Postgame quotes: Blazers 97, Pistons 93

Official postgame quotes following the Portland Trail Blazers’ 97-93 road victory over the Detroit Pistons on Saturday night at the Palace of Auburn Hills.

PORTLAND TRAIL BLAZERS HEAD COACH NATE McMILLAN: (On the game) “If there has ever been a gut check for a team then tonight was certainly one coming off of an overtime and emotional game like last night. To be down another player tonight, our guys just stepped up, we were running on fumes, they made a run and we withstood it. We just had guys step up and make plays, from Andre (Miller) who was running on fumes, Martell (Webster) played 48 minutes, Rudy (Fernandez) came out and gave us 10 free throws and 19 off the bench and our guards were fresh tonight with double-doubles. Our young guys who we wanted to put in the lineup to give our bigs a breather and it worked tonight on the last game of a road trip.”

(On missed free throws at the end adding drama) “I figured that we had four chances and we were going to make one. We needed to make one and we got the one that we needed. It really played out the way that it should have.”

(On Martell Webster) in the first half) “We went over that this morning about understanding time/score situations and one thing we don’t want our guys to do is hesitate when they have shots and I think that last night we passed up some open looks and we want those guys to shoot it when they are open. Those guys did that tonight and were knocking down shots.”

PORTLAND TRAIL BLAZERS FORWARD LaMARCUS ALDRIDGE: (On big win) “It was a big win because last night we felt like we should have won that game. We are tired, we lost another guy, so it was like one thing after the other, but we came into the lockeroom and said that we are going to need every single guy tonight and Dante (Cunningham) came out tonight and he was physical, Jeff (Pendergraph) too, and Martell (Webster). We had a meeting and we knew that we needed everyone tonight for this game.”

(On drama at the end) “We started out so strong tonight that guys got tired. Guys were already tired when they got here, so when the Pistons came out strong in the second half we were kind of gassed, but we came out with the win.”

(On his free throws at the end) “I know I was going to make the second one, I always miss the first one.”

(On Martell Webster) “He was big and he played with a lot of confidence. He made some big shots for us tonight and we know that he is capable of that, that is why we call plays for him and that is why we played off of him tonight.”

PORTLAND TRAIL BLAZERS CENTER JUWAN HOWARD: (On scuffle) “In this game of basketball you are going to have some emotions that get the best of people and at that point all it did was ignite us.”

(On another grind game) “I tell you that each and every guy in this locker room, weather they are a rookie or coming off a season ending injury last year and this is your first full season or if this is your third, fourth year in the NBA, now of course you have a chance to become a true and real seasoned veteran. All the stuff that we have dealt with, and the season isn’t even over yet, this is NBA 101. This shows a true testament of this organization and they have done an excellent job of drafting, signing good character guys that know how to play the game the right way. We could have easily just said lets tank the season, with all the injuries that we are dealing with, it is an easy out, but it has been totally opposite with this group.”

DETROIT PISTONS HEAD COACH JOHN KUESTER: (On the Pistons play in the second half) “We went back to playing the way we wanted to play. Not the way we played in the first half. Piston basketball was played in the second half. That’s what we have to do for 48 [minutes] instead of 24 [minutes].”

(On Chris Wilcox and Rodney Stuckey) “Boy, I thought he was great. That’s the way I wanted Chris Wilcox to play. I thought he really asserted himself the way that I’ve been waiting for him to do things. He played a physical brand of basketball that I haven’t seen him play, pretty much. There have been times where he has been spectacular but I also saw a different type of Chris Wilcox that I haven’t seen in regards to being a physical basketball player. To be honest with you, the way we have played, and I thought he started it, but the 24 minutes that Stuckey plays when he plays at that level, we’ve got a chance. As he goes, we go, in a lot of ways. When he’s aggressive and he’s doing things with pace then we’ve got a chance.”

(On Rodney Stuckey) “Don’t underestimate his basketball I.Q., it’s very good. He understands how to run and when to pick up the pace and when to slow the pace down. We need him to be aggressive and we need everybody else to stay up with him. All we’re talking about is just playing hard and playing aggressive.”

(On their defense of Martell Webster in the first half) “First of all it takes a lot for a young man to make those shots, which is important but it was terrible defense. Come on. It was terrible defense. We were strangers out there and in the second half we weren’t strangers.”

DETROIT PISTONS FORWARD CHARLIE VILLANUEVA: (On the third quarter) “Guys just got fired up. We knew that the first half we weren’t playing with much effort. Second half we turned it around. It’s frustrating that we let a half let like that go away.”

(On the inconsistency) “I don’t know. I don’t know what it is. I can’t really put my finger on it, but we showed a lot of fight in that second half, which is encouraging. If we play like that a whole game, I am telling you we are though to beat.”

Scroll to top