Postgame Quotes - October 28, 2017

by Keith Langlois
Web Editor

RE: Team’s performance
“It was great. The second half was tremendous and totally different than the other night. There was nothing easy or smooth about it. We had our struggles all night, they physically man-handled us in the first half and got to the line a lot more than we did and everything else but we fought really hard in the second
half. Our defense was outstanding in the second half. We made enough shots to get the job done. We made enough shots at the right time but it was really our defense.”
RE: Team’s lineups in the second half
“Same thing [putting Anthony Toliver in] did in New York. [Toliver] knows, and he would probably rather it be a different way, but that’s sort of going to be his role at least for now. We are going to give the young guy a chance to get in there and at least play every night, but when we need something different, we’re going to use him. So really, we played it a lot like we did in New York, and we went down the stretch without our leading scorer even, the unit that was in there was playing well and I love [Tobias Harris] and his attitude on the bench. He was great. It was all about getting a win, that group was playing well, [Stanley Johnson] was playing great defense, we didn’t go back to [Tobias Harris]. It’s all about trying to win games and using everyone we have to do that.”

RE: Defending Clipper’s Forward Blake Griffin
“I just tried to make [Blake Griffin] work, that’s what it really comes down to for everybody. He’s a great player, he’s probably going to be First-Team All-NBA this year, and he’s playing at that level right now. For a guy like me, a vet, I’ve played against him many times and know his habits. I don’t know how to stop him but I know how to make it hard on him and I don’t foul him. I don’t give him anything easy.”
RE: Impact of win against Clippers
“It’s a big confidence booster. With [The Clippers] being undefeated, being a great team playing at a very high level, to come in here and play that type of defense in the second half and really try to establish our identity is a big thing for us. We are trying to figure out who we are and to establish that across the league. We don’t want people wanting Detroit to come into their house, we want people to not look forward to seeing us on the court.”

RE: Defeating Clippers in Los Angeles
“I think for me, we needed this win. We haven’t won here, so this was definitely a huge game for us. The way we played, the way we came out with the intensity and energy on both ends of the floor to make them uncomfortable in the second-half really speaks to what our team really is. We are a defensive team first and it really showed tonight.
RE: Second Half Comeback
“I think with the threes that [Langston Galloway] had, and our defensive effort was what brought us back. Langston hitting those open shots and doing what he is supposed to do was definitely huge for us as well. Overall, we played great as a collective group.”

RE: Team’s consistency “We have shown that we are going to consistently come out and battle. I think we once again showed a lot of toughness tonight.
RE: Team’s confidence to shift momentum “We are starting to understand that this is a game of runs. I think this year in the locker room, I really think we just believe in each other. We all know our rolls and we do it collectively. We don’t know how we’re going to get it done every night, but we know that we will hold ourselves to a standard that we are going to play 48 minutes. We are going to fight until all zeros hit at the end of the fourth, and if there is a lot of time left after that, we are going to continue to fight."

RE: Losing focus after getting the lead
“I thought we stalled before halftime. We have been great and you have up and downs, but I don’t think we had the right spirit tonight. I didn’t think we played together. As a team we have been great, but today was a step backwards. We played the blame game, pointed fingers at each other, which is something we have not done at all. I have seen winning, and that is not winning. To me, every once in a while, the basketball gods take over and we deserved to lose. We tried to rally, it’s easy to do that when you get down, but we lost the lead because our heads weren’t right tonight. I don’t know what the reason was, and were going to be a really good basketball team, but we are never going to be a good team if we play and act like that. We deserved to lose, I hate losing, but I was fine with losing tonight.”
RE: Avoiding a slump
“Either it’s a good lesson or not, that’s up to them. It was early and once it comes, it’s tough to turn and get it out. When it does happen, you need everybody to rally and get everybody out of it. It happens in a lot of different ways, two guys could get into an argument, it doesn’t matter. It can happen a lot of ways. I told them at halftime, my eye test is this is not the team that we have played like in the first four games, and if we go back out there like that, we are going to get our butt kicked.”
RE: If the team was due for a bad performance
“No, we may be due for not playing well and not executing well, but not acting right, you’re not due for that. To me that’s inexcusable. If we want to be a good team we have to own up to it, and that’s exactly what they heard after the game.”
RE: If playing the Warriors motivates the players
“It should. They have owned us, and the league for that matter, and we have to be ready. It’s going to be a tough game, but we are playing well. We took a step back tonight in the second half, and the last three or four minutes. In the last three or four minutes of the first half we actually extended the lead, got it to ten, and we were unhappy.”

RE: Overall thoughts on tonight’s game
“I thought we missed shots. I thought we made small, stupid mistakes here and there just as a team, but I didn’t see anybody pointing fingers. But, that’s a perspective thing so maybe [Coach Doc Rivers] saw it from his perspective. Inside the team, I think we’ve done a good job of being together. It came down to the end. We didn’t make the right plays down the stretch, it wasn’t a 30-point blowout, it wasn’t a bad effort all game, I think we just got stagnant at times. Obviously, you want to come out and play a perfect 48-minute game, but that’s not very realistic. You’ve got to stay positive throughout the ups and downs of the game.”

RE: Difference in tonight’s loss
“I thought at times I settled and didn’t attack enough. Also, we didn’t defend very well in the fourth quarter. When you’re taking the ball out of the basket every time, it makes it tougher on you. We’ve got to find a way because there are going to be nights where teams score, there are going to be nights where some shots are easy and shots aren’t falling. We’ve got to look at the film, learn from it, and move on.”
RE: Improving on tonight’s performance
“[We need] better ball movement, moving from side to side, getting out in transition, defending better, not always taking the ball out of the basket, those are things that jump out right away. After watching the film tonight, we’ll hopefully see something different, something we can improve on. This is our first loss, didn’t want it to happen this way, obviously. This is another good learning tool. If our wins are good learning tools then our losses have to be even better. We’ll watch it and we’ll move on. I don’t think now is a good time to be pointing fingers.”

RE: Overall thoughts on tonight’s game
“Nobody’s going to be happy when you lose a game, but us being 4-1, that’s ok. We were the only undefeated team in the league to start the night, and, unfortunately, we’re not anymore. I don’t think we were going to go 82-0, but we didn’t play the right way tonight, I feel like our defense wasn’t as good as it should’ve been. We scored the ball well and we shot the ball ok, but I felt like we gave up a lot of offensive rebounds and second-chance points and our defense just wasn’t connected tonight.”
RE: Communication
“Maybe it was just our communication. We were just not tied together. Whatever you want to call it, we were a step behind on everything tonight and that resulted in us losing the basketball game. But, it’s one game and we’ve just got to learn from it and get ready to play on Monday. You can’t let it linger.”
RE: Turning point in tonight’s game
“It kind of happened fast. I thought that Blake [Griffin] was feeling it tonight and so was Austin [Rivers]. [Danilo Gallinari] got it going, so I don’t know if they did anything, maybe we just missed shots. I felt like we were getting to the spots that we wanted to. They definitely loaded up a lot on those guys, Blake and Gallo drew a lot of double teams. I don’t think it was anything they did, but you’ve got to give them credit. They played a hell of a game and they beat us. Like I said, we’ve got to learn from this and correct some mistakes and be ready to go Monday.”