Postgame Quotes - March 16, 2013

Pistons at Trail Blazers

Detroit: Brian Hill | Rodney Stuckey
Portland: Terry Stotts | Damian Lillard

Pistons Assistant Coach Brian Hill

On the outcome: “I thought our guys came out and really got us off to a good start. We had high energy, we were focused on our game plan and we did a good job defensively. I thought in the third and fourth quarters Aldridge, as great a job as Jason Maxiell was doing on him, he made two or three shots that I don’t even know how he made them, quite honestly. He hurt us in the second half. We fought our way back in with playing a little zone defense, but then Batum hit a big corner three and we gave up two offensive rebounds, which opened it back up again. As far as character and the work of our guys, I thought they played their hearts out tonight.”

On the play of Will Bynum and Rodney Stuckey: “They did a great job. As soon as Will came into the game, the way they were defending our pick and rolls, immediately we were able to exploit it either with his penetration or hitting the roll, hitting the weak side. Rodney—we wanted him in attack mode all night. He did that. He looked to attack the basket at just about every opportunity. Those two guys, basically, kept us in the game.”

On Stuckey’s playing time and production when Brandon Knight returns: “The more opportunities he has with the ball in his hands, the more effective he is. It gives him an opportunity to be an attacking player offensively. But you can’t change the whole offensive scheme of your team or the way your team is built offensively. We try to put him in situations to be successful where he can attack with the ball, and try to put Will in all of those pick-and-roll situations where he can succeed. It’s a fine line. You have to play through Greg in the post a little bit a see what’s working for you. Tonight those two guys had it going.”

On the team’s defense of Damian Lillard: “I thought we did a pretty good job on Lillard. I thought he got too much penetration. Maybe not necessarily the numbers, scoring wise, but his penetration did hurt us from time to time and created some easy baskets for them. We gave up too many middle drives into the paint, and we gave up too many offensive rebounds in the second half, and that was kind of our undoing.”

On his team’s overall defense: “We were trading baskets. When you shoot 52% from the floor and score 101 points, and you’re on the road, we feel like we need to win the game. But we have to shore up our defense. We’re giving up too many points, and teams are shooting too high a percentage against us.”

Pistons Guard Rodney Stuckey

On his game: “Just being aggressive, that’s all. Just playing basketball—that’s it. Out there being aggressive.”

On how different his game is when he is in attack mode: “That’s my game—to attack and create for my teammates. I’ve been given the opportunity to do this the last couple games, and it’s been working in my hand. Most importantly, though, we lost. We just have to come out and get more stops defensively, because that’s what hurt us tonight.”

On the cut he sustained: “Just a head-to-head. Now I have to go get stitches, but I’ll be fine. It happens.”

“No tooth, and now I have to go get stitches. I’m good, though.”

On if getting started early in the game puts you into a better rhythm: “It puts anybody in a better rhythm. Like I said, I was just aggressive tonight, and I just have to continue to keep doing that.”

Trail Blazers Head Coach Terry Stotts

“Well I liked how we tightened things up the beginning of the second half. Our defense was noticeably better and much more connected and much more aggressive. I thought that really set the tone for the second half. Other than the last four minutes of the game where they got some transition baskets off of our misses when they went to the zone, but other than that, for 20 minutes of the second half, our defense was pretty good. Needless to say, I was very disappointed with our defense in the first half.”

Describing Aldridge’s game after early foul trouble: “Remarkable. I mean, he told me he needs to get two fouls early more often. He had it going. He created a problem on the block all night whether he was scoring, passing, making his jump shot, rebounding. When he sat out in the first quarter and we were struggling, he came back into the game pretty aggressive for the rest of the night.”

On Freeland’s contribution off the bench “Joel’s been working really hard. Detroit plays two big guys. They don’t really space the floor with a three point shooter. Before LA getting two fouls, I had planned on getting Joel in the game in tonight. It was just earlier than expected because of the fouls. I thought this was a game that kind of was set up for him to play. They played a little conventional with their big guys and it just seemed to make sense. I thought he did very well. He made things happen. He finished around the basket and he played with some energy. I don’t know when the last time he played was, but he was ready. I compliment his work ethic because he’s been putting in a lot of time before and after practice and before games and he’s been waiting for an opportunity and he was ready.”

On Lillard only taking 12 shots “He was reading the plays. They were aggressive on his pick and rolls and they weren’t really giving him alleys to the basket. That’s part of his job, to read the plays. I thought he had good decisions. He had only a couple turnovers.”

On 2-1 home stand: “We win two of them and Memphis was a good game, so I thought it was okay. There were parts of tonight’s game and the game against New York that were a little disconcerting defensively, but you can’t take anything for granted. I would have liked to have won all three obviously, but we played Memphis a tough game and got two more wins. Hopefully it’s a little momentum for us going on the road.”

On defensive issues “I don’t think it’s effort. My main concern is probably focus. We’re making mistakes that we know better. Whether it’s gambling or not being alert on a play – I thought it was more mental than anything else as far as just being focused. I thought our movement and our alertness in the second half was very obviously. That was just really being in tune with what we were trying to get done.

Trail Blazers Guard Damian Lillard

On poor shooting night but success of team: “I made plays, I played aggressive and every shot didn’t fall, but I thought we played good as a team. LA had a really good game, JJ had a good game, Nic had a good game, Wes had a good game and so did Joel. Because I can go down the line with so many good games, that’s the bigger thing for us, that and we were able to win the game.”

On 10-0 for Detroit after they switched to zone in fourth quarter: “We got a couple good looks, we just didn’t make them. I know I got two good looks at threes and I didn’t make them so it was just that type of swing. We could have done a better job defensively by stopping their run, but I thought we just missed shots in the zone.”

On upcoming road trip: “Our focus right now is the next game. We’re not looking at it like the whole trip as a whole. We take it one game at a time and every game is important. The only game we’re concerned about right now is the first one.”

On defensive struggle in the first half: “I don’t think we lightened up, I just thing we aren’t on edge enough I guess. It’s early in the game, it’s a long game. We don’t do it on purpose, it’s just something we have to be better about as the year closes.”