Postgame Quotes - December 28, 2013

Pistons at Wizards

Detroit: Maurice Cheeks | Josh Smith | Greg Monroe
Washington: Randy Wittman | Bradley Beal | John Wall

Pistons Head Coach Maurice Cheeks

On benching Josh Smith at the start of the second half: “I just felt like I wanted to make a change and stay with the guys I went with. It wasn’t just him, KCP (Kentavious Caldwell- Pope) didn’t start either. It was just the way I felt. I felt like staying with the guys I had out on the floor.”

On the 12-0 run following Bradley Beal’s back-to-back threes: “I thought that was the stretch when they (Wizards) went on a 12-0 run toward the end right there. I think that was the difference, we were standing there in that eight, nine point range, and then they hit those threes. That 12-0 run was the difference really, and we just couldn’t recover.”

On the problem with the defense the past two nights: “Our transition defense has been bad. Our interior defense has been bad. When you have a team that is shooting well from the three and getting inside the paint, a lot of things are gonna give and we need to recover.”

On the up down play of the Pistons this season: “This is the NBA, where you have some highs and you have some lows. I talked about it before the game. When you lose a game against Portland, that’s a low point, but you come back and win against Indiana that’s a high. That’s the way our season has been going so far.”

On the game and Josh Smith: “We can talk about the game. The game wasn’t about Josh Smith. The game was, we got beat. We got beat, we got beat pretty good. It wasn’t because of Josh Smith, it was the overall game. It wasn’t just because of Josh Smith.”

On what needs to be corrected before Monday’s game: “Well, we got to get back in transition. I think John Wall kinda controlled the game a little bit early on. I think when he was getting inside the paint, he was kicking it out for shooters. We got to be better defensively. We got to be better offensively.”

Pistons Forward Josh Smith

On always playing his best: “It’s a gracious opportunity just to be able to play my dream. When I was younger, I played the game for free year round. This is what I love to do. So why wouldn’t I want to come out here and try to put my best foot forward every time I step out? ”

On maybe being misinterpreted: “Maybe so. I’m an aggressive person. I’m not passive. So maybe a passive person that takes life that way won’t understand an aggressive person. I really can’t worry about what people perceive of me, because they don’t know me on a day to day basis, so I’m really not concerned about what people perceive about me at all.”

On having to maybe have a conversation with Maurice Cheeks: “I don’t know. To me it is over with. But you know some people hold grudges longer than others. I don’t know. I’m not saying that he does. I’m not the type of person that really likes to go all the time in coach’s office, and have a one on one sit-down. I’m more of a team morale guy. Worrying about what we can do as far as the team is concerned, to make ourselves more successful.”

Pistons Center Greg Monroe

On the Wizards: “They made a run and we were just unable to get stops.”

On a disappointing performance coming off last night’s loss: “We definitely wanted to come out and play better. We didn’t do a good job at that.”

On playing the Wizards two straight games: “After these two games, it doesn’t matter what teams are coming in. We have to get back to what we were doing before the break, and get back to playing at a high level.”

Wizards Head Coach Randy Wittman

On the win: “We got back a little bit of our identity that I thought we lost last night coming out of the Christmas break. We can only play one way, and that’s a physical presence on the floor. Tonight, that was more the tune that we have to be. I thought that right from the jump ball we took the fight in a physical manner that we didn’t at all last night. This is a team very similar to Minnesota in terms of their bigs and what they can do in the paint and on the boards. That was really good to see and a good bounce back win for us after a disappointing game last night.”

On keeping Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond to only two offensive boards each: “Physical presence, meaning just that, being physical. Not just turning and looking at the ball go up, but putting bodies on people. Guards coming in, putting bodies on people to help out. It’s pretty simple, but it’s something that’s not always done.”

On the bounce-back victory after last night: “It’s good. We’re making progress in a lot of areas. As we talked earlier, I think our mental thing on the road, which had to get better this year. Then, the back-to-back dealings that they have to deal with in this league that we’re going to face again. It’s mind over matter when you get in at three o’clock in the morning and have to play after a tough loss. I told the guys when we left the locker room in Minnesota, ‘Alright, we’re not talking about this game anymore. Let’s put it out of our minds. Let’s learn from it, but put it out of our minds. Let’s go win a game back home.’”

