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Nets-Raptors Postgame Quotes

Head Coach Kenny Atkinson, Brooklyn Nets

On how Toronto was able to turn it around in the second half after Brooklyn’s hot start:
“I thought (Fred) VanVleet came in and changed the game. I just think his pressure, his aggressiveness, his grit, he really changed the game. I think behind him, they have two big time rim protectors in (Serge) Ibaka and (Jonas) Valanciunas, which allows them to be aggressive on the perimeter and that’s why they are a heck of a defensive team. I think a sign of a great team is a team that can beat you in different ways. I thought we did a good job on (Kyle) Lowry and (DeMar) DeRozan considering the great players they are, and Valanciunas had a great game. I thought CJ Miles – those three threes. We foul him once, give three free throws and then he hits two threes. That got the separation there. I thought our guys, I thought we were aggressive. I thought we competed, I thought we were in it and it just slipped away at the end. We missed some shots, some bunnies, some shots I thought we had a good shot at making and they come down and they made their shots. That’s how the separation – I’m a little disappointed the score says what it says because I thought the game was closer than that. I thought we were in it pretty much the whole game and then, bang, that’s how explosive they are.”

On how the Nets handled going small tonight against Jonas Valanciunas and the Raptors:
“I think we kind of figured, this is how have to. Our chance of beating them was to spread them out. And it worked for most of the game and then it’s pick your poison. Obviously, he’s a big guy in there but he does that to big guys. He just had an excellent game. It’s funny, the first half, offensive rebounds really hurt us and then the second half I thought we did a really good job on the boards. I think they only had four offensive rebounds in the second. The first half, it obviously hurt us.”

D'Angelo Russell

On your first quarter performance:
“My teammates, they got me open. Transition – they found me, they made the extra pass to me. Give a lot of credit to them.”

On the Raptors’ defensive adjustments after his hot start:
“They trapped me, forced me to pass it. We just missed shots down the stretch. I think if we make those shots it might be a different game.”

On if he wanted to stay in the game after his hot start:
“No, it’s been the same rotation for the last few games. Coach makes that decision. I just try to adjust with it.”

On Fred VanVleet’s defensive effort:
“He’s a solid defender. He’s pesky. I give him a lot of credit. He plays solid defense.”

On how tough the Raptors were defending at the rim:
“We missed a lot of shots at the end there that dictated the game, bunnies at the rim, wide open threes, stuff like that. Like I said, if we make those shots it’s a different game.”

DeMarre Carroll

On following the game plan but being unable to win:
“We were frustrated but at the end of the day, we’ve got to keep chipping away, keep trying to grind. They’re a great ball club; they’re number one for a reason. If we can compete with a team like that, that says a lot about ourselves, so we’ve just got to try to do it for a whole 48, and we can’t look for help because nobody is going to give us help.”

On the difficulties of playing small:
“It was very challenging. We had to play fast, and I think we did a good job. We had to go up and down, spread the floor, and hit a lot of threes. In the second half, we missed those types of shots we were making early on. We worked tough and everybody did at the end of the day. We didn’t get the win, and that’s what we wanted the most.”

On D’Angelo Russell’s recent play:
“He’s just getting aggressive. He’s been aggressive in taking his shots. They are open shots that are swing- swings and not those forced shots. They are not what he used to take; you can tell he’s been training and taking shots that the defense gives him, and he’s not trying to force it.”

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