Game Quotes: Cavaliers at Atlanta Hawks - May 22

(LeBron has so many ways that he can put his impact on the game, but particularly the way he was playing point guard duties, distributing the ball in the third quarter when you guys really made your run. What can you say about that asset or that facet of his game?):
“I've got a good vocabulary, but I'm sort of running out of superlatives for that guy. I'm going to let you think of something; you're the writer. “

“He's just a great basketball player. Everything more that you would add to that is probably better than I can say it.“

(Coach, have you I mean, I know of course you haven't coached a player like LeBron):
“Not many people have.“

(But have you seen someone who has that kind of ability to almost completely change how they're playing in the course of a game? If you think about it, in the first quarter, he was kind of going back through the post and scoring the ball. In the second quarter is when he started throwing it around all over the place.):
“If you ask LeBron, I'm sure he would answer this way: Part of what he's doing so well has to do with his teammates reacting and responding to him in the proper way. Certainly, his greatness is evident, but the other guys are completing him, and that's what you want from a team, and that's what you want from a team that plays with such a great player. “

“They've got to position themselves properly. They've got to move properly. They've got to finish the plays. They've got to recognize when and how to get him into the situations where he can do what he does or he can help them do what they do. And I think our guys have grown together with him during the course of the year, and they really know how to play off him well. “

(Coach, it seemed like in the first quarter you guys really went downhill a lot. You were really attacking the basket and didn't settle for threes. It seemed like that maybe opened up the three in the second and the third. Was that the game plan, and could you tell me how that worked?):
“Well, we did want to attack downhill. We wanted to get the ball at the rim. We wanted to drive and kick when possible, and we did a good job of that. We made good decisions with the basketball. I'm not sure, I think we had five turnovers in the first quarter, but after that, we took good care of the ball; maybe only had seven the rest of the way. “

“You know, our guys just played right. They played right, played the game right at both ends. Defensively, we were really, really, really high level, and, again, I give a lot of credit to our staff, who's done such a good job preparing this team for the series. Those guys are a big part of our performance thus far. “

“That being said, this thing is not anywhere near done. We've got a lot of work ahead of us, and we've got to continue to play right.“

(You guys collected more than a quarter of your missed shots via offensive rebound. How valuable is the strength that you guys have with the offensive boards toward your game plan?):
“Well, it's part of the game plan, obviously, and we've been doing a great job rebounding at both ends honestly. Also, the spacing on the floor for us has been pretty good, and we're able to attack the glass intelligently because offensive rebounding is a weapon at a number of different levels. Certainly, regarding what you just mentioned, but also that's going to help your transition defense when the other team's got to take the ball out of the net more often than not. “

“But you have to be careful. You can't over-do it because this is such a good team running the ball back at you, and I think we're mixing it up pretty good, and I think our guys are going aggressively but intelligently to the glass. When they can get it, good. When not, they're getting back, and that's something we've got to continue to concentrate on.“

(Considering the situation, obviously, Kevin's been out, Kyrie's not playing tonight what kind of effort did it take to beat a Hawks team that was desperate and didn't want to go down 2 0 and to win it kind of going away there?):
“What kind of effort did it take? Well, my feeling is right now we're the big one, one team. You've got to be a team. To miss a guy like Kyrie, to miss a guy like Kevin, to miss them both together, the other guys have to raise their level and have to be committed to competing and to believing in themselves as a team, and that's exactly what they're doing. Doing just a terrific job, playing as a team and making the whole greater than the sum of its parts.“

(David, so many of LeBron's assists tonight came on three point baskets. Eight of his first nine assists were on threes.):
“Is that a fact really?“

(That's a fact.):
“That's unusual, wow.“

(His ability to find three point shooters and get them open at the right moment, can you talk about the sixth sense he has in understanding where to get the ball and how to make three balls capitalize on those?):
“Well, I don't know if it's a sixth sense as much as he's a well, we could have a real philosophical discussion about instinct, if you want, but we won't do that now. “

“I think that LeBron, he sees things ahead of time. Whether it's knowing the play that we're running and understanding where guys are going to be or whether he's taken very quick mental pictures of where the defense is or where there's just understanding by his feel for how defenses play him, who's going to be open where when he makes a move to the baseline or to the middle, or whether it's the fact that he has terrific court vision and he uses his size so well to see over guys. “

