Postgame Quotes - December 7, 2013

Pistons at Bulls

Detroit: Maurice Cheeks | Josh Harrellson
Chicago: Tom Thibodeau | Mike Dunleavy

Pistons Head Coach Maurice Cheeks

(On the game): “Our defensive effort was good. They started out scoring in the paint and we talked about taking some of the point paints away. That is what we did. They made some plays. Taj Gibson started out posting up and making plays, but then we buckled down on the defensive end.”

(On Brandon Jennings): “He shot the ball well and he made plays when we really needed him to make plays. That is what he is evolving to. He knows when we need to make a play. We need him to play like this and shoot the ball the way he is capable of shooting. He really helped us tonight.”

(On Josh Harrellson): “Josh was good. Josh understands how to play the game. Not only to make a shot, he had 3 blocks tonight. If he doesn’t have a shot, he knows how to take the ball to someone else and he is a pretty good rebounder. He understands how to play the game. His 3’s and Brandon’s 3’s were big.”

(On the team right now): “I like the way we are playing. I think we have been getting better every game. Our defense has been getting better. Clearly our offense is a little better. I like our flow, I like our defensive flow, I like our offensive flow, I think we are getting better in all phase.”

Pistons Forward Josh Harrellson

(On his early 3 pointer): “It kind of got us rolling. Kyle hit one and then Josh Smith hit one; so it kind of got us into a scoring mode right there.”

(Is it hard to not know when you are coming in the game?): “It’s tough. That is what I have to do. I’ve got to be ready to go when they call my name, just be mentally focused throughout the game.”

(How important was the team’s 3 point shooting today?) “It was big. It spread the floor and spaced them out. “

(On Brandon Jennings): “He was tremendous. An excellent game for him, that is what we need. We know he can do that. We have confidence in him, and tonight he showed what he can do.”

Chicago Bulls Head Coach Mike Thibodeau

(On the 3rd quarter): "It started for us in the 2nd quarter. In the 1st half we were very good until the last 2 minutes and they went on a 6-0 run to end the quarter. And then 24-9 in the 3rd gave them a cushion. They got away from us and we tried to keep it within 10 and work ourselves back into the game. We had a hard time scoring. We had a hard time covering the line. Those 2 things got us.”

(On the letdown after a big win): “That is a challenge of the league. You have a good win and then the thing you are concerned with is how quickly everything can change. We lose a guy and then we have a different starting group and then the bench changes. I like the way we started the game and I liked the first half up until the last 2 minutes. We have to get back into the gym, we have to work. We have enough and defensive transition is something we have to take care of. We have to figure how they got the 3’s and how to cover them better. They hit some that were covered and some were open. We have to take a look at it.”

(On the initial flurry by Taj and Boozer, and then went away from it): “They got shots. You have to give Detroit credit. They were getting down into the post. They were very aggressive with their digs. That’s the responsibility when the 2nd defender comes, to kick it out to the open man. I thought at times we hung onto the ball too long. You have to make that play. Everyone has to do their job. Guys have to screen, dribble hand-off, got to have guys get open. All the little things add up. We have to make the game easy. When the ball moves and our screening is strong, it’s going to be good. I thought we started the game that way. We also have to recognize that it’s going to change as the game goes along. If something is going well and they make a commitment to slow that down, you have the responsibility to make the proper play. That is something we have to work on.”

Chicago Bulls Guard Mike Dunleavy

(On the game): “We got off to a great start. But, we had a real slow start to the 2nd half. We missed some easy shots, a bunch of 3’s. And they hit a lot of 3’s. I think they were 12 for 15 or something like that.”

(Did you think fatigue was a factor with so many guys out?) “I don’t think so. But you would have to ask each player individually. We just missed a lot of open shots tonight. The 3rd quarter really got us. We were a bit stagnant and missed open shots.”

(On Taj Gibson): “Taj is pretty versatile. He can play all 3 positions down low. He rebounds and he knocks down open shots.”