TAR HEEL STRONG

Nate Britt of North Carolina:

I think we’re a lot better on the defensive end now.  In the halfcourt, we’ve done a better job defending the ball.  It’s effort more than anything. We had to change our will to want to defend on every possession. Us being able to score has been a bit of a luxury. We can’t just depend on our scoring, and that’s something we had to change. I think we’re a little bit tougher now. We got a very tough win over Arkansas under our belts.

Source: http://www.sportingnews.com/ncaa-basketball/news/north-carolina-kentucky-unc-march-madness-elite-eight-final-four-south-region/1v7j32mswwtb31tth7h5bwoqeb?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

TWO-WAY PLAYER

Gregg Popovich on Kawhi Leonard:

“The block (shot) is what makes him so special. Obviosuly, the 3, you know Harden makes 3’s. Kawhi makes 3’s. This guy makes 3’s, that guy makes 3’s. Steph makes 3’s. Everybody does that. But I don’t know who goes to the other end and does what he does – not that many people on a consistent basis, and entire game, game after game.”

AVERY BRADLEY

On defending:

“That’s what I play this game for: to go up against the best players. I know I haven’t been out there in a while, but hopefully I can still be mentioned for first-team all-defense. It’s something I take pride in. Every single chance I get, I love going up against the Kyries, the Russell Westbrooks, all of those guys.”

STEPH CURRY

After shooting 0-11 from distance against the Sixers:

“The weatherman said it was like a low-pressure system that was coming in, and I forgot to adjust to the thinness of the air, the thickness of the air, whatever it is. It happens, but you’ve gotta find other ways to try to impact the game, whether it’s trying to get to the paint a little bit more, defensively just trying to make plays.”

THE MENTAL SIDE

Gregg Popovich after the Spurs lost to the Mavericks:

“Too many mental errors defensively. I thought we did a really poor job discipline-wise. . Too many weak-side errors defensively where they got to the rim too easily. You know, we scored points. I know we got 100 points, 101 points, that’s fine, but the mental mistakes were really costly.” 

DEFENSE

From Earl Watson:

“The thing about defense is there’s no perfect technique. It’s all on intensity, passion, toughness and a lot of heart.”

ON DEFENSE

Draymond Green sent a message to his team at half-time. Steph Curry explains:

“It was basically for us to get more aggressive. To use our talents and quickness and IQ as a team, defensively, to our advantage, to not be so cut-and-dry, vanilla with our coverages and stuff. Take some chances, have each other’s backs and rotate. That’s when we’re at our best, when we can create chaos on that end of the floor.”

KEVIN OLLIE

After a recent loss:

“We didn’t play with any heart, and that’s the summary of the game. It comes down to toughness and [saying] ‘I’m going to stop my man.’ And the lack of effort that we showed out there was very disappointing, but it has been like that the whole year. Get up high. Go down low. It’s a lack of focus. A lack of leadership. I love Daniel to death, but I don’t care if he scores 40 points. You can’t give up 60 percent shooting in the second half. Yeah, I’ll clap for Daniel, but we couldn’t guard nobody in the halfcourt.”

DeMARCUS COUSINS

“It comes down to individual pride, individual pride defensively. You should hate somebody scoring on you as much as you love scoring on the next person.”

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