Game Quotes: Cavaliers vs. Pistons

(On the game tonight): “I want to get this out of the way real quick. That was probably the worst effort that we have had in a month. It is that simple. We did not compete and did not come ready to play; bottom line for whatever reason.”

(On lack of points in the paint and rebounding): “I have been talking about that for a while. We have to rebound defensively and they got 17 offensive rebounds. I said we have to take care of the ball (and we had) 17 turnovers. I think they had 24 points off of our turnovers, 16 points off of second chance opportunities. That is 40 points right there. Again, our margin of error is so small that we cannot afford to continue to give up that many points off of offensive rebounds. We cannot continue to turn the ball over like that and we compounded that tonight by not coming ready to play.”

(On being concerned about the losing streak coming to an end): “No not really. Like I said, the thing I focus on is the guys getting better and I thought the last week and a half or so we got better each game. Tonight, I thought we took a gigantic step backwards and it was all because of lack of effort. No sense of urgency whatsoever and that kind of amazes me. When you have lost as many in a row as we have lost and when you have been as close as we have in the last four or five games, to come home and to come out the way we came out, that amazes me.”

(On the next step as a coach): “The only other thing that you can do is take minutes away and that is hard to do right now with the situation we have with some of the injuries that we have. The biggest thing right now is that we have to challenge their pride. We have all professional basketball players in (the locker room) and at some point in time you have to have some pride in what you are doing and I thought tonight we did not come out with that pride. We just came out and went through the motions like we were going to win the game no matter what they did. They played last night and I thought it looked like we played last night. The biggest thing is that everyone has to go home and take a good long look in the mirror. Do not point fingers. Look at yourself first and then we will go from there.”

(On not starting games strong): “We just didn’t come out with the right type of intensity and we didn’t play the right way. The trouble we’ve been having is we let teams get out in front of us and then for the rest of the game, we’re fighting, fighting and fighting to get back. It’s tough to end games when you’ve fought the entire game like that.”

(On why they are not starting games strong): “Maybe guys are a little too fired up. I don’t know what the case may be. It’s hard to pinpoint it because if you could, we wouldn’t be in this situation. I think we just have to continue to try and use these games to figure out what it is we are not doing right and go out there and try to put a 48-minute game together somehow.”

(On if the losses are taking a toll on him): “I won’t let it consume me. I won’t let it get to that point in my mind because I know and I feel we are better than our record shows and are better than whatever amount of games we have lost. We are better than that. I’m just waiting on the day that we can go out there and show how much better we are than that because we just haven’t done it.”

(On when their pride will kick in): “It has kicked in. That’s why we come to work every day. It’s us in this locker room; we are not worried about what anyone else is saying. We come in and work hard every day and the wins will come eventually.”

(On what he wants the fans to know): “Keep being behind us because we are working hard every day. We are not perfect, but we come in here and work hard every day. We are giving you all we have got, we have just got some things we need to get together. We are a young team; a lot of guys are out and a lot of guys are playing in spots that they are not used to playing in. We are working hard, we are trying.”

(On keys to Pistons regaining control of game in third quarter): “I thought Ben Wallace was outstanding during that stretch. He made a couple of key blocks, deflections, getting loose balls and our defense tightened up and we were able to get some easy transition buckets.”

(On keys to first half): “I thought we did a good job of taking care of the basketball in the first half. We had 14 assists to only four turnovers. The other thing, I thought, Rodney Stuckey came in and gave us a huge lift, scoring 17 points in the first half. Chris Wilcox, I thought, came in and played a solid second quarter.”

(On Pistons bench): “They’re energy guys and we need their energy. I thought they did a great job. Cleveland has been playing outstanding basketball over the last five games and we were very concerned going into this thing. They are well coached, Byron (Scott) does a great job. Just realize when you have that rash of injuries, we had to step up and a lot of our guys stepped up.”

(On Cavs and Kuester’s past association as an assistant coach): “I’ve been blessed to have been part of this organization with Mike Brown, I have a lot of friends here. They have an outstanding coach in Byron Scott. When you have a rash of injuries and you see what’s going on, they’re going to break this. I have a number of friends that have told me that his players have worked hard every day. And, it’s refreshing. A lot of times you can hang your head, but they’ve got some young players who are going to be outstanding in time. They’ll get through this.”

(On possible added pressure tonight): “It’s interesting, that happened to be part of it. We’re working so hard to get as many wins as we possibly can. This happened to be the next game in the schedule and the next one is equally important now. Added pressure? No, our guys wanted to work hard, get better and they did.”

(On playing this game and situation): “We didn’t feel any added pressure. We said that before the game. We talked about it, just go out and play the way we play. We played well, we shared the ball, and we knocked down outside shots at crucial points of the game. The guys off the bench played well for us.”

(On Pistons): “I thought we played extremely well. We shared the basketball, except for the third quarter. We got a little stagnant, but we bounced back and the second group did a great job of pushing the game back up and eventually closed the game out.”

(On bench): “It’s a matter of time before we jell together. If we keep us together, we can do some damage. But, we don’t know who is going to play together and at what time, so we’re not in control of it. We just try to be ready for the minutes that we do get. And, today, we performed well.”

(On possible added pressure of playing this game): “No, I didn’t think so. I think the pressure is more so on them. We’ve just got to go out there and execute and, defensively, do what we did tonight and we’ll be fine. In any game.”

(On his performance): “I just knew it was going to take me a couple of games or whatever. Hopefully, this was the game. I sat out five games, so I had to get my rhythm back. It was a game that we should win, I thought the second group came in and got the lead back up in the third quarter and we took it from there.”