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Round 1 Game 1: Pelicans-Trail Blazers Postgame Quotes 4-14-18
HEAD COACH ALVIN GENTRY
What was it like to see Blazers charge back and to see your guys close it out?
"Well, if you know that team and you know the players on that team, Dame is not going to just go away quietly. He never has and never will, so we knew that they would make a charge. I think the thing that bothered me is that they did it because we turned the ball over and they did it on second shots. And so, that's something that's very correctable on our side of the basketball. So we've got to do a better job with that. I haven't taken a look, but even in the first half, they has 36 points and 16 of those came on second shots or our turnovers, so that's the scenario that we've got to obviously improve in. I don't know if you can do a better job on those two guards than Jrue and those guys did. I think they ended up 13 for 41, something like that. If you can have those two guys do that, then you've done a great job. Like I said, the thing that we have to address is the offensive rebounds and we've got to take better care of the ball. But I think that offensively, we can play better too. I thought we got a little stagnant, stopped running and started playing a little bit of isolation basketball which is not what we are."
You've raved all season about Holiday's defense, how special was he down the stretch?
"It's funny because the last clip on the edit for the guys today, we always put a clip on there that says game winning plays and actually it was Jrue blocking a shot in the Portland game. Same guy, almost the exact same area and he came up with another block. I just think, like I've said, as far as a two-way player right now with Kawhi Leonard not dressed down and playing, I don't know if there's a better two-way player in the game. We ask him to try to get 20 points of us every night and we also ask him to guard the best perimeter player on the other team regardless of the size or who it is."
How important was it for the team's confidence to win the first one?
"I think any time you can go on the road and win a game, especially a playoff game, they always say the series doesn't start until you win on the road. I thought that our mentality has been that way the whole season. We're one of the few teams that has as good a road record as we do at home, so we feel comfortable playing on the road. I just think that if you can win the first game it kind of takes the total edge off. I told the guys the one thing we've got to do is that we've got to try to do the same thing in a couple days here. You can't take anything for granted, we've still got to play with the same intensity that we played with and like I said, we've just got to correct those two areas. I think we're a much better offensive team than we showed when we play with flow and we didn't play with very much flow today. For some reason, we got into one on one and isolations situations and not very much ball movement. We have to do better."
You joked before the game that a few years ago you watched Davis drop 35 and 11 against you, what was it like to be on this side of that?
"I like him being on my team. I like that a lot better than playing against him. We talked during the last timeout, we said there are going to be two rebounds that we have to have. We get them, we'll win the game and if we don't, we're probably going to lose and he came up with both rebounds."
We've gotten used to Davis putting up numbers but this was this first playoff win important to him?
"I think it's very much important to him that we find a way to win, not just the game but he wants to win the series. He said he's going to do everything he can to possibly help us do that. Tonight he made the two plays down the stretch, the rebounds that he came away with."
On winning his first NBA playoff game:
"It's huge. It's something we have to get better at. I think we played well overall and did a great job defensively on Dame [Lillard] and CJ [McCollum]. We could rebound the ball a bit better, but we got the win, that's all that matters. We'll watch some film, make some adjustments and get ready for Tuesday."
On New Orleans' guards defensive plan:
"I don't want to talk about it too much in detail, but we just wanted to make sure that we put as much pressure on Damian and CJ as possible and make someone else be listening. The other guys made shots, then the shots were going their way, but our main focus was to make it hard on Dame and CJ."
On Rajon Rondo:
"He was huge. He's got the mindset, he was up all night watching film. Even when they were calling plays out tonight, he was telling us what it was but our version before they even got a chance to run it so he's definitely locked in. The way he played tonight, 17 assists, getting guys involved, talking, making sure we're huddling up at the free throws, make sure we know what we're doing out of timeouts. He's just in a different mode and he's playing well, he played well for us tonight, so we'll need him for the rest of the playoffs."
On his emotions during the last stop of the game:
"It's the playoffs. A lot of excitement and a lot of energy especially in the building. Obviously, that was a really big stop and at that moment it felt good to get a stop. Felt good to know that all the hard work we put in this game, we got the win, so we did a really good job at that."
On the confidence that winning game one on the road does:
"It's huge, obviously that was the plan to come here and get a win on their homecourt and to be able to do that in the first game is really big. Honestly, man, I think we're all just really excited to be here and be playing. I think we're all appreciative of everything we've been through this season and just to be able to get this first win under our belt builds a lot of confidence for the next game and here on out."
On what Assistant Coach Darren Erman brings to the team:
"He's a defensive mastermind. Obviously, it takes a team effort but with him he's always active, as you guys can see. He's always saying something, he's always in the computer watching film so shout out to him but honestly the job on the guards today, I think it was big. The way they were reacting just made it hard on them. It was fun to play."