Postgame Quotes - April 5, 2011

Pistons at Wizards

Detroit: John Kuester | Austin Daye | Greg Monroe
Washington: Flip Saunders | John Wall | Andray Blatche | Maurice Evans

Pistons Head Coach John Kuester
(On the game) “Our guys played with a lot of energy, our biggest concern was transition defense. Our defense ended up biting us in the butt; especially during that last play where they took the lead, we should have had someone back. I thought our guys fought and played hard. We made some big plays down the stretch and I thought that was going to give us the edge, but we couldn’t finish it off.”

(On Greg Monroe’s game): “Monroe had 22 points and 14 rebounds; he was eight for eight going into those last two free throws. We just have to learn to make big plays at the end, but Greg is getting better and better each game, I am proud of him. Greg and Austin have continually gotten better, Austin showed poise and Greg has improved every game. There are things they both have to improve on in order for us to get better, but I am very proud of them."

Pistons Forward Austin Daye

(On the last shot): “That’s not supposed to happen like that. I thought it was good right off my hand. I was standing there waiting to see it go in. I didn’t really see it because JaVale McGee was kind of in my way but I saw the ball kind of pop out. I didn’t think it hit the front rim. I didn’t think I left it short. It popped out somehow. I don’t know.”

(On Greg Monroe’s performance and missing free throws): “It’s not his fault. This game shouldn’t have really got to that point, down to the wire. I think we could have opened it up at one point but we weren’t able to do that tonight. We had a little defensive lapse at the end of the game. Without him in the game, we wouldn’t have been that close in the first place. You can’t blame Greg for missing those two free throws.”

Pistons Center Greg Monroe

(On playing back in Washington): “It felt good to be back here playing at the Verizon Center. I try to bring that effort every night. Tonight, I just happened to have a good game.”

(On missed free throws at the end of the game): “That’s just my bad. I have to have the mental toughness to knock those down. It’s nobody’s fault but mine. I have to make free throws in clutch situations.”

(On John Wall): “He’s been bringing it up since the season started. He’s fast, athletic, knows how to get to the goal and makes a lot of tough shots. He’s obviously unselfish and makes plays for his teammates also. He’s a great talent and he’s been playing great all season.”

Wizards Head Coach Flip Saunders
(On the game): “We’ve lost enough tough ones, we deserve a little bit of luck. That last one was definitely pretty right on.”

“At halftime I thought our rookies looked like 10 year veteran players the way they were playing in the first half. We made big plays when we needed to. John (Wall) made big plays not only for himself but for other people. He had a couple of turnovers, we didn’t take care of the basketball well, but on the other hand we had 39 fast-break points.”

“April 8, 2008 was the last time this team won three games in a row. There are players who have been here for the last three years but there have also been a lot of different people. So for these guys to go and take care of things is a positive. There are some things for them to build on.”

(On progress made throughout the year): “Earlier in the year if we had fallen behind with a minute and a half left, a lot of times we would have panicked. Tonight we didn’t. Instead of John (Wall) taking the jump shot, he put his head down and got to the basket. That put the pressure on them to stop him.”

Wizards Guard John Wall

(On the game): “First we just wanted to come out and play hard, that was the main thing. Coach wanted us to re-establish ourselves as a team that plays hard. Second half he really got on us, especially me and Jordan as rookies, because we weren’t playing hard. So I stepped up and helped the veteran guys out and we came away with a tough win.”

(On the winning streak): “Coach was talking about it, getting a winning streak that we haven’t had all year. We just want to tell the fans and the people watching that it’s getting better. We’re a young team. We finally understand what our team is about and everyone is doing their role and we’re finding a way to win games.”

Wizards Forward Andray Blatche

(On the three in a row): “You can definitely tell we’re starting to compete, we’re starting to understand what it takes to get wins and we’re playing pretty well right now.”

(On the game): “We knew it was going to be a tough game going down the stretch because we let them stay in the game. We had a chance to be aggressive and put them out but we didn’t do that. We are all playing aggressively and we are all just clicking right now.”

Wizards Forward Maurice Evans

(On the team): “I think this team is really starting to build an identity and trying to show a lot of character.”

(On John Wall): “Tonight what impressed me was that he didn’t come out and have a great first half, but she showed mental toughness and he persevered. He came back aggressively and made plays in the second half which helped us secure the victory.”