Game Quotes: Cavaliers vs. Wizards

(On the game tonight): “First of all, just like I told the guys, I am still trying to figure them out because to me that was ridiculous. Effort wise I thought it just was not there. In the beginning of the game it did not look like it was there. It looked like we were just sleepwalking through it. In the second half, we tried to put it together and come back, but it was not there, period.”

(On the similarities to the Detroit game): “Yes, (there are) some but I think it even goes all the way back to the second game of the season. We beat Boston and won a big game and then went to Toronto and played like crap. We did the same thing after we beat the Clippers; we came here tonight and we played like crap.”

(On what to say to the team and how to correct things): “It is all about what you have got inside. I do not think there is any way in the world that we should be in that locker room thinking that after we get a win against the Clippers that we have arrived or that we are better than everybody else. We have to come out with that sense of urgency that we talked about and I just did not see that tonight from the start and it is disappointing.”

(On if he has ever had a situation like this with another team): “Yes and no. I have had teams where I have gone into games and told myself that I could look at them and see that they are ready and I have had teams I could look at and I thought they were ready, and they were not ready. This team I looked at tonight and I thought we would be ready. I just thought from the fact that we got a win the other night not to take a big exhale and think that everything was ok, but let’s see if we can get better the next game and tonight we did not do that.”

(On the player’s excuses for Washington’s uncontested shots): “I guess you will have to ask them that. As far as excuses, I hope that they do not have any excuses. Just tell the truth. The bottom line is that we played like you know what and we have to play better and it has to be a committed effort every single night. There has to be that sense of urgency every single night. Playing hard should not be a skill. That is your job to come out and play hard, as hard as you can for 48, minutes and I think tonight we did that for maybe 24 minutes and we are not good enough to do that for 24 minutes. If we do not give ourselves a chance by coming out and playing with a sense of urgency every single night, then we have no shot of winning games.”

(On the loss): “We came out flat. They came out aggressive. They have got a bunch of scorers on that team. If you give them chances like we gave them, they are going to put teams away like they did us.”

(On where the team goes from here): “We have got work to do; 9-46 speaks for itself. We are a team in the process of learning, but we have got work to do. We let this one slip away. We have got to get back in Tuesday and get to work again.”

(On if JaVale McGee’s presence was felt tonight in the paint): “It’s hard not to. He’s every bit of 7’1”, long and he tries to block every shot that goes up. He’s a presence down there for sure. His career is showing progress.”

(On what they need to do differently): “We have got to win games. We have got to get it done on the defensive end like we did against the Clippers. We are not a team that can come out flat and win it all in the fourth quarter. We have to play hard for 48 minutes, cut down on turnovers for 48 minutes and do the little things that you need to do to win games.”

(On the disappointment of the loss): “I think any time you lose, it’s disappointing. No loss is greater than the other. You want to win them all, but you can’t. At the same time, there’s no excuse for the way we played tonight.”

(On the Wizards finishing the game and the win overall): “We closed it out. We really played very well. We came out very focused early and did a lot of things and played very well. I thought John (Wall), for his lack of emotion against the Spurs (last night), was very focused and very emotional as far as tonight. He really put a lot of pressure on them (Cavs) as far as defensively.”

(On Wizards keys): “Winning individual matchups, but playing together was more important. We had 31 assists, taking the challenge defensively individually, but more importantly, playing as a team. As I told the guys before the game, if we stayed divided, we’re going to crumble. Together, we can be a lot stronger. I thought we shared the ball, a lot of guys carried us at different times and we didn’t play too much out of character.”

(On playing this type of game after last night vs. Spurs, was this expected?): “I really didn’t know. The way our guys are, they are extremely quiet. I said we’re either going to play really good or really bad. I thought, as a staff, that we did a lot of things as far as preparing them, from the 24 hours of letting them know the things we didn’t do in the San Antonio game were unacceptable. But, then being positive with them and letting them forget about that and showing them the opportunity they had as tonight, to go out and play well and try to get our first road win.”

(On relief of winning first road game): “At least, now, the guys can watch ESPN again. They didn’t want to watch ESPN because you keep hearing about 0-24 and 0-25. Now, there’s nothing for them. More important, not just winning, it’s how we won. I thought that we played well from beginning to end. We had one little bump in the road, but overall, we were pretty much in control.”

(On when Cavs cut lead to 11 points in the fourth quarter): “Everyone was very positive. We had played well up to that point, we had to get back to playing the way we were playing. Kirk (Hinrich) hit a huge three off good ball movement, then we came down and made a stop or two and were able to stretch it out.”

(On the first road win and how Wizards overcame Cavs comeback): “It felt like Christmas. In the fourth quarter, we had a big lead and they (Cavs) kept fighting back. They didn’t give up and they started making threes and we turned the ball over a couple of times and they made shots. When it got down to 10 with 5:00 to go, we kept thinking in our heads, ‘stay positive.’ We couldn’t get negative and couldn’t let the same thing happen that happened before.”

(On coach Saunders challenge to win individual matchups in pre game meeting): “I think we did a great job of that. I had to guard Mo Williams and he had a great game in his last game, so I had to do a better job of stopping him. Coach told me I was the head of the snake and that he (Williams) was the one who was going to get everybody going. If he’s scoring and assisting, it’s going to be a big night for them and a good win. Everybody did a good job of stepping up to their challenge, but the main thing was that we played defense and didn’t worry about who was scoring tonight. We just wanted to win.”

(On the win and first quarter): “We all played great and we played with a lot of energy, blocking shots, playing defense and passing the ball. That’s what we are supposed to do (first quarter) after a loss like that last night. We all felt bad, coach got on us and said some inspiring things. We all got pumped. It was like a clip from ‘Any Given Sunday,’ and we rallied up from that. We came out tonight and played from the beginning to the end. We finally got that road win and we can look at ESPN tonight and see some good things.”

(On the win and his performance at the start of the game): “Tonight, we just held it off. We competed to the end, even though we had a lead. We felt it slipping and guys got into each other’s faces and we closed it out. Today, I got some extra shots up before I came in and it worked and I’m going to continue to do that. I’m just happy from all of our efforts tonight.”