Postgame Quotes – April 13, 2017

Detroit Pistons Head Coach Stan Van Gundy

 (On being down by 21 points, and taking the lead only to let it slip away:)

“That was our season, wasn’t it? Always down early. Our starters never get us or very rarely get us off to a good start. So, down early, come back which we do most of the time, and bad shooting team. You pretty much in one game saw us for what we were this year. We had some resilience to come back, and we can’t shoot. That’s got to change. Tobias (Harris) goes 0-for-4 at the line. Henry (Ellenson) goes 1-for-5 at the line. We had that one stretch about the 3:00 to 4:00-minute mark where we had seven good shots. Pope (Kentavious Caldwell-Pope) has a wide open shot in the corner, and hits the side of the board. If it wasn’t my team, it would be almost comical.”

 (On whether it’s disappointing to see his players end the season like this:)

“Stanley played bad. Yes, he just played bad. And Jon… it’s something I’ve got to talk about with him. Jon was a very good player through the first 50 games of the year. You look at the numbers, very good. One of the best power forwards in the league. And over the last 25 games, one of the worst. So, how does that happen? The guy had a couple of bad games and totally lost his confidence. Jon’s got a lot of talent. He’s a good player. He cares a great deal. He’s committed. He plays hard. But, we’ve got to work through the whole confidence thing and all of that. He’s a lot better than he played down the stretch.”

 (Does seeing Boban Majanovic’s performance over the last four games give you more confidence in his role next season:)

“We went out and we said that to you guys when we did it, that we knew we wouldn’t have space this year. So, we took a jump a year ahead of time to sign him. And yes, he’s pretty good. We really, and this is a fault of ours I guess, is we really didn’t build anything around him either offensively or defensively. We’ve got to do some defensive things to help him and we’ve got to get him the ball even more offensively. But, he was our third center and so we didn’t build enough around him, but certainly we will going forward. I mean the guy is an offensive force. And he can do more than we had him do. We haven’t had a guy like him so we didn’t do a lot of cutting off the post so he can really pass. I think he can create some easy baskets which we need to get. Especially with the way we missed jump shots. So, we’ve really got to work on that.”  

Detroit Pistons Guard Reggie Jackson

(on his mindset while he has been out of lineup last few games) “I just want to win.  I want to be a leader in any type of way.  I want to be an encouraging voice.  I just want to be a part.  I couldn’t be out there physically and actually competing so any way to feel a part so definitely want to give off a great vibe along with my spirit and be high in spirit with the guys and just keep encouraging each other.  I just wanted to try and contribute in any type of way and be any type of factor in winning.”

 “I am just happy that he (Coach Van Gundy) continues to believe in me.  Any time your own organization and your Head Coach keep you high in spirit and keeps you striving to be great each and every day…our guys have been staying with me, we have been in great contact throughout the season despite me not being able to play.  Just trying to be a leader in any way and just trying to be a positive voice and get better at guiding this team as to where we want to go.  This season didn’t go the way we wanted it but I look forward myself personally getting rested and the rest of the guys also taking care of their games and mentally and when the time comes getting back in the gym and just getting out there to improve on your weaknesses but master your strengths and come back and gear it up for a full training camp.  Tough way that we ended this year.  We look forward to next season right now.  We will go ahead and rest our minds a little bit and enjoy each other’s presence these next few hours on the plane and these next few days and then everybody is going to go their way.”

 (on his thoughts regarding Boban Marjanovic and Ellenson going into next season) “Very talented.  They can play especially on the offensive end.  They can put the ball in the basket.  We struggled this year a little bit with that and they can help us with that.  I think we are going to get better offensively just naturally getting to know each other and hopefully getting a little bit more acclimated.  Those guys definitely came out and competed and they gave us everything they had.  They didn’t play all 82 so I just admire the way they came in and worked each and every day.  When they were out there they contributed to the best of their abilities and they showed they are contributing players in this league.”

 Detroit Pistons Forward Henry Ellenson

“We were able to make plays down the stretch and get the lead for a little bit.  At the end they hit a couple more shots.  I thought it was a good job just to be able to get back into it because we easily could have given up on it.”

 “I think these last four games for me have been really good just giving me realization in-game and being able to go up and down and play because I haven’t really had this all year.  It makes me more hungry for the summer and it is going to motivate me even more.  It will help me learn some things I have to work on.  It gave me an idea on the type of role I will have next year and I will take it into the summer and work hard.”

