POST GAME QUOTES - April 26, 2011


(on the team's future) I think the future is very bright for our team. We've got a lot of very, very intriguing young pieces. We're probably one of the most attractive franchises in the NBA with our young talent, our salary cap space, the future is bright for the Pacers.

(on losing the series) You always want to do better. I'm not happy losing 1-4 by any stretch. But I'm proud of the way these guys came together as a team, as a unit, played for each other and fought for each other and produced and played some really good basketball at times. I'm really proud of them.

(on his future) I'm not really going to comment on my feelings. I want to sit down with Larry after the season, I don't know when. We'll sit down, we'll talk it over and do what's best for the Indiana Pacers.

(on the team) This group is a bunch of fighters and they're very talented and they're very high-character guys, which is what Larry set out three or four years ago to do -- to build a talented, high-character group that can play together and compete at a high level. And that's what we have.

(on derrick rose) He's spectacular and I wish him all the best. He's a great kid, he's a great player. I don't know that anybody has an answer about how to stop him. We did our best. We fought hard. He was too much for us.


Was this the most physical game of the series?
“Yeah, I would say so.  Towards the end we got a little frustrated and we felt they were banging down low.  We got frustrated and we knew we were behind.  Sometimes thats the way it plays out.”

On the future of this Pacer's team:
“Just being in the playoffs, we got a lot of experience.  We understand what it's like to be in a series, especially against a tough team.  A lot of young guys, especially myself, got a chance to see what's its like to go against a competitor.  I think they'll compete for the title.  Bet we have a feel for what it's like to go against a legit playoff team.”

On the futuire of Coach Vogel:
“I definitely like playing for him.  He gave me a shot, he let me play basketball.  One thing he did well is we became a team under him.  We gained an identity of being tough and physical, a scrappy team.  That's something we haven't really developed in the past.  We didn't really have an identity, we weren't necessarily a team.”

On the Bulls:
“It's tough to contain Rose.  We did so many things.  We changed up, we tried trapping him, we tried regular blitzing, we tried giving him different looks.  But as a team, they're one of the more physical teams.  They definitely can rebound.  That was a challenge for us, keeping them off the offensive boards.  And keeping Noah out of there.”

Was the game getting out of hand when McRoberts was ejected?
“I thought it was physical.  We were frustrated.  We were down big.  The game was getting a little chippy, but I don't think it was getting out of hand.  We made some aggressive plays and we were frustrated.”   


Q: On advancing in your 1st year as head coach:
A: “It is always good to advance.  It does not mean a lot to me as coach. I think it is more important for our team.  We want to keep improving and get ready for the next round.”

Q: On Taj Gibson's energy:
A: Taj played a terrific game.  He was very active, had great pick and roll coverage, he challenged the shots.  I also thought Omer gave us a great job.  Our bigs did a great job.”

Q: On showing killer instinct:
A: “The important thing was getting the win.  We tried not to get caught up in all the other stuff.  All year long we focused in on going step by step.  Once you start skipping steps and look at all the other stuff, that's when you get lost.  We knew we were capable of playing better.  When you are up 3-1, you are doing things well.  There were things that we had to correct, but we were also up 3-1.  In the playoffs every win is hard to get.  I'd like our mentality today, our practices were good, and our guys have done a good job of getting ready.”

Q: Foul trouble from aggressive fouls:
A: “We want to play smart, and we want to play hard.  I thought our defense overall was pretty good, our rebounded could have been a little better.  We had a multiple effort mentality.  They went small in the 4th quarter and spread us out a little bit.  I thought those guys did a good job.  My hat is off to the Pacers.  They are a terrific team, they compete hard, and they play as a team.  They did a great job.”

Q: After Derrick Rose's 4th foul he came back in the game quickly when the Pacers made a run:
A: “We felt like it was going the wrong way.  Derrick can play with fouls.  He has shown us that throughout the course of the season.  He did a good job of concentrating on his body position.  He had a couple tough calls go against him.  He hit those big shots and basically took it over from the middle of the 3rd quarter till the end of the quarter.  That was huge for us.”

Q: On Derrick's ankle injury:
A: “I thought he looked great.  I don't think he had any problem, I was encouraged by that.  You can't say enough about Luol Deng.  You can put him in the book every night, you can count on him.  He is the glue of the team.  He keeps us together through everything.  Defense, rebounding, passing, scoring, whatever you need you get from Luol.”

