04/28/11 Post Game Quotes - Hornets vs. Lakers

Thursday, April 28, 2011
Final Score: New Orleans 80, Los Angeles 98

Hornets Post Game Quotes

Head Coach Monty Williams
On how he pleased he is with his players for taking the Lakers to Game 6:
“Our players exemplified all the good things that sports are about. They didn’t give in. They didn’t listen to the doubters. They just came to work every day and busted their tails and they believed that they could do more than even they thought. I have been blessed to be around an unbelievable group of guys and their families for a basketball season. We saw the fruit of that tonight. Guys played even though we were out of the game and they played until the last horn sounded. That is how we were able to exceed the expectations. As bad as I feel right now, the joy I feel comes from being around this group and being around good people. It’s a long season and the grind, unless you’ve done it you just have no idea what it is about and it can wear you out if you are around knuckleheads. And I have been around a few groups that can drive you crazy. This group was exceptional.”

On his role as a head coach:
“I have a long way to go. I feel like I am going to spend the summer really trying to get better at my craft. I have never been one to settle and I feel like there is so much room for me to improve. Some areas I need to back off of, some areas I need to get better at, and I am not going to spend a lot of time grading myself but I think when you have a good group of guys like we have it’s easier for me to coach. When you have a Chris Paul, a David West, an Emeka Okafor, a Trevor Ariza, core guys like that then you add Willie (Green) and Jarrett (Jack) and all the guys that just busted their tails all year long it makes me look better as a coach than I should.”

On the most disappointing thing:
“Losing. I could talk about the second chance points, I could talk about not making shots but the bottom line is we lost. Just losing. You’re out. Like Coach Malone was saying the back everything comes to a screeching halt in the playoffs when you lose. You pour so much into one game and when it’s an elimination game and you lose, it just comes to an abrupt end and you hate to be on this side of it. It’s something that we certainly can grow from, get better at it and I believe we’ve laid the foundation for, Lord willing, many years to come.”

Hornets Guard Willie Green
“It’s always a tough feeling to lose a game and know the season is over. Hats off to them, they were a better team, tonight. They did a good job of doing what it takes to win. They have a lot of size with Gasol, Bynum, Artest and Odom. They are a good team. To have an opportunity to play here is a privilege. We hung together and stuck together. It’s a credit to our organization. Our upper management guys, our coaching staff, they work hard all year long. The guys in this locker room are good character guys. We have a lot to be proud about and we have some things we can build on. The fans did a great job of coming out and supporting us. They were just as pumped up as we were.”

Hornets Guard Jarrett Jack
On the season:
”It was pretty much and up and down season for all of us, as far as health is concerned and the way we played. All in all, you can’t be anything but happy with the way we finished. Guys played hard each and every game. I thought the fans did a good job and supported us throughout the season. We gave it everything we had, we just came up short. The fans did a good job of being rowdy and being a hostile environment. They were behind us all season and especially come playoff time. We thank them for their support.”

On the playoffs:
“I don’t know if any of us are pleased by just taking them to a sixth game. We came to win the series, not just to play tough and lose. The effort was there. The fight was there. We just came up short.”

Hornets Center Aaron Gray
On the season coming to an end:
“It’s hard right now. There’s a lot of hurt in this locker room by guys that didn’t want the season to end tonight. As far as this year goes, we made a lot of strides as a team. Being one of the four players left from last year to this year, we’ve had so many changes in a positive way. The leadership from the top management, the coaching staff, our captains."

Hornets Guard Chris Paul
On the game:
“They played well. We just lost to a really, really good team. It’s obvious why those guys are the two-time defending champs. Those guys made shots and we missed shots. Then we get a bad whistle and it’s going to be a long night for us. We couldn’t get too much to go our way. In the last three games of the series, seems that bout the first play of the game, Emeka got called for fouls and stuff like that. A team like that is tough to beat. They did a really good job of closing the lane down. I think a lot of the credit goes to Derek Fisher. I told him after the game that he played unbelievable defense for the entire series. They way he was pressuring … D Fish gets up on one side of you and you can drive by, but then you have the twin towers standing down there in the middle of the lane waiting on you. They use their length to their advantage. I still tried to find my spots, but the lane was packed and D fish was in my pocket all night long. The only way to get guys off of you is to play physical. I tried that early in the game and got an offensive foul, but that’s a really good team that we played.”

Lakers Post Game Quotes

Head Coach Phil Jackson
On the win:
“The first half we had opportunities, again in the second quarter and kind of gave us a little margin going into halftime. We do well as a team and we try to get ahead. We had a nice run and we got back to six and eight (point lead) and extended it to double digits. We played well tonight and I thought they played as big as they could play. Kobe (Bryant) had a game where he took chances, and he’s a risk-taker, and got the attack the rim and took control of the game in the fourth quarter and extended the lead. New Orleans is an impressive team and made some real hard runs. I think the size and depth of our team worn them down at the end.”

