Postgame Quotes - March 21, 2012

Pistons at Nuggets

Detroit: Lawrence Frank | Ben Gordon | Ben Wallace
Denver: George Karl | Arron Afflalo | Corey Brewer

Pistons Head Coach Lawrence Frank

(On what he says to his team on the gut-wrenching loss): “Well sometimes you’ve got to experience a little bit of hell before you get to heaven. It’s a painful, painful way to lose but we put our self in a position to win. We also put our self in a position to lose. It’s one or two plays that really can determine if you win the game or actually sweep the trip. We’re not quite ready for it yet. Unfortunately, it’s going to take some painful experiences like this. The credit is again our guys busted their tails. We’re getting closer and closer. It’s painful, it hurts like hell. You’re one play away from winning the game and we just couldn’t make that play.”

(On Ben Gordon): “The guy was freaking off the charts. He was great. Not only did he make shots, he made plays. The guy made plays for everything. You can’t say enough positive adjectives about the job that he did. He was phenomenal. The guys did a great job of finding him, they did a great job of screening to get him open. Ben was terrific.”

(On the defensive game plan on the last possession): “Yeah, we were going to foul. We had our opportunity because the back was too us. They initially showed the flair for [Wilson] Chandler and we covered that fine. They went to he dribble handoff and we got through on that. When he started heading back to us around seven seconds on the clock I think when we tried to foul the referee potentially missed and when we did they were a count late with the foul. We had an ample opportunity it was inside of two back to us. IT was a perfect situation for us but maybe we were a count late with it or they called it a count late. Then he misses a free throw and obviously[JaVale] McGee gets the rebound.”

(On if he thought the ball was in the cylinder on the McGee tip dunk): “I didn’t see the replay. I just saw McGee get into the middle. I didn’t see if it was in the middle or not.”

Pistons Guard Ben Gordon

(On the highs and lows of the game): “We had our shots and we just had two bad possessions at the end. Obviously the Afflalo drive, we fouled him while he was driving to the basket while we were up three. We should have just let him get the two. The tip-dunk by McGee the ball just came off the rim so fast and he got up there. We had a lot of chances tonight. We fought back really hard so I’m proud of the team for that. We just have to find a way to close it out at the end.”

(On whether they planned to foul Afflalo earlier in the play): “The plan was to foul after two second went off the clock. I think we had a chance to foul before Afflalo actually got the ball. Once he got the ball I was thinking to let him go but then I heard everyone screaming foul, foul, foul so I probably should have just stuck to my instincts or wrapped him up so he couldn’t have finished. Either way I have to make the better play at the end.”

(On feeling like he wouldn’t miss): “I just try not to think about the points or look at what I was scoring but just keep to the game. I think that’s why I was able to shoot the ball the way I did but its unfortunate that after a performance like that from the team as a whole, after being down 25, it’s a tough pill to swallow.”

Pistons Center Ben Wallace

(On the tough loss to end the road trip): “Not too much to be said. I feel like we had a chance to win every game on this trip. We let them get away just like tonight. We had an opportunity to win the game, had control of the game and let it slip away. There is not a whole lot to be said.”

(On if there are lessons to be learned from a loss like this): “There’s definitely a lesson to be learned for everybody, for all of us. We just have to stick with it and keep grinding and keep supporting teammates. We have to find a way to get through tough times. We’re in position to win games. We just have to figure out how to win those games before we consider our self to be a contender.”

Nuggets Head Coach George Karl

(On if he lost any hair due to the frustration of game): “It was a strange game from a standpoint of Detroit doesn’t play like that normally. Normally they have control and it seemed like when we broke away in the first quarter they decided to run with us. We’re very effective with it. Our transition defense was bad. We caught a very hot guy. When anyone goes nine for nine that’s pretty good. Fortunately he missed the one that counted. We got a bounce on the rebound and JaVale [McGee] did a great job of winning the game for us. I don’t know if we were the best team but I thought it was a damn good played game. I thought both teams played at a high level and I’m just happy to have a bounce going into the road trip. I saw a lot of good basketball through the game. I think the team made a step into figuring if we do this and we do that we can be a pretty good basketball team even without [Danilo Gallinari] and Rudy [Fernandez]. We just have to go on the road and try to win some games.”

(On the defensive strategy against Ben Gordon in the fourth quarter): “We just tried to switch him a little bit more. When we had Wilson [Chandler], Al [Harrington] and Arron [Afflalo] in the game we tried to switch him. They brought him off of a pin down. The one three that he made in the fourth I think was off a pin down off of JaVale [McGee]. I think the switching might have disrupted his catches. The thing that will show is his open shots came in transition. That’s where he got his rhythm. That’s probably the biggest disappointment that I had. You cant let great shooters get into the game because you don’t pick them up in transition. I thought at least two or three, maybe four, of his threes came in transition.”

Nuggets Forward Arron Afflalo

(On not feeling well): “I just have a small head cold but getting out there on the court and competing is so much fun.”

(On the second quarter): “Two of our main focuses were picking up our defensive intensity and moving the ball. We were moving the ball much better to start the game to get a much better rhythm. We did just that. Unfortunately, we didn’t do it for 48 minutes and it ended up being a touch game.”

(On Detroit’s three-point shooting): “That’s our own fault. You become lackadaisical at any point in time, you’re dealing with professional players, it takes the smallest thing to get them going. We have to build a much better habit as a team to stay focused and locked into our team concepts. Being aware of guys who are starting to catch fire a little bit.”

(On JaVale’s tip-dunk): “It sucks because those are those moments that I take so much pride being in. Being at the free-throw line down one you convert you send it into overtime and you win it. Fortunately, I’m very happy that he made a great play. Forget my free-throw percentage, I’ll take that “W” any day.

Nuggets Guard Corey Brewer

(On guarding Ben Gordon): “Just stay tight on him and make it tough. Don’t give him anything easy. He made a lot of shots tonight. Whatever I can do to not let him make easy shots.”

(On Detroit’s three-point shooting): “I feel like teams have been hot from three all year against us. I don’t know what it is about us but you just have to keep playing. We kept playing. Arron made a great play to get the and-one and then JaVale made the biggest play in a longtime for us. It’s a big win.”

(On if he is excited about McGee’s addition): “Yeah, it’s good for us to have a guy coming in and get like three blocks for us. It makes us better defensively. He runs the floor. You have seen how athletic he is. So he’s going to make us even better.”