Postgame Quotes: Round 2, Game 5 vs Lakers

Thunder Quotes

Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Los Angeles Lakers

5/21/2012

 

THUNDER HEAD COACH SCOTT BROOKS:

 

Opening Statement:

“Well, I’d like to just acknowledge Coach (Mike) Brown.  One of the things that he should be proud of in this short season that he did not have the time to have a training camp or even have time to talk to his players over the summer.  The way the season went, I think he deserves a lot of credit.  They competed all year.  With that being said, I’m really happy for our guys.  They did a good job of really focusing in and locking in on the defensive end.  I thought we won this series on the defensive end of the floor.  We can play different ways and different styles of basketball. But the fact of the matter is, if we don’t play defense, it doesn’t matter how well we do offensive; we’re not going to be successful.  Our guys did a great job of really competing and making it a possession-by-possession game.”

 

On Perkins, Ibaka and Collison:

“I thought they were the Big Three.  The Lakers’ bigs are as good as any bigs in basketball. They’re big, they can score, they block shots and contest the paint. The way Perk (Kendrick Perkins) battled, obviously he’s coming off of his injury and competing every day with it.  We’re all proud of him.  Nick (Collison) and Serge (Ibaka) did a good job.  When Naz (Nazr Mohammed) was in the game, he did a good job also. They’ve always been our unsung heroes.  They compete on the defensive side of the floor and they help our guys score on the other end by setting good screens on the offensive end.”

 

On decision to start 4th quarter with Durant and Westbrook:

“Well, it’s a decision I usually don’t make throughout the season, but I felt that with the days off between games and the long timeouts that they can handle the extra 4 to 5 minutes that they would normally get a break during that time. Usually I do it with Kevin and not Russell, because the point guard takes so much physical effort to play both ends of the floor and the mental part of the game. So I usually give him (Russell Westbrook) a break. But I thought with the long timeouts and the way he was playing tonight that there was no reason for me to take him out. He would have enough energy to finish the game off.”

 

On the bench points and rebounding:

“Well, that was our big concern going into this series. We know that this team can get a lot of offensive rebounds and putbacks and easy buckets for their team by going to the offensive glass. I think we gave up three tonight. Never would I have thought that it would only have been three. That’s incredible. All five guys did a good job of blocking out and keeping the ball away from their team after we made them miss. Our bench was good. Nick was really good. He was banging, he was setting screens, he was rebounding and he was keeping balls active. That’s what we want from our guys. James (Harden) came in and I thought James had a really good controlled game, and we needed it.”

 

On the preparedness and experience of the team going into the Western Conference Finals:

“It does help. Experience is always important in this league, but you also have to have good talent, have to have good players, and you have to have a team that competes and that are self motivated. We have a group of guys that do that every single day. They practice like they play, shoot arounds, film sessions; it doesn’t matter. The experience that we had last year can help, but we still have to go out and execute the game plan and play well and get some defensive possessions and make shots. We know that San Antonio is probably playing the best basketball for the last three months of this season. They’ve won just about every game.”

 

THUNDER GUARD JAMES HARDEN

 

How proud are you of your team in this close-out situation?:
“I’m very proud of the Thunder, just from top to bottom. Russell [Westbrook] in the second half was amazing. The bigs’ defense was phenomenal. KD [Kevin Durant] hit two big threes. The team effort was amazing and we needed it.”

 

Why was it important to finish off the series tonight in five games?:

“We didn’t want to go back to L.A. and have to win it in L.A. because that would be tough to do in the Staples Center. We didn’t want to put it in other peoples’ hands. We wanted to control [the game], play well and we did that in the third and fourth quarters.”

 

THUNDER FORWARD KEVIN DURANT

 

Thoughts on the play of the big men tonight and throughout the series:

“They have been fighting all series. They (Serge Ibaka and Kendrick Perkins) are one of the best big-man tandems in the game.  I think ever big did well tonight, and us guards and forwards did our part to help them. They did bang all series and you have to tip your hat to them.”