On the series:
“The series is over, so it’s all about the next matchup. That matchup will be about finding a way to dominate a team or take control of the series. It took us some time to figure out this team. Tonight was our best defensive effort.”

On the Lakers toughness compared to past games in the series:
“They were dominated by just the physical aggressiveness of New Orleans. They were much more aggressive than we were the first game. It was a consequence that we were struggling playing and they felt they had to finish against Chris Paul. Of course, they played a very physical game against him and they were able to take that first game from us. They started feeling they had to do what they had to do out there on the offensive end and the defensive end and they were much better. Tonight, our second chance points were different than what we would like to see as opposed as to what happened on Sunday.”

On the next series:
“Our upcoming series will have our next opponents: Portland or Dallas. Dallas does have matchup size. They are big and (Dirk) Nowitzki is a seven-footer and so is their center, Tyson Chandler. Obviously, (Brendan) Heywood is a seven-footer. So they have size, but these guys (Lakers) have proven their dominance by their size. This is the reason why we are champions.”

On the Lakers defense:
“Well, I thought Chris (Paul) was looking to get his team involved a lot. He took two shots in the first half. That was an issue. You look to keep the pace in the game and we were able to extend (the lead) a little bit at halftime. He came back and played much more aggressively in the second half. Things got a lot better as the game went through as playing screen-on defense."

Lakers Guard Derek Fisher
On the game:
“I think we weathered the storm early. We didn’t get off to a great start. But we didn’t allow the emotion and the energy in the building to get to us early. Even though we didn’t play well, we hung right in there. In the third quarter we finally found a little bit of space to get some separation.“

On getting in their groove:
“I think we’re definitely a team that’s better as things build. We ended the regular season on a Wednesday and the first game of the playoffs is Sunday, and then game two is not until Wednesday. We haven’t been a team that plays well when we play one game in a week. We need to play, develop a rhythm and continue to improve through playing. I don’t know if it’s swagger, or what you want to call it, but I think we are able to find rhythm and improve in a playoff series. That really provides an advantage for us.”

On the win:
“I think we smelled an opportunity to end the series. As we’ve learned over the years, when you have an opportunity to close a team out, you have to figure out a way to bring whatever is necessary to do it while you have the chance. If you allow a team to make it to the next game, then maybe they are the ones who find some magic and they take you out. We smelled an opportunity to finish it out, and I’m glad we were able to do that on their court.”

Lakers Guard Steve Blake
On their defense:
“We just tried to put our bigs behind us and try to push them in the direction that they want us to push them. The bigs were up making it tough for them when they were trying to come off those screens. It helps that our defense was a lot better for us tonight.”

On their next opponent:
"We just need to focus on us right now. It’s going to be interesting to see how that pans out. It doesn’t really matter to us who we play.”

On the game:
“I think this game was the best of the six. There were some times when we played better offensively. But overall I think it was the most dominant performance we’ve had so far.”

Lakers Forward Ron Artest
On defending Chris Paul:

“I’ve played a lot of guys; for years they’ve been going at me. So, I’m used to getting my ankles broke or someone scoring on me, but I’m still going to recover. I’m used to that. For years I’ve been guarding the best players. I’ve seen everything.“

On getting in their groove:
“We’ve got a lot of talent on this team. Sometimes it’s easy to forget that we still have to work hard. Hard work will beat talent any day of the week.”

Lakers Guard Kobe Bryant
On this series:
“We got a chance to really work on our biggest grievance which is screen-and-roll defense. That was a big challenge for us to play and we played our best to work on it.”

On the win:
“Well, it’s communicating and whether things are working. It helps our morale and develops the right kind of energy that you need to win games. It helps us offensively.”

On the ability to close games on the road:
“Well, we need to make adjustments as the series goes on. It comes from our coaching staff and it comes from us and experience that we have had. We were able to put it together.”

On playing Dallas Mavericks or Portland Trailblazers next series:
“They are both tough teams. They like to run with us, so we just have to see how it shapes out.”

On closing out games on the road:
“It’s more enjoyable to do it on the road, because you can take the crowd out of it. It’s more intense. It’s much more enjoyable to do it in a hostile environment.”

On containing Chris Paul:
“He was tired…he was tired. He was all over the place this series; all over the place. Tonight, he looked a little tired, but it was not something he did defensively. We tried to make things tough and we tried to crowd him a bit. That little sucker is tough.”


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