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Potent Quotables - Cavaliers 85 - Bucks 82


(On tonight’s game): "Tonight, we won with our identity. There was a stretch for almost six minutes where we scored two points and defensively, we were good. I thought we did a terrific job of communicating on that end of the floor. We did a good job of helping one another on that end of the floor and our trust was extremely high and that was the separation in the ballgame. That’s what allowed us to hang on for the win."

(On the bench’s play): "I thought off the bench, Anderson and Delonte were terrific. Delonte played hardnosed defense and came up with 50-50 balls on defense. He brought a lot of toughness to this team tonight and then he attacked the rim great. You hope a guy like Anderson, who only had six points and seven rebounds, gets some mention for one of the All-Defensive Teams, and you hope he gets mentioned for Sixth Man of the Year because what he brings to the table for us is extremely invaluable. It’s off the charts. It can’t be measured in stats. You look at that last play; the smartest play he could have done was to chuck that ball to the other end of the floor to let the time run off and he did it. You have to have intelligence to think that quickly in that position with that amount of time left."

(On tonight’s defense): "When we have that type of focus, that type of energy, with the communication we had, our guys can be pretty good. Our guys really locked in for that third quarter coming out of the lockkeroom and got it done defensively. I’m happy about the effort on the defensive end, because we have enough guys who can put the ball in the hole."



(On winning the game at the defensive end): "The one thing we did is we flied around. Big time. Guys got beat off the dribble and we were able to help. We just contested everything. We had a couple shot clock violations, a couple blocks…like I said, the one thing you can’t control is when you are making shots. We couldn’t make shots, but you can control defense and that’s how we won the game."

(On Andy tapping the ball away at the end): "That was a really, really smart play and it just took all the time off the clock. It was a really smart play."

(On the defensive game plan on the last possession): "Just to not allow them to get an easy look. In any pick and roll situation, we were going to switch everything. Brandon Jennings tried to fake us out with a fake DHO, (Dribble Handoff), but our guards stayed on him and they got a good contest."

(On the defensive effort in the second half): "That is what our staple is. I have been saying it for the last week or two. We figured out how we are going to win ballgames and that was a good case of it tonight."

(On looking forward to the West Coast trip): "It is a business trip. I am looking forward to it. There are some really good teams we are going to play. All four teams are really good. We are looking forward to the challenge. It will be a good test for us."


Shaquille O'Neal

(On the Cavs’ defensive effort to finish the game): "The last six minutes we really couldn’t score a bucket, but our defense carried us. It was really a good test for us, (the Bucks are) a dangerous team with a lot of shooters. Tonight, everybody scrambled at every position and like I said, the last six minutes our defense carried us."

(On stopping Brandon Jennings tonight): "He went 5-21 (shooting). He had a lot of hands in his face. Either we did a good job or he had an off night, I’m not sure. He’s a fabulous player and he reminds me of a young Nick Van Exel and I wish him well."

(On the upcoming road trip): "It is a difficult trip coming up. It is a good test for us. You know that every time that we get into focus mode, we play pretty well. LeBron said it earlier, I said it earlier - it’s a business trip. We are going to a lot of nice cities, but we are going to be locked in as soon as we get on the plane tomorrow."

(On if the Cavs’ recent play worries him): "I’ve been in (the league) for 17 years and I’ve gone to the big dance in many different ways. It doesn’t matter how you get there. A lot of teams play perfect in the beginning and mess up at the end. We are learning. We have been put through a lot of tests and it is going to test out our mental toughness, and it’s going to be good for us."



(On forcing Brandon Jennings into shooting a low percentage tonight): "That was my goal coming into the game. I know that the kid is aggressive; I know that he is pretty quick and crafty with the ball. I know that he uses a lot of screens and I know I had to be extra aggressive with him, fighting over those screens and try to mix it up with him a little bit. Go under. Go over. (Try to) not give him the same look all night. My bigs did a good job of helping me also. When Shaq was in the game, he dropped, sat back and didn’t give him an angle to the basket. When Andy and JJ were in the game, those guys showed and slowed him down a little bit and let me square him up. It was total team defense. Obviously, I had to come mentally prepared to guard him."

(On being satisfied with the team’s 20-7 record): "Obviously, there have been a couple losses that we felt like we let slip away, but we are a team in training. We are a team learning how to win and learning each other. I’ll take those early losses. I think we are learning each other more and more, each and every game. Obviously, you always feel like you get better. I think we are on the right path."