Game Quotes: Cavaliers vs. Thunder


(On the game today): "I think I told you last game that I do not like these early games. I do not know what it is about these early games on Sunday with our team, on a more serious note, (I am) really starting to question what type of heart we have as a basketball team. If you are a competitor, no matter what the situation is or what the year has brought, you are going to come and compete every single night and we have not done that the last two games. That is my biggest question. Do we have enough guys in that locker room right now that have enough heart and some other things to go out there and play the way they are supposed to play."

(On having to question the players' hearts multiple times this season): "With this group that we have because of Andy (Varejao) being out and A.J. (Antawn Jamison) being out, who are probably our two best leaders, I do not know if the guys are just trying to find themselves or whatever the case may be, but it is still no excuse for not going out there and playing hard and I do not think we have done that the last two games."

(On the team allowing Westbrook to score easily): "Yeah, it was too easy. My biggest problem with that, (Westbrook is a) great player, but again it gets to a point as a team where you say enough is enough and somebody has to knock him on his ass to be honest with you. It is as simple as that, and that is where the heart part comes in. Or are you just going to keep backing down and taking it? It is as simple as that."

(On trying to slow down Kevin Durant): "We did not care about the size. Anybody that you put on him is a mismatch. He is a 6'10" two-guard basically. There are not a lot of 6'10" two-guards in this league besides him so anybody that you put on him that has his size is mostly a four-man or a five-man. That is a mismatch so anybody else that you put on him that is a perimeter player is a mismatch. The plan was for the first three or four minutes to double-team him. We did not do that so we had to change that plan. Again, to me that is a lack of focus with our team because it was something that we practiced for two days and we still were not able to come out and execute it. So that again makes me question where we are head-wise as well."


(On the loss today): "They played well defensively. This was just one of those days where we weren't able to really make shots, execute or get any of the things done that we wanted to get done. That was tough, but we have got to keep pressing and keep moving forward. We have to try and learn as much as we can from this game."

(On if it hurts to have several key veteran players out with injuries): "Yes, without a doubt. There's no way that you can try and say that those things don't matter. They are three guys who very much so are the faces of the franchise. What we have to do now though is continue to grow as a young ball club. A lot of guys are getting a lot of minutes out there on the floor and the opportunity to play and learn this system. Hopefully we can continue to improve and continue to get better. When we get all of these guys back and we continue to get to where we want to get to, the growing pains that we are going through right now will count."


(On the loss today): "Today was one of those games where it was kind of sloppy out there. Out of 82 (games in a season), you are going to get a few of these. There's no question that we are still competing every day and guys are showing up to practice and playing hard. It was just one of those games today."

(On Russell Westbrook's success today): "He's tough. He puts his head down and he goes to the basket. Those bigs that set picks for him and with their spacing, you have got to respect the guys that are shooting the ball. It kind of leaves you out there in one-on-one situations. You can't take anything from him though. He's a great player."


(On the game and Serge Ibaka): "Anytime you win on the road, it's a good win. I thought we did a good job of moving the ball and sharing the ball with 25 assists. The effort was good. Serge (Ibaka) did a really good job of protecting the basket with his blocks and altering shots. That's what he does. He's a unique talent defensively and he brings it every night and that's why we love what he's about and what his continued improvement is going to be. He wanted to protect the basket and we talked about it before the game. His job is to run and protect the basket and he did both of them very well. When he does that, we're very good defensively. Also, I thought everybody did a good job in stopping them from getting easy buckets."

(On Russell Westbrook's dunk igniting the team): "Yes, Russell's a dynamic player. He can score and he had a stretch there where we needed his scoring. On pick and rolls, he was getting loose and getting to the basket. That's what he does, he's a terrific player that's improving every day. That was an impressive dunk. But, he does other things for us other than scoring. He's passing the ball, but tonight I thought everybody chipped in and did their role. Serge was a standout defensively, with his rebounding and shot blocks."

(On the third quarter): "We had a good lead in the first half, then kind of relaxed and they made some shots. We knew we would have to play good basketball in the third quarter and continue to play with force and move the basketball and defend the ball and we did that in third quarter."


(On Westbrook's dunk and third quarter performance): "It was good. We had the commanding lead and we were playing defense. He went on a tear and he has those periods where he goes on a tear. We played off of him, because once he gets it going, he's going to be tough to stop. The thing about it, he didn't do it outside of the offense. He did everything within the offense and everybody still looked good. They (Cavs) were talking a little bit over there. That's one thing Russ really doesn't like; it kind of ticks him off a little bit. He came and did his thing. I think it was a good team win for us."

(On not having to play in the fourth quarter as good sign): "Yeah, we still wanted to play the right brand of basketball no matter what. Play the right way, make the right passes, make the right rotations on defense. That's going to make us a better team. But, it did feel good to sit a little bit in the fourth. We've got a game tomorrow, so we have to be prepared and energized for that."


(On his performance in the third quarter and wanting to take over the game): "Sometimes if I feel the game is getting out of whack (I want to take over). We took a 10-point lead and it kind of stayed that way for a long time and they were about to make a run. I just tried to step up and do what I can to get us going. I was just trying to compete, go out and win for my team."

(On his dunk): "I ended up jumping and moving and going up to finish it."

(On his 12-point scoring run with drives to the basket): "They were kind of the same sets, but with people in different spots. It's kind of tough when you've got KD (Kevin Durant) and James (Harden) and you can't really help too much. Then, you've got Serge diving to the basket and I've got the ball. So, it kind of puts your (defense) in a bad position."