Postgame Quotes - January 4, 2011

Pistons at Lakers

Detroit: John Kuester | Ben Wallace | Tracy McGrady
L.A.: Phil Jackson | Kobe Bryant | Lamar Odom | Andrew Bynum | Pau Gasol

Pistons Head Coach John Kuester
on tonight’s game:
“I thought we did play extremely well in the first half and showed signs of competing extremely well. During the third period we had some good shots and didn’t take advantage of them going in at all, and they took advantage of every opportunity that slipped on us. You’ve got to give them credit, they came out with more energy in that third period and that hurt us.”

on the team’s mismatches hurting them in tonight’s game:
“They’ve got a lot of mismatches on that team, there’s no question about it. They’ve got great length, and Kobe is, there’s no question, one of the best players in our league. But, I thought in that first half we did a great job neutralizing a lot of things and playing and competing. But, the third period was tough to swallow.”

on the turnovers hurting them in tonight’s game:
“No question. We had been taking care of the ball for the most part throughout the season. But we’re not scoring and it hurts. And we don’t have the toughness we talk about every night to go out and just grind games out. You know, we have to somehow search for that because we’ve got a lot of basketball left. And I believe in this group.”

on Tracy McGrady’s performance tonight:
“You know what, I’ll tell you this, I think he wanted to win. He was competing. When a guy is trying to do things to win, you’re ok with that.”

on where they go next:
“You regroup. There’s a lot of basketball left. So we have to make sure that we understand that each half, and each game, we’ve got to compete…the whole time. During the road trip, the Utah game, we competed throughout, and I thought the first half of this game we competed. You just want these guys to have that passion that you have.”

Pistons Center Ben Wallace

on the game tonight:
“I’m clueless. I’m baffled. That’s the word I was looking for, baffled, I’m baffled.”

on if he believes the Lakers came out with a different intensity compared to their last game against Memphis Grizzlies:
“That’s how it goes sometimes. Sometimes the home crowd boo’s the home team. I’m pretty sure it didn’t bother them. They know what they got to do…they’re still defending champs until someone else wins.”

Pistons Guard/Forward Tracy McGrady

on the game tonight:
“They turned up the intensity. A championship team came out and put the pedal to the metal and kept their foot on our throat. We didn’t respond back.”

on their performance for the last game of the road trip:
“One thing that can happen is, you got the last game on the road trip, guys are mentally fatigued, physically fatigued, and you want to get back home, but this is our job, this is what we got to do; we got to compete no matter what the circumstances is. Regardless if we played a game last night, we got to compete.”

on if he feels he did too much today [in forcing the ball]:
“I think, not force it, just careless turnovers; some of my turnovers. As far as overall, our offense, we just weren’t moving the ball. There was a couple passes and shots, or one pass and shot…and that’s why they got out to a great game in the third quarter, because we didn’t play smart.”

on the teams couple of days off:
“We’re going home absolutely. We got three days off, a chance to really have our body recover, get a chance to go over some of our mistakes that we made on the road trip, review some things, and try to get back on the right track and get this win on Saturday. We should be ready because we have three days off.”

Lakers Head Coach Phil Jackson
“We got some defensive stops and got some things rolling. I didn’t like the way we closed out the first half. I thought we were okay. [We had] a 7-10 point lead but then closed out poorly at the end of the half. Other than that, you know we went in the locker room and I think the guys were ready to come out and do what they accomplished in the 3rd quarter.”

on tonight’s improved turnover margin:
“We talked about taking good shots and getting good, quality possessions.”

Kobe passing Dominique Wilkins on the all-time scorer’s list:
“It’s another credit, another notch in his belt so to speak in his storied career. I think that Dominique [Wilkins] is an established player that created a lot of open eyes back in a time when he played, with his dynamic game, his powerful game and Kobe [Bryant] recognizes that. on getting the ball inside tonight:
“Well that’s our game plan and that’s what we like to do. We get distracted at times, I think, and sometimes we don’t get the ball inside as often as we would like to or in positions where we want to get it. We know that those two guys have high percentage shots when you get the ball in position.”

on the meaning of this win:
“We have to really turn it around. I mean, one game is not the end of this situation. We have a tough road game tomorrow, we come back and we play Friday and Sunday against some good opponents.”

Lakers Guard Kobe Bryant

on passing Dominique Wilkins on the all-time scoring list:
“It’s cool. It’s a great honor. I think those kind of things are things that you look back at in hindsight when your career is all over. Right now I’m just focused on winning a championship.”

on what he saw differently in his team’s play tonight:
“We played with more intensity. We played a motivated game [and] defensively we didn’t make too many mistakes…I think those things combined turned into the kind of blowout game that we had.”

on his team maintaining the intensity they played with tonight:
“I’m very happy with it. We played very well tonight. Now it’s about keeping that intensity, keeping that focus and carrying over into Phoenix, which is going to be tough because they’re playing well.”

Lakers Forward Lamar Odom

on if his team has felt tension building up from the media:
“Not really. We understand how the games you win and the games you lose add to the story line of the season. I don’t really pay attention to that too much.”

on Kobe Bryant passing Dominique Wilkins on the scoring list:
“[Passing] Dominique, that was a big deal. It was great that he let us be a part of history.”

on the key to success moving forward:
“It’s important for us to maintain our focus, especially on the defensive end. And especially when it comes to the intangibles of the game. I think we’ll do fine.”

Lakers Center Andrew Bynum

on if winning the turnover battle was key to winning tonight’s game:
“Of course, any time you turn the ball over more than ten times in a game, you’re really shooting yourself in the foot by taking away possessions.”

on why tonight looked easy with the Lakers struggling as of late:
“They really played our pace. That’s definitely what it was. They walked the ball up the court and that’s kind of how we play. But we have to attack Phoenix tomorrow and really try to control the tempo of that game.”

on if he thought we looked quicker one-one-one tonight:
“I felt pretty good getting a lot of touches down low. Hopefully they keep coming. Tomorrow, we’re going to be a little bit more challenged, Pau and I, with [Marcin] Gortat and [Robin] Lopez, but I still believe our advantage is inside.”

Lakers Forward Pau Gasol

on if winning the turnover battle was key to winning tonight’s game:
“We definitely took care of the ball a lot better. Detroit is a different team than Memphis, not so much of a steal-team or a force-turnover team. But I think we did better just as far as moving the ball and executing and being aggressive defensively.”

on if he’s anxious to get revenge on Phoenix tomorrow night:
“We’re looking forward to the game. Obviously we understand that it’s always a tough, tough game in Phoenix. They play pretty opposite of what we saw tonight. They’re a lot more up and down so we’re going to have to adjust to that and still play our game and play to our strengths.”