Postgame Quotes - February 3, 2018

DETROIT PISTONS HEAD COACH STAN VAN GUNDY:  (On complimentary players): “A key win is right. We just played really hard and so did they. They’re a really hard playing, really, really physical team. I have to get figured out offensively. I’m not helping him (Blake Griffin) or us a lot. You could actually see today in the early fourth quarter, we were actually a lot smoother when he was out because we were just playing. I’ve got this great player now and we’re just sort of playing to him all the time and the defensive is all loaded up. Blake felt the same way talking after the game. We just need to play, get the ball moving and he’ll find his way. I thought I made it really tough on him and our team offensively and we’ll try to get that worked out. Really happy with our defense down the stretch. They’re really, really hard to guard and with all that movement, I thought our guys did a good job.”

(On last play): “He knew what the play was, he was trying to get Andre (Drummond) where he wanted him. Blake hits a three, Ish hits three, it’s to me, the karma of making the right play. It’s a five-time All-Star going to the basket who can try to muscle that in the basket and do that; he sees a guy wide open and makes a play, makes the right play, and you live with the result.”

(On how Blake Griffin elevates the play of others): “He had seven assists tonight, that certainly helps. I think, number one, you get a guy of Blake’s caliber your belief and your optimism goes up. Number two, he’s a physical guy. The one play under the boards where he kept going after it, he got fouled twice. We just watched it, they’re grabbing his shoulder. Instead of stopping and crying, he just keeps battling and gets the ball in the basket. Those are inspiring plays to a team. No question about it. Andre’s had some of those, too. Those are inspiring plays. With he and Stanley (Johnson) out there, we have a lit bit more of a physical element. I think that’s all good. Those guys all played well. Ish (Smith) played great, Andre was tremendous. He’s (Griffin) drawing all the attention, they’re not getting quite as much so it open things up. I thought (Anthony) Tolliver was great, too. We’re so far down in perimeter guys, we’re playing him at the three guarding Josh Richardson. We don’t have many perimeter guys so that’s what we had to do. He was playing three and four. You do what you have to do.”  

DETROIT PISTONS GUARD STANLEY JOHNSON:  (On elevating their energy in the fourth): “Yeah, right now we’ve got to.  Playing with Blake is still new to us.  We had an hour and a half, and now, we’ve had, what 2 days now?  So it’s still not the greatest stuff in the world, but, if we can do that every night, regardless with what we have in, it doesn’t matter.  It really doesn’t matter – we’ll give ourselves a really good chance to win.  So, we want to bring that to every game, and it’s really great that we can do it now, especially not having really the communication that we need.  It’s not that we’re bad, it’s just kind of what we’re doing right now.”

(On the 3-game winning streak and if it feels like it’s a reset): “I mean that’s what we aim to do.  We added an all-star caliber player to our team and boom we take off a little bit.  Every game is a game.  We try to win every game and we’ve got to keep this going.  We’re a couple games behind where we want to be, so we’ve got to keep pushing.”

DETROIT PISTONS FORWARD BLAKE GRIFFIN: (On how much more he’s comfortable after two wins with the team): “We’re comfortable for sure, just a little more tired today.  The adrenaline wore off a little bit and just the toll of the week. But, it’s amazing to see all these guys step up and play so well.  Andre (Drummond) was unbelievable tonight.  Ish (Smith), Langston (Galloway), you can go on down the line and probably name a big play or a big moment that everybody had.  So, this was like the true definition of a team win, to me.”

(On what it was in the fourth quarter with guys locking in and playing together): “I thought we locked in at times and got stops.   The beginning of the fourth quarter, the unit that was in there was huge.  Getting stops, getting open, executing offensively, getting open shots,  and then knocking down shots was huge.  So, if we play like that, we’ll be tough to beat.”

MIAMI HEAT HEAD COACH ERIK SPOELSTRA: (On the pushback at the end of the game): “If you’re going to come back on somebody else’s floor, you’re going to have to try to really grapple and try to make sure that it’s on your terms.  We’ve had some of these where we’ve won and done it our way and we’ve had others that it’s done their way.  It’s a painful lesson.  We have to keep on grinding.  We know what our roadmap is – giving up 35 in the fourth (quarter) is not the formula.  There were some brilliant and great offensive plays going down the stretch, really both teams but if you want to walk away out of this building with a tough road win, you have to somehow find a way to keep them to low 20s – or we would prefer even under 20.  It’s not easy against good offensive teams and that’s the point and it’s not easy on the road.”

(On Blake Griffin’s impact on the game at the end): “That one was played the way we would play it.  On that one, you do have to tip your hat off to Griffin for making the right play but Smith stepping up to an open 3.  The idea was to make sure it’s anyone but, and it was.  Smith stepped up and regardless of whether he’s known as a 3-point shooter or not, it was an open look, clean look, in rhythm when he made the play.”

MIAMI HEAT GUARD KELLY OLYNYK: (On if there was anything that had to happen for the offense to feel like second nature): “No.  I mean, we play with everybody everyday in practice.  So, it’s not really an issue.”

(On Goran Dragic and what flowed his way to get him going as much as he did): “Yeah, just freeing him up a little bit, screen his handoff… if we’re going downhill.  He’s an unbelievable player, he’s going to do what he does.”