Mar 24, 2012; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Wizards center Nene (42) drives to the basket as Atlanta Hawks power forward Josh Smith (5) defends during the first half at the Verizon Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-US PRESSWIRE
On what happened offensively late: "We didn't get the ball inside. We have to have an understanding. We played one way up until this trade, and now, we got to break that. The ball's got to get inside more. Inside out. We got guys that will pass the ball back out. Ball's got to go inside more than it does, especially when it gets down to crunch time. We're never going to get to the free-throw line playing out on the perimeter and on the three-point line like that. We don't get anything thrusted to the basket, which for us, needs to be the ball in the post."
On a call he didn't like: "There's a 50-50 ball between [Trevor] Booker and Josh Smith that we get called for a foul. Just blows my mind. That foul's not called in the first 30 seconds of the game, let alone the last minute. That's what's tough for those guys. I mean, it's a 50-50 ball they're both jumping for. Booker is called for a foul and Joe Johnson hits a three on the side out of bounds after that."
On what the Wizards can take away from these tough losses: "We're competing against quality playoff teams, and that's what I want our guys to continue to do. This is our playoffs. They have been kind of playoff-atmosphere games, these last couple games. We pocket the good and the bad, learn from it, and as we move forward the next year and the next year as these kids get older and older, this is the type of stuff they'll draw back on. Then, they're going to be in that position kicking someone else's butt."
On his poor shooting night: "They gave me my shots. I just missed them. I was just holding my shot too long and was falling short on most of my shots. The ones I didn't [hold too short], I tried to fade too much and they were long. You have to give credit to their defense. Some of my shots were good, some were bad, but they just didn't go in. That's kind of frustrating."
On what happened offensively late in the game: "Me and Jordan know, when you come off pick and rolls and we get hot, they're going to trap you and get the ball out of your hands. That's what they started doing. They trapped us and when we'd get it back, there'd be seven, six seconds left. So it was kind of one-on-one, take a tough shot. Jordan's capable of making those tough shots. Tonight, he just missed them."
On the second-to-last play, down one: "The last play, we tried getting the ball to [Nene], but they did a great job denying him and the shot clock was going down, so I tried to get into a play and just passed it to Jordan."
On takeaways from these tough losses: "It definitely hurts. It's showing on our faces, especially directly after the game. But at the same time, you can tell that we're improving, because a month or two ago, they're probably up by 20 on us in the first half, instead of us being up."
On the loss: "In the fourth quarter, there were some things we can't control, and we lost the game. But I'm proud of my team. We played hard. I think you guys saw that we worked really hard. But that'll happen. We lost. Every game, we're learning something. We're learning."
On guarding Joe Johnson: "He likes to drive middle, use his right hand a lot, so I'm just trying to make it difficult, cut it off. The times I did slip up, he took advantage of them."
On guarding any top perimeter threat: "You can't show that you're scared of them, because they're just going to punk you.