Game Quotes: Cavaliers vs. Magic

(On the game tonight): “I told the guys I thought the message was pretty clear in the second half - guys played really hard. We didn’t do anything different as far as making any adjustments. The second unit guys just came in and did a much better job of just competing and playing hard. That was the bottom line and we have to find a way to do that for 48 minutes. That gives us a chance to win ballgames so it is very simple.”

(On how to get his point across to the team): “The biggest thing is always, from a coach’s standpoint, that the one serious thing that I have control over is minutes. If guys are not playing as hard as I think they can play or should play, then (I will) just take them out and you put the second unit guys in there. That is all I wanted the guys to do - is go out there and play hard for 48 minutes and we did not do that in the first quarter. I even said during one of the timeouts ‘Guys, we act like we are in quicksand. We’re not really running up and down the floor. Everything is kind of a jog. It is not done with any kind of purpose right now.’ Like I said, the only thing you really can do is, obviously, you can mix up the lineups and things like that, but the thing these guys really understand is minutes and that is the biggest thing right now. If you are not playing as hard as I think you can play, then you can just come over and take a seat with us (on the bench).”

(On thinking about changing the starting lineup): “I am going to think about it. I will probably have a clearer picture of it tomorrow, but I am thinking about it as we speak.”

(On Dwight Howard’s performance): “Dwight is a great player. His flaw is obviously from that free throw line but he is athletic, he is strong, he is big and he is fast. He has got much better on the post up, the little face-up jump shot (and) even though he made the one he took tonight, I will still give him that more than anything else. He is one of those guys in this league that is a dominant player and I thought he played really well tonight.”

J.J. Hickson
(On if Dwight Howard is the toughest player he has had to guard this year): “There’s no doubt about it – he’s a great player and an all-star caliber player. Once he sits in that paint, it’s just hard to move him out. With his size and athleticism, it’s just tough. We have got to get back to the drawing board, see what I did wrong and get ready for the next one.”

(On losing despite outscoring the Magic in the final three quarters): “We just came out slow. When we get ourselves in that big of a hole, even when we fight back, it’s tough to keep climbing uphill the whole game. When we play like we did in the fourth with that second unit, if the game was closer, I think we would have won this game. We have got to take everything we did good and get back to the drawing board and get ready for the next one.”

(On the fan support all season long): “It’s great…They have been our sixth man all year. It’s amazing to see our record and to see our fans come night in and night out. I have just got to thank them (for their support).”

Daniel Gibson
(On cutting Orlando’s lead down late in the game): “We had a lot of momentum and everybody was playing extremely hard. We just felt like we were making the right push at the right time and we had them on their heels. We kept going and we did have a chance to take one back.”

(On working harder this late in the season to try and get better): “I think that practice-wise and seeing guys in the gym, we’re getting it. We’re getting it and it’s not showing on the floor, which is disappointing. We’re definitely getting an understanding of what it takes to win and you just hope that we continue to grow. As we continue to build, we will start to show it.”

(On potential changes to the starting lineup): “I’m ready to do whatever it takes to win. Anything Coach asks of me, I’m going to go out there on the floor and do it. I’m sure the rest of the guys feel the same way.”

(On what the Magic take from this game): “Nothing. We got a win and that’s what we take from it. We got a win, we’re moving on. This one is done.”

(On Brandon Bass and Dwight Howard): “Brandon played with tremendous energy. He was really rolling hard on pick and rolls, finishing and our guys were doing a good job of getting them (Bass and Howard) the ball. They (Cavs) didn’t want to take a body off of Dwight and Brandon was able to get to the rim. Then, Dwight was just overwhelming.”

(On mystery of why Magic can’t put together consistent games): “No, it’s not a mystery to me. I’m not going to talk about that (what the situation is).”

(On the fourth quarter): “We turned the ball too much. We didn’t play with a lot of energy, but other than that, I don’t really know. It was 20 turnovers again.”

(On is it playing against a team you are supposed to beat): “No, it’s not hard. I don’t understand that. No, it’s not hard. You only play 82 games a year. It shouldn’t be hard to just go out and play hard all the time.”

(On the Magic): “Obviously, we’ve seen ebs and flows. I don’t have an excuse for it. We need to play harder and sharper. And, play sharper for longer periods of time. We just get on to New York. Like I said, I don’t take anything from this. We take a win, we move on and we get ready for New York.”

(On being pleased with the Magic in first three quarters): “Yep, I thought we did some good things. There were a lot of good things throughout the course of the game. We still didn’t take care of the ball. We had 12 turnovers at the half. But, we executed some things. Defensively, I thought we did some good things. For the first three quarters, I thought there were some good things. And, some very good things.”

(On his performance): “I just basically took advantage of opportunities. I just tried to play within the system, set picks, roll. Tonight, the guards saw that I was open and they hit me and I just tried to finish for them. We got the win. I was picking and rolling, I got some easy baskets and I think those easy baskets got me going. I was able to produce a little bit offensively. I just want to continue to do that each and every night and continue to bring my defensive efforts.”

(On building confidence from good start): “When you get some easy baskets, it always builds confidence, especially early on. I did feed off of a couple early baskets and I tried to keep it going. I tried to let my offense kind of pick up my defense. Usually my defense picks up my offense, but tonight it was vice versa. I think we moved the ball well offensively. Toward the end of the game, they (Cavs) made a little run, but this is the NBA and teams are going to do that. We just have to continue to focus and get better, so we can get ready for the playoffs.”

(On the fourth quarter): “There really weren’t any problems. Throughout the game, we turned the ball over and that’s something, for us to be great, we can’t do. So, we’re definitely going back to the drawing board and going to get better with that tomorrow. Teams are going to make runs. We were beating them the whole game. We didn’t expect them to quit. We’re pros, so they made their run, we sustained it, and got the win.”