It's funny how similar/reversed these home-and-home games were. First Game, Dallas came back with a late 7-0 run and the Hornets couldn't complete the final play(s). Also, Dallas won that game by allowing very few shots at the rim and forcing many shots from outside. JJ hit everything at the rim. As for the second game.... go figure.
"For the last time, JJ, you need to take more shots, especially threes! Oh and Dirk, stop getting called for so many fou.....is that Peja's Head running around over there?!?"
(On Outfighting) "We outfought them the first game and they clearly outfought us in this game."
(And why was that?) "Aggression. They picked it up and we didn't respond well."
(On Butler's return) "He's one of our better players. If he's available, we need him back. It's not a nine-game season, it's an 82-game season. So, you want to have all the guys available that you can have."
(On limiting him to 22 Minutes) "It’s a process when you’re out for a week-plus. I thought he moved well in the first quarter. He had good shots, they had a chance. We played well as a team when he was out there. As the game went on, I made decisions to go with other guys, but I think he’s going to be fine. And, we need him."
(On the third Quarter) "The third quarter was just terrible, we were dominated. You can't have a quarter where you get beat by 16 on the road and walk out of here with a win. It just doesn't work that way."
(On the last minutes) "I like the way we fought back. We were in position at the end. And the last play is on me. I'll take the blame for that. We put Dirk in a tough situation."
(On the going 7-3 so far) "I think it sucks. I thought our third quarter was terrible tonight, and that hasn't been our character to not respond in that situation. So that's the disappointing part. I'm not into looking back, I'm into what's going on right now and I'm into what's going on tomorrow and the next day, and this is an opportunity lost."
(Your solution?) "We've got to get tougher. We've got to get tougher, or i'm gonna split some wood on their heads. You can't get in situations where we get distracted by officials' calls. This is a game about aggression and poise, and we have to have the right amount of both."
"Wie bitte? Technisches Foul wegen verspäteter Steuererklärung? Wo gibts denn sowas?!?"
(On his late fumble) "That was just a bad play. I caught the ball too far away, so I had to take him off the dribble. I went left, I thought he cut me off. And usually my go-to move is the spin, but I was so far out that I was worried that somebody was coming behind me...I chose to go behind the back, and as I did the move I think he got a hand on the ball. Just an unfortunate play on my part, but we had our chances."
(On the Hornets coming out of the gate in the Third) "They stepped up the pressure a little bit and we didn't respond the right way. They really took us out of our offense for awhile. And we just didn't execute against their pressure."
(On foul trouble) "You’re gonna get fouls here or there. It’s part of the game. But I don’t think the foul trouble slowed me down."
(On Butler, the Stonemason) "He’s just coming off an injury, so usually when you miss a couple games you just don’t waltz out there and be at the same level you were when you left. So just come into the lineup slow and try to find your game and he’ll be all right. I’m not worried about Caron. He’s a warrior. He’s been a warrior his whole career."
Jason 'I was looking for the Six-Tuple-Five, but missed by a Rebound' Kidd
"You can let go of my hand by now, Chris."
(On the third quarter) "They came out aggressive. They got their hands on some balls. We turned the ball over. We didn’t get shots. They got back in the game and they took the lead. We knew they were going to make a run. The game is about runs. On the road, you want to give yourself a chance to win. We did everything possible. We just didn’t make a shot at the end."
(On the team missing key shots) "We had great looks. We just didn’t make the shots when we had opportunities. We had the ball with six seconds left to win the game, and we didn’t get a shot. That’s not going to win you any games. We’ve got to go back and look and see what we can do better."
(On the Big things) "The biggest thing is we sometimes might relax, and when we do that's when we give our opponent the chance to get back in the game. As a veteran ballclub, we can't do that. We have to be able to maintain that intensity and that tempo because we are deep and we have to use that to our advantage."
(Conclusion) "At the end of the day, if we fight like this, we’ll win more games than we lose."
(On the Dallas team after the first ten games) "We’re a good team. We’ve got a few mental errors that we’re going to learn from. These types of games help you prepare for later. You use these games as a barometer, a measuring stick and move forward."
(On the Hornets tonight) "They definitely were the more aggressive team. Usually, that’s the team that wins. Give them a lot of credit. They came up with a tough win. They wanted it a little bit more tonight and it showed. We still had a chance to win it down the stretch, and it didn’t happen for us."
(What would an optimist say?) "Look at the response we had to the third quarter, coming back and fighting back, still having a chance to win the game at the end, on the road, against a tough team."
(So far, pretty tough Western Conference race, huh?) "Forget the conference. Forget the Lakers and all that. Look at our division."
