Friday, January 28, 2011

TNT Notes from Heat/Knicks & Celtics/Blazers

From TNT Sports -

Notes from TNT’s Coverage of the NBA – Thursday, January 27, 2011

TNT’s NBA Thursday coverage continues on February 3 beginning at 7 p.m. (ET) with a special one-hour edition of NBA Tip-Off presented by Ernie Johnson, Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith and Chris Webber will have the exclusive announcement of the 2011 NBA All-Star reserves.

Following the pre-game show, TNT’s doubleheader will feature the Miami Heat @ Orlando Magic followed by the San Antonio Spurs @ Los Angeles Lakers.


Reggie Miller and Spike Lee Renew Acquaintances from Turner Sports on Vimeo.

TNT’s Reggie Miller and Spike Lee Renew Acquaintances at Madison Square Garden

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

Game 1:  Miami Heat (88) @ New York Knicks (93)
Announcers: Marv Albert, Steve Kerr, Reggie Miller with Craig Sager reporting

TNT’s Craig Sager interviewed Heat forward LeBron James and guard Dwyane Wade prior to the game.

James on being selected as an NBA All-Star starter: “It’s very humbling. All-Star Weekend is an opportunity for fans to see the best players on a team get together and go against some of the best players in the West. It’s great for myself and Dwyane Wade to represent the Heat.”

Wade on his hope that his teammate Chris Bosh will join him and James for the All-Star Game: “We’re all really excited because it’s an honor to be picked as one of the best players in this great game that we play in the NBA. To go with your teammate is something that everyone dreams of. We hope we’ll be able to go with our other teammate as well and go as a threesome. It would be awesome.”

Miller on Knicks guard Danilo Gallinari complementing forward Amar’e Stoudemire: “I think (Danilo Gallinari) a great complement to Amar’e (Stoudemire), not only because of his size but being able to stretch the floor because of his outside shooting. He’s an improving defender, he’s getting better at rebounding the basketball. I think he complements Amar’e so well.”

Miller on the league preventing Heat guard Dwyane Wade from wearing shaded glasses that hide his eyes: “Are you kidding me? Seriously? A competitive edge because a competitor can’t see his eyes? If he wore a blindfold they still wouldn’t be able to guard Dwyane Wade.”

TNT’s Craig Sager interviewed CNN’s Piers Morgan during the game.  

Morgan on the first quarter of the game: “It’s more exciting than the last game. The last game it was like Hurricane LeBron, he just destroyed the Knicks on his own, virtually. So tonight they are controlling him much better, it’s much tighter, the Knicks are playing better. I have a very good feeling.”

Morgan on his experience hosting Piers Morgan Tonight on CNN: “It’s a completely different experience for me. I was in the British newspaper game a long time, the cable competition is about as ferocious as anything I’ve ever seen in my life. Good fun, very competitive. Howard Stern, my second guest, is actually two seats in front of me so maybe we’ll do round two.”

Morgan on the NBA player he’d most like to interview: “I’ve got to be honest, when I watch LeBron James play the way that he does, to me, he’s the most charismatic figure in basketball in the world. I think he’s a fascinating athlete and human being. I’d love to sit down with him pretty soon.”

Knicks forward Amar’e Stoudemire on the Knicks’ slow start to the season: “We started off a little bit slow, we had so many new players and we didn’t quite have a strategy down offensively and defensively of what we wanted to accomplish. We lost a few games in a row so the great thing we did was we were able to sit down and look ourselves in the mirror and figure out what type of team we want to become. We want to make this a special year.”

Kerr on the improvement of the Knicks due to three new additions: “You can feel that there’s a sense of real improvement. This is not fake, this is a team that is pretty good. They’re not great, but they are pretty good. They have a confidence that they’ve not had in years. The key for (coach) Mike D’Antoni is the three additions in (Amar’e) Stoudemire, Landry Fields and Raymond Felton. Those guys have just turned this team into a very viable threat for everybody every night.”

TNT’s Craig Sager interviewed Heat guard Dwyane Wade at halftime.

