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Postgame Quotes - March 8, 2019

Dwane Casey-Pistons Head Coach

On his halftime speech:

“You don’t want to do that and you shouldn’t have to do that this time of year, but again I understand human nature. It’s very difficult for any athlete–the end is coming, but you can’t see it. We have to trick our mind because this is too special of a time for our franchise. We work for something special and we hadn’t been there in a while, so lay it on the line, we can rest this summer. Let’s get to the dance, keep fighting and build. I thought that fourth quarter showed what we were made of, but we can’t play with fire like that. We have to come out with focus, our “give-a-crap” level has to be high, and I just didn’t think it was there in the first half and I let them know that at halftime.”

 

On his fourth quarter lineup:

“We were searching. We were searching for five fighters, scratchers, whatever we could do to get the defensive intensity up first. They’re a talented team, very talented as far as one-on-one play and they’ll expose you. They were exposing us in every facet of the defense game in the first half. My hat’s off to them, but hats off to our guys. I thought Andre Drummond’s defense in the second half … He played that entire second half because we were searching for that intensity. He got in there, he protected the rim, rebounded some tough rebounds and got some buckets for us down the stretch.”

 

On Blake Griffin returning to play after heading to the locker room with an injury:

“It’s a concern, you want to make sure he was not hurt. He said he was OK and came back and gave it to us, but again it’s not one guy. We have to have everybody, all hands on deck. The NBA doesn’t feel sorry for him. There’s no team in this league, no matter what they’re playing for or what their objectives are as an organization, they’re going to come out and play. Everybody’s playing for something, every guy in that locker room and in Chicago’s locker room is playing for something. You’ve got to come out and match that intensity as long as you can and see where it falls after that.”

 On the offense picking up in the second half:

“Well it did, it did. But again, I thought our defense picked up, which created our offense and we got a rhythm with our defense and helped our offense get a pace with it. We were just getting through mud. As much as we were screaming and yelling, we were just going through mud in the first half. We finally got some traction, we found some players that were going to compete and play together and play hard.”

 On his decision to keep Blake Griffin in the game:

“I asked him and he was ready to go. Right now, we’re playing for something special, and if Blake [Griffin] can go, unless he says he just can’t play, we’ve got to go with all hands on deck. I don’t know if you’ve looked at the standings lately but nobody’s got a cushion, so we’ve got to have everybody available. We’ll worry about the playoffs once we get there. As far as rest, we got to have the fighters.”

 On his bench:

“I thought Luke [Kennard] did as good a job as you can do. He was competing. He and Langston [Galloway] stretched the floor. Again, I was looking for five fighters and guys that had it tonight. It’s not going to be there always. I thought ‘Jack’ [Reggie Jackson] was playing well up until the point that Ish [Smith] came in and changed the game. So we went with the guys that were scratching, fighting. Again, it will probably be different on Sunday. This time of year, it’s hard to find that energy. Something on your body hurts whether it’s your pinky or an elbow, something is bothering every single player in this league right now.”

 

Blake Griffin

On the injury that took him out of the game, and his return:

“It’s nothing to be concerned about. It was a little tweak, a little pinch, but it felt fine coming back out there. We tested it in the hallway and they gave me a green light. And it felt fine in the fourth quarter, so no issues really for me.”

 

On finishing the game:

“We’ve come a long way. We’ve had a lot of ups and downs this season, but these past three, four weeks, whatever its been, the comradery amongst the team has been in the positive. The talk amongst the team has been unreal. One through 13, everybody has been supporting each other, so I just wanted to be out there with my guys.”

 

On the defense turning things around for the team in the third quarter:

“Yeah … that. Langston [Galloway] hit some big shots to start the fourth quarter. I didn’t see when I came out to be on the bench, so I didn’t know what happened, but you know Langston was great. Ish [Smith] was great, Dre [Andre Drummond] played the whole second half. That’s big time, doing whatever it takes to get a win like this.”

Chicago Bulls Head Coach Jim Boylen

On Blake Griffin tonight:

“You know he’s a dominant guy; he’s matured. I was in the West when he was coming through the West and growing and learning and he’s poised; so much more poised now and smarter and patient.  I thought his maturity to have kind of a poor game early and then work his way out of it and work his way through it is a good example for our guys.”

 

On staggering his rotation and trusting his bench:

“It’s fine line between trusting your bench and overplaying your guys. And, we’re trying to manage that the best we can. This is a quick turnaround to Sunday, so those things are on my heart, they’re on my mind, but the bench has played well for us in some games.”

 

On evaluating his second unit/the bench:

“I’m trying to see if they can play. I’m trying to see what they can do. I’m trying see if they can pull it together. I thought in the Boston game they played great. They got us the lead and they kind of took control of the game. So, I want to trust them. I want to develop them, but they’re learning too and they’re growing and they’re trying and they’re willing.”

 

Lauri Markkanen

On the team’s plan to stop Blake Griffin:

“We just kept doing what we did the whole game, and it just didn’t work at the end. He got me a couple times. Then there was a couple miscommunication plays that we can work out, so we just kept with the same game plan.”

 

On Chicago’s second half:

“It’s frustrating, but we’ve got to stick together and keep our head up and try to look at the positives. We did have a really good first half, and we can build on that. And, just take a look at the film and see what was successful for us in the first half, and work on it.”

 

On allowing Detroit to get back in the game:

“I don’t know what it is. We gotta bring the edge and I don’t think we had the energy to start the third (quarter). And, they definitely brought it in the third (quarter). Obviously, they didn’t play as great in the first (half). So, we just gotta come out harder and finish the job.”