Game Quotes: Cavaliers vs. Wizards

(On the game tonight):
“It was a good way to close out the season: winning our last game on the road and the last game at home and winning in front of our fans. Our fans, all season long, have been unbelievable and they were again tonight so it was good for us and it was great that we were able to win this game; not only for us, but for our fans as well.”

(On any special message to the team after the game):
“I wanted to give all of the coaches a chance to talk, along with myself and the players as well. I just told them how much I appreciated them this season (and) their effort. It was really fun coaching them this season. (We) went through some of the highs and the lows, obviously the low being the 26-game losing streak, but they never really held their heads down. They never really separated as a team. They came in everyday looking to get better as a basketball team and as individuals and that was important. We just really wanted to tell them how much fun it was coaching them this season. I know the win-loss record was not what we wanted, but I think we’re building the foundation, especially with some of these younger guys that we have, getting back to where we feel we should get to. All of the coaches wanted to talk and (send) the same type of message, and also (We) just told them that next year we don’t expect to lose like this and I just told them to just get ready. I know it is far in advance right now but get ready for training camp and get ready to work hard again. We are going to have a much better season.”

(On his plans during the offseason to improve the team):
“In the near future, which is tomorrow, I will start relaxing a little bit, take about a week or so off. Chris Grant and I will get together sometime next week and start discussing some situations as far as our players are concerned, but for the next couple of days, I’m going to just relax.”

(On getting a win in the final game of the season):
“It felt good. It felt good to end the year with a win, two wins straight (overall), and also to end it like that was special.”

(On hitting a fall-away three-pointer late in the game):
“That was God smiling down on me. Gib drove the baseline and threw a tough bounce pass. I couldn’t believe it didn’t go out of bounds, then I couldn’t believe I caught it. Then I didn’t have too much time to think. I just wanted to get a good look at the basket and, fortunately, it went in.”

(On the difficulties of this past season):
“I think every year has its challenges. We had a great group of guys. We had guys who got better as the season went on. We had injuries, but that gave opportunities for other guys to step in and play. I think we progressed. We had said that we were getting better and we were getting closer when it wasn’t showing up in the win column, but I think these last couple weeks and months, we started seeing it pay dividends in the win column as well.”

(On capping off the season with a win):
“It feels great. The whole season I was just trying to preach positivity and how much we were growing every day and working as hard as we could. It finally started to show at the end. We started to play better, play well and started to do the things that Coach (Scott) had been trying to get us to do all season. I think that’s what we are going to take from this year: we are going in the right direction and we are looking forward to next season.”

(On what it meant to the team to get a standing ovation at the end of the game):
“Everything. It just shows what the city of Cleveland is all about. When it comes to the support of their team, there’s no city that’s better. They’re always in our corner, regardless of how many games we win or whatever. They are always going to fight for us and that’s why we are always going to play as hard as we have and we will this upcoming season.”

(On the game):
“I thought our first, main group played really well. In a different situation, I probably would like to see them play the whole game the way they were playing. We were moving the ball. We were really active and pretty much dominating in many aspects. But, it was a good opportunity for us to see a lot of the young guys.”

(On the Wizards’ season):
“Like I told the guys, we were in a situation where we had a lot of guys from where we’re at now to where we were at the beginning of the year, a lot of guys made a lot of progress. A lot of guys have had career years and a lot of the young guys made great improvements. Now, we have to use that as a springboard and know that the pains we went throughout the development process with individual players, we want that to transform into wins next year.”

(On the first unit tonight):
“We tried to get a lead, keep the lead as much as possible. We all wanted to win, and I think he (Coach Saunders) did a great job of just giving everybody an opportunity to play and develop in their last game of the season. The second group just struggled at times from getting stops and scoring, but I think everybody gave all the effort they could and they (Cavs) just made big shots down the stretch and really put the pressure on us.”

(On the season):
“It’s tough that it’s over. It seemed like it just started. I’m glad it’s over so I can take some time off to rest and just study the game more, study what I can learn from other guys and just get back fully healthy for next year and get stronger. I know what I have to do for next year, but it’s tough. I still want to play. We don’t know if we’ll have a lockout. That’s the toughest part. I think I did good for my year.”

(On the Wizards):
“I think we have to take how we played the last month. We won a lot of games. It isn’t just about winning, but how we all developed, trusted each other on the defensive end and played together. That’s something that we have to learn-that we have to play hard every night.”