Wade on how effective his glasses are in helping his eyesight: “I feel pretty good. With the light here and with the shade and the color of them (my glasses) I’ve able to see pretty good. It’s not perfect, my periphery vision is not as good as I want it to be, but I’m out here playing and just trying to help my team win.”

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Winer, McHale and Webber

Barkley on Knicks guard Landry Fields being the best rookie in his first year in the NBA: “Blake Griffin is going to win the Rookie of the Year because he’s the best rookie. I don’t think he’s a rookie, but I know you have to go by the rules. I think you have an advantage sitting out a year and getting bigger, stronger and learning the rules of the game. When you are sitting on the bench as a player you are getting better. The best rookie of the NBA this year for a first year player is Landry Fields. I do (like him over John Wall).”
Smith: “The best natural rookie in the NBA this year has been Landry Fields.”

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Kerr on Knicks forward Amar’e Stoudemire embracing his role as the leader of the Knicks: “I think what’s been most impressive about Amar’s is the way he’s embraced New York and embraced being the star here. He’s really fearless, he’s got a very young group of teammates who look up to him. He’s become the undisputed leader of this club.”

Miller on the Knicks being distracted by Heat guard Dwyane Wade and forward LeBron James: “Whenever the ball is in the hands of (Dwyane) Wade or LeBron (James) you just feel like the Knicks are mesmerized.”

Kerr on Knicks forward Shawne Williams effectively defending against Heat forward LeBron James: “I’m amazed at the defensive effort that he’s giving on LeBron James. He’s been able to use that strength and that quickness to stay in front of James. What a story. Basically, an afterthought in trading camp, Mike D’Antoni told us, ‘we didn’t think he could make the team.’ He’s leading the NBA in three-point shooting and defensively guarding the greatest player on earth and doing a pretty good job!”

Miller on Heat forward LeBron James being coached to play more like Shaquille O’Neal: “(Heat) assistant coach David Fizdale (told LeBron James), ‘we’re going to work on our post moves. I don’t want you to think about being Kobe Bryant or Michael Jordan and worrying about footwork and making quick moves. I want you to be more like Shaq (O’Neal), be patient but be powerful down there.’ That’s why we’re seeing maybe a little bit of the stagnant holding the basketball, trying to back his guy down, very much the way Shaq was.”

TNT’s Craig Sager interviewed Knicks forward Amar’e Stoudemire after the Knicks defeated the Heat.

Stoudemire on getting the win over the Miami Heat: “It was great. We came out and played great tonight. We knew how important this game was. We have a tough two games ahead of us, we’re here against Miami and then in Atlanta tomorrow. So we got this one.”

Stoudemire on why the win was important for the Knicks: “To build our confidence. We understand we are a young team and we know how good we could be, so we have to keep working and work though the kinks and continue to improve.”

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Game 2:  Boston Celtics (88) @ Portland Trail Blazers (78)
Announcers: Kevin Harlan and Mike Fratello with David Aldridge reporting

Fratello on Trail Blazers guard Andre Miller: “(Andre) Miller is one of the best post-up point guards you have in the NBA today. He is smart, he has strength he has great ball fakes to get the guy up in the air. They will try to put fouls on (Rajon) Rondo by posting Miller.”

Fratello on the physical play of the Portland Trail Blazers to start the game: “Portland came out of the locker room ready and understanding that you have to be physical and answer the challenge against the Celtics if you don’t want to fall behind early in the game.”

Fratello on Trail Blazers forward LaMarcus Aldridge needing to step up as the leader of the Trail Blazers in place of the injured Brandon Roy: “A lot of concerns about Brandon Roy. He was the leader of this team, he was the spiritual leader, he was the All-Star. Really, (LaMarcus) Aldridge was willing to stay a step behind Brandon Roy, he let Brandon lead. Brandon Roy is now a question mark. Will he be back this season, will he be back at all? What’s his future hold? What kind of player will he be when he does come back? Will he ever be able to obtain that All-Star level? This is Aldridge’s time to step up and take over for Brandon Roy.”

