Postgame Quotes - March 14, 2012

Pistons at Kings

Detroit: Lawrence Frank | Rodney Stuckey | Greg Monroe
Sacramento: Keith Smart | Isaiah Thomas | Jason Thompson

Pistons Head Coach Lawrence Frank

“Obviously we had three guys finish with almost 30 points, but the ball movement was big for us tonight - whether it was a triple handoff or the extra pass, to have 29 assists and only 10 turnovers was a good game for us in the end. We were able to get into a good rhythm and when we subbed in the second half, we were able to get some key momentum plays. We had guys getting on the floor for loose balls that allowed us to get some layups. We were very efficient. Brandon (Knight) had a great assist (11) to turnover (zero) ratio. The grind that started in the middle of the second quarter is when the game changed for us. We weathered the storm. They (Sacramento) are able to put up a lot of points in a hurry, and tried to come with a very prideful effort tonight after a very tough game (loss to Golden State) last night. Our offensive energy in the third quarter got us back into the game and that proved pivotal for the rest of the night. We don’t care who scores. The ball just needs to go in. I thought our poor defense in the first half impacted our offense. Understanding role acceptance is big for us.”

(On the current road trip): “We loss to Utah, we won tonight, and now we prepare for Phoenix. I don’t look at it as an entire road trip. I look at it as one game at a time. I don’t think losing to Utah set a bad tone; I think we just lost the game. We are coming together as a team. It’s been a collection of things that are happening together that has allowed us to get some wins. We are making incremental improvements. It’s not just one game or one player, but as a team we are doing well on both sides of the ball.”

Pistons Guard Rodney Stuckey

(Tonight’s game…): “It’s just the way we’re playing. It’s a team game so I credit everything I do out there to my teammates. I credit my teammates for helping me out. First half they were killing us with transition and getting to the basket. In the second half we just got stops. We believe we can score on them. We just had to get stops and that’s what we did in the second half.”

(Midway through the 2nd quarter…): “Defense. We just played defense. That’s pretty much how we got back in the ball game. Like I said we knew we could score on this team. But defensively, we just had to get back in transition and get these baskets."

Pistons Center Greg Monroe

(Playing against DeMarcus Cousins…): “The first game we won (against the Kings in Detroit). Tonight we won and that’s all that matters. Great team effort tonight, (Rodney) Stuckey got hot. Tay (Prince) got hot.… You never let a one-on-one matchup win the game.”

(Defense in the 2nd…): "It’s just about will. We weren’t communicating that well in the beginning. Everybody was kind of mixing up the assignments. We had to calm down and get back to our principles and that’s what we did.”

Kings Head Coach Keith Smart

“I thought we did a few good things until the third quarter. We got up by 16, but then we went through a period where we couldn’t really get to the free throw line or to the paint. Then we were trying to settle outside for too many jump shots and before you knew it, we were down by nine. There are some positives in this, but overall, we didn’t come out with a win. The bottom line is if you don’t get a win, it erases everything that you did that was positive. We will keep going and we will keep fighting through this thing. We have to fight through it, and these young men will keep doing that.”

(On how the third quarter was similar to the team’s last game against the Golden State Warriors): “It was the same thing you know, these guys (Pistons) came out and played well, shot well, turned the corner. They came off real fast, and they forced us to over help. These guys don’t waste much time when they’re getting to the shots they’re taking. Trying to cover the paint and cover both places, it’s hard for our team right now. We have to figure out a way that this group can do that. That’s going to be really hard. It’s going to be a demanding part for this team, being able to cover penetration, maintain a penetration, and not give up help on the corner with the three-point shooters. A lot of that came off on dribble hand-offs and doing what we did earlier when we got up by 16. We did the same exact thing. We came off fast, we forced them to roll to the basket, even got to the paint or made passes out to guys to make those shots. Later on, we didn’t make the shots and that put a lot of pressure on the defense. We just weren’t getting stops. We had many possessions where we could have had multiple stops in the basketball game. You have to have three or four stops in a row to control a team like this once their shooters start making those shots.”

(When asked what went wrong in the game): “Well, I think they (Detroit) saw how we played last night. How we played last night and our approach today was much different. The locker room was much different. We got up in the game, played well, got a nice lead in the game. That was a huge step forward. Then things started to unravel for our basketball team. Overall, we made a step. I just have to understand that we are going to have situations like this with this team until we can get them to be very, very good. Then our team can become a very strong team, all the way around; we will defend the penetration, rebound the possession. We get a good stop, then we don’t cover the possession. We had a communication issue where there should have been a switch; we just don’t talk it out earlier, before it happens. There are just little things like that, but I felt we made a step. You know, as bad as it is, I think that we did okay in this game.”

Kings Guard Isaiah Thomas

(On keeping their resiliency and building it up): “The more and more we get more mature in knowing different types of situations, we’ll become a better team. There have been a lot of games that we’ve been in we played well – like today in the first half we played well, but then like you said, there was a four- or five-minute stretch where we don’t play too well. Either we have turnovers, we have quick shots that lead to easy transitions for the other team. We’ve just got to get better and we’ve got to get better as soon as possible on the little things. It’s nothing really big that we can’t get better at, it’s just little things that we can’t control.”

(When asked what was going on defensively): “They were scoring, we were scoring. We wanted to get up and down and made some tough baskets in the first half but that third quarter kind of opened it up – they had 40 points in the third quarter and you’re not going to win a game if you give up 40 points. Rodney Stuckey went off and we’ve got to know when guys are going off – we’ve got to stop a guy as a team, not just depend on one guy to stop them. We’ve got to come together as a team and figure out how to slow the guy down.”

(On the Pistons chipping away at their 16-point lead): “I think we were having success by running up and down the floor and getting out in transition and running. When we had that 16-point lead we kept trying to do it and that’s a big part of me – I’ve got to know the situation to where, okay, let’s slow it down and get these other possessions and get something good. Like you said, we got four or five fouls in a row, we had a couple turnovers and then quick shots that led to them getting out in transition and getting easy buckets – that’s what kind of turned the game.”

Forward Guard Jason Thompson

(When asked if this is a setback from some of the progress that was made recently): “I would say kind of, obviously these were the winnable games that we should have. We should’ve gotten it last night, we should’ve gotten one today, so we’ve just got to look at this, look at the film and get better.”

(On the locker room not being somber after two losses in a row): “You can’t control how guys’ feel sometimes. You want to go out there and have fun. Obviously these losses have been heartbreaking but everyone just reacts to games differently, win or loss. You can’t figure out one guy in particular, you’ve just got to, when it comes down to the next game, everyone be ready.”