Postgame Quotes – October 18, 2017

DETROIT PISTONS HEAD COACH STAN VAN GUNDY: (On Stanley Johnson defensively): “I thought (Stanley Johnson) had some good defensive plays. He had four steals, clearly not the shooting night that he would probably hope to have. We hit one stretch there with the second unit in the second half where we were up like 18, I thought five straight times we got good shots and couldn’t make anything. It was a tough night shooting the ball. They are a good defensive team and we struggled, but we got enough contributions from enough people to end up okay.” 

(On Tobias Harris): “He was incredible in the first quarter, 17 in the first, really got going. He was really good, double-figure rebounding night for him too, so outstanding.” 

(On minutes of players): “We had guys time limited because of foul trouble. Avery (Bradley) gets 15, but he only plays half the game, actually less than half the game. Andre (Drummond) plays less than half the game, Stanley (Johnson) and Tobias (Harris) had to go big minutes. I thought guys hung in there and all did their job. I thought we got contribution from a lot of people and I think we did a good job at taking care of the basketball.” 

DETROIT PISTONS GUARD AVERY BRADLEY: (On the effort tonight): “We had a defensive mentality. I felt like the ball was moving well, it was spread out around the court. We played well as a team tonight. This is the way we need to play every single game.” 

(On picking up two fouls early): “Yeah, I think it was me being excited about the game. I need to be smarter about that, my team is going to need me. I can’t get into foul trouble early in the game. First game, I have a chance to watch film and be able to pick my spots a little better.” 

DETROIT PISTONS FORWARD TOBIAS HARRIS: (On his shooting in the first quarter): “I was able to get off in a good rhythm, taking what the defense gave me. My teammates were able to find me on some really good plays. We were just playing together, just being able to use our defensive intensity to get stops and get out in transition.” 

(On how different the team is since seeing the Hornets in the preseason): “I think our chemistry is a lot better. Look at us today, our body language is better out there. We were embracing each other more. A big emphasis for us and our coaching staff is to get guys to (play to) their greatness, to their spots where they’re capable of making plays and being effective. Especially today we were able to do that and really exploit that.” 

CHARLOTTE HORNETS HEAD COACH STEVE CLIFFORD:  (On how tough it is to play catch-up after falling behind): “Yes, I think there are two things. I mean (Tobias Harris) is a really good player—we’ve struggled with him, but we really let Tobias Harris play to his strengths early and that put us in the hole.  But I mean really, the biggest factor in the whole game, was the turnover game.  It started early in the first quarter, a lot of it you have to give them credit for.  I thought their defense was good.  [Avery] Bradley brings another dimension defensively to any team he plays on with his passing-lane steals and his ball pressure and I think it’s contagious.”  

(On if he saw any pattern with the turnovers tonight): “Oh, we had some sloppy ones.  I mean, again, you try to play stress-free.  If a guy’s denied here, move the ball the other way. We had a lot of them where it was just like these habit, flip passes—those aren’t okay.  But again, their defense was very good.” 

CHARLOTTE HORNETS CENTER DWIGHT HOWARD: (On if he saw any positives tonight): “Well, there’s always going to be positives in a game like this—first game.  They came out, pretty much do what they did at home. They protected the home court and shot the ball well.  They had a good game, so hats off to their team. They were well-coached and they were prepared for this game. So we’ve got to just get back to the drawing board and get ready for Game 2. “

 (On falling behind early on the road and it being difficult to catch up):  “Yes, it’s very difficult, especially against a team like Detroit.  They play better when the crowd is into the game.  We didn’t get a chance to get up and down the floor, get easy steals and get out of transition.  So, it was a good learning experience for us – our first real game, but I expect better from our team and we will be better for the next game.”

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