Cavaliers top Nets – Quotes from the Game

Damon Jones was the only Cavalier player on the active roster that didn’t see any  playing time in last nights 104-83 victory over the visiting New Jersey Nets.  I understand that Mike Brown needs to tighten his rotation but this has to be hard on DJ.  I am not one of his biggest fans but I have to admit that he helped the team this year and was shooting well from the field.  The Cavaliers were looking as though they were heading for a major loss until they managed to turn things on in the third quarter.  Boobie ran the floor well and the scoring was well balanced with LeBron leading the pack with 33, followed by Wally with 14, Z with 13 and Delonte and Boobie both adding 12 points.  For quotes from the game see below.
HEAD COACH MIKE BROWN
(On the game as a whole):
“In the second half I thought our sense of urgency picked up. It’s evident by our offensive rebounds in the second half. It’s evident by them getting zero fast break points in the second half. There were a lot of things that we did in that second half with a sense of urgency as a group, and it started defensively. When our defense picked up, everything else kind of picked up after that.”
(On the team):
“Daniel was big for us. Wally was big for us off the bench. Daniel came in and he gave us a big boost, as well as Andy early in the third quarter. Daniel gave us a big boost by tracking down long rebounds and loose balls, and looking to push the tempo to get us an easy basket once and awhile.”
(On LeBron James’ back):
“It’s one of those situations where we need to monitor his minutes and try to get him as much rest as we can throughout the course of the game. For him to play 35 minutes is great. If we can keep it around there, maybe under 38 (minutes), then that will help him out.”
(On Daniel Gibson improving):
“In the last game he started to look like himself a little bit. I thought he had a terrific practice yesterday. You can just see him today take another step forward in his overall play. That’s the fastest and hardest he’s pushed the ball.”

LEBRON JAMES
(On staying in the game late despite back pains):
“Right now we’re a team where we need to catch a groove. Me sitting out is not going to help that. I felt good enough where I knew I could be effective tonight. I tried to play well and try to get us into a groove. ”
(On the bench play tonight):
“Those guys really stepped up. I think Daniel (Gibson) did a great job of controlling the second unit. He got Joe (Smith) a dunk, got Wally (Szczerbiak) two jumpers, got himself a layup. The second unit really played well tonight.”
(On whether back spasms has limited his performance):
“When I’m out on the court, I’m going to play. I’m going to do what I have to do to help us win. I didn’t feel 100 percent but I felt that I could do everything in my arsenal that needs to be done for us to win.”
(On the second half defense):
“That’s what helped us. We didn’t start out the half really well… We didn’t come out in the third quarter like we knew we could defensively. But we locked down in the second [part] of the third quarter and the whole fourth (quarter). To give up nine points is pretty impressive.”
(On the overall team play):
“When we defend and make shots, we’re hard to beat. We played 10, 11 guys tonight and everybody played well and, for the most part, everybody had a significant role in our win tonight. It was the first glimpse that I’ve seen our whole lineup and the whole unit really click at the same time.”
(On the team’s depth):
“We have a lot of depth. We just need to figure out how guys want to play with each other… The second unit really looked good and the first unit came in and finished the game.”
(On the win):
“We needed this win. We had a three-game road stand where we played pretty well, but we lost the first two. To beat a team that has really beat up on us the whole year, it was impressive. Defensively, I know it made Coach Brown happy. It makes us happy. The offense is easy when you can defend like that.”
(On the few days of rest prior to tonight’s game):
“A few days off from practice really helped me. The training staff has done a great job at helping me regain the strength that I need to get back to playing at the high level I’m at.”

WALLY SZCZERBIAK
(On why the bench played well tonight):
“Getting comfortable in spots in the offense and when to be aggressive. It helps to get some buckets in transition when we can push the ball and take advantage of the crowd and take advantage of our defense and get stops and rebounds and getting easy buckets on the other end, especially at home. With the athletes and the energy we can bring off the bench and with the starting unit, that can really get teams back on their heels.”
(On his play tonight):
“The last three or four games I’ve been playing pretty well. I just try not to get down when a few shots don’t go down. Instead I try to stay aggressive and do some other things; do some rebounding and play defense. Tonight I was able to do a good job on Vince (Carter). He’s a helluva player and he had it going for a little bit but with the help from my teammates, I was able to help slow him down a little.”
(On LeBron playing hurt):
“He just comes out here and plays the game at such an even tempo. He just lets the game come to him and it doesn’t even look like he is exerting himself very hard. He made all of his teammates better and this was a big win for us. He got into the team a little bit at the beginning of the third quarter, when we got down by 12-14 points and said ‘We better step it up guys. It’s put up or shut up time.’ From there on out the team stepped on up and hopefully this can springboard us to a few more wins and then the playoffs.”

