“Second half, except for foul trouble, I thought we were really pretty doggone good. You shoot 67 percent, that helps you in any game you’re playing whatsoever. I don’t like the fact that at halftime they had shot 10 free throws and we’d shot three. We’ve got to be more aggressive with that. I like the fact that we made our last 11 free throws. That was good. James Michael (McAdoo) we’re still working on it, Leslie (McDonald), Nate (Britt), Marcus (Paige) stepped up to the line and made their free throws. You feel good about it.
"Marcus was really something in the second half. In the first half it was probably the worst that the combination of Marcus and Leslie and J.P. (Tokoto) had played. I think they were three for twenty or something like that at half, it wasn’t very good. The second half, needless to say, I thought we were much better and we got better shots and took a little more time. I think we rushed it a little bit in the first half and in the second half I think we got better shots.”
On James Michael McAdoo’s foul trouble:
“I was more mad than worried. We held him out the last six and half minutes of the first half after he got two and then you should get more minutes from until he gets all the way to four. I just told Brice (Johnson) he’s got to step up and I think Brice made a couple of baskets for us. Desmond (Hubert) gave us a little bit more defensively, went small when J.P. got his fourth foul and I think that helped us a little bit as well. I wouldn’t say I was concerned, I would say I was more mad because you’ve got to make better decisions than that.”
On the disparity of play of Marcus Paige in the first half versus the second half:
“It’s been weird. We’ve played 20 games and I bet he’s had one half that’s much better than the other half in 15 of those 20 games. I can’t explain it. If I could explain it then I’d let him sit on the bench during the bad half and play him the other half but I can’t explain it.”
What was the difference between the struggles shooting in the first half versus the success in the second half?
“It was almost all getting better shots. We were rushing it. Daniel Miller’s a load inside and he blocked a couple of shots and everybody was shooting the ball inside a little bit quicker. On the perimeter, we were not getting the shots that we wanted because we weren’t patient. It’s one of the things we talked about halftime was take another second or three or four here to get a better shot.”
Comments on making free throws down the stretch:
“Yeah, we were. I really think James Michael is going to start making a bunch of them but James Michael made the first two to start with and I think they’d cut it to six, or seven or eight at that point and he made both. Then everybody else just filled in after that. We shoot them well in practice and most of the time that does translate to shooting them well in the game.”
Did it impress you that your team was able to build on the lead with McAdoo on the bench with foul trouble?
“I think there was a much greater sense of urgency on our guys because James Michael and J.P. both are sitting over there. James Michael, J.P. and Marcus, those three guys have been our most consistent players all year long so with two of them sitting over on the bench, I think everybody understood and raised their level of play a little bit.
"We got a couple of baskets from Brice in there. I think it was five and they cut it to two or three right then and I think Marcus answered with a three on the other end immediately, which may have been his first three of the second half so everybody else just upped their level of play a little.”
Is the sense of urgency a topic that you feel you discuss enough?
“Only 388 days out of a year. To me, it’s the whole key of a basketball team. Can you play with a great sense of urgency? I think we did on Saturday and I think we did for the second half today but we did not for the first half. We couldn’t stop them. They just took it out of bounds and took it right down the court and laid it in on us for about three or four possessions.”
Were there any issues facing your team with the traveling situation?
“People had it ready for an excuse and I told them we were lucky. A lot of people were out there 15 to 20 hours in the car and we didn’t have any problems. We were going to get here about 8:30 and we got to the hotel about 1:30. We rode the Marta and carried our own bags instead of a nice comfortable bus.
"We got in and somebody said we walked six blocks. I was surprised, I walked it myself and carried two bags. I didn’t think it was that far. It was more like two or three but it was a tough situation in Atlanta. I would have not said one thing about that if we had lost because I thought we were so much more fortunate than all those other people out there.”
On Kennedy Meeks:
“He’s got to play better defense. At the end, we were playing zone and he runs out and lets a guy drive right by him like a matador kind of thing. You can’t do those kinds of things but he’d had three straight games in double figures. He does a nice job passing the basketball. We’re a threat to run more when he’s in there. Joel (James) came in and gave us a big basket when we were struggling a little bit.
"Desmond really gives us good play defensively so the mix right there is a pretty good mix and hopefully they’ll keep doing it well. Kennedy’s going to be a very good player. He’s just got to work extremely hard on his body for the next several years and if he does then he’s going to be a big time player.”