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Potent Quotables - Nuggets 118 - Cavaliers 116

(On tonight's game): 
"Give the Nuggets credit. They did a heck of a job, especially down the stretch. When we had the lead and even later in the game, they came up with what seemed like all of the loose balls and long rebounds and converted those long rebounds and loose balls into points. They did a nice job of getting after them and that's something that we talk about here. We talk about getting after 50-50 balls and we didn't do a good job in that area tonight. It hurt us, especially late in the game. We have to keep trying to get back to defending the way that we were for a stretch there. The last few games we haven't played great defensively...we have to get back to making (teams) feel us a little defensively. When you have a team that's a capable scoring team like Denver, you don't want to try to outscore them. We want to hang our hat on what we do and what we do is we defend. We didn't do a good job with that tonight."

(On Denver not calling a timeout and setting up a play on their final possessions in regulation and overtime): 
"You do that a lot with a tied game or one-point game. If you're down three or something like that, you take a timeout to draw up a play, but we've been in plenty of situations where teams look to continue to attack, especially in a tied situation. You just hold it for the last shot and if you miss it, you go to overtime and if you make it, you win the game."

(On whether the missed free throws were due to rust from the break): 
"We didn't shoot well from the free throw line. Again, you play a good team like this and it's a one or two point ballgame and you have to knock down free throws. Not only free throws, early in the game we missed some gimmies right around the basket. I attribute some of that to a little bit of rust, but you have to give the Nuggets credit. They came in here, had just as much time off as we did and came up with the win."

(On the LeBron-Carmelo matchup): 
"Those guys played a ton of minutes: LeBron played 47 minutes and Melo played 48. That's a lot of minutes for both those guys, but both those guys just hung in there and kept trying to do whatever they could to help their team win."

(On the team's defense): 
"There were games before the break where we didn't do a good job defensively. The area that we didn't do a good job in and the concern is our physicalness. We have to be able to be a physical defensive team without sending our opponents to the free throw line often. We didn't quite do that tonight."

(On Mo Williams' return tonight): 
"It was great. He ended up playing 18 minutes...It was great to be able to give him a nice little run, but keep him below the maximum amount allowed."

(On playing Charlotte tomorrow): 
"It's going to be a tough game for us tomorrow in Charlotte. They've had our number the last couple of times we played them. They're long, they're athletic (and) they're well-coached. It's going to be a physical game for us. They play a physical style of basketball. If we continue to do the little things, get after loose balls and stuff like that, we'll give ourselves a chance to win."

(On the fourth quarter): 
"It was two really good teams. It really came down to whoever got the stop they needed or made the shot they needed would win the game. That's how it ended."

(On facing Carmelo): 
"You want to go against the best on the biggest stage. We both did what we had to do to put our teams in position to win; he just made one more play. It was a great shot. If I got any closer, I was going to foul him."

(On impact of missing a lot of free throws): 
"It was that and a couple of defensive rebounds we didn't get. We missed 17 free throws. You're not always going to make 100% from the line, but if we make 12 or 13 of those, it's a totally different game. We have to do a better job than we did tonight."

(On adding new players): 
"These two guys know how to play the game of basketball. They're fast learners. We're excited to have them get into the flow of things. There's only so much you can do at practice; you have to get them out on the court. Hopefully they'll be able to play tomorrow and if not, then soon."

(On playing on the road again): 
"It's always good to get back on the road, especially for some tough games. You want to see what you can do on the road and continue the streak that we had."

(On Mo Williams): 
"It was good (having him back). Mo played well in the few minutes that he played. We just hope he continues to get back in shape and get back to his form."

(On trading Zydrunas Ilgauskas): 
"We're going to miss Z. I've developed a real friendship with Z. I'd like to thank him for opening his arms (to me). He was here for 14 years and when I came here he never complained and we just formed the perfect partnership. Cleveland will miss him and I'm going to miss him."

(On the possibility of getting Z back in 30 days): 
"I don't know how that works but hopefully he makes the best decision. It's not good to talk about business when you're not really allowed to talk about business. I just wish him well and he will always remain one of my good friends."

(On the team's performance tonight): 
"We have had too many days off and missed 17 free throws. Boobie missed some. Parker missed some. I missed all of mine. We were just rusty tonight. We still had ample opportunities to win the game, but just didn't get it done. You just have to chalk this game up as another one where we beat ourselves."

(On his minutes going forward): 
"However many minutes Coach wants me to play, I'm ready. I just have to stay out of foul trouble and stay on the court."

(On LeBron and Carmelo): 
"Two great players going at it. LeBron had Carmelo the whole game. Carmelo kind of mixed it up against LeBron. Two of the four top players going at it."

(On the end of the game tonight): 
"It came down to one last possession and unfortunately we didn't come up with the win, but we had a lot of defensive letdowns and it led to a loss."

(On adapting to the newly acquired players): 
"It's going to be a great learning process. Everything is not going to be easy at first, but I think we will do a good job at learning each others games and learning how we can play together. With that being said, we just have to play hard and everybody has to know what we are doing out there."

(On not getting traded at the trade deadline): 
"I didn't really pay attention to it. I'm happy to be in Cleveland. I understand if something would have happened with me getting traded; it would have been business, not personal. I'm happy to be here and we have to get ready for Charlotte tomorrow."

(On having to sit and watch tonight): 
"It was tough, but it was great being surrounded with all the excitement and people welcoming me here. It's to the point where you just want to get out there. Unfortunately they were able to come up with the big play... It's fun to call this home and to be a part of the team and hopefully I can come in and contribute right away."

(On his perception of the Cavs before arriving): 
"This is a very special, unique team. From afar you always thought this was a very tight knit group. They love to have fun but once it was time to compete, they find a way to get it done. Since day one when I got to the locker room this morning and meeting the guys, that stands true. The most important thing is the common goal that we have and that is to win it all."

(On being able to adapt to the team): 
"Once I get everything down I don't think there will be a problem. I'm just a guy who can stretch out the defense. I think I can fit in and be a guy who can do it all as far as rebounding night in and night out and give you 110%. I told the coaching staff that whatever is asked of me, I will try and find a way to get it done. Whether it is coming off the bench or starting it doesn't matter. I'm just eager to get out there. What you see is what you get night in and night out; just playing with a lot of passion and trying to do whatever it takes to win."