DANIEL GIBSON
(On tonight’s game):
“Fun. That’s the key word, fun. That’s what I’ve been waiting to try to bring and try to get out there and smile and get out there and push the ball and get some open looks and have fun. That’s when we play our best, when everyone is out there running and getting touches and scoring the ball.”
(On what his play tonight will do for him):
“I think it can really start to help my confidence, as far as in my legs. I’ve never had an injury like this but I’ve heard about it. I know that sometimes you get hesitant when doing different things and it takes away from your game. Once you regain that confidence, it’s all downhill from there. I think that a game like tonight will give me the confidence to know that I can push the ball, know I can get to the paint and know I am capable of still doing some of those same things I did before I was injured.”

HEAD COACH LAWRENCE FRANK
(On the game’s turnaround):
“One was their ability to get into the paint offensively. Between transition defense, LeBron’s pick and roll attack, we went a little bit dry, then we had four shots, dunks or layups, that didn’t go our way. There were no calls and they came back and hit either perimeter shots or they got to the free throw line. It was one heck of a swing. Then, to go totally dry in the fourth quarter because we came out great with great intent. Then, a little bit of us going dry offensively, a little bit getting unlucky, not finishing shots at the rim, maybe sometimes not getting the benefit of a whistle at times on some paint attacks. Then, defensively, we just had a hard time with LeBron who took over the game.”
(On the 4th quarter):
“We tried to regain our poise, but one little run to get back and that just kept on going. We couldn’t buy a field goal and we couldn’t get a stop. That was a 35-point swing.”
(On the Nets):
“We couldn’t weather going very, very dry offensively. It just wasn’t our bench, we just had a hard time making shots. And, you look at the points in the paint, and there’s a huge disparity in the points in the paint, which is a plus 20 for them (Cavs).”
(On Nets playoff picture):
“”I have no doubt that we are going to keep on playing. We’re disappointed we lost, obviously, a team like Cleveland, that has one of the best players in the league, is going to make a run. But, you can’t hang your head. It’s part of the job of being a professional. We’ve got to bounce back, we’ll watch some tape tomorrow, and then we’ve got a back to back coming up.”

BOSTJAN NACHBAR
(On game turnaround):
“We definitely had some bad moments in there. I think, defensively, they were forcing things. When we had ball movement, we were great. Once we stopped doing that, we missed some shots. Guys, who were driving the ball, it was just unfortunate not to get those calls because those calls could slow down the game and it would have been to our advantage, getting us to the line and those free throws, instead of us having two or three guys going to the boards. They (Cavs) would get the rebound and go. I think that was definitely a game-changing moment right there.”

VINCE CARTER
(On Nets missing last 19 field goals and 1-20 FG in 4th quarter):
“It was tough. But, I liked everybody’s aggressiveness, trying to get to the basket and get ourselves to the free throw line. We weren’t hitting shots, and we were just trying to get to the basket. It’s tough when you’re not hitting shots, not making layups and calls we felt we should have gotten, we werent’ getting. It was just triple threat negative.”
(On what happened after Nets led by 14 points, 65-51, in 3rd quarter):
“They started hitting shots and they started getting fouled, getting to the line with the clock stopped, giving themselves a chance. We weren’t converting on the other end. Our transition defense was a little suspect in the second half.”
(On Nets scoring 4 points in paint in the 2nd half):
“You have to give them credit. They do a great job of clogging the paint and making it tough for you if you are going to go in there. You have to find a way to finish or get a foul, and we weren’t finding a way to finish and we weren’t getting the foul. So, you have to credit them. The effort was there. Guys were being aggressive and getting to the basket. ”

RICHARD JEFFERSON
(On what happened when game turned around in Cavs favor):
“They kept attacking and we couldn’t get the benefit of too many calls. They continued hitting shots and we just couldn’t get a break.”
DEVIN HARRIS
(On game’s turnaround):
“It was tough. We felt like we had control of this game and we gave up a lead in the third (quarter) and didn’t have enough momentum to finish the game. We played great in the first half and we were solid in the third, then we just kind of lost our way for a little bit, and it’s tough to come back from that.”