“You know, it's a lot of things, a combination of things. But probably more than anything else, it's the fact that he's willing to pass the ball and that he believes in his teammates, and they feel that, they sense that, and that makes them more efficient and effective shooters.“

“Finally, not a lot of guys deliver the ball in the shooting pocket seemingly every time. That's unusual. To throw a pass from here over there to that basket is not easy under pressure. To throw it right here where the guy simply catches and in one motion is able to shoot the ball, that's extraordinary, and he's got that capability.“

(Two quick questions for you: One, with J.R. Smith not actually having the same type of night he had the other night are, how important was it for Shumpert and Jones to give you that three point shooting? Last but not least, it's hard to obviously coach in the playoffs, but how much easier is it to have a guy like LeBron to almost be like a second coach on the court?):
“You know, the other night, Shump neither Shump nor James nor Delly shot it real well, but J.R. shot the lights out, and what I said before about being a team means that the next night it might be somebody else. As a matter of fact, I think we talked about that two nights ago, you know, the fact that J.R.'s not going to make eight threes every game. Nobody does. So other guys picked it up. “

“By the way, it was great to see J.R. cheering his teammates out in front of the bench most of the second half, understanding that it was their night. “

“Regarding the question how easy is it or how much does it help to have LeBron on your team in the playoffs, do I really got to answer that? Let's put it this way, better that you have than you have not. How's that? Very helpful, yeah.“

(Following up a little bit on Josh's question about the idea of you're rolling into the playoffs and then you don't have Kevin, you don't have Kyrie. What was your level of concern that you maybe might not be able to put it together the way you wanted to?):
“Well, we were a pretty good team with Kevin and with Kyrie, and Kev going down for the season and then Kyrie struggling physically the way he has and doing his best to play through it and fighting the elements, just to kind of get out there and give us what he could. And then suddenly to find out same day that he's not going to be able to play. That's not easy, but I just I love the way our players responded. We always talk about no excuses. “

“You haven't heard us once bemoan our fate or look for an excuse. We haven't been that way all season. We haven't asked for any quarter. We haven't asked for any break from anybody the whole year, and it's not been easy on us at times. Our guys are hardened. They're about the right things and trying to win games. Obviously, we've got more games to win here, but their hearts and minds are in the right place, and hopefully, we can continue to perform without Kev and quickly get Kyrie back and be all the stronger. “

(On how they pushed their lead out in this game instead of game getting closer):
“We’re learning. On the fly we’re learning in those situations how to manage the emotions, and also to understand that the other team is desperate, and they’re going to give us their best punch. I think tonight we weathered a couple of possessions and we got a couple of pretty good stops when they started to get some energy in the building. That proved to be the difference.”

(On taking 2-0 lead in series without much help from Kyrie Irving):
“We’re a team. We said from day one that you can have all the great players in the world, but you still need five guys on the court at some point, and you still need reserves. We pride ourselves on being there for our star guys when they’re not available, and we did that tonight.”

(On spacing in the third quarter that allowed for open three point shots):
“The spacing has been there. LeBron just made a very concerted effort to spread the ball and get us good looks. He got into the paint and made them feel the pressure, and we were lucky enough to receive those shots and make them.”

(On taking 2-0 lead without much assistance from Kyrie Irving):
“Like I said this morning, guys had to step up, and Shawn (Marion), (Matthew) Dellavedova, and (Timofey Mozgov) stepped up tonight and played well.”

(On difference in the third quarter):
“Guys were making shots. Guys were making plays. LeBron and Dellavedova made great plays. We got multiple stops and held them to 17 points in the third quarter. That’s great defense on our part.”

(On why this team is successful at getting the next man up to play well):
“Guys have been putting in the extra effort and time at practice. (You’re) always staying ready, because you don’t know when you’re number is getting called, and tonight was a prime example. (Dellavedova), and even Shawn Marion came in and gave us good minutes.”

