Postgame Quotes - March 21, 2014

Pistons at Suns

Detroit: John Loyer | Josh Smith | Rodney Stuckey
Phoenix: Jeff Hornacek | Goran Dragic | Eric Bledsoe

Pistons Head Coach John Loyer

(On the missed free-throws) “We’re more than right there ready to win the game and I thought our guys played their hearts out. We put ourselves in position to win the game. I thought there were two major things. One, we turned the ball over 19 times for a team that averages 12 turnovers - and I think a majority of them were unforced. Then you go 10-for-26 from the line. We’re not asking you to make all of them, but if you shoot your percentage – which is about 66 percent – that’s a totally different ball game. Some nights they go in and some nights they don’t. It’s not for lack of trying and it’s not for lack of preparation. They just didn’t go in tonight.”

(On if Brandon Jennings’ confidence has been affected by his recent struggles) “No, I mean you would have to ask him that. I’ve got confidence in him, I start him, and he’s a starting point guard in this league. Some nights they go in and some nights they don’t.”

(On evaluating Andre Drummond’s return) “I thought it took him a few minutes to get rolling, but Andre is Andre. If you roll him out there he’s going to to rebound the basketball, he’s going to hard roll, he’s going to protect the rim and do what he just did tonight. It was very good to have him back.”

Pistons Forward Josh Smith

(On if the Suns did anything differently defensively as they regained the lead in the 4th quarter) “Shots just weren’t able to fall. We were getting what we wanted because we were doing a good job of executing, it just wasn’t going in.”

(On the frustration of missing so many free-throws) “Yeah, for sure – it’s a lot of things that you look at that you wish you could go back and correct. We just weren’t able to make free-throws and we didn’t take care of the basketball like we normally do.”

(On if the missed free-throws get in his head) “I mean you do start to think about it a little bit. You know from the standpoint that you just have to try and stay positive. It is a little frustrating because you know you’re doing everything right, technique-wise, and they’re just not falling.”

Pistons Guard Rodney Stuckey

(On if the Suns did anything differently to slow him down after his nine-straight in the fourth quarter): “It’s not about me scoring, man – it’s about us missing free-throws and turnovers. That’s pretty much what it was. We missed a lot of free-throws today and we turned the ball over. I think if we limit those two things then we would have won the game.”

Suns Head Coach Jeff Hornacek

(On tonight’s game) “They didn’t make free throws. We didn’t make free throws. The game was a slow-down game. I don’t think it ever really got into the up-tempo that we want. I told the guys a couple games ago that the rest of the season you’re going to have to scrap and claw and fight for every play, every possession to have a chance of getting in these playoffs. That’s kind of how tonight’s game went, we did a nice job at the end really scrapping, making tough shots and we got the boards at the key times.”

(On both teams’ free throw struggles) “I’m sure there have been games but it just seemed like miss after miss like ‘C’mon now, it’s a free throw those are easy.’ I don’t know if it’s in their head or what, but to me it’s just go up there and shoot with confidence. Go up there and believe you’re going to make the shot.”

(On “points in the paint”) “They get a lot of points in the paint…They didn’t get any easy fastbreak layups, they only had a few of them. When you look at it, we only had four offensive rebounds, which is fine. We just didn’t allow 25 or 30 fastbreak points which they’re pretty good at too. We’ll take that trade off and I think that was a key to keeping the points in the paint down.”

Suns Guard Goran Dragic

(On the game) “They are a good team. They have won only 25 games, but still if you look at their roster they have good players. I think we went into the game especially remembering that game in Detroit when we were down 25 points and tried to come back. Tonight, I think we played well for some parts of the time, but we still had a lot of problems especially getting big guys out of the paint and getting rebounds.”

(On the matchup against the Pistons) “They have big guys. They have Drummond and they have Monroe. The three spot is Josh Smith. Those three guys are so big and athletic. They can jump over the guys. It is really hard to box them out. From the weak side – you have Singler. He is always moving and always trying to cutting and trying to get offensive rebounds. ”

(On Bledsoe) “He looked good. His shot came back. He is really tough to guard. If you back up a little bit, he is going to shoot it. If you get close, he is going to penetrate. It is really tough to stay in front of him.”

Suns Guard Eric Bledsoe

(On tonight’s win) “Every win is not going to be pretty. I keep saying that we just need to tighten up everything. I think we are going to be fine moving forward.”

(On most comfortable he has felt since before his injury) “I think I had a better feel today instead of just coming out and forcing stuff. I played with a little more rhythm today. Markieff had it going and everyone was playing great defense. My teammates did a good job setting those screens. I just had good rhythm.”