On the bench: “It was good. The more we can get them out there like we were able to tonight and give them sustained play, the better it will continue to be. Again, Nene coming off the bench with Martell [Webster] gives us more people we can play through also. That’s not the case usually.”

On Bradley Beal: “I thought he was fine. I have to kind of read the situation early in the game on how teams are playing him and get a good feel. He said there was no lingering effect of what happened last night.”

On seeing Detroit again Monday: “The good thing is we know what we have to do and how we have to play. That’s not gonna change. That’s a prideful group over there. As I told my guys, you’ve got to expect they’re going to come in here on Monday and take the fight to us.”

On Otto Porter: “He’s just got to continue to play. Play with confidence, he’s got to get into a rhythm. It’s tough. It’s tough for a guy, a rookie at 19, 20 years old that doesn’t do anything until December from July, And then expect to really see a finished product. He’s got sea legs right now, as I like to call them. And it’s hard unless you get out there and continually get on the floor. You can run on that treadmill all you want, I can do that still, but I can’t get out there and run on the floor. He’s got to get his body in better condition. He’s missed a lot, so we’ve got to be patient and continue to get him out there, but he’s got to start also earning more minutes, too.”

Wizards Guard Bradley Beal

On playing after his injury: “I just came out and did my normal routine. I really didn’t try to favor it or work it, I just went out there and did what I was supposed to do—workout-wise—and I felt fine from the get-go. So I just continued to do what I did and I played the way I was capable of playing.”

On his two three-pointers before the half and the Wizards’ halftime lead: “Those were two [three-pointers] great finds by John. As soon as I hit the first one, it came right back to me. And it just shows his IQ and the chemistry we both had. He got me going at those points. Those were definitely two big shots. And we knew that if we got up to a big lead, they were going to back off a little bit. Any team in the league is capable of making a comeback, so it’s just up to us to continue to keep our foot on the pedal and just continue to play hard and extend the lead.”

On how he predicts the Pistons will play in the next game: “They’ll come out with a lot more energy and be a lot more physical. I think we did a great job with hitting them first this game and they fell back on their heels a little bit. I think in the next game, we definitely have to be prepared to brace ourselves because we know they are going to come back with a vengeance. They probably didn’t like that we beat them by 20-plus tonight, so they’re definitely going to be coming harder in the next game.”

On waiting for the results of his injury “It was up and down. At first I was mad and nervous because I didn’t know—whenever it’s the knee, you always think the worst no matter how many times people tell you to think positively. You always think, ‘What’s the worst that could possibly happen to you?’ But it wasn’t really killing me like that. My knee wasn’t really throbbing when I went to sleep so that was a good sign and I woke up and there was no pain at all. I was fortunate and happy after that.”

Wizards Guard John Wall

On the win: “Being aggressive, attacking the basket, being more physical. We got back to our defensive concepts and we protected the rim and got a lot of rebounds. When you do that with a team that’s number one in second-chance points, and offensive rebounds and points in the paint. You’ve got to do a good job. I think we matched them in points in the paint. They still beat us in second chance points, but we outrebounded them.”

On Bradley Beal: “It was big. When you see that happen, you get nervous and think of the way these knee injuries and hand injuries have been going so far, so you’re just waiting. And then when we saw him come into the locker room and he didn’t have to walk on crutches. That was a big sign that nothing was really bad, but you had to get a second opinion.”

On team consistency: “I think it’s there, I think we just got to keep playing defense first. When we play defense first it makes our game a lot better. One through five, everyone plays better. Even our bench when we play defense first. Last night, we didn’t do that. We let them do whatever they wanted and got whatever they wanted. We just know, basically coach said after the game this is the only way we can play, is play aggressive and rebound the ball and get out into the open court.”

On bouncing back from last night’s loss: “I think we’re growing as a team. The main thing is, like you said, you’ve got to be more consistent, a lot better. Like I said, different nights. Anyone can score the ball and that’s what we did tonight. We did what we had to do, stopping their guys from scoring in the paint and getting a lot of rebounds.”

On Otto Porter: “It’s always exciting just to see him as a rookie trying to find his rhythm and coming in here and doing a good job. And he did a great job rebounding the ball today.”

On facing Detroit again Monday: “I think they’re gonna play the same way, but they’re gonna play a lot harder. They’re gonna try to make a statement and take care of home court advantage like we tried to do here after we lost a bad loss to Minnesota. We’ve just got to play the same way, keep moving the ball as a team and trusting each other.”