(LeBron, what goes into those kinds of passes and how difficult are they, and how have you perfected that over the course of time?):
“I've just seen every coverage that defenses can offer me, and I always try to be a triple threat on the floor, being able to score, to rebound, to pass, whatever the case may be, however the game presents itself. Just get my confidence I give my teammates the utmost confidence that when I throw them the ball, to shoot with confidence. I just try to put it exactly where they need it to be, where all they've got to do is catch and shoot or catch and drive and make things happen. “

“So it's something I learned when I was a youngster, understanding how important a pass is and how important it is giving your teammates confidence. When you have guys like the guy next to me and Delly and J.R. and the rest of the guys on down the line, I'm able to do what I love to do best.“

(LeBron, you guys collected more than a quarter of your shots today via offensive rebound. How valuable was that for building the lead?):
“Well, for us, offensive rebounding is part of our game. Three point shooting is a part of our game as well. We get 30 looks at the three point line, and we had 11 offensive rebounds that converted into 13 second chance points. That's all a part of our game, it's part of our DNA. When we do that, we're very successful.“

(Atlanta was collapsing early on your drives to the basket and then we saw later in the game an uptick of you driving and then dishing out. Was that an adjustment made based off how they were collapsing on defense?):
“I'm able to make adjustments throughout the game, just knowing how the defense read and react. Obviously, when you've got guys like here, who shot the ball extremely well tonight, the defense starts to go further and further away from the paint, and I'm able to see creases. When they react to me, I'm going to find my guys. I'm going to know exactly where they're going to be every single time I drive. That's just a repetition we have through our practices and watching the film and knowing where your guys are going to be, and they have outlets, and they make themselves presentable, and I just try to put the ball right where it needs to be. “

“I'm able to gauge the game and watch the game and able to replay it back in my mind and understand what I can do to help us win. “

(LeBron, I guess it's sort of along those lines, but if you go back to after Game 1 of the Chicago series, it was your first game without Kevin, and you said with less offense on the floor you had kind of decided you would need to shoot more and play a certain way. When you come in tonight and Kyrie's not out there either and you have this game that you had with 11 assists and dishing it all over the place, just what made you switch again to playing, I guess, more of the point forward, distributor?):
“That's how the game presented itself. When I was attacking, I was seeing guys open. When they were bringing two to me, I was seeing guys open. Like I said, I have the most confidence, the most confidence in my teammates to make shots and make plays. “

“For me, that's my job is to put energy behind that ball when I'm finding them. All they need to do is catch and shoot or catch and drive or make a play, and the game presented that tonight. I was able to be aggressive at times getting to the rim, and then there was times where they brought two and three guys towards me, and I was able to find my guys, and they knocked them down.“

(Earlier in the season when you passed Pippen for the all time assists by a forward. You told us the assist is your favorite play in basketball. I wonder if you could elaborate on why that is and the feeling you get when you help these guys score.):
“Why that is, for me, more than scoring, you always get the excitement of two guys being able to benefit from a pass. If I score the ball, if I'm in an iso situation where I score the ball, it's just me, and I've always been accustomed to team basketball. When I'm able to put pressure on the defense and then make a pass to a teammate and he's able to knock it down, I've always got the excitement of that more than anything. “

“But I have a gift, and that's why I'm able to keep defenses off guard because, you know, they say, okay, we're going to make him score or make him pass. They really can't make me do what I don't want to do. I go out, and I play the game the right way. And whatever that moment, that possession presents itself, I try to do what's best for our team at that very moment.“

(LeBron, two nights ago, you said you had the No. 1 defense in the postseason. It's hard pressed to find too many stretches of the year where you guys were a top ten defense. Why now? What's going on that has made you guys so good in the playoffs?):
“We've gotten smarter. We've ramped up our communication to a level that, at times throughout the season, I didn't know we could get to, and we're flying around, and we're just helping one another in time of need. “

“It starts with this guy, first of all. Look at those All Defensive teams, and obviously he has a small window with us, but he will be on the All Defensive team in this league very soon. It starts with him, his approach. I love the defensive side. You have a guy like Dellavedova, who he takes a challenge and Double T protecting the rim. Mozzy as well in the starting lineup tonight. And everyone else, everyone takes it seriously. “

“We understand that ultimately, if we want to win long term, we have to defend. It's going to give us the best possible chance to win because the ball don't go through the rim all the time, and you have to be able to get stops. We've been able to do that thus far in our 4, 10, 12 games in the postseason.“

