Postgame Quotes - February 26, 2018


The guys were battling tonight, what’s your message after this one?

Well you can’t highlight everything, obviously we had a lot of offensive struggles and our bad offence led to some bad defence. Two main things that have been pretty common over the last few games on the defensive end that we’ve talked about is we are not doing a good job getting back and getting matched up. Twenty-five fast-break points tonight and a lot of those threes came in transition where we weren’t matched up. We are just not doing a good job of closing out to people at all. We are closing short or we are flying in the air so we’re not getting to people. That’s the two things we talked about. Obviously, they also had 17 second chance (points) and offensively we could just never get anything going. I thought we battled hard to get back in the game in the second quarter and then the first six minutes of the third quarter were bad and then it was over from there.

On the 14-0 run early in the third quarter…

They just hit us hard at the beginning of the third quarter and again that is what I have been saying if you go back on those we had I think five really bad offensive possessions that led to buckets the other way. Turnovers and really, really bad tough quick shots. They got into us, we didn’t move the ball at all which I thought we did a pretty good job in the first half even though we didn’t shoot the ball well. We just gave them easy opportunities in transition.

BLAKE GRIFFIN (12 points)

How important is it at a time like this to remain optimistic?

Very important, I think playing as many games as I have, knowing ups and downs, knowing what other teams have gone through and will go through, so we can’t hang our heads, nobody’s going to feel sorry for us. We got to get back to work, figure some stuff out and need some wins.

What makes the Raptors defense so tough to score against?

They do a good job, you know, they’re on the same page. This team, this group, this core group has been together for a long long time, even the new guys; the younger guys have been in the system and know what they’re doing. So they’re a really good team, there’s a reason they have the best home record, but like I said, we helped them a lot by missing so many shots.

JAMES ENNIS III (10 points, 6 rebounds)

On controlling the little things…

You can’t teach effort, you know, it comes from … inside you, and that’s what we have got to do. Stan (Van Gundy) said the effort plays, us diving on the ball, boxing out, just getting loose balls and once we take control of that and we’ll give ourselves a better chance.



What are you seeing from Serge (Ibaka) in terms of his shooting success?

He’s stepping into his shot, and being shot ready. There are teams that are now running out at him, closing out and trying to make him play inside the three-point line. I think the most important think you have to do if you’re him is you have to be down and ready, and be set to shoot the ball, and I think he’s doing a better job at that. He’s finding shots in transition and he’s doing a better job getting into the paint, making plays and spraying it out and finding people when they do run him off. That’s the next evolution of his game, making a decision on whether he’s going to finish it or kick it out if they converge on him. But he’s doing a heck of a job making sure he is shot ready and stepping into his shot.

On Pascal’s (Siakam) play making…

He’s done a heck of a job of working on his ball handling, decision making, understanding, and taking up the gap when teams don’t close out to him all the way. He’s learned that skill. I’m really impressed with Pascal. His energy is an NBA skill. I’m telling you, he sets the tone for that second unit and that speed that they play with. He’ll embarrass you if you don’t play to his speed and his tempo. That’s a skill that he has.

On OG (Anunoby) scoring under the basket…

That was good to see, really good to see. I was really excited to see that just because of all the confident things he can do that’s going to make him a better offensive player. He does a heck of a job defensively, gives us the big body. We just need the sweat plays under the basket, making cuts, running the floor, all the little things because he’s not having a lot of plays called for him right now. He’s got to do all the little things and beat everybody down the floor, like Pascal (Siakam) does.

KYLE LOWRY (20 points, six rebounds, four assists)

What changed in the third quarter that allowed you to pull away?

Made some shots. We knew that they were coming off a back-to-back, so we kept the pace going. We got stops and offensively once you get stops on defense it makes the offense much easier.  

DEMAR DEROZAN (20 points, seven assists)

On the team’s play in third quarter...

We came out aggressive on both ends. Whenever we play great team defense it gives us the opportunity to get out and just play and run our offense, which is just playing, making reads and that’s when we are at our best and we were knocking down shots. 

On the ability of the bigs to be playmakers...

It’s big. If you look at the game of basketball now it’s so versatile for the bigs being able to handle the ball, bring down the ball and it makes the game that much easier when you have perimeter guys that get out and know how to play and know how to score. 

FRED VANVLEET (eight points, four rebounds)

On the team’s play in the third quarter...

I think we just tightened up defensively, got some stops and get out on transition a little bit. Obviously, when the shots go in it makes it easier, so just kind of clamped down. They were getting a lot of offensive rebounds and back doors. There were a lot of mental lapses on our part and I thought we did a good job tightening up there. The starters came in and set the tone in that third and the bench just tried to do what we do coming in there.


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