Postgame Quotes - December 27, 2013

Pistons at Magic

Detroit: Maurice Cheeks | Brandon Jennings | Andre Drummond
Orlando: Jacgue Vaughn | Jameer Nelson | Victor Oladipo

Pistons Head Coach Maurice Cheeks

(On the struggles of his front court line-up...) “From the start of the game we just couldn’t get anything going offensively, defensively. We just couldn’t get anything going from the start. It looked like we got a couple of stops in the third quarter but we couldn’t score and it just kept going downhill from there.”

(On whether the long break affected his team’s performance...) “I think they had a break also; I don’t know how many days it was but I think they had a break also. We just couldn’t get anything going. I don’t know what to say after that, we just couldn’t get anything going offensively. They pushed the ball down our throat defensively and we didn’t make any shots.”

(On his team’s lack of assists and ball movement...) “If we didn’t have a lot of assists it was because we either missed shots or we didn’t share the ball. It doesn’t matter to me either one; our ability to get up and down the floor defensively wasn’t what it normally is to make some shots. We didn’t make any shots in the paint; we didn’t make any shots from the outside so consequently we lose.”

(On the Magic’s play in the paint...) “I think it was affecting the other side. It’s one of the few times we get beat with points in the paint and usually that’s our strong point where we score in the paint. If we’re not scoring in the paint, and we’re not scoring outside, it’s going to result into trouble.”

(On Arron Afflalo and Victor Oladipo...) “Well we know (Arron) Afflalo is a good player; he’s a good post-up player and he’s a good three point shooter. They started the game going down low and putting the ball in his hand, he started making plays. He didn’t make plays for other people but he scored the ball down low. When (Victor) Oladipo came in the game he made plays inside the paint. Typically when you talk about points in the paint for me, it’s usually coming from a post player. They were getting drives in the paint and getting lay-ups particularly in the first half where Oladipo one time cut and was dunking the basketball. Our perimeter defense obviously was not good and covering the perimeter was not good.”

(On his team’s confidence going into halftime...) “Sometimes that’s the NBA game where you make a shot at the end and normally instead of being down by 10 (points) you are down by seven (points) and like I said earlier, we had a couple of stops, we had a couple of breaks and we didn’t score which could’ve been a different ball game because we could’ve been down by five (points) or down by three, (points) and we didn’t score. It kind of stayed on that same trend of not scoring and not getting stops.”

Pistons Guard Brandon Jennings

(On 3rd quarter struggles) “There was no sense of urgency. We didn’t match their energy at all tonight.”

“There has to be a collective unit to try to get it (energy) back together. We didn’t have it tonight. No excuses…we had a couple days off for Christmas, but it is the NBA so you have to be ready. You can’t take any team lightly.”

“They were making shots. Aaron Afflalo played well. He has been playing well all season. Their bigs really played well also. We just didn’t have any answer.”

“I had to be more aggressive on the offensive end to try to keep the game close.”

“You just try to find another way. That is why there are 12 players on the team. All 12 guys can play. Our bench played hard. Will Bynum came in there and kept playing throughout the game.”

(on his feeling playing home and home vs. Wizards on upcoming schedule) “I just like playing basketball. At this point right now, we need every win we can get. We don’t want to keep letting games like this play. It doesn’t matter who we play. I come to play every night.”

(on tomorrow’s matchup vs. Washington) “John Wall is playing at a high level right now. This is another team that is right behind us or right by us so we can’t take this team lightly either.”

Pistons Center Andre Drummond

“They started the game off playing the game really aggressive at the beginning. They were able to do whatever they wanted to do and they got comfortable. Everything was falling for them.”

“I can’t tell the refs what to do. What they feel is a foul they are going to call a foul. I just play hard. I can’t battle with the refs. It is their game. If they call the fouls I have to let it go. I have to play a little smarter and not do that same play the next time down the floor.”

“Taking this loss today, we definitely took a step back. We just have to shake it off. We play again tomorrow. We just have to come play 10 times harder than we did today.”

“We can’t use that as an excuse having those days off and not practicing. Those are not excuses in the NBA. You have to be ready to play at any time. We took a hit tonight. We took a loss and we have to shake it off and get ready for tomorrow night.”

“We just have to start the game off by punching the other team in the mouth first. We need to be aggressive first and be prepared for games. We have to be ready at all times.”

“We saw Washington earlier this year. They are definitely the same team. They are in the playoff race and playing good basketball right now. We just have to go back to what we do and push the ball up the floor, crush the ball in the paint, try to get in the bonus quick and make sure that John Wall doesn’t get into our paint and get himself going. We need to make him shoot jump shots and make it tough on Nene to get into his sweet spots too.”

“I think we came out flat. I could tell just by the tip. It started off with me where I wasn’t doing things I normally do. I couldn’t get myself going.”