(What are you all doing at halftime? You come out in the third quarter the last two games and shut them down. What adjustments and what have you all seen in your game plan?):
“It's a total 360 from our last series. We were terrible in the third quarter versus the Bulls. We understood, if we want to be really good, we have to come out with a little bit more sense of urgency. We have to play more pedal to the metal in the third quarter. “

“Defensively, we've been locked in. When the ball is entered, either if it's their possession or it's our possession, we've just been very, very in tune with the game plan, and that's allowed us to get some leads in the third quarter and push the game out of reach. “

(LeBron, both of you guys talked about what you've done defensively. They've talked a lot about how they haven't played Hawks basketball. They've played more iso than they typically play. How much do you think what you guys have done, in terms of stopping their initial actions, has had to do with forcing them to play that way?):
“(Laughing). How do I want to answer this question? We're the No. 1 defensive team in the postseason for a reason. Obviously, it's a great offensive team that we're playing against. You can't stop a great offensive team. You just try to make it tough on them. That's all we're trying to do. We're just trying to make it tough on them every night contest all their jump shots, be in tune with the game plan, keep a body on a guy like Korver, who can break open a game by himself. “

“And that's all. That's all we can do. They're going to make shots, which they did tonight. They still made some shots. There were some possessions where we thought we could have been a little bit more in tune, but we just try to make it tough on them. That's all we can ask, and our coaching staff gives us the game plan, and it's up to us to go out and execute it, and that's what we've been doing so far in these first two games.“

(LeBron, do you ever think about just some of the guys that these last couple of games, you always, when you come up to the podium, you've got different guys joining you every time. What does that say about your team?):
“It's next man up. Guys are just taking the challenge. It means everything to me to be able to share this podium with multiple teammates. On every given night, Delly and Shump and J.R. and Ky and Tristan. It could be James Jones next. It could be anybody.
It means a lot. It means that, first of all, what they do, they do it very well. I got teammates that they don't try to outdo what they can do. They do what they do at a high level, and for me, I just try to lead them. Lead them the best way I can, and they go out and work for me, and I try to do the same for them.“

(LeBron, how important was it in the third quarter to keep the pedal down, build that lead up, and maybe not just for this game, but for momentum purposes going forward?):
“Well, we learned from Game 1. In Game 1 we had a big lead, and we started to play the clock, and that was my fault. I took that straight to the head. I knew, if I got that opportunity again, I wouldn't let that happen again. “

“So we happen to have the same thing happen today, and we just kept our foot on the gas. We had early shots in the shot clock, we took them. If not, we executed, and we were able to continue our roll and continue to defend as well. That was very important.“

(Shump, so many of the plays that were big in this game were three point baskets assisted by LeBron. When you receive a pass, a cross court pass from him, talk about the precision and why the delivery is so important in the success of the shot and his ability to make a pass from a difficult angle and difficult direction.):
“Well, a lot of the time you see you find yourself open, you find guys cheating, and you only got to tell this guy one time that somebody's sinking in a little too much, and he'll find you with that pass, like I said. Him snapping the ball at you, there's energy in that ball when you get it. You've just got to knock them down because you know, if he keeps driving it, he causes everybody to come in there and make all that traffic. Then just get your feet set and knock it down.“

(Shump, so many people know you as a defender, but as J.R. said yesterday, your biggest asset, he thinks, is being a two way player. So kind of a two part question: Game 1, you said you couldn't even throw it into the ocean. What was the difference? And come this time of season, how much do you really fuel off of your defense to get you going on both ends?):
“I try and approach each game the same way. With this team, we've got a lot of guys that can score the ball. So the easiest way to get myself going is by taking the best player on the other team or the most aggressive scorer on the other team out of the game. When I do that and my guys get going or we get steals and long rebounds and get out in transition, it makes things easier. The easier things become on the other end, the more things open up, the more I can get my offensive game going. “

“So what I try and do is just keep my defensive pressure up, and I know that on the other end, guys keep me aggressive, and I know I can pick my spots. “

(Iman, in what ways has your game improved since you joined the Cavs? Is LeBron responsible for any of that?):
“Improve, I think each and every day you just come to practice, and you try and improve yourself all around with your game. But the biggest thing that my teammates here have done for me is they simplify my job. A lot of times, I found myself indecisive, and here they just try and simplify things for me. They say sometimes I just want to do so much. “

