Game Quotes: Cavaliers at Raptors
Thoughts on today’s game: Welcome to the NBA, back-to-back nights, you know. Especially our two young guys, it’s their first experience. I just try to tell them how to handle it a little better next time, but I give Toronto a lot of credit. I thought they played great basketball on both ends of the floor. We couldn’t throw it into the ocean. Every time we made a little bit of a run they hit some miracle three to kind of break our backs. We’ll just have to pick ourselves up and get ready for the next one.
Was it more your shooting, or their defense, or a combination of the both? I think it was a combination of both. Like I said, I give them a lot of credit for the way they were scrambling and playing defense. We seemed a step slow tonight on both ends of the floor and I don’t know if that’s because it was our first back-to-back game. Like I said, I know our guys will pick themselves up and get ready for the next one.
How unhappy were you with the temp of this game? Not very happy at all. That’s the one thing that we talked about doing, try to push the ball up and down the floor as much as possible and again it starts with Kyrie (Irving) obviously. But it really starts with our defense, we’ve got to get stops first so that we can get the ball into his hands and really try to force our tempo. We just never really got into it, we never got into our type of tempo and like I said, everything was a step slow.
For Tristan (Thompson) kind of a distraction playing at home? I thought he didn’t play well at all. But he isn’t the only one. Looking at that scorecard, we didn’t have many guys that played well and when you are playing a team like this, that plays as well as they do and they play at their pace and move the ball, and have guys that can really spread you out, you have to play well and I didn’t think that he played well. But like I said, he’s not the only one, we had a bunch of guys that just didn’t play well tonight.
How are you feeling physically after this game? I’m feeling pretty good, my body feels alright. I got banged up a little bit out there, I fell to the floor a few times but I’m good. I’m going to take advantage of this day off and take care of my body the best I can and just get ready for Minnesota.
How’s the first few games of the season been with you and Tristan in the NBA? It’s been great. Still getting adjusted, me and him. We really don’t play too many minutes together but when timeouts occur we continue to give each other little pointers with what we see out there from each other and continue to attack.
If you look back at the last couple of hours, what are your thoughts? We didn’t get the win, first and foremost is definitely disappointing but at the same time, it’s a long season so we have got to look at film tomorrow and look at the mistakes. You have got to give the Raptors credit, they made shots, (DeMar) DeRozan made shots, (Andrea) Bargnani put a hell of a game together so you have got to give them credit.
Did you feel the effects of your first back-to-back? Whenever you do back-to-backs you have got to change your whole game plan and routine. For Kyrie (Irving) and myself it’s our first time so we have got to develop a routine and habits, but we’ll be fine.
Did you have too much on your mind with it being your first game back in Toronto? No there was no pressure at all. My team and everyone I have in my corner, takes care of all that. I just play basketball and go win games for the Cavaliers. Unfortunately we didn’t get the win but there was definitely no distractions in terms of my play tonight.
Is it a bit more disappointing knowing that this is a game that you probably had circled on your calendar? Every game you don’t win is disappointing whether it’s in Toronto, or whether it’s in L.A. or whether it was in Phoenix. Not being able to get the win is definitely disappointing but it’s a long season and we’ve got to go back to the drawing board.
What is your gameplan knowing that Coach wasn’t happy with your play? Coach Scott is honest and he’s played this game and he knows what me and Kyrie (Irving) are capable of so him saying that we didn’t play well is the truth, we didn’t play well. Look at the stats and look at our performance on film so he’s right. We have just got to learn from it and keep building. Coach is great, him getting on me that is what I like, I like a coach that wants to push me to my limit, that is good.
RAPTORS HEAD COACH DWANE CASEY
On was that as good as you guys can contest shots: We did a decent job of closing out. Andrea (Bargnani), he and James Johnson did one of our best jobs of tagging and closing out to touch and under control where we didn’t get beat. It was one of our solid defensive efforts against a very good offensive team, especially their second unit.
Did you expect Jose (Calderon) to be playing at this high of a level this early? I saw Jose at the Euro League Championships this summer and I came away with a different opinion of Jose at that time. Anytime you win a championship the way he was that tells you something. He’s much better than people give him credit for as far as his solid play, running the team, shooting the basketball. He’s one of our best three-point shooters. He and Andrea have a thing going on with their pick-and-rolls, and he has a sixth sense where he is and where the open guy is in the pick-and-rolls.
On the growth of your team in the first two weeks: Just the defensive growth so far, believe me, we are nowhere near where we need to be offensively. Defensively, we’ve taken strides, we are thinking defensively, we’re thinking in those terms and getting stops, which is part of the culture change. We’re playing playoff style basketball, now whether we’re a playoff team or not. I’d venture to say we’re not right now, but we’re playing the style of defence that it takes to play in the playoffs. Offensively, we need to clean up some things, timing, spacing, cut down on turnovers which we did tonight, and continue to do that.
How gratifying is it to see the results of your work on your three-point shot? It’s definitely good. It’s showing me that my hard work paid off. I’m just going to keep working on every part of my game and just try to get better every time I’m on that court.
How high is your confidence level right now? It’s pretty high. I think it’s just going to do nothing but get higher. I’m feeling more comfortable after every game. A week, couple of games in, just trying to get my rhythm going and I think my confidence and anybody’s confidence will continue to get higher.
When you are hitting your shot, it opens up space for everybody, have you noticed that? Yes, I definitely noticed that. That’s the one thing the team and I wanted to accomplish coming in this season and being able to do that, not just for myself, for my teammates so we can get easy buckets.
On the team’s growth in the past week: I think we have been working a lot. I think we’ve been doing much better for sure. The last time we played them, it was the first game of the season, and you always know the first game is not the best one, for sure. I think we’re improving in every aspect of the game. I think everybody is helping, is trying to give us a step forward every time they go on the court. We cannot complain, everybody is doing their job and that’s why we’re winning and we play better basketball.
On how the spacing opens up when DeMar is hitting the outside shot: For sure. He’s been doing great. He’s been doing everything, today he was hot and was making those shots. I’m so happy for him because you saw him working every day on that. It’s nice he got the shots he made, we needed it today so it was great for us. I’m really happy for him.
On the play of Andrea Bargnani: It was great. It is so nice to see him smile every time, he’s really comfortable with the team. He’s really comfortable playing out there. He’s doing great. I know where to find him all the time, we’ve been playing together for awhile so it’s really nice to see him like that.