Postgame Quotes - January 8, 2018

Pistons Head Coach Stan Van Gundy

On Stanley Johnson not playing:

“Stanley could have gone. He just hasn’t played in so long. Andre (Drummond) missed a game, but he played in Philly. Stanley hasn’t played. I want to get him out there doing something before we play him. In retrospect, I wish I would have played him because he might have given us some defense of which we played none.”

On recent struggles during road games:

“So we’ve lost five straight on the road and all of them have been horrendous defensive efforts. Every one of them. Dallas, Orlando, Miami, Philly, and tonight. Pathetic defensive efforts.” 

On what has been the missing ingredient during these road losses:

“I think the starters need to start the defensive mentality and make it become contagious. I take blame for it missing; I need to come out and focus on that and let my teammates feed off my energy.”

 On starting the game two-of-nine from the floor then finding a rhythm:

“Coach broke down the game to me and explained where my opportunities would be at the basket. I had to stay aggressive and make plays for my team. I am a jump shooter, but right now I have to find other ways to make plays. Tonight, being aggressive and going to the basket, I feel I was able to do that.”

 Pistons Guard Ish Smith

 On what the deciding factor was to this loss:

“I would say the pace…from the first six or seven minutes, (Rajon) Rondo pushing the ball and getting guys open. Coach warned us what was going to happen, but they run out on misses, makes, out of bounds. Whatever the case may be, they push the basketball. We did come back, twice, and had a chance to win. The thing I will say we can take away from this loss is Philadelphia did the same thing to us and we did not respond. Tonight, we responded so that is positive.”

 On the last play called with 0:05.1 remaining:

“Rondo was kind of playing center field, and we had a play with a back-screen for Tobias (Harris), but I saw Rondo floating away from Avery so I looked off of Avery then went right back to him. He did a good job just getting a shot off, but obviously Rondo did a good job guarding him as well. Tobias was guarded very well too when he came around so it was Avery’s chance.”

Pelicans Head Coach Alvin Gentry:

On tonight’s win:

“It was (exciting). We kept getting separation, but we couldn’t really close it out. They kept coming back and making shots and the offensive rebounds, but I thought we played great. I thought we did a good job of moving the basketball. I thought, defensively, we were really solid. They just did a good job of finding a way to fight and stay in the game, but I thought we were great at the end and I thought (Rajon) Rondo made a couple of really great plays. I thought E’Twaun (Moore) made big plays for us and then DeMarcus (Cousins) made a couple of really great plays for us.” 

On DeMarcus Cousins’s performance and what appeared to be a slow start:

“He wasn’t really sluggish. You’ve got to go back and look. Every time he put the ball down they ran one or two guys at him. They didn’t think their big guy could keep him in front. So every time he put the ball down, they ran someone at him, but we started moving guys and tried to get him space where he was on the move. I thought he did a great job. I really did.”

 On the energy level to start the game and coming out of halftime:

“I thought we started the game with great energy…I just thought that (Rajon) Rondo did a great job tonight. I really did. I thought he did a really good job of keeping the pace of the game where we want it and getting guys shots and doing a really good job in that department.”

 Pelicans Forward DeMarcus Cousins:

 On his mentality in the fourth quarter:

“AD (Anthony Davis) went down and he was kind of the hot hand for us early on in the game so, with that being said, somebody had to pick up the slack so I just tried to become a lot more aggressive.”

 On the importance of getting a win after the loss to the Timberwolves:

“It was very important. Not even just the Timberwolves, the two before that as well. It feels good to get back on the winning side of things and hopefully we can carry this game into the next one.”

 Pelicans Guard Jrue Holiday:

 On closing the game out:

“I think we focused in defensively. They hit some big shots but a lot of those misses were long rebounds and obviously we know Andre Drummond is in there. DeMarcus did a good job boxing him out and other people came back to rebound. Completing plays and then DeMarcus on the other end making plays and scoring for us.”

 On DeMarcus Cousins responding to Anthony Davis’s injury:

“You’ve got the two best bigs in the league man. How they coincide and coexist is great to be able to do that and feed off each other, but it’s a step up for DeMarcus. He’s always been just that competitor. When it’s his time to take over, he does that and he does it big."