Culture of Hoops

Post Game Quotes and Highlights: 76ers vs. Nets

Image courtesy of the Philadelphia 76ers/Facebook.

Image courtesy of the Philadelphia 76ers/Facebook.

A collection of post-game comments following the Philadelphia 76ers’ victory over the Brooklyn Nets:

Brett Brown
On late game execution
“I feel like we were giving something back to our fans. It’s a close game. There are situations going on all over the place that we’re trying to get better at. I think that for our young guys to figure out some things; we’ve been practicing a lot lately on three-point situations; when you want to use a foul and when you don’t. Isaiah whacks somebody late when we shouldn’t of. We had a good defensive rotation on that jump ball play that we shouldn’t have gotten. We ran a good out of bounds play that Hollis executed and got a big three for us. I thought that we did a great job of executing. I think that for our fans and our team, to win a close game in the way that we did was excellent.”

On T.J. McConnell
“Wow. He was just all over the place. He just disrupts so much [for the other team]; just picking up a ball carrier, whether he’s blowing up a dribble hand off or getting his hands on something in traffic. He was all over the place. He was inspirational. He ends up with 17 points and six assists. As a team, we only had six assists in the second half. We did a great job and I thought that he was a big part in what we did tonight…You respect his tenacity so much. Then you realize that there’s skill behind his tenacity. Then you start realizing that he has composure with tenacity and skill. And then you say, ‘okay he’s real.’ This isn’t anything that’s gimmicky; he’s a real NBA point guard. Tonight, if there was any doubt in anybody’s mind; he sure dismissed it after tonight’s performance.”

On playing Noel and Okafor down the stretch
“When you get into a little tighter rotation, it becomes a little easier for me. I think the big decisions we made was going with those two big men down the stretch. We’re always confronted with the situation of how we’re feeling in our gut that will help us match up defensively the best. I think that with Thaddeus [Young] and [Brook] Lopez, it was, in my mind, more palatable than coming in with Jerami [Grant]. The first half showed that Jahlil was doing a good job. Normally, I’m taking either Nerlens or Jahlil out and leaving Jerami in with his mobility and ability to run the floor. I think the rotation we found in the second half was easier for me because we became tighter.”

On Robert Covington’s clutch three-pointer
“We had Nerlens sneaking along the baseline behind the backboard. We had Jahlil rolling. I thought that T.J. made a good pass over to Robert who didn’t hesitate. We had to make three [pointers]. We knew that. If you look back to the last time we played Brooklyn, we’re always in a fist fight with them, and it’s never a high scoring game. I think our shooters were 0 for 22; it was a not flattering number last time that we played them. This game we made some three’s. We made some big three’s and we needed those to get separation.”

On Okafor’s defensive performance
“I am [pleased]. It’s part of that discussion that we’ve been having; trying to see if he can guard those power forwards. Tonight he did. [The Nets] are more traditional with their big men. I think it’s a little more difficult as we start moving around the league, but tonight I thought the matchup was handled well by him.”

On overall defensive performance
“I thought that we played excellent defense. I thought that if it had not been for the turnovers in the first half that we could have been up by more. I feel that there was a spirit and feistiness in how we played. We played within a pace that we want to play with, even though Ish wasn’t in the game. I think there was a lot of team stuff going on; a lot of physical stuff going on. The word that has been flying around our locker room lately has been ‘competitiveness’ and I think the competitiveness that we showed tonight was for four periods, whereas, last night it was only for three quarters].”

On Nerlens Noel’s ankle injury
“We looked up and he was gone. He was pointing to his ankle. It was a tweak and then we got him back in [the game]. But for a minute, I wasn’t sure what had happened with him. It ended up being a tweak to his ankle.”

On winning without Ish Smith
“I think to find a win without Ish who, in many ways, has been linked to our wins after Christmas. I think that the group, in itself, has improved a lot. I think we can just enjoy tomorrow. We have the day off tomorrow. A legitimate day off in the NBA is rare. To have it also coincide with the Super Bowl is a good thing. We can all bunker in and enjoy the day.”

Nerlens Noel
On 8th win of the season
“I definitely think the guys brought it tonight. We were mentally focused throughout the whole game. The outcome was a win. I think the guys really knew [the Nets] personnel and knew what Brooklyn was about. [Brook] Lopez, I think we did a great job on him and especially [Joe] Johnson. He hit a couple of tough shots, but on the defensive end we were fantastic.”

On T.J. McConnell
“I have 100% belief in T.J. I knew he was going to come out and play his game; bring that intensity and tenacity he plays with, and he did. He made those big plays down the stretch and that really helped us seal that game. He did a great job tonight.”

On switching over to the center position
“I think it helps the team. Knowing our personnel; I think me being around the rim keeps my shot blocking presence. Especially, in the pick and roll when [other teams] usually bring a center up; me being in the pick and roll, I think it changes the game.”

