By Jerry Wainwright
By Jerry Wainwright
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.
Following a game winning shot by Kawhi Leonard:
“He does that every night. I mean, everybody worked hard. Kawhi is obviously a talented young man, and he knocked down the last shot. But it’s always a team effort. I thought we hung tough. We didn’t play that sharp. Usually, your first game after a long road trip is pretty tough. We didn’t shoot well in the first half, and they hung in there. The mental toughness showed. They just kept playing, kept playing. We made a lot of mistakes, but they played through them. That was the best part of the game.”
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.”
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.”
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.”
After the Bulls lost to the Clippers:
“No grit, no toughness; closeouts were lackadaisical. A lot of that is we didn’t do a good job staying in front of the ball.