Postgame Quotes - December 20, 2017

Pistons Head Coach Stan Van Gundy

 (On Mavericks outscoring in the second half)

“For the whole game, but especially the last three quarters, you had one team [Dallas] played with a much higher level intensity, and a much higher level of offensive energy. It was too much for us, we could not stand up to their energy and intensity; we didn’t bring that to the game. We got dominated.”

 (On getting beat on the dribble)

“No resistance whatsoever, the ball was in the paint that second quarter all the time. We couldn’t contain any of their guards. Ferrell, Barea, Harris, Smith Jr., none of them. We couldn’t contain any of them; they were right by us all night long.”

 (On picking up after getting defensive stops)

“Terrible, we didn’t play with good offensive energy. Their defensive pressure flattened us out. To me, it was as simple as one team played a lot harder on the defensive end, and with a lot more quickness and energy on the offensive end. That told the whole story of the game.”

Detroit Forward Anthony Tolliver

 (On tonight’s game)

 “Tonight they just played harder than we did. They got into us from the very beginning. Even though we were hitting shots early and made it a game, we never built a sense of urgency on the defensive end. We started missing shots and they kept making shots. These are always learning experiences, especially with all of our young guys. It’s not just a young guy thing though; myself and everyone is included in here. We can’t take nights- I wouldn’t say it was off, but we just didn’t play our brand of basketball tonight on the defensive end. If we don’t play our brand of basketball, it’s not going to be good results.” 

(On the Mavericks’ second quarter)

 “Part of it- they were making shots, but part of it was us making mistakes. I feel like they just had an unbelievable quarter where they literally didn’t miss. We could have prevented some of those ourselves by playing better one-on-one defense and not allowing them to break down our defense as much as they did. But that’s how it was all night. They play a lot of quick guards out there, and so we just quite made that adjustment. It wasn’t just the guards. (Mavericks forward) Harrison Barnes was getting around us as well and making plays. We just didn’t take the challenge tonight as well as we should have. Like I said, we can learn from it and move forward.” 

Mavericks Head Coach Rick Carlisle 

(On Smith Jr.’s return)

“Bad, great, shaky, and good. It’s gonna be tough coming off of two weeks not playing an NBA game. The beginning was a struggle, I have to say, the way he helped us finish the first half was probably the difference in the game. He’s extremely important to us. I thought the second half, they made a run, but it certainly wasn’t his fault. I like the way he finished the game, he was out there calling plays based on the personnel. He did some good things; it’s good to have him back. It really helps our minutes situation, it’s good to get your feet wet when you haven’t been in there for a while. . . . Beginning of the game is tough when you have an attacking point guard, when he came back in the second corner, his stretch was the decisive stretch in the game. It got our crowd into it, energized our team. Nobody else on our team can make those plays like he can. The ‘and – ones’, the ‘three in the two for one’ situation was huge, he picked up his defense in a big way. Our guards did a terrific job tonight creating some ball pressure and some aggression.” 

(On telling the players they needed to play a perfect game)

“We’re not going to play a perfect game, but we have to be thinking that way. We’re a team that is heavily reliant on one another. You saw it tonight, when the ball sticks we struggle offensively. Defensively, when everyone is tied together, we can do some good things. I thought we put together a terrific effort, we have to sustain this, and that’s been our challenge.” 

(On defending Andre Drummond)

“We tried to keep a body on him. I don’t think he had foul trouble, Stan [Van Gundy] was trying different people as we made a couple of runs. I’m not sure we did anything super great, but I’m a big Drummond fan. I’ve seen a lot of his games on scout films, when we’re watching other teams. So, I’ve seen Detroit a lot. Their team is better and he’s better, but I’m glad he didn’t have a big game tonight. That makes it really hard when he throws one of those 16 rebounds, 13 point games at you.”

Mavericks Guard Dennis Smith Jr.

 (On what it’s like watching the games)

“Definitely, I can just sit back and observe from first quarter to the end of the game. I got a whole new perspective about it, I got to watch J.J. a lot, Yogi and Devin, and those are the good guys, so I picked up a few things from them.”

 (On watching teammates do pick and rolls)

“Yea it is, just watching them you can see the read and whenever they find Dwight you figure out how they found him and why they threw it; so I picked up on a couple of those. “

 Mavericks Forward Guard Wesley Matthews

 “I don’t think he (Coach Carlisle) really had to say anything, we all knew, we knew what the problem was. They had nineteen points transition in the first half and I think they had 53 for the half so half their points were coming off of us just not doing what we were supposed to do. “

“We are at our best when the ball is moving, but for it to move we have to get stops and we knew this was a very good defensive, rounding team altogether and to have it within even was beneficial to us. Then we can get out and go, we can run, we can exploit matchups, and play in space, and obviously having Dennis back is a big help.”