Post Game Notes and Quotes.

Before and after the Kings/Lakers game last night, I was able to make my way around the stadium and get a wide variety of player quotes from both teams.  We will start with the post game coaching interview and work from there.  It should be noted that Coach Westphal was not in the best mood following the Kings loss to the Lakers.  That is to be expected after a tough loss, but he was slightly more short with the media than usual.

Coaches Notes and Quotes:

  • Coach Westphal on the slow start:  “The game plan really isn’t for us to get down by 18 every night and then come back and win, but it’s pretty hard to do it against a team like that.”
  • On the perception that is associated with praise:  “There are so many good things that we did and I do want to talk about those, but I don’t want anyone to think that we are satisfied to do a lot of things well against the Lakers.  We can play better and we will play better.”
  • On the defensive struggles in the first half:  “We have to tighten up our defense and we have to tighten it up from the start of the game.  We ran up against a team that’s done that to a lot of people, I think they’ve probably done it every time this year.  But we’ve done it too often and until we get better defensively for 48 minutes, we’re not going to be the team we want to be or we think we can be.  There’s a lot that goes into when a team scores, for one thing they were hitting, seems like every three point shot that they took they ended up hitting – 11 of 21- 52%.  Three point shots come and go- even open ones, that’s a high percentage.  At the same time, I don’t want to minimize our propensity to give up big points in the first half.  We have to get better at that and we will.”
  • On defensive breakdowns:  “I thought we had plenty of defensive breakdowns in the first half where out of time outs, everybody in the world knows they’re going to run a lob and we let them run a lob. Those kinds of things hurt a lot more than when a team is scoring in transition after we miss.”
  • On things getting chippy and whether or not there seems to be the ground work for a rivalry:  “The Lakers don’t even know who we are right now.  I mean, we would like to build a rivalry against the best team in the world, but answer that question as if there is a rivalry would be an insult to them.  We have to win some games before there is a rivalry.  They are where we want to go.”
  • On Cousins’ shot selection:  “He’s still learning and we are learning a lot about him.  He’s learning about the league and he’s a very talented guy who is going to be with us for a long time and is going to be very effective, but don’t expect him to be a finished product after 5 games.”

Former Kings assistant Chuck Person with Former King Ron Artest.

Players Notes and Quotes:

  • Francisco Garcia on why he wasn’t able to get free in the second half:  “They weren’t helping off of me in the fourth quarter.  Phil Jackson kept saying on the sideline, when Matt was guarding, he was like stay with him.”
  • Pao Gasol on DeMarcus Cousins:  “He’s a talented player, I think that he’s going to have a very successful NBA career and he’s going to start figuring things out as the games go by.  He’s new to the NBA game and he has a long way to go, but I’m sure he’s going to have a bright future.  He’s got good moves and he uses his power well.  I expect him to be more effective down the road too.”
  • Derek Fisher on making a career out of hitting big shots:  “Yeah, I relish the role of helping my team win regardless of who it’s against or where it is or what the situation is.  I’m not afraid to make a play to help us win and it’s something I enjoy a great deal and I’ve been very fortunate to be on some great teams and so it allows those moments to be more memorable.”
  • Lamar Odom on his hot start from the perimeter: “I shot the ball all summer, I got to play and I got to watch a lot of tape of myself and just try to figure out my mechanics and everything.  Most of all, I’m just playing really loose, and I’m comfortable and I’m confident at the same time.”
  • Odom on being a Laker: “To be able to play basketball in LA and to play for the Lakers is a blessing.  To win, to be around winners, to play with some of the best players to ever play the game, some of the best coaches, best owners, it’s a blessing and I’m lucky.”
  • Matt Barnes on the Kings and the game plan: “We’ve got our hands full with a very young and athletic team.  Ron and I will spend a lot time on Tyreke Evans- he’s a handful and I’ve spent a lot of time watching film on him.  With Casspi and Garcia, they’re both very active guys who can play inside and out and they both attack the basket well and play with a lot of energy.”
  • Matt Barnes on being a Sacramento native who now plays for the Lakers:  “It feels good.  I grew up a Laker fan even though I lived up here.  I was telling someone earlier, I think it is harder for my friends to make the convert because you know, it’s a big rivalry between the Kings and the Lakers.”
  • Barnes on throwing Carl Landry on a Laker girl during the pre-season:  “That was just a play where he elbowed me once and I kind of let it go, but he did it again and we kind of got locked up.  It happens sometimes.”

Lastly, here is a locker room interview with Carl Landry after the game:

http://www.youtube.com/v/OtxunZvFoNY

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About: James Ham

James Ham is co-owner and senior editor of Cowbell Kingdom, providing extensive Kings coverage through news analysis, in-depth interviews with players and staff and daily coverage of breaking news. Along with providing original content for the site, including the Cowbell Kingdom Podcast and his weekly Sunday Musings column, James also is one of the producers behind the award-winning, independent documentary film "Small Market, Big Heart".