Orlando Magic Head Coach Frank Vogel

“Just want to start by thanking the fans for their support all season, but in particular tonight. Just a great, great crowd. It’s been a tough season for us, but to see them stay behind us the way that they did and show up for the last game of the season the way they did it’s special, it’s awesome and they were a big part of the win tonight. So, I’m glad we got the ‘W.’”

 (Your veterans played well to start the game, but it was your young guys late that came through. Is this a peek of what the future could be?)

“Yeah, that was my hope for how the game would go, is that the starters would have a chance to respond from a couple poor performances and play well for their last run this season and give the game to the young guys late and hopefully they step up and make plays, and they were terrific. Aaron and Elfrid, both terrific in the fourth quarter, Mario had a big three, young guys Patricio and Marcus got some good run. Marcus with some big free-throws and Zim(Zimmerman) was getting his butt kicked a little bit and responded with a big block, battled for some key rebounds and hit that sweeping left hook late in the game and was a big, big bucket and a big moment for him quite frankly. To see Elfrid have the calm and poise to just win the game, just put the ball in his hands at the end of games, go high pick-and-roll and say go win the game for us kid, and he did it and that was pretty awesome. So, I’m happy with how the game went and pleased we got the ‘W.’”

 (Did you have a message to the team as a whole when they were in the locker room?)

“Similar to what I just said, basically. I’m proud of how the starters responded and proud of how the young guys rose to the occasion and won a game for us. It’s been tough but that’s, you know – looking at the last two games we played and this is what I was hoping for, for tonight. And we’ll get together tomorrow for our exit interviews.”

 (You talked about the crowd in your intro there, how important was it to get off to a good start in response to Monday’s performance?)

“Well, it was important. Everything we’ve talked about all year long when we were not mathematically out of it but kind of out of it, and then when we were mathematically eliminated we still preached that we’re trying to win a building culture and I believe that message is the right one and it should resonate and it should carry into next year. We have an extremely young team, we do and when you’re looking at – hey we’re going to play the young guys and sit the veterans and the veterans are fourth and fifth year guys, that just tells you how young your guys are. You can make the argument that Evan, Terrence and Vuc are the young guys that should be staying in there, but those guys are our vets you know, Bismack too. They’re all fourth and fifth year guys so, like I said, it’s been a tough year.  We’re young but hopefully improving and we’ll do whatever we have to do in the offseason to get this thing going in the right direction next year.”

 (In addition to the crowd, it seemed like the players were really invested and excited, what does it take to carry that into next season?)

“We just had a positive vibe about us tonight. There was a lot of positive energy and guys knew that they were going to have a chance to respond. I think when the starters played well that always helps what their energy is going to be like when the young guys get in and I don’t know, when you’re playing well the energy is going to be good and when you’re playing poorly the body language is going to be bad, that’s just the way it is. Tonight, we played well and our energy was really good.”

ORLANDO MAGIC CENTER NIKOLA VUCEVIC

 (On winning the game in front of the largest home attendance in team history…)

“Yeah, definitely we were into it. We really appreciate that they came out in such a high number for the last game and support this. They were really into the game. They were with us throughout the whole year and it was a very tough year for them. We didn’t deliver. We didn’t meet the expectations that we all had and it shows that they really support us by coming out tonight.”

 (On the team’s strong start being a response to their performance against Chicago…)

“Yeah. We wanted to leave a better picture for the end of the season; that we come out really great, playing the right way, moving the ball, and defending well. Everybody was getting good looks and we were just enjoying the game out there. It’s fun to be a part of that.”

 ORLANDO MAGIC FORWARD AARON GORDON

 (On his expectations of the last 10 games of the season…)

“It’s definitely not what I expected. Expectations are a trap. You expect something throughout the whole offseason coming into the next game and then it’s not what you expect. That expectation leads to disappointment and so on; disappointment to despair. Coming into next season there’s not going to be any expectations. The only thing that we can expect to do is continue to progress, continue to grow with the coaching staff, and to continue to stay present and focus on each game for the last 10 games.”

 (On the team’s strong start being a response to their performance against Chicago…)

“Yeah. It wasn’t the right energy. It wasn’t the right feeling throughout the whole team. I think tonight we came out with a more positive attitude and that was the result.”

 ORLANDO MAGIC GUARD ELFRID PAYTON

 On how much the team wanted to win this game for the fans…

“We definitely wanted to win it for the fans. It was the largest crowd that we ever had. We definitely wanted to get it for the fans and definitely for us; trying to get some momentum going into the end of the season and end it on a good note.”

 On whether him taking over the game at the end helps his momentum going into next season…

“Definitely for the momentum. Like I said, just trying to carry us into the summer, continue to work, and get ready for next season.”

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