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Winer, McHale and Webber

Webber on the extra defensive effort made by the Boston Celtics: “I love the defense for (the Celtics) because they make multiple efforts. I did a game with Reggie Miller, the Kings/Nuggets, and we noticed that a lot of teams weren’t making the extra effort. The way the Celtics play, not only do they make the extra effort, they make it from the first play of the game. They are going to play defense in the fourth quarter the same way they started and that’s not really the way most teams play defense.”
McHale: “Bad teams make one or two efforts, good teams make three efforts and great teams make four, five and six efforts like the Celtics do every possession.”

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Fratello on both the Celtics and Trail Blazers refusing to use injuries as excuses: “They have gotten the message across to the staff, the leadership, the players, whoever it might be, that you move on in this league. You can’t sit around and complain, the season goes on. Injuries happen to everyone, it’s how you handle the injuries that is important. That all starts with the mental approach.”

Fratello on the leadership of Celtics forward Kevin Garnett enabling coach Doc Rivers to coach the team effectively: “(The Celtics) could be a very difficult team to coach. However, when you have a guy like Kevin Garnett, he enables a coach like Doc (Rivers) to do the things he believes in and get them done. Kevin Garnett, that’s the main guy. That guy leads this team, leads them in practice every day, leads them in meetings, leads them on the court. As (Trail Blazers coach) Nate McMillan said, he’s the best defensive quarterback in the league, telling them where to go and what to do. If someone doesn’t want to do it, Kevin Garnett reminds them, ‘No, this is how we do it here, we’re good this way. We do it our own way.’”

TNT’s David Aldridge interviewed Celtics guard Ray Allen after the Celtics defeated the Trail Blazers.

Allen on teams trying to challenge the Celtics’ physical style of play: “Teams that try to combat our physicality on the floor, as a team we just can’t back down. You get two early fouls and you tend to get a little softer. That’s what we’ve seen from a lot of teams. Definitely on the road you’ve got to keep that aggressive nature out there and I thought we did that.”

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Inside the NBA presented by Hyundai
Winer, McHale and Webber

Celtics on the Celtics grinding style of play: “I call them the Boston ‘Sausage Grinders’ because they get you in the sausage maker and grind you up. By the end of the game, you feel like they beat you to death.  They grind you down every single night.”

Webber on the Celtics’ intensity: “I played against some great, championship teams and I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a team, during my playing years, with the intensity of the Boston Celtics.”

TNT’s Ernie Johnson, Charles Barkley and Kenny Smith joined the show from Madison Square Garden

Barkley on the Heat needing a go-to player at the end of games: “(The Heat) have to figure out who their go-to guy is.  I think it should be LeBron (James) because he’s the best player in the NBA.  But I don’t think it’s as easy as (everyone) thinks it is.  It is Dwyane Wade’s city and it is his team.  I think Coach (Erik) Spoelstra is stuck sometimes.”

Smith on Knicks guard Danilo Gallinari: “(Gallinari is) able to mix his game up.  When he first came into the league, all we heard about him was that he was a three-point shooter.  He’s more than a three-point shooter.  He puts the basketball on the floor.  He does a lot, like what Hedo Turkoglu does in Orlando, but he’s a little bit more athletic and a better finisher.  If he can do that on a more consistent basis, he’ll be a better player.”

Webber on Dallas Mavericks reserve guard Jason Terry: “(Terry is) the heart and soul of his team.  He plays tough and he’s a big part of why they are still really good.”

Webber on the impact Tyson Chandler has had on the Mavericks: “(Chandler) knows that he’s not an All-Star but he is just as important to Dallas as a lot of All-Stars are to their team.  His team is one of the best in the NBA so you have to give him a lot of credit for changing the defensive mentality, along with the coach (Rick Carlisle) and Dirk (Nowitzki), in Dallas.”

McHale on why Minnesota Timberwolves center Kevin Love should make the All-Star team: “(Love) should be on the All-Star team. He’s putting up numbers that we haven’t seen since Moses Malone did it.  (The Timberwolves) are in games and are keeping them close because of what he’s doing.  They aren’t losing because of Kevin Love.”

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