get it going, but you have to start the game like you are down 10 points. Until we understand the importance of having great starts, we will continue to spot teams 15 or more points.’

“It (Howard’s performance) is nothing unexpected. He is going to be aggressive on both ends of the floor. Now he has gotten to the point where he is demanding the ball. They always do a good job of finding him and he is finishing as well. He is a threat on offense and defense with rebounding the ball. He does a great job with defensive rebounding, starting the break with the outlet, running the floor, and their shooters are spread out and he is running down the middle creating challenges for the opponent. You can’t allow a team like this to have 24 offensive rebounds. Unfortunately, we did that tonight and this is a team that is going to make you pay. They did a good job of beating us to the 50-50 ball and getting the second chances.”

“I have been in situations like this before. It is a situation you would rather not be a part of but it a situation you are placed in and rather than be negative or frustrated, you have to use this opportunity to enjoy the game and enjoy what you are doing…teaching these young guys how to be a professional and how to deal with situations like this. It is tough but we are still trying to deal with the grind of it. I am enjoying myself playing the game knowing when it is all said and done I can say no matter what the situation was, I gave it my all.”

“Everyday I am getting better. I know the team is young and the losing is tough right now. It is very tough on me because I hate losing. I know I am a winner, and everybody in here got better today so we are winning. We hope that carries on tomorrow and we play hard. We need to keep improving.”

“We had a great first quarter and then it was dead even after that. I thought we came out with really good energy. We didn’t shoot the ball well other than Dwight, JJ and Ryan, we didn’t shoot the ball well at all. I’m hoping we saved all of those for tomorrow night because we’ll need them. But we rebounded well, we played harder, we played some good minutes of defense. Dwight and Ryan were both great, so we come out with the win and we move on.”

On wanting to establish habits with his team:
“It’s not just that, I just want us to establish some habits. Again, I thought that in the first half in particular, even though he really didn’t get going in the second half, I thought that Brandon and even Ryan defended very well on Jamison. I thought that was a good sign. That was probably the best thing – we wanted to establish some defensive habits. As the game went on we weren’t quite as sharp defensively. The only thing we didn’t do well defensively, we didn’t run back, we just did not run back. I don’t understand that. I don’t think that running as hard as you can in both directions all the time, but especially the defense…. I don’t get mad if a guy jogs down the court offensively, but defensively, I don’t understand that, I really don’t. If you are talking about being on a team where you’re talking about wanting to contend for a championship, I would think running back as hard as you can would be a good place to start, and we didn’t do that well. But our half court defense was pretty good until the end, and I really don’t know what was going on then.”

On Dwight taking a beating down low in the game:
“To be honest, I’ve sort of given up on that. I don’t understand why they’re allowed to hit big guys, not just Dwight, but I just don’t understand in general why they are allowed to hit big guys up around the neck and shoulders and there is nothing done about it. I’ve talked about it several times, I’ve talked to referees in the games – I don’t know the answer to that. The league has decided those are OK. My point is always, if Dwight hits somebody that hard around the head, it becomes a thing of size and strength, not what somebody is doing. If Dwight hits somebody as hard as they hit him around the head, he would probably be suspended, because he would lay them out. But because he can take the hit and even stay on his feet, they don’t see the result of it and they let it go. And it’s not one or two guys, and it’s not just Dwight, I see it with big guys all the time, it’s just, I don’t know, it is something I wish they would get on. It’s not a matter of fairness in a game, they called the foul. I don’t think it’s fair to those guys, but I’m not in charge and they’re not really interested in my opinion.”

On if he can call the league to ask those calls to be reviewed:
“That’s what a flagrant foul is, but they don’t deem those flagrant fouls, and I’m not the one calling the game. To me it shouldn’t be what happens to the guy, the fact that Dwight or Shaq or Yao when he was playing are big and strong and can stay on their feet even when a guy winds up and hits them around the shoulders and the neck, that should not predicate the result of it. It shouldn’t come down to how strong you are, it should come down to what they are trying to do. But that’s just me. And again, it has no effect on the game and look, everybody calls it the same, so I just want to say I’m not being critical of the officials because they all call it the same, and that’s clearly the way the league wants it called. And if you’re an official, you call it the way the league wants it called. I would like to see them protect them a little bit more. And again, it’s not just us, we are not being singled out, I just think the big guys in the league, it’s like fair game on them.”

On playing Memphis tomorrow in a back-to-back:
“We have a tough schedule right now because we have a lot of back-to-backs. A lot of home games and then we have to travel that night and play the next day. You know it’s tough when you get into a city at two or three in the morning and then have to wake up the next day, you have to get at least some sleep and then play the next day. You know, those games aren’t always the easiest but we need to get a little road streak going, because we haven’t been playing very well on the road. So, I think tomorrow’s game we need to really just be ready to go tomorrow.”

On his play tonight, scoring a career high 23 points and grabbing a career high 16 rebounds:
“Well I had a great opportunity tonight. Obviously we played really well and had a big lead so in the fourth we could just kind of play. I mean obviously we still had to go hard and keep the lead, but in the fourth my shot was just kind of dropping at the point, so I just kind of shot the ball when I was open. I had some opportunities. I just tried to rebound the ball tonight and yeah, that’s all I can really say I think.”

On if it was a relief to win tonight:
“Yeah, I mean we’re just kind of going into each game thinking that it’s a big game. We need to get a streak going again. We need to get some more confidence and kind of just build from a win like this. I think it was key to have a big win, especially on a back-to-back night.”

On his play over the last month and if teams are going to start treating him as more of a threat:
“Yeah, that’s only natural but I just think the fact that we have a player in Dwight (Howard), like I always say, he drags so much attention. So it’s kind of a pick your poison. If you want to put all your attention on Dwight then you have to basically risk our 3-point shooting. So, vice-versa, if you come out on us, Dwight is going to be wide open. We’re a tough team to guard.”

On the Magic controlling the game, from the very beginning to the end:
“We knew we had to come out and be ready and be well prepared from here on out. We’ve been having slow starts but it’s a good sign that we came out and were ready to play from the start of the game.”

On the play of Ryan Anderson and Dwight Howard tonight:
“Yeah, they both were huge for us tonight. We expect Dwight to dominate the game like he always does and he did that tonight. And Ryan gave us a good boost off the bench tonight. He’s shooting the ball well, he got a lot of rebounds, he played really well for us tonight.”

On his tough shooting night and how Ryan Anderson and JJ Redick picked it up for him:
“Definitely, that’s the type of team we have. We have a lot of guys that can score the ball and tonight I wasn’t shooting very well and (Hedo) Turk(oglu) wasn’t shooting very well and JJ and Ryan came in and picked up the shooting and they did a great job off the bench.”