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Potent Quotables - Happy with the win, unhappy with the defense


(On the team's defensive play tonight): "Defensively, we are not playing at a level where we need to. They had (21) fast break points in the first half and that was way too many. Some of it was because we had poor floor balance, some of it was because we gambled in transition and some of it was because they ran out and we didn't get back. They took advantage of us in the second quarter and they ended up with 40 points for the quarter. In the other three quarters, I thought we did a decent job against this team. We have still got to sustain that for 48 minutes. We are definitely not where we want to be right now. Everybody feels it and we have got to fight through it. It's going to be a nice mental challenge for us and it's going to be a nice physical challenge for us to get to where we need to be in order to win games at a high level. I'm looking forward to the challenge and I think everybody in that locker room, hopefully, is too because we are all competitors."

(On tonight's game and distributing the ball): "Obviously the 29 assists to the eight turnovers was big for us. It allowed us to score 105 points because we got pretty balanced scoring across the board. Andy was good for us and extremely active off the bench. Delonte was good for us, especially in the second half when we put him on Thornton. Shaq was big for us and LeBron obviously found his teammates quite often tonight to get 13 assists for the game. We did some nice things tonight, but we still have got to continue to try and take strides and steps forward. We have got to fight through whatever we are going through right now while we try to figure this thing out."

(On Marcus Thornton): "He's a good young player. He's quick, can shoot the three, can get to the rim and has a medium game. We weren't as physical on him as we should have been. I thought that Delonte, towards the end of the game when he was guarding him, did a tremendous job of getting up in his air space and making him try to feel uncomfortable when he had that basketball."

(On where this team needs to improve): "Mainly defensively. Offensively, at times we are searching a bit but we have plenty of scorers to be able to put points up on the board. I'm OK with that and we will continue to figure that out. Defensively we have to continue to be consistent for 48 minutes and right now, we are not."

(On going with an eight-man rotation tonight): "I went into the game playing nine guys on my minutes sheet, but as the flow of the game happened, I went with different lineups at different times and it just kind of worked out that way. It wasn't focused on which eight guys, but it did happen and can happen from time to time. Other guys just have to stay ready in case their number is called."

(On his impressions of Antawn Jamison): "One thing that you can't beat is his positive professional attitude. He is one of the highest character guys, one of the most professional guys, one of the hardest-working guys that you can be around. You like that. You like that he has the ability, obviously, to make the defense play a lot of different ways: he can stretch the floor, post up, he has got a nice medium game, can get to the rim and he can rebound. There are things that he can do offensively for us that we haven't had here at the power forward position."


(On the game): "They're a good team. They shot the ball extremely well from the outside and shot the gaps and had us off guard all night. It was 'winning time' the last few minutes of the game and we got a few stops and executed offensively."

(On Marcus Thornton's performance): "He played extremely well. When you're in a zone, you hate to be on the losing end. He's a really good scorer and we got some stops on him at the end. He had a couple of turnovers and Delonte got a block on him and that really helped us."

(On the team's defense): "We're going to continue to get better. We've played some pretty good defense throughout the course of this year. We've had some slippage and that's something that we understand. We know that consistently to win ball games, we have to be strong defensively and we'll get it back."

(On Antawn Jamison): "He's doing well defensively so far. I think the offensive part is harder. On defense, you can communicate through certain situations...offensively, he's still getting into the flow. He's understanding now that he's going to get a lot of open looks, even (more than he's) accustomed to. Defensively, he'll be fine, but offensively I still think he's trying to get comfortable."


(On the team's performance since acquiring Antawn Jamison): "We just have to develop our rhythm. It's taking time, but we're doing OK. He's (Jamison) playing well and everybody's playing well. We just have to man up on defense... We still made a lot of mistakes out there. We're kind of like a new team out there, so we have to try and get our rhythm back."

(On being more assertive on offense): "I wanted to come in at first and not get in anybody's way. Now with the second half coming into the postseason, it's time for me to establish myself as a dominant threat."

(On the level of concern on the defensive end): "We know what we have to work on. We just have to man up. We just have to know who we're guarding and guard our guy."

(On Marcus Thornton from LSU): "He's nice. He's a great kid. I watched him play a couple of times. He's doing well. He reminds me of a Maurice Williams."


(On getting his first win as a Cavalier): "Since I've been here, we haven't gotten one so it's definitely good to get one in front of the home crowd and get off this skid. We're learning. We're trying to adapt. I'm trying to adapt and everybody is trying to adapt to me, and it wasn't pretty. These are the games that you have to find a way to get a victory and we were able to do that tonight."

(On overcoming the 40-point New Orleans second quarter): "We did a better job as far as limiting their transition points. That's how they got the 40 points in the second quarter. We knew that if we limit them to playing half court offense then it would work in our favor. We just did a better job of getting back and not letting them get easy baskets... That was the biggest difference."

(On his reception from the crowd): "For the last 12 years, I have been in the other locker room and I know the passion of this crowd and the city for this team and now for me to be a part of that is special. I never thought they would be cheering for me, but it felt good and hopefully we have a lot more cheering that needs to be done. It was a great welcoming to the team with the first home game."

(On the pressure to win): "We lost two games in a row and thought it was the end of the world. I've never been a part of that before. It's a good feeling. It's what championship basketball is all about. They shot 50% from the field and coach said there is no way we can be successful with that type of shooting. We know we have to perform better defensively and offense will take care of itself."