“Just keep it simple. You get a shot, knock it down. A guy closes out on you, make a play, get to the rim, but don't try and do too much. Don't try and play outside yourself. Don't try and show them your whole game. Just simplify the game. The more I simplify my game, the better I become. “

“Give them credit; they've played well. Two games here, and our challenge now is to go to Cleveland and play better, get ready to compete, get ready for Game 3.“

(Past few games you'd gone with Mike Muscala in the rotation ahead of Mike Scott. Can you explain the decision behind starting with Mike Scott over Muscala tonight.):
“Just hopefully an opportunity to spread the court a little bit more, get some opportunities in transition and with pace. They've both played well. They're both good players; that's the hard part about coaching. Obviously, Mike Muscala's had a big impact in the playoffs, and Mike Scott also has at different times. “

“So just a chance to maybe spread it out, get a few looks, get the ball moving, play with more pace. Some of those things are kind of probably Mike Scott's strengths. “

(It just seems in these last two games your offense is not what we're used to seeing over the course of the season. I wonder if that's your sense or if there's an issue or two you see.):
“I think we've got to be a lot better offensively. There's a few different areas that we need to improve in, and that will be important for us between now and Game 3 to get better offensively. We still have to be good on the other end, too.“

(Coach, you guys were getting broken down a lot in the first quarter. Did that open up the three pointers later, and was that a problem, the penetration that they were getting? Was that a trouble for you?):
“Tonight was a night when at times you know, when you combine really good perimeter shooting I think they were at 64 percent at the half with good penetration, good attack game, that's when you become very difficult to guard. So we've got to be better at containing the penetration. We've got to be better at keeping people in front of us. And then when they do kick it, we've got to be better getting out to shooters.“

(They're missing Kevin Love. Tonight they were missing Kyrie Irving, and they still basically won pulling away from a team that had four All Stars and won 60 games. How is that happening exactly?):
“I think kind of what I opened with, I think their group is playing well regardless of who's on the court. I think ultimately, all that matters is the guys that are playing. They've played well in two games. I don't think we've been at our best. “

“So I think it's important to give them credit and important for us to figure out a way to play better going into Game 3, regardless of who's playing and who isn't playing, who did what during the season, who didn't do things. Right now we've just got to get better going into Game 3.“

(You guys assembled as good a five weeks of basketball as we've seen back in January and February. In an effort to try to recapture that, do you guys look at that film? Do you revisit that stuff? How do you draw upon that, in other words, to reapply it now?):
“No, you know, I don't think it's to go back and look, it's you know, the concepts and the ideas, there are a lot of things that really, whether we were doing them in the middle of the season, that we kind of talk about regularly and we've got to just execute them at a higher level. Things in the playoffs, it takes more. It takes better execution, better screening. You've got to do things harder. “

“So that's in the back of your memory, and you know that we're capable of it, but most importantly is how we play going forward. I don't think we need to be looking back. “

(LeBron seemed to be able to get where he wanted to on the floor tonight. How do you work to contain him the next couple games in the series?):
“I think that's a big key is trying to keep not just LeBron James, but all of them in front of us. Keep them squared up better, reduce the amount of penetration. We'll see if we can get it done in Game 3. That's going to be very important. “

(Mike, I understand it's a make or miss game sometimes, but is Cleveland a better defensive team than they were during the regular season? If so, what's makes them better right now?):
“I definitely think that, at least in these two games, they've shown an ability to defend and do things at a pretty high level. We do need to make some shots when we're open, but I think they're just I think it's going to be important for us to screen better and ultimately get guys open, get people, get penetration. That's the challenge of the defense; they're making it difficult. We'll see if we can be better. “

(From watching the games, it seems the two main problems the team is having is some rough starts coming out in the third period and still a real problem with three point shooting. You guys are about 10 or 15 percent below your average. Anything at all that you can say is causing this right now in the playoffs?):
“The third quarter I really can't speak to. It's hard to say. I think it is an important period. You need to come out prepared. You need to come out focused. “

