Postgame Quotes - February 3, 2014

Pistons vs Heat

Detroit: Maurice Cheeks | Josh Smith | Andre Drummond
Miami: Erik Spoelstra | Chris Bosh | LeBron James

Pistons Head Coach Maurice Cheeks

(On the game): “We got some easy baskets [off the Miami HEAT turnovers]. We ended up with 21 turnovers. Against them [Miami HEAT], I don’t think you can have turnovers like that. We had a lot of unforced turnovers as well. I thought that our defense was pretty good for the most part; but when you turn the ball over, I don’t think that you can overcome [it]. It was no question that it was a good defensive effort. We have to build on effort; but the difference for me is the way that we turned it over. These guys [Miami HEAT] obviously know how to do certain things because they’ve done it before; winning championships the way that they have won it. They ended up getting rebounds and second-chance shots that resulted in some three-point shots for them. We’re still learning how to do that. KCP [Kentavious Caldwell-Pope] started off guarding [Dwyane] Wade. Wade’s been around a while. He understands when a younger guy is playing him. Andre [Drummond] picked up three early fouls that didn’t allow him to stay in the game. I thought that he learned in the second half how not to pick up those fouls. We started a little slow. Then we got into the game. When we put [Rodney] Stuckey in the game, we got into the game a little bit more. I thought that our defense was pretty good for the most part; but when you turn the ball over the way that we turned the ball over, it’s hard to play a full [quality] 48 minutes and get a win. If we turn the ball over, especially against a team like that, it’s going to be hard to overcome.”

(On the team’s resiliency): “[The] most thing that we’re doing is learning, fighting our way through certain things. Referees are part of the game. We can get upset with them, but they are not going anywhere. When we’re on the road, we have to learn how to play. I thought that we did that for the most part.”

(On the team’s size matchup against the Miami HEAT): “We talked about that before the game with [Shane] Battier guarding Greg [Monroe]. The challenge is to be able to take care of the ball. While it is a matchup problem, they are very aggressive in what they do. They make it difficult to post the ball and they utilize their size. I thought that we did it [utilize the size] early on but we turned the ball over a couple times; and we shouldn’t have, really.”

Pistons Forward Josh Smith

(On the game): “We had opportunities to win the basketball game. Against a great team like this and on the road you got to be a little bit more conscious of the turnovers.”

(On the intensity of the defense): “I think we did good. We matched their physicality and intensity. We just fell short tonight.”

(On if the team has to play perfect to beat the HEAT on the road): “For sure. They’re the world champs, so they are going to have the advantage on any angle of the basketball. We have to try to play almost perfect.”

(On Andre Drummond and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope’s early fouls against Wade and Bosh): “Just some good lessons to learn. Two Hall of Fame players in my eyes. Coming into the League, even I struggled against playing veteran guys. They had credibility in this league. It is a good learning experience and they’ll do better next time.”

(On the defense): “We played good defense. We lost by six points, so I think we did pretty good on defense in the second half as well.”

(On if he likes the matchups because of the Pistons size): “Most definitely. I could be used as a decoy. With Shane Battier guarding me I know they are going to load up, double-team, so I just have to be patient and make plays.”

Pistons Center Andre Drummond

(On the quick fouls): “I just had to walk to the bench, clear my head and get ready for the next half. I picked up two tough fouls. I had to shake it off and keep moving. I can’t take the fouls back.”

(On having to sit because of the fouls): “We played great as a team. With or without me, we played great. Made a couple of silly turnovers down the stretch of the game which really hurt us. I love to be out there with my guys, but I made poor decisions on the defensive end.”

(On if the HEAT could be vulnerable because of the Pistons size): “I just think if we attack the paint, we have a lot of bigger guys from our 3s on down. It kind of helped us out later in the game when we were attacking the paint and making it tough for them.”

(On what the team learns by keeping it close most of the game): “We lost by only six points, but a loss is a loss no matter what the number is. We will use this as a stepping stone. They’ve won two years in a row, so they know what it takes to win and make the smart plays down the stretch of the game to come out with a win.”

