Wednesday, May 04, 2011

NBA on TNT Notes: Celtics/Heat

From TNT Sports -

Notes from TNT’s Coverage of the NBA Playoffs - Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Game 1: Boston Celtics (91) @ Miami Heat (102); Heat lead the series 2-0

Game 2: Memphis Grizzlies (102) @ Oklahoma City Thunder (111); The series is tied 1-1.

TNT’s coverage of the 2011 NBA Playoffs continues on Wednesday, May 4 at 7 p.m. (ET) with a doubleheader featuring the Atlanta Hawks @ Chicago Bulls (Game 2), 8:00 p.m. followed by the Dallas Mavericks @ Los Angeles Lakers (Game 2), 10:30 p.m. (ET)

CLIP OF THE DAY - Inside the NBA crew discusses the Miami Heat vs. Boston Celtics series

Inside the NBA crew discuss the Miami Heat vs. Boston Celtics series from Turner Sports on Vimeo.

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TNT NBA Tip-off presented by
Announcers: Ernie Johnson, Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith and Chris Webber

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Game 1: Boston Celtics (91) @ Miami Heat (102); Heat lead the series 2-0
Announcers: Kevin Harlan (play-by-play), Reggie Miller (analyst) with Craig Sager, reporting.

Miller on Boston Celtics guard Rajon Rondo: “This is a guy who can easily average a triple-double. He is not going to take a lot of high volume shots but he puts a lot of pressure on your defense when he is attacking the lane.”

Harlan on Miami Heat forward Chris Bosh: “He cannot be passive with his game, he is better when he is aggressive.”

Miller on the Celtics and Heat both playing aggressive defense: “This is the type of series this is going to be - a defensive struggle for both teams who are excellent.”

Miller on the Miami Heat’s defensive strengths: “He [Doc Rivers] almost likened them (Miami Heat) to Dion Sanders, every time you think you have a wide open shot they are so quick at closing; great defensive team, the Miami Heat.”

Miller on the Heat’s lack of a low post scorer: “The Heat don’t have a low-post threat, so where do their points in the paint come from - LeBron James and Dwyane Wade attacking the lane and second shot opportunities.

Miller on Miami Heat center Joel Anthony: “You have to love the effort of Joel Anthony, he brings it every night.”

Miller on Boston Celtics Paul Pierce’s ejection in Game 1: “I was a little surprised by the reaction of Paul Pierce, I understand the technical that he got with James Jones, I thought that was a hard foul; but to get into - 58 seconds later - a verbal altercation with Dwyane Wade, you have to be better than that and rise above that. He shouldn’t have been thrown out it was a bad call on the official Ed Malloy, but you can’t put yourself in that position for them to call that.”

Miller on the performance of the Heat bench: “The bench for Miami only averages 21 points a game, the lowest in the league. So if you can get contributions from James Jones and Mike Miller, it is only going to fuel the Big Three [James, Wade, Bosh].”

Miller on Celtics forward Jeff Green’s offensive abilities: “What we are seeing at the offensive end from Jeff Green is what Celtics fans have been hoping for in that trade with Kendrick Perkins, a guy that can defend with the best of them but is aggressive offensively. Jeff Green offensively is so multitalented and can do a number of things for your ball club; but really hasn’t shown that since the trade.”

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Johnson, Barkley, Smith and Webber

Barkley on the Boston Celtics performance in the first half: “The Boston Celtics have to play better. Game 1 [Rajon] Rondo played bad and Kevin Garnett played bad. They have to speed the tempo of the game up because Miami is a very good half court defensive team. As long as they are playing slow, they are not going to win this game. It is simple; the Boston Celtics have to play better. They are done at half-time because they have simply not played well.”

Barkley on Chicago Bulls guard Derrick Rose receiving the 2010-11 Kia NBA MVP award: “Well-earned and well-deserved.”

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Miller on the Celtics increasing the tempo of Game 2: “The problem with speeding the game up is that you are unleashing the young athleticism of the Miami Heat and Dwyane Wade and LeBron James.”

Miller on the lack of communication on the Boston Celtics: “You have [Rajon] Rondo with an injured back and Paul Pierce with a bad left foot. Where is all the communication on the weak side help on the Boston Celtics? The last four or five years they have always been in the top five defensively, there is just a lack of communication in this series thus far.”

Miller on the Celtics setting the tone against the Heat: “If you get into a wind-shield wiper game with the Heat they have too many athletes that fill the lanes and can finish. If you are the Celtics, you want to keep this in the half-court, you want to play buddy ball and you want your defense to set the tone. They have played great defensively but just haven’t made any shots.”

Miller on the combined skills of the Heat’s Big Three: “That is when this Heat team is at their best when LeBron James is facilitating, Dwyane Wade is attacking and Chris Bosh is getting whatever else he can from the rest of them.”

Miller on Celtics forward Kevin Garnett maintaining composure: “We talked about poise and maturity [of Garnett] earlier in the game. The more experienced Celtics, a championship a few years back, in the Finals last year but coming unraveled yet again in Game 2.”

TNT’s Craig Sager interviewed Heat guard LeBron James after the game

James on tonight’s performance: “It was a hard fought game; this is a great team we are going against right now. We are just trying to give ourselves a good chance to win. Playing hard as we can defensively and wearing them down throughout the game. They are a great team but it was a good team effort for us tonight.”

James on the aggressive defensive of the Heat: “That is our staple. We know that the only way for us to win games, especially in the Playoffs is to play defense. Everyone has each other’s back. They made a run, a heck of a run to start the third. We kept grinding and playing our principles. We finally wore them down.”

