Postgame Quotes - January 28, 2018

HEAD COACH STAN VAN GUNDY

 (On the game tonight): “Well we didn’t run back on defense. We had three things today, we had to get back, we had to rebound the ball on the defensive board and we had to take care of the ball. We did a great job of taking care of the ball, we had 90 percent off the defensive board and we had 20 fast break points, ball game. The free throw difference was too much, they make 12 more free throws than we do, it’s going to make it tough. They got to the line a lot, we couldn’t get to the line. That was the three things that turned the game.”

 (On their struggle offensively in the fourth quarter): “We slowed down, we got a little individual. I think we may be a little tired, I don’t know. Until then, I thought we moved the ball really well, did some good things. Fought really hard I thought in the game and disappointing the last eight or nine minutes go the way they did.”

 (On their starting lineup recent struggles): “We haven’t found a starting lineup that can hold their own, we just haven’t. We’re getting pummeled by good team’s starting lineups. I don’t have many options left, I mean, we just have to do a better job. You look at all those guys, minus 20 and everything else. A lot of that today was at the end of the game.”  

 ANTHONY TOLLIVER

 (On the last eight minutes of the game): “We just stopped moving the ball, stopped moving bodies. The first three quarters or whatever it was, we really moved the ball. We were really aggressive but at the same time making the extra pass and being unselfish. Just towards the end of the game, I feel like guys started being a little bit pressing the issue a little bit too much. We started standing around too much. Bodies stopped moving so guys felt obligated to go one-on-one. When you do that, it’s awfully tough, especially a team like that who has LeBron (James) and Jeff Green who can switch, are long and good defenders one-on-one. We just have to be better about sticking to what got us where we were and we just didn’t do a good job of that down the stretch.”

 (On if conditioning was an issue coming off a back-to-back): “No, I am not a guy who sits here and says ah I’m tired. We were playing, we were out there. If you’re out there and you’re tired, you need to come out. They made it a point and they took advantage of opportunities down the stretch where we weren’t able to get back. At the end of the day, that’s no excuse. There’s nights where you get them on a back-to-back or somebody else on a back-to-back, it’s a part of the game. If you can’t play back-to-backs, you can’t be in this league.”

TOBIAS HARRIS

(On what they can take from their effort tonight): “There is no thing as moral victories but a game that we can take some positives from. We also have to understand that we put ourselves in that position. They had too many fast break points. The fourth quarter we weren’t able to get the good ball movement that we were able to get throughout the game. We have to take those things and get better at those so we can be ready when we play them again.”

(On their recent transition defense): “We just have to make it more of a conscious effort of getting back, talking to each other in transition. That’s the biggest thing where there is confusion, we aren’t talking. We just need to talk to each other and we just have to put an emphasis on that.”

 

HEAD COACH TYRONN LUE

 (On tonight’s game): “It was a good win for us. I think in that second half defensively, we were a lot better. (Anthony) Tolliver made five threes in the first half. Reggie Bullock (made three). I think in the second half we cleaned that up, holding them to 17 points in the fourth quarter. Only holding them to four threes in that second half was good for us. Offensively, I thought we played the right way. We shared the basketball, we played with pace and we moved the ball. It was a good win for us.”

 (On going with the fourth quarter lineup): “We started Bron (LeBron James) in the fourth quarter. He and Kevin (Love) came out with about five and a half (minutes) to go in the third quarter. We left I.T. (Isaiah Thomas) in and tried to get him out early in the first half. But we left I.T. in and he was able to carry the scoring load in the third quarter. We brought Bron back in to start the fourth quarter and he just had a great rhythm with Tristan (Thompson) and those guys. We let them go. We just let them play. The second unit came in and played well.”

 (What the team did well in the fourth quarter): “I think just getting stops first and foremost. Getting stops and putting Bron on Ish (Smith) to challenge him at the rim because his penetration hurt us…I think getting stops, getting out in transition, getting open shots and getting downhill into the paint.”

 

(On Channing Frye’s role on and off the court): “On the court, just being able to spread the floor. I think being a shooter, a stretch five, is difficult in this game nowadays. And being able to defend the post like he can. A lot of guys are stretch fives but they can’t defend the post like Channing can. So for him to defend the post like he can, and then spread the floor with (Andre) Drummond and keep him out the paint makes a big difference for us offensively. In the locker room, I go back to R.J. (Richard Jefferson). He and R.J. together were just great for us of policing the locker room and telling the truth even if guys don’t want to hear it…just telling the guys the truth if they were wrong. Channing is going to tell those guys that. Having him around is great just for that veteran leadership.”

LEBRON JAMES

 (On what was working best defensively tonight): “I think our communication. We were on top of plays and we finished pretty much every defensive possession with a defensive rebound, and it was very key for this victory.”

 (On Channing Frye’s spark tonight): “Any time Channing gets an opportunity to be on the floor, he’s productive. He’s a true professional. He gives us so many different things on the floor when he gets the opportunity. Tonight was another example of that…Not only his tip dunk, but his also that up-and-under layup he had in transition. He’s been just an on-time, on target man. Any time you call his number, he’s just at the right place at the right time and it’s great to have a player of that caliber on our team.”

 (On if the last two games have shown progress for the team): “Besides the fourth quarter of last game, I think we’ve taken a couple steps forward. I didn’t like our second quarter tonight. We allowed a couple open looks with no contest, so we’ve got to continue to work our habits on that. But for the most part, throughout 48 minutes, I think this is one of the best games we’ve had obviously as of late. We followed the game plan, we were on-time and on-target offensively and didn’t have many turnovers in the fourth quarter like we had last game, so that was progress.”

 (On if the team is having more fun): “We just want to play better, and when the ball is moving and the ball is flying around like it was tonight, I think everyone feels happy, everyone feels comfortable and feels in a good rhythm. I think 27 assists as a team showed that…Every game is something to build on, and I think tonight was another positive for that. So I’m looking forward to watching the film tomorrow when we come in and we go from there. 

 KEVIN LOVE

(On if the team had more fun tonight): “Yeah, I think so. There were times when the ball got stuck and we were a little bit complacent. They got downhill in transition and just kind of laid the ball up a few possessions in a row, but it was a good thing we came to the huddle and just said to stick together and we were able to have a run of our own. So that held throughout the fourth quarter, and we were able to make stops and big plays when we needed to. Winning is fun, so yeah, I guess you could say we’re having more fun, at least the last two games.”

(On Channing Frye): “He lightened the mood of the entire last week or two weeks just by that putback dunk. That was a very, very athletic play, very seldom seen by a player like Channing Frye. I was impressed. I was happy for him…when we were at shootaround, he said he doesn’t dunk before noon, so for him to show off his ‘bunnies’ like that, it was fun to see. He played a great game tonight, all jokes aside. He’s big for us. He’s always a great pro and he that was one of his career highlights there. It will go on the career highlight reel. That was a fun play.”

CHANNING FRYE

(On Coach Lue sticking with the same group through the end of the third and beginning of the fourth quarter): “It felt good – better than sitting on the bench, I’ll tell you that. I’ve been talking to the guys that I’m in there (with) and I don’t like playing slow. I think we have a lot of firepower and lot of guys that do a lot of different things – roll, dribble, pass, shoot – so that’s the way we’ve been successful. I think it creates movement and I think it helps us on the defensive end. We’re tough when Jeff (Green) is driving downhill, Isaiah is driving downhill and then you’ve got a big fella going downhill with shooters. So I think we were playing pretty unselfish. The ball was moving, the ball was finding energy and guys were playing pretty good.”