“As far as the three point shooting, again, there's times when the defense throughout the playoffs, they make it a little more difficult on you, and we've got to do better at getting better looks, and then we've got to make some of the ones when we are open at a higher percentage, at a higher rate than we are to date. “

(Mike, Kyle left the game with seemingly an ankle injury. Al left the game briefly. DeMarre played. I wondered what you thought about how he held up physically at the game, what you saw from him, and what you can tell us about the injuries to the other two starters.):
“I think physically DeMarre was in a pretty good place. Considering the injury and what happened two nights ago, for him to be able to bounce back is a real statement for DeMarre, how he takes care of his body, how much work and time he puts in with our training staff, massages, various people that, I think, allowed him not to be as injured as seriously as we all were worried. “

“So I think physically DeMarre's in a pretty good place. Not perfect, but pretty good.“

“Kyle, his ankle, I think it was a pretty good I think Dellavedova or somebody kind of loose ball and landed on him or rolled into him. We'll know more tomorrow about Kyle. Again, same with DeMarre, we'll be hopeful that it's something relatively minor, and he'll be able to bounce back and play. I think until tomorrow we won't know more.“

“Al Horford, I think similar, had a couple he had two or three different times where he got hit in the same spot.“

“The feedback from him after the game, I think that he's going to be okay. I think that it's just one of those things. Couple hits, couple bangs, we're hopeful that he'll be fine going into Game 3.“

(On top of their hot shooting, they seem to be grabbing tons of offensive boards; they collected more than 25 percent of their misses. How do you guys work to contain that going forward?):
“I think containing the ball and containing penetration will help in a lot of different areas, help reduce the three point shooting, hopefully reduce the offensive rebounding. We've got to be better guarding the ball. We've got to get hits and get everybody to participate. Everything that I've been seeing really for the past couple of days and all year. We've got to get it done. “

(On the challenge):
“We just have to go there and fight. At this point, our backs are against the wall. They’re trying to put the foot on our throat. We have to come out swinging and fight to the end.”

(On the game getting away in the third):
“It’s the second game in a row. It really kind of hurt us. You have to give them credit. They do what they do. They move the ball, they get easy shots. They shot the crap out of the three tonight. We just have to give them credit.”

(On the fourth quarter):
“We feel like we had a chance. We were down 14 with a lot of time left. I think we came out and we got two out of three that didn’t fall, and you kind of deflate as a group. We have to take the next step (to get closer) and they were making some huge shots. Iman Shumpert was the guy tonight, making step-back three’s. J.R. Smith was Game 1. So I think once we start absorbing those and sticking to our route that got us here, I think we’ll be fine.”

(On the ball not moving):
“I did feel like the ball was sticking. Credit to them and their defense. We got away a little bit there from playing Hawks basketball. Then you have to give them credit. They got going. They were making shots. They were making timely three’s on the break. I think that kind of broke us there.”

(On the team’s struggles):
“It’s happened to us this season. It hasn’t been perfect for us. For the most part, we’ve been good. Now, really, our backs are against the wall going on the road. But we still have a great opportunity. We have to better moving the ball offensively. Our defense is good at times. I feel like it can be better. If we’re not boarding the ball, we’re not going to give ourselves much of a chance.”

(On the third quarter):
“They just got going, three after three. We didn’t really have defensive pressure on the ball. They threw some easy passes and they knocked down shots.”

(On going on the road):
“It’s the first to four. They have two wins right now. We just have to go up there and try to steal two. We have try to keep improving each and every day. “

(DeMarre, wondering how you felt physically tonight, how you felt you were able to perform on the knee and how it felt to you during the game.):
“Physically, I got out there. So you know, I must have felt good. You know, when you're a little kid, you dream of opportunities like this, playing in the Eastern Conference Finals and playing against one of the best players in the world. I didn't care if I had one leg, I wasn't going to let this pass me by. “

“But at the end of the day, we went out there, and we didn't have a lot of energy. I think that was the biggest thing.“

“Give them credit. They played great. But it's not about me, it's about the team.“

(DeMarre, LeBron's tough to guard anyway. How much more difficult is it when he kind of changes how he's playing midgame? It seemed like he started out attacking, and the second quarter, he switched to point forward. Does it make it more difficult when he changes that way midstream?):
“It's always difficult to guard LeBron, but he's a physical player and a smart player. He knew I was injured, so he came at me full force. I would have done the same if he was injured. “

