Postgame quotes: Bulls 115, Blazers 111, overtime

Official postgame quotes following the Portland Trail Blazers’ 115-111 overtime road defeat to the Chicago Bulls on Friday evening.

United Center, Chicago
Friday, February 26, 2010

Nate McMillan, head coach:

On their missed opportunities: “We had our shots at it. We just didn’t make the plays when we had to. We were able to fight back into the game. However, they were quicker all night to the ball and quicker in running their sets. It just looked like we had heavy legs all night.”

On Derrick Rose’s play: “He was really good tonight. We tried everybody on him. Late in the game we tried to trap him to get the ball but he was able to pass it to (Joakim) Noah. Our plan all night was to try to keep him out of the paint and keep him from driving. When we did trap him he did what he was supposed to do and that was move the ball.”

On (Joakim) Noah’s play: “He was a big difference. They put him on LaMarcus (Aldridge) and he gave him a lot of problems down there low. They also used (Luol) Deng on Brandon (Roy), which gave him problems as well. We had some open looks but it didn’t go down for us.They did a good job defensively and made it tough for us. Defensively, we couldn’t control (Derrick) Rose and against this team you need both ends of the floor and we didn’t get that tonight.”

On their rebounding disparity: “They were just much more active and aggressive on the boards than us. They were able to get their hands on them all night. Even when they didn’t we just couldn’t do anything with the ones we controlled.”

Andre Miller, Guard

On the game: “It went back and forth. They just had the better legs down the stretch.”

On the potential game-winning shot: “Brandon (Roy) did try to get to the basket but they made a good play. He got it back. At that point on the road, sometimes you go for the win and sometimes you attack the basket. He had a good look. If it goes in that’s great. If not, you go on to the next game.”

Brandon Roy, Guard/Forward

On the potential game-winning shot: “I was trying to go for two but I got stuck in the lane. When I popped out I looked up and saw that the clock was under :10 so I tried to get a three off. It felt good; it just fell short. My shots were short all night. I thought I had a good look. (Deng) was kind of backing up. I just didn’t make the shot.”

On coming back from not playing: “This was the third game in four night for me and my legs were a little heavy. I’ll just try to continue to get my legs underneath me and keep fighting. I tried to give us a lift down the stretch. It just wasn’t there tonight.”

Chicago United Center
Friday February 26, 2010

Vinny Del Negro- Chicago coach:
The team overcame ball handling problems:
“We had too many turnovers. We had a couple of key turnovers down the stretch that really hurt. We missed a box out on a free throw. There were a few there when we were just fortunate because we made some key plays down the stretch. I like the way we were much more aggressive in the 2nd half and got to the free throw line. We did not settle for the jump shot. Aldridge and Roy are difficult covers. We made the stops when we had to and we were able to score.”

On being able to come back against quality opponents:
“We had a good start. Our ball movement was not very good in the 2nd quarter. We got some stops but they were able to get the momentum back. We just kept fighting back. At the end of the 3rd quarter we got a little bit of rhythm and got the tempo the way we needed to play. In the 4th we had our opportunities to control the game but we did not convert a couple of times on the break. We missed some free throws and found a way in overtime to get some stops and get a nice win. Joakim did a nice job on the glass but we probably played him a few too many minutes. He was a factor in the game with his 11 rebounds and his activity. I t was good to see him out there.”

Did you get greedy with Joakim’s minutes?
“We probably got a little greedy, but I asked him how he felt and he said he felt good, but I could see he got a little fatigued. His length made a big difference for us against Camby and Aldridge. He is sore right now. His injury is going to bother him for a while whether we play him 10 minutes or 20 minutes. Hopefully we can manage it the right way and take it day by day with him and his therapy.”

It was obvious you needed Joakim against their bigs:
“When you have good players and can put them on the court it makes a big difference. Portland has a lot of talent and 2 go to guys, Aldridge in the post and Roy on the wing. Derrick made big plays for us and Hakim was active for us. Luol made some big plays. IT comes down to who is going to get some stops. We were fortunate in the sense that we turned it over in some key situations but were able to hang in there and get some key stops and get the win.”

Derrick Rose:
“I made a lot of mistakes. I want to apologize to the fans for the sloppy start, but we came back and won it in the end.”

“During overtime, we protected the ball and made baskets. We also played better defense.”

On his shot at the end of regulation:
“I thought it was in after it hit the backboard. I said ‘it’s in, that’s game’”

On the win:
“It means a lot. We can beat the best. We can play with the best teams.”

On the heart of the team with Noah and Deng hurt:
“It tells you a lot about them. They just go out and play hard. They want to win.”

On this being a big win:
“We definitely needed this confidence. When we are playing like this, it’s hard to beat us. We play uptempo and move the ball over well.”

Kirk Hinrich:
On being a big win:
“They’re all important. We’ll take this win. We had stretches of good play and stretches of bad but we were able to take care of business in overtime.”

On Noah playing hurt:
“He stepped in and played really well. He looked like he had his rhythm back.”

“We need to make a conscious effort to make our shots, make free throws and not give up offensive rebounds down the stretch.”

Luol Deng:
On the win:
“It means a lot. I think we made a lot of unforced mistakes but we stuck to it and made some big shots down the stretch.”

Do you think Noah turned the game around in the 3rd qtr with his play on Aldridge?
“Yeah, we missed that. He had been doing that all year. He came in when our energy was down and using his energy, he was able to shur Aldridge down.”

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