Postgame Quotes - March 13, 2019

DETROIT PISTONS HEAD COACH DWANE CASEY

On the game:

“That’s our second game in a row where we didn’t come and play in a playoff mode. It’s our approach. It’s on me to get them to play at the level they should be playing at.”

 “At this time of the year when you’re fighting for a playoff spot and the other team is competing just as you hard, you have to go at it harder than the other team.”

 “They spanked us tonight. We have to understand the level we have to play if we want to compete in the playoffs.”

 On the Heat’s 20-point lead:

“We have to understand how to start the second half. We have to come out and approach things. It’s a level that is hard to get to, but you have to get to it to compete.”

“The Heat were a step quicker. They beat us in every pass, rebounding, passing the ball, screening, whatever it was. The officials are going to respect that. They’re going to give the team that is playing the hardest.”

“It’s a lesson that we have to learn. If we want to make the playoffs, we have to play playoff basketball. It’s new to a lot of people with different roles and it’s a wakeup call.”

REGGIE JACKSON 

On how frustrating the game was:

“We lost by more than 30 back to back.”

On the starts of the first and third quarter:

“We have to start well and finish well. That’s the whole key to the game. We didn’t start off well and made it very difficult. We put ourselves behind the eight ball.” 

 On lack of aggression:

 “We’re playing too slow. As simple as that.” 

On how to bounce back:

“Go home. We need to get on this plane first. It’s going to be a little disappointing. Go home and relax and clear your mind to get ready to play basketball. I think the biggest thing is that we haven’t been ourselves and just play basketball. .”

WAYNE ELLINGTON

On the jersey exchange with Dwyane Wade:

“It’s been an honor to play with D-Wade this past year and some change and get to know him as a person has been even better. Just to know the type of guy he is off the floor, he’s one of the most selfless superstars this game has seen. And obviously what he has done on the court doesn’t need to be spoken about. He’s phenomenal and I’m glad I had the chance to spend that time with him.”

On the HEAT flipping the script on them:

 “I guess you can say they owed us one. I guess you can say that, but we have to come out with a better sense of urgency. There is a lot at stake right now. We have to understand that every game. Friday is a big one for us and it’s all about how we bounce back.

 On Wade’s best quality about him off the court:

 “He’s a great teammate. I’ve seen the way he wrapped a lot of the young guys in the locker room around his arms. Showed them the ways, mentored them. You can see those, since he has gotten back they’ve gotten a lot better. Confidence has risen and he’s a big part of that. He’s done a phenomenal job leading.”

 

 

On Wade’s lasting impression on him:

 

“I watched him be the great player that he is. The person that he is is bigger than the game. Just the way he is selfless. His approach, his view, the way he took the game of basketball and made it more than just a basketball game. He did it with fashion. He did it with shoes, business wise. He’s one of those guys that you point to a young player and you say ‘you see what D-Wade did on and off the floor. That’s a leader you should follow’.”

 BLAKE GRIFFIN

 

On the game:

 “Our mental fortitude [needs] to be better. [We] have to come out and have a better mindset at the start of games, myself included. If we have any fight or pride about us at all, we will come out and rectify that on Friday. After having a tough loss on Monday, I thought we would come out and have a better showing today, but we didn’t. That’s on us. We have to be more locked in and ready to go. We [have] to realize what’s at stake. These teams that we’re playing also have a lot at stake. We need to be more prepared.”

 On a coach’s perspective on tonight’s third quarter performance:

 “Our starting lineup has had some good starts and plays trending in the right direction, but that was as inspiring as they’ve been. The collective unit set the tone, they were flying around. You can feel the energy. Very inspiring basketball and it continued throughout the rest of the game.”

 On the five-point lead at halftime:

 “They are a good team. We were not expecting to have this kind of result. We expected to grind all the way through. They have been as well as anybody in the league. There were a couple of miscues and we didn’t finish the quarter the way we needed to in the last four minutes, but we had that great response after halftime and throughout the second half.”

 On Blake Griffin’s nine shot attempts:

 “He is an elite player. He puts tremendous amount of pressure on your defense. A big part of that is how many fouls he can draw. We have the depth, but we didn’t want to be in the penalty early every quarter. Our rotations were good and when Blake had the ball in his hands, our guys were ready.”

 On three straight games with 13 or fewer turnovers:

 “I almost don’t want to say anything about it. It’s pretty evident how important it is for us to win, just look at the records.”

JUSTISE WINSLOW

 On the third quarter:

“We came in here at halftime and obviously we were winning but we weren’t satisfied with the way we were playing. I think we just came out with a lot more sense of urgency than they did. This game felt like it meant a lot more to us than it did to them. That’s the mentality that we approached in shootaround and walkthrough. We just came out that third quarter with a lot of intensity. I think the biggest thing was we were playing together on both ends. Offensively, the ball was moving. Guys were making that extra pass. Guys were getting to the cup. Defensively, they had to earn everything in that third quarter, especially early. I think our connection on both ends of the floor is what allowed us to get that gap.”

 

On the starting lineup:

 

“We don’t have time to waste and say a couple of weeks from now that we’re going to get things going. We want to get things going right now. That’s kind of the approach. I just remember all day J-Rich was in my ear about let’s get this one and start it off the right way. That really carried me into the game with the right mindset. That group has been pretty good for us. There’s been times in the season where we’ve had those three-minute glitches. For sure we want to make that group work. Today, I think was a prime example of what this starting group is capable of.”

 

On if this feels like the start of better times ahead:

 

“Everything’s not going to go our way. That’s why we have a full team. We have a crazy bench. We have D-Wade and Goran Dragić coming off the bench. You just don’t see that every day around the league. With Hassan and guys like Rodney and J.J’s not even playing right now. We have a complete team. We’re definitely capable of putting efforts like this back to back in consecutive games. It’s not going to get any easier. We have tough games coming down the stretch. Those are games that we play better in. This season we’ve played better when we’ve played better competition. I’m looking forward to it.”

 

DION WAITERS

 

On the starting lineup:

“I think we like playing with each other. If guys make shots we encourage them. We’re looking for each other out there. It’s unselfish. Right now we’re just playing at a high level as far as within each other. It’s just making each other better. Just knowing where everyone’s at out there on the floor and getting each other to the spots where we belong. Just trying to make the right play for each one out there.”

On playing on the ball:

“That’s what I like. That’s what I do. Everybody thinks they can ball sometimes. I’m able to go out there and make plays for myself and others. As you can see, I was able to get to the paint when I wanted to. Guys just making cuts, I’m able to make that pass. Of course I need the ball, that’s what I’m effective at too. When my shots falling too, it’s probably going to be a long night.”

On the upcoming competition:

“I believe we can play with anybody. If we come out every day with the sense of urgency that we did today, knowing that we need this and we want this and we have to take care of home court. As long as going down the stretch we figure out how to get those games that we lost earlier in the season.”

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