Magic Head Coach Jacque Vaughn

Is this (win) a testament to you guys keeping the faith and playing well? It really is…we had a really good practice the other day, pretty intense for this time of the year and that has to be our signature is that we have to come to work. I always tell them, I don’t know what result that’s going to lead to, wins and losses-wise, but you can look yourself in the mirror, you can appreciate what you do for a living and your teammates appreciate you when you come to work.”

On Arron’s ankle and is it up to him whether he stays in or comes to the bench?: “So, I let him go through the play right after that so then we had a transition, then we came down, we had a stopped ball on our end and so I took a look just to see, had our trainer look at him the one trip down the floor and then we subbed him out, got a chance for him to come over to the bench and the trainer to look at him again. A lot of times it’s kind of training staff, what the player says, then what I see also.”

On Tobias facing some of the toughest players in the league tonight, how did he fare against Josh Smith, etc.? “I think he’s been very committed to the defensive end of the floor. I think you saw that tonight, his ability to offer resistance to Josh on the post. And then trusting his teammates will give him help, so overall he’s been very committed to the defensive end of the floor.”

On being focused for 48 minutes: “I think it was a challenge for our guys. We go in seven at the half, and I think our guys realized on the way out that there was going to be a chance for this team - Detroit to either crawl back into the game or for us to extend the lead and that comes from just being in games and experiencing and sometimes experiencing them on the losing end and understanding what that feels like. So, I think that coming out at halftime we had a really good approach.”

On Victor working on coming off the screen and hitting that pull up shot, coming off and attacking, is that an area you are trying to get him to improve: “A little bit of everything. You are trying to introduce him and get him to get better in a lot of different areas. And part of that shot recognition is how the defense is going to play him. Tonight in pick and roll situation he had a great segment for us where he dominated the basketball and it controlled the tempo of the game, whether it was getting to the rim, whether it was passing the basketball, which he was very efficient at tonight. So those are areas that he’ll continue to grow at, but he’s a guy that continuously stays after and works on his game.”

Magic Guard Jameer Nelson

(on Aaron Afflalo as an All-Star) Individually, he’s an all-star in my eyes. We should all understand what an all-star is. When you look at a guy’s stats – and he’s not even out there stat-chasing – he’s out there playing basketball the right way and he’s playing very efficiently.

(on the team’s mentally going into the third quarter) The big thing about us is when we come into halftime down by two or four points or we have the lead we have a tendency to lay back in the third quarter and not come out with a lot of energy. Tonight I felt like we made a big emphasis on playing in the third quarter as hard as we can. Not worrying who got the shots, nobody worrying about who got the assist or anything like that; we just played as hard as we can. Honestly, my focus was to just go out there and play defense. Brandon Jennings had 18 points in the first half and he was basically the guy we talked about before the game. He’s the head of the snake for those guys, and it was up to me to buckle down and be more efficient defensively, as well.

(on the second half defense on Brandon Jennings) I didn’t hold him to anything. I’m not going to take the credit and say I held him to anything. I think the team, we did a good job of being out there together and helping. There were times he got by me and guys stepped up and helped, and I just cracked back on their man. Everybody has to play on a string. It’s not just one guy out there. My job was to play with more energy when I was guarding him, try to make it tough on him and I had a ton of help. I just felt like I had to pressure the ball a little bit more and give myself up on the defensive end. I’m not a guy who’s going to get a lot of steals or anything like that but I feel I can use my strength to try to control certain guards. With Brandon being so quick I just try to get into his body. He’s a good point guard and I guy a like playing against because he challenges me.

Magic Guard Victor Oladipo

(on his career-high eleven assists, including eight first half) I was just being patient, really, keeping my head up coming off ball screens and just reading what the defense gave me. I was just playing with a great pace and I just got to be consistent with it. Man, I love throwing assists. I love getting my teammates buckets. I thrive off of my teammates just like they thrive off when I do well. Again, it’s just me being patient and letting the game come to me, being able to find my teammates in the spots where they feel comfortable.

(on being the primary ball handler) I’m getting more and more comfortable with it. Again, I’m just trying to work hard. The past couple of games I haven’t been playing that well, but I’m never going to lose my confidence. I’m just going to keep an even keel and just play hard for my teammates because my teammates need me.

(on the magic’s defense against Detroit’s front line) I think we just did a good job of putting bodies on bigs and doing a great job of tagging when they roll. We just need to build on this great team win we just had.

(on using his speed and athleticism on offense) I try to; you know, sometimes I turn it over. I’ve gotten a lot better at it throughout the year. I’m just trying to do a great job of trying to change speeds, not trying to come off at 100 miles per hour, trying to change it up a little. Again, I still need to work on it a little bit until I get better.