T.J. McConnell
On getting the start
“I just knew I’d probably be playing a little bit more minutes than I’m used to. I got into that mindset. I was able to pick and choose when I can pick up full court [defensively] and exert a lot of energy. My teammates and I did a great job on the defensive end tonight, so full credit to them.”

On team’s late game execution
“As we progress throughout the season, we’re going to be more comfortable [in late game situations] than we were, say, two weeks ago. I think a lot of people made big plays when we needed them and that was the difference in the game.”

Tony Brown [Nets Interim Head Coach]
On 103-98 loss
“It was a tough loss. We were sluggish at the beginning of the game; 11 turnovers in the 1st quarter alone. I thought that in the 2nd quarter we kind of got back into it a little bit. We battled to get back into the ball game. I thought Markel Brown gave us a great lift off the bench and gave us a little bit of rhythm going into the second half.”

On 19 turnovers
“Obviously, you don’t want to turn the ball over. We want to be a free flowing pace team. I don’t think we did that in the 1st quarter. We struggled with making the reads and making plays in traffic, so [as a result] turnovers are going to happen. We got away from that [after the 1st], but I’m still going to stress that and clearly we weren’t the same team we were at the beginning of the game.”

On what triggered their second half comeback
“I thought we moved a lot better. I thought the ball moved better. I thought our bodies were moving. We had a lot of plays that helped us change sides of the floor, and that’s a direct result of that. We started getting into the game a little more. The floor opened up; we attacked and made plays out of it. We got back to what we did last night [against the Sacramento Kings] and that’s one of the reasons why we got back into the game.”

On Markel Brown
“Defensively, he can get into people. Obviously, the plays that we ran with him involved with the ball; he can attack, get into spaces and make plays. I thought he was very decisive. It was good to see that. He was being aggressive, he saw [open] shots and he took them. The ball was falling for him. He had a great game on both ends of the floor.”

On Ish Smith’s sprained ankle
“If a guy’s not playing, he’s not playing. T.J. McConnell has hurt us in the past, so there was no reason to think they wouldn’t come out and ball and play hard. I’m sorry Ish got hurt, but I think T.J. did a pretty good job.”

Markel Brown [Nets Shooting Guard]
On Sixers defensive intensity
“They were able to push us out of our plays. They denied the perimeter. We had a tough time getting open and getting catches. We had a lot of turnovers in the 1st quarter and they were able to create a lot of fast break points of it. I would say overall, it was the pressure they put on us.”

On season high 15 points
“I just went out there any played hard. I was taking shots as they come. I didn’t go out there and rush anything. I just played within the pace of the game. You learn a lot, especially watching the first and second units. You hear the things that Coach asks and wants them to do, so I tried to go out there and apply those things that he’s asked for. I’ve just stayed ready for when my number is called; going out there and being an energy guy and doing whatever I can to stay out there on the court….I’ve been known for being a defender. I’ve been trying to elevate my game and trying not to be one dimensional. I’ve been putting in a lot of work on my shot during the offseason and still to this day, I get into the gym all the time and work on my shot, so hopefully it continues.”

Thaddeus Young [Nets Power Forward]
On 103-98 loss
“It was just a tough start. I think that’s what basically won them the game. We started off poorly and had, I think, 11 turnovers in the 1st, which is tough to overcome. We got ourselves back into the game. We were able to fight. [The Sixers] just made a few extra plays, while we as a team made a few bone headed plays by turning the ball over….“It’s tough, but that’s life in the NBA. It happens. The Sixers have been notorious for beating teams on any given night. You just have to continue to play, continue to stay focused and not let this loss get you down.”

On Sixers defensively
“They’re a very young and athletic team. They know how to pressure you and get into you [defensively] a little bit. But I wouldn’t say that was the main factor. A lot of the things that were happening were just us making bad decisions with the ball. We just have to be better execution wise; be better at taking care of the ball. We have to treat the ball as if it was our babies and we didn’t do that tonight.”

Joe Johnson [ Nets Small Forward]
On loss and ball movement
“It’s a tough loss. Last night, against Sacramento, I thought the ball moved fluently and tonight it didn’t. That 1st quarter showed a lot. The ball [rotation] got stuck, we forced a lot of shots, committed a lot of turnovers and that hurt us. That kind of trickled down the whole game. We never really got in sync. It’s on us. It’s on us as players to come out and be consistent night in and night out. Good ball movement would have hurt this team. We can’t catch the ball and force shots over two or three guys; they’re long and athletic, you can’t do that against this team. We played right into their hands. And they played hard. Give them credit. They played hard. I know their record doesn’t show it because of their wins and losses, but they played hard from start to finish.”

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