The Pelican Blog

Postgame report: From the Cavaliers locker room

Cavaliers Coach Mike Brown
On the game tonight
“The game is simple. We don’t play hard in spurts and it equates to losses. I thought New Orleans got a lot of easy baskets. Our coverages for the most part are the same. We make little adjustments here and there but you’ve got to play at a certain level for 48 minutes in order to win. We had an eight-minute scrimmage yesterday amongst the group. We literally almost had three or four fights in an eight-minute scrimmage. The competitive nature of our scrimmage yesterday was off the charts. I didn’t see one time any of us get upset, hit somebody and show a little fire, especially defensively. We talked about this all year. You’ve got to compete for 48 minutes or close to it. We didn’t do it. Three or four of these games at home, we didn’t’ do it. The second thing is very easy. You’ve got to pass the basketball. We’re putting ourselves in positions to take some difficult shots with time on the shot clock. Seems like every time the ball hit somebody’s hands, they want to go make a play. Sometimes we just gotta pass the ball, pass and cut, replace and go play pick and roll. Those are the two things right now that’s hurting us. It hurt us tonight. It gets contagious.”

On playing with competitive spirit after West Coast trip
“You could feel the competitive spirit of the group. We tried to move the basketball when we were out West. We get back here and our competitive spirit is non-existent. I wish I had the exact answer. Maybe I need to shake some things up, but I know I gotta go back and watch the tape and see what it is because right now what we’re doing out there is unacceptable. It’s not good enough.”

On shaking up rotations
“I’m going to keep trying to shake it up. That’s why I had that lineup out there. It was tough for them to cut into the lead, but we cut into it a little bit. We had some chances. We missed some free throws with that group. We didn’t get a break here, a break there but you watch that group that was out there and there was a little bit a fire. The reality of it was that it was led by Delly (Matthew Dellavedova). Delly was picking up full court. You could feel his presence out there. I’ve just got to keep finding different combinations out there until we can get it right.”

On Anthony Bennett
“He had a heck of a practice yesterday for us. He’s been doing the things we ask of him to do in practice. Earl (Clark) was a little dinged up and Andy (Anderson Varejao) was out too. We played him and he took advantage of the opportunity. Just one of those things when you’ve got to stay ready when your number is called and he showed that he stayed ready tonight.”

Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving
On the team’s competitive spirit
“We’re still trying to figure it out. This hasn’t been the first time that we had a good practice and we don’t come out with the sense of urgency that we need to at the beginning of the game. It has to translate someway, somehow and we just have to figure it out.”

On the team’s continuous second quarter struggles
“Most of it stems from things kind of coming easy in the first quarter some games and we just have to stick with what’s working. We just have to trust each other and just go out there and play off each other and keep on making easy plays. We took a couple of difficult shots that (we) need to get better at. It starts in that area; just coming down and knowing the rhythm of the game.”

On how much Anthony Davis changed the complexion of the game
“He’s a very talented individual. He kind of messes up your rotations just because he can space (the floor) so well and he plays the game the right way. Coach (Monty Williams) did a heck of a job of running continuity plays for him and he was catching it in rhythm and knocking down shots tonight. You have to give credit to a good performance by him.”

Cavaliers forward Anthony Bennett
On if tonight’s game can be a springboard game for him
“Hopefully, that’s what I’m working on. (I’m) just going out there and playing my minutes, play hard and hopefully (we) get the win. This is just one game; we have to focus on what’s ahead of us and just work as a team and keep winning.”

On if yesterday’s practice served as a building block for his confidence
“Yeah, I made huge steps with my shooting; putting more arc on my shot instead of shooting flat. I just have to keep working in the gym. Hopefully, things will turn around from this point.”