 

Thoughts on fourth quarter play the last two games:

“Well, we know that is the most important part of the game and I think we kept our composure in the fourth quarter and made plays on the defensive end as well as the offensive end. And we believe, even if we’re down or even have the lead, we still wanted to play the right way and the right basketball.”

 

THUNDER GUARD RUSSELL WESTBROOK

 

Thoughts on the series:

“That was a tough team. They were not laying down. We had to come together as better teammates and we did that tonight. From the middle of the third quarter till the end of the game, we all did our jobs.”

 

Thoughts on the fans:

“These fans have taken us on a ride. They have been supportive from day one since I have been here. We have the best fans in the league and they have been doing that for us all season long.  Tonight, they did it again and we know they will continue to do it.”

 

Lakers Quotes

Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Los Angeles

5/21/2012

 

LOS ANGELES LAKERS HEAD COACH MIKE BROWN:

 

Opening Statement:

“We have to give Oklahoma City credit. They did a heck of a job this entire series. They did a great job of closing games. At the end of the games, including tonight’s game they stepped up their physicality. We didn’t do a good job of executing. We scored basically 11 points in the fourth quarter. All of the stuff we did in the first three quarters, just like all the stuff we did in the first three quarter in games two and four, went out the window in the fourth quarter execution wise offensively.”

 

On Oklahoma City’s fast-break points:

“Their ability to offensively rebound early on, and our inability to offensively rebound the whole game, coupled with their fast-break points, is what did us in. Their fast-break point is what did us in. They averaged 18 fast-break points a game. To get 30 in a playoff game is tough to handle. It’s tough to swallow.”

 

On the play by the “bigs”:

“One thing I do know, just by looking at the box score is that Andrew (Bynum) played 34 minutes and he had four boards and no offensive rebounds. Pau (Gasol) had two offensive rebounds. I know we’re asking our “bigs” to do a lot but I know for sure we could have gotten more scoring from those two guys in the offensive rebounding category or area. Obviously, if you look at our bench, our bench scored two field goals. We could have gotten more from our bench not only field goal wise, our bench had two total rebounds.”

 

LOS ANGELES LAKERS FORWARD METTA WORLD PEACE:

 

Thoughts on the series?

“Let’s give some credit to Oklahoma.  They were the better team.  They did well…We knocked them out a couple years ago, but we are going to keep working this summer to get better.”

 

On how the team will improve this summer:

“Well I am not the general manager or owner so I am not going to try and make decisions for them.  But speaking for the guys that is in this locker room that we love; if you look at the games we lost this year, Washington, no disrespecting those teams, Detroit last place teams.  I think we were six games out of first place this year. We lost a lot of games that we shouldn’t have lost, and I started out the year horrible. I was averaging about two points and had no life. All those negatives that happened to us, I am coming back better next year. Guys that come back better we can get some of those games and who knows at the end of the season maybe we will be tied for first and it will be a different ball game. But with that said, those guys play well.”

 

LOS ANGELES FORWARD LAKERS PAU GASOL

 

How difficult was it to lose this series?

“It hurts when you lose and it’s not like we lost but this team always has a huge desire and goal to win the championship and when you fall short it’s frustrating.  It has been a crazy year and a lot to deal with…Unfortunately we had tough loses, and things didn’t really go our way for the most part.  You just have to regroup and digest this lost and this season and learn from it and move on.”

 

LOS ANGELES LAKERS GUARD KOBE BRYANT: 

 

What were you feeling in the fourth quarter?

“Obviously I was in a good rhythm. That’s what we do. We have to trust that you can come in out in the fourth quarter. Oklahoma kind of blitzes their side of the court.”

 

On Pau Gasol:

“I thought he was aggressive. I thought he took shots. I felt like he drove the ball and had opportunities…All in all I thought he took shots when he was available.”