Postgame Quotes - January 3, 2011

Pistons at Jazz

Detroit: John Kuester | Charlie Villanueva | Tracy McGrady
Utah: Jerry Sloan | Deron Williams | Andrei Kirilenko | Paul Millsap

Pistons Head Coach John Kuester
On the game
“We I’ll tell you, I thought our guys played hard. They had a lot of energy, did a great job making shots and executed extremely well at times.”

On McGrady’s play
“I thought he was outstanding. Thought he did a good job at controlling the pace of the game, making good decisions with the basketball. You know 11 assists with one turnover is very impressive.”

Pistons Forward Charlie Villanueva
On the game
“I think we played hard. It just came down to those final minutes. We didn’t get the stops that we needed and they capitalized on that. I think overall I think we played a decent game.”

On Tracy McGrady
“T-Mac is a very unselfish player. He is a very gifted offensive player as well but his basketball IQ is real high. He knows how to play the game. He knows how to find the open man and he is unselfish.”

Pistons Guard/Forward Tracy McGrady
On the game tonight
“We played hard. We did a great job of matching their intensity as a team that is well-coached, that plays hard every night. So you have to match their intensity every time you play against these guys. I thought we did a great job of that.”

On starting second halves
“I think we kind of just lose sight of what we really want to accomplish as far as our execution offensively. We haven’t really put together consistently four quarters. We play well for a half or three quarters but then we always have that quarter that lets us down. That really hurts us at the end. For the most part we played pretty well for all four quarters. I think we kind of lost attention to detail at the end. We gave up a big three to Raja Bell. And execution defensively kind of hurt us a little bit.”

Jazz Head Coach Jerry Sloan
On the game
“That was a really difficult game. They’re a hard team for us to guard, and I thought they hung in there and fought all night long. Fortunately, Raja Bell made a three-point shot, as everybody knows, and his free throws were huge. Deron Williams made a big drive to the basket, and his free throws were big. So to come out with a win, you have to be real happy.”

On whether he focused more on the first quarter play or fourth quarter play
“Well, you have to focus on all of it. I don’t think you can separate and say this and this and this. Hopefully, you’ve got to see what’s happening with the other team to try and stay with what you’ve got. If I’m a player, I want to be as good as I can be every minute I’m out there, so I focus the whole time. And if I don’t like to play, and I don’t focus, that’s tough to do. Tough to be able to win. I thought all our guys were pretty much on the same page, trying to make stops on those guys.”

Jazz Guard Deron Williams
On play against Hamilton with a minute and half remaining
“Yeah I was trying to take charge and I thought he was going through my body on that one. I didn’t get the call, went down there and had an open lane so I took it.”

On not finishing teams but winning ball games
“I look at it more as we’re not finishing teams. We can be content with winning these ball games but we should be winning them a little bit better.”

On the game
“They were matching us shot for shot. [We] couldn’t seem to stop them; they couldn’t seem to stop us. But when it came down to it we got the stops we needed, we made the plays, we hit the free throws.”

On Bell’s clutch three-point shot
“It was huge. It was huge. It was a big shot, a timely shot that we needed. It was a pick-and-roll. They were showing hard on me. Didn’t really see anything. Thought Paul had a shot. He did a great job of swinging it, getting Raja a nice open look.”

On the team’s confidence late in games
“We’re definitely confident in the fourth. I just want to see us be confident in the first. You know, stop messing around.”

Jazz Forward Andrei Kirilenko
On playing after coming back from an injury
“Yeah, finally tonight, I was feeling that my back is not bothering me, and I feel the right feeling.”

On the Jazz’s slow starts and how to fix that
“Well especially the first quarter, we take a look at the stats, and I think we are, like, almost last place in the NBA in first quarter points. So we have to improve that. You know, we are working in practice hard, but it’s still a lot of places to improve.”

Jazz Forward Paul Millsap
On fourth quarter defense
“I think we wore them down. We wore them down, chasing them off of screens and they missed a few open shots. Richard Hamilton missed a wide-open shot that actually cost them the game. We came back and executed and pulled out with the lead.”

On making free-throws down the stretch
“You’ve got to. We work on shooting free throws every day. When you get into the game, it’s a little pressure, but you’ve got to block it out and mentally be prepared to shoot them.