“We can’t rely on talent to win games. You rely on hard work, grind, dedication, sacrifice; those are the things we need to get back to.”
“We have 30 games left. We have to give it our all for 30 games. Hopefully this break gives us a little time to get away from it. We come back we have to decide whether we are going to play or not. You can say (the problems are) communication, you can say effort, you can say a lot of things. I really can’t put a finger on it. I’ve been trying to figure it out the entire year. It brought me back to when I first came here, seeing the same things; we used to lose games like that. We have to come out and play harder for the fans.”
“I get fatigue of the ankle after awhile. Then the foot kind of gets into it, the buildup of games. Out there playing my heart out, trying to do what I can to help my team, trying to play the right way. We’ve got good guys (now). We all get along with each other; sometimes you need more than liking one another. You’ve got to deep down love each other and play hard knowing that guy is going to battle for you.
“It comes down to, I think, believing in yourself. After the shellshock of a couple of guys being injured it takes a toll. You see the energy, shrugging their shoulders, getting down. That’s where it’s good that you have a coach like Fred who keeps believing in you. We’ve got a lot of talent in this room. We’ve won games without much talent. I think it’s mental at this point. We’ve got to have the heart to execute and go out there and play and go back to having fun.”
On his team’s recent struggles: 13 losses in last 18 games.
“It has been a bad, bad stretch of basketball. The biggest thing is we have to get back to playing winning basketball. It has to be a sacrifice. You have to give everything you can to help this team win. Right now we are getting beat for loose balls and getting beat down the floor.”
“I’ve seen what we are capable of. Hopefully we’ll get healthy; that’s a big start. If we can get healthy and keep competing and band together, we have a chance because we have proved we can do it. We’ve got to find ourselves. I challenged them to do whatever they’ve got to do over the break, look themselves in the mirror and find a way to get committed to this thing where we can come out and go on a run. That is all we can do right now is look forward.”
Following the Bulls loss to the Clippers:
“We let guys do whatever they wanted out there. I know we have to start winning; can’t keep waiting. The time is now. No answers. I don’t know why we do it (inconsistency). It’s everybody, not one person more than the other. We all have to bring it from the jump. Continue to play the right way and start winning these games. Not putting bodies on people, or rebounding and guys getting to their strengths; that’s the will. Defense is all about toughness; we’re not guarding, so we don’t look tough.”
So what does Bach tell the players he wants to see on defense? It is a variety of things, enough to give a nightmare to the dreamer.He says he wants to see his team play together with the unity of an amoeba sliding and creeping back and forth. He wants to see his team play defense like an accordion, “constricting at one moment and then with the ability to spring back out. New York did that better than anyone this year.”But mostly he wants them to be Dobermans.“I like them, they’re great attack dogs, I started calling our guys that to give them some identity. I like it when they don’t just guard the property, but go after people, where it’s hard to pull ’em back. I’ve seen it many times. Scottie and Michael and Horace — oh, it’s beautiful!”
From Dallas Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle:
“It’s amazing really. The last year and a half, he has gone from being a really top-level system player to being a franchise foundation piece. He’s obviously a hard worker. The thing you love about him from a basketball standpoint is he plays both sides of the ball.”