Q: On Luol Deng's energy:
A: “I thought his energy was terrific, playing on a lead was important for us.  Keith Bogans was terrific for us.  The way he shot the ball, his defense, his toughness, the way he competes, he was another starter that got us off to a quick start.”

Q: On Carlos Boozer's struggles:
A: “We have to figure out a way to keep him out of foul trouble.  It is hard to get into a rhythm when you are picking up quick fouls. We are taking a good look at it to see if we can help him out so he can help us out.” 



Q:  On his ankle.
A:  It's fine, it feels good and I'm not worried.  However, when the game started I was scared but there was no pain.  I was afraid if I twisted it again it would really hurt.  Then the crowd got in, we got going and I forgot about it. 

Q:  On winning his first playoff series.
A:  I'm speechless, it's unbelievable, I can't believe it.  I'm happy for my teammates, coaching staff and just want to keep it going.  My teammates are great.  It feels great giving back on a winning team.  I haven't had that since I was back in college.  The front office has picked up the right guys and Coach Thibs is doing the right things.  It just feels great now. 

Q:  On the blowout.
A:  It feels good.  We played defense and made everything tough for them.  It was an uptempo game.  The guys were getting to their spots and then put down their shots. 

Q:  On his four fouls.
A:  I wasn't surprised when Coach had me go back in.  I wanted to go back in and told him I wouldn't foul anymore.  I'm grateful to my teammates that they pulled it out.  I just have to learn from it and try and be smarter with them.  I have to make sure there are no ghost fouls. 

Q:  On the hard fouls.  It's the playoffs.  They tried hard to keep me from the basket with hard fouls.  I'll just continue to go back in there as that's just part of the game. 


On the bench:
“We understood the importance of this game.  Everyone went out and gave it their all, especially with guys getting into foul trouble early.  The whole series we stuck with it.  Even with the lack of minutes guys kept their humble mentality.  Tonight we came out and played well.”

How does it feel to win you first playoff series?
“It feels good.  Going thru a lot of emotions.  I had a great time playing.  We just let it all hand out and went after that win.”

After struggling for a few games, how important was it to get this win?
“It was real big.  It shows that we're a humble team and we understand we have a long way to go.  In the playoffs every single possession is tough.  There are no let downs.  There's always hard fouls.  We just have to be patient and get into the flow.”

Did you wind go out of their sails when you went on the big run?
“No not really.  That team, we've played them so many times, they're always going to come in, even with the 2nd unit.  They shoot the ball so well.  We just have to keep contesting, keep defensive rebounding.  We did a great job.”

On the game:
“Our starters did a great job.  Even with foul trouble.  Our bench played tremendous.  We understood things we needed to do.  Thibs did a great job on film, understanding what we needed to do.  We went out and played with a lot of heart and energy.  This series was a lot of tough games.  It's tough beating a team like that so many times.  I'm happy with the win tonight.  Guys played really hard and extremely well.”


Significance of  winning a series?
“It's great.  Every year is different.  This year has definitely been different.  We've had a great season.  It is really good for everyone.  Indiana played great, they played hard.  We put a lot of effort to get ready for this series.  I'm glad we finally put a great game together.  There were still a lot of mistakes out there, but that was our best game.”

On taking control of the game:
“We came out with a lot of intensity, with a lot of fire.  That is something we have not done.  Indiana has been able to come out more aggressive.  We really made it a point today to come out with a lot of intensity.  We knew Indiana was not going to give up.  They have been playing hard the whole series.  In the 3rd quarter they made a ruin and got it close and then we made a run where it became contagious with guys hitting shots.  We moved the ball really well.  Every time we have high assists, we really shoot the ball well.”

Coach Thibideau called you 'the glue of theBulls':
“I appreciate that.  I feel that as a team, everyone has a roll.  Guys have really done a job of bringing something to the team.  My roll is to play the other team's best perimeter player.  And if I play with a lot of intensity then everyone else is going to pick it up.  Defense is the key.  I've always been able to score and rebound the ball.  I try to add to my game that whoever I am guarding, I try to be very aggressive and pick up the intensity for the whole team.”