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Game 2: Memphis Grizzlies (102) @ Oklahoma City Thunder (111); Series is tied 1-1
Announcers: Matt Devlin (play-by-play), Kevin McHale (analyst) with Marty Snider reporting

McHale on Memphis Grizzlies Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph: “Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph are the best four-five combination in the Playoffs this year.”

McHale on Thunder guard James Harden: “He’s a very good creator. He has a nice feel with the ball, he can make plays and he can make passes; but to me he has settled for too many threes so far in the Playoffs. [OKC head] Coach Brooks wants him breaking people down, getting to the line and making plays for his teammates.”

McHale on the Memphis Grizzlies being confident in their offensive ability: “The Memphis Grizzlies know who they are, they are not three-point shooters; they are attackers and slashers.”

McHale on Memphis Grizzlies forward Darrell Arthur: “I think this guy Darrell Arthur is one of the keys to this team. It is not like he plays 30 minutes a game but when he comes in he gives them solid minutes, he rebounds, he blocks shots and he is active. If he is playing 18-20 minutes he is always aggressive.”

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Johnson, Barkley, Smith and Webber

Barkley on Thunder guard James Harden: “We have been saying for a month, Harden is going to be that guy. He is the only guy on that team besides [Russell] Westbrook and [Kevin] Durant that is capable of getting 20 [points]. He has to be aggressive; he has to get 15-20 points a night because they can’t score enough. All the pressure, we have said all along is on James Harden. He has to keep being aggressive.”

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McHale on the Grizzlies mentality throughout the Playoffs: “Attack, attack, attack, that has been the mantra of the Memphis Grizzlies during these Playoffs.”

McHale on the type of fouls called in today’s NBA vs. the old NBA days: “In the NBA of today there is no hand-holding and no checking. You can’t do that. Back in the old days, that would have just been a good play. Everyone was hand-holding and checking.”

McHale on the Thunder defense: “You have to give credit to the Oklahoma City Thunder they have come out and stood up to the bigs from Memphis. Right now Zack [Randolph] and [Marc] Gasol are completely out of rhythm.”

McHale on the aggressiveness of Game 3: “Game 3 in Memphis is going to be a straight-out street fight in the paint. I expect Game 3 to be another knock-down-drag-out. Whichever team can control the paint will win.”

TNT’s Marty Snider interviewed Thunder forward Kevin Durant after the game

Durant on the Thunder making a statement: “They did push us around the first game. We wanted to come out with more of a physical mindset and I think that is what we did. We did a great job of covering the paint; we just have to keep it going.”

Durant on the Thunder keeping this momentum for the remainder of the series: “I think we can. We have to continue to bring that effort and energy every day and that is what we are doing.”

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Inside the NBA
Johnson, Barkley, Smith and Webber

Barkley on Oklahoma City Thunder guard Eric Maynor: “The pride of the VCU Rams tonight, Ernie. The VCU Rams were in the house tonight, just like March Madness.”

Webber on how Oklahoma City and Memphis matchup in the paint: “I don’t think Oklahoma City has an advantage inside. I think Serge Ibaka is the only big player for OKC that could check [Marc] Gasol or Zach Randolph. I don’t think that Perkins is a good defender in this matchup [and] I don’t think [Nick] Collison is either. It’s up to Memphis to force the issue inside and if they do that I think they have the advantage inside every night.”

Barkley on the Memphis Grizzlies: “I’m impressed with the Grizzlies because they are a young team that is growing before our eyes.”

Smith on the perseverance of the Memphis Grizzlies: “I always feel that there is a reason and a time where [an eighth-seed] shows why they are an eight-seed again and [Memphis Grizzlies] haven’t done that in these Playoffs. [Their rally from a 21-point deficit] was more impressive than the win because they didn’t give up in a 20 point blow-out in the fourth quarter and made the game competitive.”

Johnson and Webber on the Boston Celtics:

Johnson: “Are the Celtics in trouble?”

Webber: “Yes.”

Johnson: “How much?”

Webber: “I picked the Celtics to go to the Finals against the Lakers [and] I want to change my pick… It looks tough, but I still think that the Celtics will be good at home.”

Webber on his frustration with the Miami Heat: “The whole thing with the Miami Heat that was frustrating to me was that they’re so good, so athletic, but they never play that way.”

Barkley on the Heat having to win the next two games: “Are they in trouble? Trouble is not the right word. [The Celtics] are in a must-win because they can’t get down 3-0, obviously, or 3-1 to the Heat. The next two games are just must wins.”

Smith on the Miami Heat as bullies: “The Miami Heat are the great big bullies, that’s what I call them. They’re great when they are up. They’re the team that can take a 15-point lead and make it 35. The Celtics, to me, are the team that could always be the same. So, I’m not sure if Miami plays that way when they’re down yet because we’ve seen them in the regular season when they’ve gone on five or six game losing streaks. When they’re not the bully, a lot of times they don’t play well.”

Barkley on home court advantage for the Boston Celtics: “Every team plays different at home. We have to give the Celtics a chance to defend their home court. The Heat [are] primping, prancing and flexing and stuff when things are going well. I can’t wait to see how they react when the Celtics punch them in the mouth.”

Webber on his doubts about Shaquille O’Neal being helpful to the Boston Celtics against the Miami Heat: “The first thing with Shaq is that we don’t even know how many practices he’s had. Secondly, I’m putting LeBron James at the center and letting him chase Shaq and say, ‘let’s run up and down.’ This is a track meet. The matches are not conducive for Shaq to be successful.”

Barkley on how his Michael Jordan rule applies to Shaquille O’Neal playing against the Miami Heat: “I’m going to invoke the Michael Jordan rule: If he can’t do it, it can’t be done. He tried to join the Playoffs mid-stream and it didn’t work out for him.”

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