Heat Head Coach Erik Spoelstra

(On Dwyane Wade): “The only knock was really on me, I ended playing him 37 minutes. I would have liked to keep a little of that down I just couldn’t take him out of the fourth quarter. He was in a great rhythm. Look, he’s been on a great routine. There wasn’t any sense or need to panic off of that road trip; we felt we made the right decision. We knew it would be highly debated, but we want to come back and get back on the routine. We’ll figure out how to maintain it on this next road trip but he’s been able to workout, strength train, condition, and get a lot of court work. All that work has been paying off. ”

(On Greg Monroe): “Well there’s no question you can see the impact just in terms of the size, extra possessions and physicality on the glass on both ends. This is an extremely big, physical and athletic team, so they play volleyball up there above the rim. A lot of those opportunities are elbows and shoulders above the crowd, but not in Greg Monroe’s case. Those 11 minutes were impactful, I’ve been trying to get them in and it’s not easy but you know what, I embrace the challenge of this year. I have some things I still need to figure out and I was encouraged by those 11 minutes. We’ll have to see how he feels tomorrow and we’ll go from there.”

(On LeBron James): “The way the game was going; those rebounds were so highly contested, every single time. There was such physical battle, so those guys weren’t trying to steal the rebounds, the ball just happened to drop to them. Most of the night it was up above the rim and those are the rare examples. I don’t know what’s up with LeBron James, he’s just working on that all-time record of near misses of triple doubles, but as long as he’s playing great basketball that’s all I care about. He played with a real good temper but particularly in the post, playing inside out, anchoring us there. When we really needed to settle down, we typically went to him in some kind of action, where he could trigger something for us. He really just read the game. He wasn’t necessarily forcing it or feeling the need to impose it, he was just reading the game using his talents to make the right play. Overall we played extremely hard; we competed with a great motor. We didn’t necessarily play smart the entire game, but you have to give them credit. They’re extremely fast, they’re quick, they play the fast lanes, they’re similar to us and they sped us up a little bit.”

(On game physicality): “Not figuratively or literally, but that’s part of it. This year is different from years past, not better not worse, just different. We had some moving parts, everyone’s going through that. Guys coming in and out, lines at different times, those are different excuses if we want to lean on those. As I’ve told the group, let’s play to our identity and our strengths. Don’t think about whose playing or rotations, just play to our identity, that‘s what’s relevant. What we need is more excuses in how we can win and how we can play to that identity. We’ll figure it out, we’ve got a lot of games to play and a big part of that is my responsibility.”

Heat Forward Chris Bosh

(On the game): “We could’ve played a little better, especially closing out the game. We had some costly turnovers. Turnovers are one of the things we have to get better at. You have to give them (Detroit Pistons) credit. They are a long, athletic defensive team. We’re satisfied with the win because it is a win. Now it is time to take the show on the road. It is going to be a good test for us.”

“We have that good non-verbal communication going right now. It is getting there. It’s still a work-in-progress.”

(On being an All-Star): “It’s an honor and a privilege to be an All-Star.”

(On Dwyane Wade’s performance of late): “He’s in a good rhythm right now. I think that rest did him well. He has a lot of spring in his legs. When he plays well we’re a tough team to beat.”

Heat Forward LeBron James

(On the game): “I’m happy that we played well for most of the game.”

“As long as we don’t turn the ball over, and we rebound, we have a great chance of winning.”

“We had some careless turnovers to start the game. Tonight, for the most part, we did a good job.”

(On Dwyane Wade’s performance): “He (Dwyane Wade) had a heck of a game. He was spectacular once again.”

“You know if he (Dwyane Wade) has a bounce in his step or not. The last week or so he’s had a bounce in his step.”

(On Greg Oden’s progress): “He’s getting more and more comfortable every time he plays. We love having him out there. He’s a big body and we can definitely use him.”

(On having a healthy team of late): “Our team is built for guys to be in the lineup. We’re built on chemistry. We’re built on rhythm. That’s what we’ve had the last few games.”

(On the team’s upcoming road trip): “It’s going to be challenging 22 days for myself, D (Dwyane) Wade and CB (Chris Bosh). It is what it is. We have to try and figure it out on the road. We’ve got some really tough games. We look forward to it.”

“We’re playing good basketball. It’s going to be a tough test.”

“We’ve always built more chemistry and camaraderie when we hit the road.”