Postgame Quotes - January 8, 2014

Pistons at Raptors

Detroit: Maurice Cheeks | Josh Smith | Greg Monroe
Toronto: Dwane Casey | DeMar DeRozan | Kyle Lowry

Pistons Head Coach Maurice Cheeks

On the biggest difference for your team in the second half… Once again I think the third quarter was a difference for them anyway, or for us whichever way you want to look at it. They pushed it down, got some easy baskets. We had a couple of turnovers and they went on like a eight or nine-zero run and I got my first timeout and then we really never recovered after that.

On the made free throws discrepancy… Once again we talked about it before the game that’s just something we have to keep working on, and trying to get better at it. Free throws are just part of the game and a lot of times you get up there you make them or miss them, and tonight they made them. Tonight we didn’t.

Should there have been more of an emphasis going inside given the struggle of your guards? Well we did. I thought in the first half we got a lot of early posts. We ran some early offence to get inside baskets and inside shots. In the second half we didn’t get a lot of stops. I thought in the first half our pace was good and in the second half, when you’re not getting a lot of stops, it’s not going to afford you a quick pace. Didn’t get a lot of fast break baskets in the second half as opposed to the first half. That was the difference for me. Our first half was obviously a lot different than our second half, and has been the difference for us in this past stretch right now.

Pistons Forward Josh Smith

How hard is it to turn the page when things really aren't going your way? Its hard but the main thing is we are consistently losing the same way. We are showing up for half of a game and we have to be able to try to figure out what we need to do in order to start off better in the second half. We have got to be willing to play hard for 48 minutes.

Is there anything you can draw from in your past experience that might help give some answers? When I first got to the Hawks we won 13 games and then we acquired Al Horford in the draft and were able to make our first playoff appearance with the eighth seed and we took off from there. My main focus and the thing that I have been trying to preach the most is, sacrificing for each other. Being able to play unselfishly and hit the open man when he is open. The rest will be history. We just worry about playing together and not trying to figure out anything else and that’s when our look will start to change.

Pistons Forward Greg Monroe

This was the third, third quarter in a row that the team has struggled… I think we come out flat, we kind of get into a hole and then we have try and fight our way through and we start pressing. So I think we have to find a way to come out and take control of those third quarters before the other team does.

Is there something that you can put your finger on to come out with a little more energy in the second half? You just have to come out with energy, there are not any schemes or x’s and o’s when it comes to that. I think that is our problem. I think we all understand what we have to do. We just have to do it with energy.

When the shots aren’t going down from outside is it harder for you to get the space you need? When shots are being made it opens up everyone, that is just how this game is played. When you are making shots its easier for everyone to score. If shots aren’t falling teams will pack it in more.

Raptors Head Coach Dwane Casey

On the second half intensity and play of the bigs in the second half… There was a big difference, that and DeMar DeRozan and Amir Johnson were zero-for-whatever, and that meant a lot. It was hanging in the balance, we knew it was going to be a grind out game and that’s something we are learning to do, is to grind things out, possession by possession, quarter by quarter, not getting caught up in what happened last possession. We knew DeMar and Amir weren’t going to go zero-for, in the second half, so that was a good thing. The defensive intensity is what changed the game in the second half.

On Jonas in the third and fourth quarter, seeing Drummond as a challenge… He should take (Roy) Hibbert, he should take (Chris) Bosh, and he should take (Chris) Andersen as a challenge. He can’t be selective; we have to be consistent no matter what name is on the back of the jersey. He’s learning that, he did a much better job in the second half , but again he’s still growing and (Andre) Drummond’s a handful, (Greg) Monroe’s a handful, we knew that. I was proud of our guys, we out-rebounded them by one on the offensive boards and we out rebounded them overall. That was a big challenge for us tonight without physicality and the way they just bang and hit inside and our guys met the challenge.

Thoughts on the slow, no rhythm games…. If you look at the NBA, there are no pretty games in the NBA, this is a man’s league. It’s a hit, knockdown, drag-out and the strong survive. The days of pretty ball, up and down, you’re not going to see that much. To win in this league, especially the East, I found out it’s a man’s league. Hit first, screen, rebound, box-out, hard cuts, physical cuts, hold your ground league. We are learning how to do that, I can’t express it any other way, we are doing a better job of that.

Raptors Guard DeMar DeRozan

Thoughts on your performance in the second half… Just being more aggressive, that was my goal. I know my shot wasn’t falling for me, so I just tried to do other things, be aggressive and try to create for my teammates.

Thoughts on adjustments made in the second half…. We just started off terrible. We didn’t have any legs and we told ourselves that we can have no excuses. We had to pick it up because that wasn’t us in the first half. We came out in the third quarter and picked it up.

Raptors Guard Kyle Lowry

Thoughts on the game… In the first couple weeks of the season it was the third quarters that were our pitfall but the last couple of games we’ve been picking it up in the third and taking advantage of the opportunity. The first half was a little bit sluggish but we picked it up so that was the most important.

Thoughts on Terrence Ross…. He is just improving as a basketball player, catch-and-shoot and his confidence is just unbelievable. He’s just showing versatility. He’s scoring but the defensive assignments he’s made the last couple of weeks he’s done a good job. I tip my hat to him and every time he goes out there I say great job.