Game Quotes: Cavaliers vs. Suns


(On the game tonight): “I thought in the first half our guys still looked a little confused on some of the things we wanted to change and some of the things we wanted to do but in the second half, after coming in at halftime and seeing (what we were doing on film), I thought they did a much better job. Again, that’s the part we have to build on and that is exactly what I told them; not taking a couple of steps back or a step back, we have to take a couple of steps forward come Friday night.”

(On several poor offensive possessions in the fourth quarter after several defensive stops): “We missed some easy shots as well offensively and basically the last time we played this team it was almost the same thing. The last five minutes of the game we kind of stalled on the offensive end and we just have to figure out a way (in the) fourth quarter of the game when it’s on the line like that that we do not get tensed up and we do not panic. We just keep doing what we have been doing. We have to move the ball even more so. We have to set better screens even more so because the games on the line and guys are going to be a little tougher on that end of the floor and again that’s a learning process as well. So our guys are understanding and trying to understand what we are doing. Like I said the main concern is on the defensive end because offensively I think we score enough points but we have got to make sure we do a better job defensively.”

(On the progress of the team being baby steps): “No doubt about it. Like I just said we do not want to take a step backwards though. Come Friday if we can play defense like we played in the second half then we give ourselves an opportunity to win. We gave ourselves an opportunity tonight too. I thought we did a heck of a job coming back from 17 (points) down, getting it to three, getting a couple of more stops, but then again on the offensive end we probably took a couple of ill-advised shots, a couple of quick shots trying to get it all back in a hurry instead of just really relaxing and just running out stuff. Again we are going to keep working on that end as well but like I said the biggest emphasis is on the defensive end.”

(On the increase in steals/strips on the defensive end): “We had guys where we wanted to be. Guys were doing a real good job on the weak side of recognizing what guys were doing. When they were rolling, our guys were getting in and tagging as we call it. When they made the pass our guys were aggressive to try and get steals. Like I said the second half we did that. If you remember the first half, they (Phoenix) were getting layups because our guys were not getting there. (We did) a lot of good things (but), like I told the guys it is like coming in second place. It really does not matter but it was something we thought we did a much better job of in the second half and we have got to just continue to learn from it.”


(On trying to bring a consistent defensive effort over four quarters): “It’s something that we have got to bring to the game, it’s something that we are looking for. It’s no secret; I think we have lost 20 of the last 21 or something like that. It’s something we have just got to figure out. Tonight was a good stride. We have just got to try to take it into Friday against Milwaukee.”

(On trying to look at the positives from tonight’s loss and build off of the effort): “Definitely. We have got a lot of young guys out there, including myself, playing (extended) time for the first time. We have just got to build on it. We are professionals, we have just got to keep working. That’s all you can do.”

(On if the losses are mentally taxing): “It’s tough; there’s no doubt about it. Like I said before, we are professionals and we have just got to work hard tomorrow, get after it at practice, let this one go and start over against Milwaukee.”

J.J. Hickson

(On the effort on defense in the second half): “I think we gave a better effort in the second half in general. We played team defense, we were talking and individually, we knew our coverages and it showed.”

(On if he enjoys playing at a higher pace like the game was tonight): “I have more fun just being out there period. I’m getting my feet wet a little more, so to speak. I think it’s showing in my game, I’m getting better as the season continues.”

(On what keeps him motivated to play well amidst this losing streak): “The next game. Even though I’m disappointed in this loss, we have got another one on Friday. We have got a small road trip coming up (too). That’s what keeps you motivated - that you can always win the next one.”

(On if his rebound numbers are higher because he has been playing at center or because of a change in mental attitude): “A mental attitude. Andy is out, so I feel like I have to fill that void more. Overall, I think it’s what B. Scott wants. It’s what he wants from me and all of our big men. It’s been keeping me on the floor a little more, so I’m going to continue to do it.”


(On Cavs and fourth quarter): “Knowing Byron (Scott) the way I know Byron, they (Cavs) are going to play, they are going to play the whole 48 minutes. He’s going to demand that. We had to keep playing the whole 48 minutes, and every time you tried to take a breather, these guys (Cavs) get right back in the game. That is a testament to what Byron is doing with these guys. It’s really tough, going through what they are going through, but I thought the crowd was great and I think they (crowd) really appreciates the fact that these guys are playing extremely hard and keep competing to the end.”

(On keys for Suns tonight): “I thought we did a good job of getting off to a good start. Our offense was really good as far as spacing the floor and spreading it out. Channing (Frye) made some shots for us and obviously Steve (Nash) controlled the game. I liked that part of it. I thought, in the fourth quarter, we got a little bogged down and we started being in too many isolation situations. We’re not really an iso team, we’ve got to have ball movement and people movement. And, to be honest with you, they (Cavs) really did a good job. They started trapping screen and rolls and being a little more aggressive. We struggled a little bit, we had one point in the first six minutes of the quarter. It’s just a matter of us maintaining focus and trying to close out a game.”

(On key Vince Carter three-point field goal and keys tonight overall): “He did, and with him, you have to leave him in the game. He was struggling and couldn’t seem to find shots tonight offensively. But, the three out of the corner was really big for us. We were really struggling at that point. The last time we played these guys, they had 18 offensive rebounds and tonight, they had eight of them and that helped a lot. I thought for the most part, we had control of the game until the fourth quarter and we had a little lapse and they got back in the game.”


(On being fresh tonight after missing couple games): “I feel fresher and the rest of my body, before tonight, felt really good. Maybe if there is a lockout, I can play in Europe once a week. I might be able to excel over there.”

(On team since trade and roles being defined): “I think, at first, I was a little more tentative, trying to get these guys involved and trying to figure them out. I think the time out (for Hill), you can certainly learn and watch them. I realized that I had to continue to be aggressive and look for my stuff. I was probably a little too aggressive tonight because I was shooting all the shots early and got into a rhythm. I’ll take responsibility for that. But, he (Vince Carter) certainly hit a big one when we needed one. I’m starting to get more comfortable with the team and new guys and my role.”


(On his performance tonight): “I got hot there, but for me, I’m just trying to find a nice medium. They (Cavs) are not a bad team, they are just having one of those streaks right now. For me, I’m just really trying to continue to improve on some things. I really didn’t get the postups today, but I felt we really had a lot of great looks going to the basket. I just have to get better defensively and move my feet.”


(On his performance and not getting a basket until his key three-point field goal): “We won, that’s all that matters. Grant (Hill) was rolling, so why not give him the ball. We were getting shots in transition and he (Hill) was doing everything. He played the entire second half because he was playing so well for us. You can’t not go to him. We have weapons and we are very capable. I was going to shoot the ball (on the three). I didn’t have any feelings, I was just playing in the flow of the game. Grant was playing outstanding, that was a young Grant that I had to play my first two years. When I got that ball down there in the corner, I was going to shoot it, I was open.”