Friday, January 28, 2011

Barkley, Smith and EJ on NBA All-Stars

From TNT Sports -

Notes from TNT NBA Tip-off presented by AutoTrader.com - January 27, 2011

The 2011 NBA All-Star Starters were announced exclusively on TNT
Ernie Johnson, Charles Barkley and Kenny Smith live from Madison Square Garden in New York
Matt Winer, Kevin McHale and Chris Webber from Studio J in Atlanta

NBA All-Star Eastern Conference Starters

Dwyane Wade, Miami Heat
Derrick Rose, Chicago Bulls
Dwight Howard, Orlando Magic
LeBron James, Miami Heat
Amar’e Stoudemire, New York Knicks

Barkley on Bulls guard Derrick Rose: “The best point guard in the NBA and the MVP favorite right now.”

Barkley on whether the fans selected the right five NBA All-Star Eastern Conference starters: “They got it 100% right. Derrick Rose has been the MVP for the first half of the season, and Amar’e Stoudemire is in the conversation. The fans got it right. You know I hate the fans voting, but they got it right.”

Smith on the Eastern Conference starters: “I would agree. The five guys you have here have played the best consistently. Not only played the best, but they have dominated in so many different areas. He says Derrick Rose is the leading candidate (for MVP), but I would say you can make a mark for any of those five guys that they are the leading vote getters in the conference for MVP.”

Knicks forward Amar’e Stoudemire on being selected an Eastern Conference All-Star starter: “It’s a great accomplishment and I think the most important fact is that the fans really appreciate it more so than anyone because they see the success that we’re having, they see the team’s success. The most important factor of being announced an All-Star starter is that it wouldn’t be possible if you’re team is not successful. If you’re team is not successful then it wouldn’t happen, so it’s also a team award.”

Smith on the revival that the New York Knicks have had on the fans who attend the games: “You go from umpteen years of not making the playoffs and this building (Madison Square Garden) being a full house that felt deserted. It would sell out, people would be excited until about the second quarter. Then it’s a fashion show, it’s a music concert, whatever else is going on in here. Right now, the concentration is on the basketball court. These 94 feet now have the attention of the 20,000 that come every night.”

NBA All-Star Western Conference Starters

Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers
Chris Paul, New Orleans Hornets
Yao Ming, Houston Rockets
Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City Thunder
Carmelo Anthony, Denver Nuggets

Barkley on Nuggets forward Carmelo Anthony not deserving to be an All-Star starter: “The best offensive player in the NBA is Carmelo Anthony. I’ve got to tell you something, Carmelo Anthony is a better player than some of those guys (in the West), but I don’t think he deserves to start in the All-Star Game. Kevin Love or Blake Griffin deserve to start. If both of those guys don’t make the All-Star team, that’s a travesty. Carmelo Anthony is a better player, but I think on the court performance this year…Kevin Love deserves it.”

Projected Western Conference Reserves

Matt Winer:
Manu Ginobili
Deron Williams
Russell Westbrook
Blake Griffin
Dirk Nowitzki
Pau Gasol
Tim Duncan
Lamar Odom

Kevin McHale:
Manu Ginobili
Deron Williams
Russell Westbrook
Blake Griffin
Dirk Nowitzki
Pau Gasol
Tim Duncan
Kevin Love

Chris Webber:
Manu Ginobili
Deron Williams
Russell Westbrook
Blake Griffin
Dirk Nowitzki
Pau Gasol
Kevin Love
Tony Parker

Ernie Johnson:
Manu Ginobili
Deron Williams
Blake Griffin
Dirk Nowitzki
Tim Duncan
Russell Westbrook
Pau Gasol
Kevin Love

Kenny Smith:
Manu Ginobili
Deron Williams
Blake Griffin
Dirk Nowitzki
Tim Duncan
Russell Westbrook
Pau Gasol
Tony Parker

Charles Barkley:
Manu Ginobili
Deron Williams
Blake Griffin
Dirk Nowitzki
LeMarcus Aldridge
Monte Ellis
Tony Parker
Kevin Love


Projected Eastern Conference Reserves

Matt Winer:
Rajon Rondo
Paul Pierce
Al Horford
Kevin Garnett
Ray Allen
Joe Johnson
“Joakim Boozer”

Kevin McHale:
Rajon Rondo
Paul Pierce
Al Horford
Kevin Garnett
Ray Allen
Joe Johnson
Chris Bosh

Chris Webber:
Rajon Rondo
Paul Pierce
Al Horford
Raymond Felton
Chris Bosh

Ernie Johnson:
Ray Allen
Rajon Rondo
Paul Pierce
Kevin Garnett
Al Horford
Chris Bosh
Raymond Felton

Kenny Smith:
Ray Allen
Rajon Rondo
Paul Pierce
Kevin Garnett
Al Horford
Chris Bosh
Joe Johnson

Charles Barkley:
Ray Allen
Rajon Rondo
Paul Pierce
Kevin Garnett
Al Horford
Raymond Felton
Joe Johnson

Webber on only selecting five Eastern Conference reserves: “I usually love a good argument with my guys Chuck, Kenny and EJ, but I don’t even want to argue. This is mine, you can take it.”

Barkley on the NBA All-Star starters being a popularity contest: “It is a popularity contest and that sucks. Last year it was Aaron Brooks who had a fabulous season. It was his one time to make the All-Star team, he’s not going to have many seasons like that. This isn’t a lifetime achievement award. The award should go to guys who are having the best first half of the season.”

Smith on players who impact games beyond their statistics: “A guy like Tim Duncan, the reason that some of these guys are able to play well on this team is because he’s there. I’ve been here 15 years. Whenever the stat sheet comes by I very rarely look at it because it doesn’t always say what’s going on in the game.”

Smith on the argument between adding Knicks guard Raymond Felton or Hawks guard Joe Johnson to the Eastern Conference reserves: “I think Raymond Felton probably has a better case than Joe Johnson, but Joe Johnson has been what he’s been. Raymond Felton probably has a better case to say, ‘I’m doing something I’ve never done before.’ But Joe Johnson is a tough cover. If you try to guard Joe Johnson you’re going to have a nightmare if you don’t get up on him and do the right thing.”

Barkley on agreeing with Webber on the East not having very many worthy All-Star reserves: “I 100% agree with you, C-Webb. I just put a couple of Celtics on (my list) because they had a better record.”

Barkley on why Bulls center-forward Kurt Thomas deserves an honorable mention: “Kurt Thomas of the Chicago Bulls (should get) an honorable mention. I don’t know Kurt Thomas well. At the Thomas house, Mrs. Thomas has a lot Ben-Gay around there. Kurt Thomas had no idea he was going to be playing that many minutes this season at his age.”

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