“But at the end of the day, he's a great player. He led his team to victory. We didn't come out and do what we needed to do on our home court.“

(DeMarre, only 15 assists for you guys as a team today. Is there kind of a sense within the huddles that you guys are playing a little bit more isolation ball than you had in the past?):
“Yeah, we knew that. That's what we said at the end of the game, that we played too much isolation ball. We didn't play our team ball, and that's what really hurt us. “

“I think the biggest thing going into Game 3, we've got to look at film and get back to playing Atlanta Hawks basketball, because I think we didn't do that tonight.“

(You said you didn't have a lot of energy tonight as a team. How does that happen?):
“I don't know, man. I think we just came out flat. How does that happen? I don't know. We just came out flat. I think that's just something we've got to go back and regroup and get ready for Game 3. “

(DeMarre, I beg your pardon if you've already answered this: How did you feel once you got out there? You led the team in minutes. How was the leg?):
“It was a leg. I got out there. We all know I wasn't 100 percent. We all know that. But at the end of the day, I got out there. That was my biggest thing.“

(Prior to the game, I saw you taking some drills over on the practice court. What was the decision making process like in that final hour?):
“The doctors, my agent, Coach Bud, they wanted to see, you know, basically, if I can get out there and I can compete. They felt comfortable with me over there, and the doctor felt comfortable. They told me everything it couldn't get no worse.“

“So I got out there and tried to help my team win. It didn't happen, but, hey, like I said before, I wouldn't turn this chance down. I wouldn't have turned this opportunity down for the world. I would have went out there with one leg because, at the end of the day, it's about the team. It's not about myself. We worked too hard for me to just give up like that.“

(A lot of confidence has gotten this team to the No. 1 seed but to be down two games, still has to be some confidence in that locker room saying despite not playing the basketball, you guys are the better team, that you're not out to just steal one, you're going to get two on the road. What's your mindset right now in agreeing with that?):
“We've been through a lot of obstacles this year, especially these playoffs. To be down 0 2, we take it as the first of four. Coach always tells us that. We take it one game at a time. I think we're still confident. Nobody is in the locker room hanging their head, but at the end of the day, we know we've just got to go out there and compete. We haven't played Hawks basketball. So hopefully, we can take that on the road.“

(Just wondering from both of you, this is not the offense we're used to seeing for 60 wins in the regular season. Just kind of wondering what are the issues here, at least this series?):
“The issue, I think we just you know, we got to get back to playing unselfish basketball. I think sometimes we get down, and everybody tries to take over one on one. But at the end of the day, we know we're not moving the ball like we should. We know we didn't play a great game. We know we didn't play a team game. It's just something we've got to get better at, man. We're down 0 2. It's not the end of the world. We still feel confident. We still feel we can go to Cleveland and win. We did in the regular season. “

“We've just got to have positive energy and get back on the practice floor and get back into the film room and figure it out. “

(DeMarre, defensively, you guys were able to close out and contest on some of the three point shots. What do you think the difference will be when you guys go to Cleveland in order to make the adjustments you need in order to affect their three point shooting?):
“I think we've got to individually keep our man in front of us, especially myself. They've got great three point shooters. They try to close out that many shots, you've got to give them credit. But at the end of the day, defense has to figure it out. That's Coach Bud's job, and I think he'll be ready. “

(Dennis, how do you guys go to Cleveland now and keep a positive mindset?):
“I think we just want to go out there and compete, play as a team, and I think we didn't do that first two games at home. I think we've got to go out there and just compete for 48 minutes and try to win the game over there.“


  • The Cavaliers outrebounded the Hawks 47-39. In the first two games combined, Cleveland has outrebounded Atlanta 96-76.
  • Cleveland limited Atlanta to a Hawks’ postseason-low 15 assists.
  • LeBron James recorded 30 points (10-22 FG, 2-7 3FG, 8-11 FT), 11 assists, nine rebounds and one block in 39 minutes. LeBron posted his eighth double-double of this postseason and 68th of his playoff career. James tallied his sixth 30-plus point outing of this postseason and 74th of his playoff career.