What the Pelicans had to say about 88-79 win over the Bulls (2/1/14)

Pelicans Coach Monty Williams
On the team playing well over the last five games
“When you win, it looks better. I’ve got to look at the film. Our defense has been something that we can hang on to, especially when we miss a lot of layups. I thought that we missed a number of easy monies at the rim tonight. I thought that our back-line defense was great. Our guards were better as the game wore on in pick and roll. AD (Anthony Davis) and Lexi (Alexis Ajinca) and Greg (Stiemsma) and Jeff (Withey) at the rim tonight used the rule of verticality to keep them from finishing….I just told our guys that you just won a man’s game. You can’t play any more physical than that without being in a fight. It was good to win a game like that.”

On the physicality of the game
“We talked about that yesterday and today that this was going to be a fight from a basketball standpoint. I’m trying to get our guys to understand that that is just playoff basketball. Let me do the whining to the referees and you guys (play). We had enough offense to win in an ugly game. We say this a lot…’Defense helps you win an ugly game’.”

Pelicans Forward Anthony Davis
On how the Pelicans won
“Defense. We came out playing great defense. We made them shoot contested twos. They kept going to the basket, but made sure they wouldn’t beat us. We didn’t do a good job rebounding, but we did a great job with our half-court defense.”

On closing out the win
“We know that the third quarter always kills us. Teams come out with the energy to come back and take a lead or cut it close. We came out in that third quarter and said that we were not going to give up the lead. We were going to keep fighting, keep playing defense, and that’s what we did.”

On his six game streak with four or more blocks
“I’m just trying to protect the rim. My teammates are doing a great job of not fouling while guys are driving to the basket, so I’m there to clean it up. So they are doing a great job of that, and I’m glad I could continue the streak.”

Pelicans Center Jeff Withey
On his improved play
“I feel very comfortable right now. At the beginning of the year I was a little shaky and I didn’t know what coach wanted from me. Being able to watch so many games, I’ve been able to understand the game a lot more and what our team needs. So whenever I do get out there now my job is simple: I just play defense, set screens, and roll to the basket. If my man helps, they’ll find me. I’m just trying to grow and get better every day.”

On how they beat the Bulls
“We went out there and played really tough. They’re a great team and they’re physical. We matched their physicality. We needed that tonight. In the last couple minutes, (Anthony Davis) went off. When he plays like that, we’re unstoppable. We just made it really hard to score.”