Postgame Quotes - November 1, 2013

(On the game): “That was a Western Conference Finals team last year, and we were right there, we had a chance to win. We had the chance to win the game. I’m proud of our guys”

‘Gritty.’ I think that’s the way we want to play throughout the season. Especially coming on the road and coming into a building as their home opener. We knew they were going to be tough, and our guys were there the whole time. We were forced to be in the place we were tonight with a chance to win the game.”

(On Chauncey Billups): “I’ll take my chances with Chauncey anytime. Whether he’s on the line or shooting the ball, I take my chances with him anytime because he’s really good. Overall effort - I can’t complain.”

(On Will Bynum): ”You throw them out there and it’s the first game. I thought he was good his first game and he was very effective in this first game. I felt like I wanted to put Will out there to get more penetration to the rim. And it was good; it wasn’t a case of him not being good. It was his first game back and I didn’t want to put too much on his body. We’ve got a few more games coming up. Saying that, we still had a chance to win.”

(On Greg Monroe): “We put the ball in the post with Greg and we put the ball in the post with Josh [Smith] a few times. Sometimes when we do that, the offense kind of bogs down a little bit and we don’t want to do it as much. But when we do put it in there we usually get good results.”

(On fourth quarter stagnancy): “Sometimes when a guy gets into foul trouble… Sometimes we try to put the ball in and see if we can get a fifth or sixth foul. We get that a little bit. I like our game and I like the effort.”

(On how they played against the Grizzlies): “I think we were physical with them, I think that is how we stayed in the game, and that is how we made the run in the third quarter. At the end of the day they beat us, there is no way of getting around that. They are a physical team, they play hard, they have a live defense and they execute on offense. They have one of the best defenses in the game. At the end of the day being physical is probably the most important thing if you are trying to beat them.”

(On matchup with Randolph and other players): “I think it’s a battle all night, they didn’t let down. We did a good job at matching their physicality but we still have a long way to work as a team.”

(On what could have gone differently tonight): “I think we need to stay calm, everything was a little frantic. We took some tough shots but we played really good tonight. We showed a lot of fight, and we played hard. We know what we need to do for the next time we play them.”

(On what is the toughest part about playing the Grizzlies): “They are a Western Conference Final team so they don’t give up and they keep coming at you. I think we did a good job at staying on and grinding, we kept fighting back and kept punching with them so I think we should continue to do that and we will be good.”

(On the game): “I’m really proud of our team. With two and a half minutes left to go, we were down 7. I just told them in there, I don’t know what point that it stopped. There were 20 turnovers up on the board early in the 4th quarter. The last 5 or 6 minutes for sure I know we didn’t turn over, and then certainly into the overtime - which is key. We put stress on the paint whether that be Mike (Miller) trying to get in there, or Marc (Gasol) or Zach (Randolph). Tayshaun (Prince) hit a big shot and comes off and I said “man, I’m sorry that your sweat has dried, but I’ve got to put you back in here because Mike Miller’s running on fumes, he’s got 5 fouls.” I thought Mike Miller did a tremendous job on Josh Smith, which is a tough cover for him, but we were just trying to stretch the court a little bit on offense. Playing from behind where we had played from the lead for the first two and a half quarters. So then, we kind of just bumped the ball all over the place. They ran it through us and then we flipped it in the last three minutes of the game.”

(On getting the first win): “We’ve got a good group of guys and I enjoy working with them. The passion that they play with, we could say turnovers are this; turnovers are that. We just threw the ball away; we dribbled the ball of our leg. These guys want it so much. It is really a privilege to be able to coach them every single day. They want to be good; they like each other. They’re playing really hard for everybody. They feed off of the energy certainly at home. We played really hard at San Antonio and we made some mistakes and got a little frantic at times. We got a little frantic tonight, but it wasn’t such a long period of time. The ball movement is good. When the ball is moving, they’re going to get it inside. We’ve just got to get to that next degree, that’s the ultimate for us with what we’re trying to do. We were trying to get it to where Zach (Randolph) had some space tonight to attack, and Marc Gasol had some space to attack. He got aggressive, I thought, especially in the last 5 minutes of the game. He game back in and he asserted himself as an aggressive scorer, and that was really good for us.”

(On Tony Allen’s steal followed by a layup): “He’s a warrior. He was so good the other night. He puts his heart out there every single night. Our guys all play that way, and you can’t help but see him playing as hard as he does, and not try to play that hard.”

(On the Grizzlies bench): “I thought the preseason was really good for them. They got a lot of minutes. I can’t tell you from night to night that it’s going to be this guy, a lot of things based on a lot of other matchups and timing. At large, Jerryd (Bayless), Quincy (Pondexter), Kosta (Koufos) was knicked up a little bit, but Ed (Davis), we spent a lot of minutes on them. Jon Leuer was really good the other night. They’ve got some chemistry, they’ve got some flow. Looking at their numbers tonight, that’s fantastic production.”

(On the flow of the game): “We got stops when we needed to. It seemed like we couldn’t get loose balls. Balls bounced – and they (Detroit) would get it, balls bounced and they (Detroit) would hit a shot at the end of the clock. That kind of stuff kind of happened to us. Down the stretch, our will and energy, our defense, took over and I thought they made a couple of touchdowns at the end. We were pretty solid defensively, and that’s who we are.”

(On the team): “Every guy that played, played his tail off. It’s not something that you should have to talk about in game 1 and 2 about effort. Every single guy came in and really put his heart out there and played really hard. We’ve got some depth. We’ve got to figure out some roles, they’re still learning each other. Quincy (Pondexter) was good and up and down a little bit, but he’s going to find himself. He had a nice night the other night, he knows what he is, when he can attack and where guys are going to be. Having Mike Miller on the floor gives us a little bit of space for those guys to make some plays and also in the post.”

(On the bench play): “We are winning games by committee. That’s what we have to do throughout the season. Different guys have to be heroes throughout the season. We have to do it collectively. It’s a tough team and we have to get these wins together.”

(On the game): “Every team that plays us knows that we will fight until the end, regardless of what the score is. Guys were coming in and taking some big shots. Guys were playing defense, getting some big stops, and rebounding. We were doing all of the little things to get the win. It’s not June basketball right now. It’s pretty ugly right now. We have got to get better.”

(On the game): “Importantly, we got stops. We got stops and we rebounded. We were able to slow the game down and execute. That is who we are and we played the way that we were suppose to. It felt good to get the win for Coach Joerger and to get the bad taste out of our mouths from the previous game. I like easy wins, but this was a good win. We wanted to get the first win at home. The fans, as always, helped us a lot. Especially, when we were down seven with a couple minutes to go. I think they gave us that extra push that we needed.”

(On winning with bench play): “That’s what we have depth for. That’s why we have a team like this. Some games are going to take strong bench play. We got some guys that can carry the load on certain nights.”

(On the game): “We were good in spurts, and we weren’t good in some. Bottom line is that we got coach Dave Joerger’s first NBA regular season win. We won at home, and we have got to find a way to refuel to be ready for tomorrow. I’m happy to get the first win at home.”

(On Coach Dave Joerger’s first win): “That’s big for anybody. He has worked as hard as anybody to get to where he is at. He deserves to get the game ball of his first win. We are just happy to be a part of it.”