(How many sentences in a row can you start with a W?) "We've got to learn from this. We've got to get better, but we should have won tonight. We had this team down by 10 at halftime. We lost this game in the third quarter. We didn't lose it in the fourth. We allowed them to go on a 27-7 run, and that's what won the game. We fought back, but we have to grow and learn. When you're up by 10 at halftime, you make them call the first timeout in the third quarter. You push the lead and you give yourself a little bit more of a cushion, and we didn't do that that tonight."
(On what do you take from this game) "We’ve still got some growing to do. There’s obviously some things that we still need to get better at. We didn’t execute as well as we would have liked, but you live, you learn, you move on from it. And we can’t let it happen again."
Caron '38.3%' Butler
"Are you trying to tell me that there is not even a single picture of me during the whole friggin' game?"
(On his playing time) "Whatever he wants. It’s just one of those things. I felt great from a health standpoint. You just got to work your way back in. I experienced that before here. Once the team gets momentum with different lineups, I'm sitting out and just cheering and trying to keep them going; kind of the same thing that happened in the playoffs last year. So, you just root them on and support from the sidelines."
(On returing to play) "I felt good. You just have to work yourself back into it. I got to run and get out and try to make plays, maintain staying aggressive and doing things like that. That’s just the case right now. I was developing a nice rhythm. I had a good game against the Clippers and Denver and I had it going in the first half of the Boston game, and kind of got set back from the injury. "
(Tough season for you so far) "But I battle. The one thing I’m never going to do is lay down and buy into the bull. I’m going to continue to play hard and continue to leave it out there. I’ll be back."
Coach Monty Williams
"CAN I GET A BIG BELLI TONIGHT!?!?"
(On the Difference between the two games) "They imposed their will. It was something we wanted to do tonight."
(On coming out a different team after the half) "Well, we had a few choice words in the locker room at halftime. The guys responded and that’s all I can say. They responded with effort and they stuck together. Even when we threw the ball away at the end of the game, when we got to that 20-second timeout we just said we are going to win this game anyway and I thought that was a sign of a team that is resilient and showed a lot of character. I thought that the halftime was a different halftime than we have had before, and I can’t say enough about how our team responded tonight."
(On opening the third quarter with everything accelerated) "Well it started with Chris Paul and Marco Bellinelli getting up on the ball. They pressured 94 feet and that changed the way Dallas ran their offense, so now they are getting into their offense with 15 seconds on the clock as opposed to getting into it with 20 seconds on the clock. That kind of pressure gets everybody involved; our bench got involved. Willie Green came in and gave the same kind of pressure and then we made plays down the stretch. It’s a cliché, but it’s a team effort for sure."
(On Bellinelli matched up on Nowitzki) "We were running our normal pick-and-roll defense and we had to help because they had Tyson Chandler diving to the basket and that opened up threes so we just decided to black, switch everything and Marco Bellinelli, I didn’t care if he got fouls on that play I thought he was physical and he set the tone. The refs aren’t going to call every foul and Marco Bellinelli was big tonight. The pressure on the ball versus smaller guards and being physical with Dirk hit that nail because they are going to run that play down the stretch. Dirk had 29, but he probably could have ended up with 40 had he not gotten into foul trouble."
"If this is all my fault again after this game, i'm gonna chop off your jewels..."
(On halftime adjustments) "We talked about being more aggressive. They really came out and put it to us to start the game, so we had to come out and be more aggressive in the third quarter. That’s my responsibility. I can’t let us come out flat, and I did that tonight."
(On the importance of the Hornets holding on to the lead for victory) "It’s very important. That’s a really good team that we just played. Every good team is going to make their run, but we weathered the storm and pulled it out in the end."
David 'Tension' West
(On the halftime adjustments) "We picked up and started guarding full court. We made it a point to make it uncomfortable for them. They have too many guys that can score with the basketball. With guys like Tyson getting lobs, and guys just catching and shooting. We just had to get them out of their comfort zone."
(On adjusting to the zone) "The zone hides certain guys. It took us awhile to understand what we needed to do to respond to it."
(On barking at Nowitzki) "I just thought he felt like he was able to do what he wanted to do, and I'm just not going to allow that kind of leeway. I don't take Gamespeak-lessons from KG for nothin'"
(Wait, you don't like that goofy German?) "Let me say this calmly. There's tension between us. It's just from playing over the years and being in the same division and just having history."
(So, big win, right?) "We knew this was a big game for us in terms of just being able to respond to what happened at their place and we want to keep the momentum that we built, especially here at home."
(On Dallas final play) "I was just trying to crowd him and felt like I wasn't going to give him any space.If he was going to make a shot, he was going to have to shoot a tough turnaround jump shot."
(On his game-clinching steal) "We figured Dirk was going to get the ball. Surprise, Surprise! I knew Mek was behind me. We was able to be aggressive out on the perimeter. I just got my hand on it and tried to turn the corner. We got the stop."
Disclaimer: If you couldn't tell by now, all italic sentences are made up thoughts, not actual quotes.