SiriusXM Announces Special Programming for 2014 NBA Playoffs

SIRIUS XM RADIO LOGOSiriusXM NBA Radio, channel 217, to feature interviews with some of the greatest postseason players in NBA history

Listeners nationwide get live play-by-play of every playoff game

NEW YORK – April 16, 2014 –SiriusXM will offer the most comprehensive radio coverage available for the 2014 NBA Playoffs, featuring live play-by-play of every game, plus special programming on SiriusXM NBA Radio, channel 217.

Friday, April 18, the day before the postseason tips off, will be NBA Playoffs Preview day on SiriusXM NBA Radio.  SiriusXM’s 24/7 NBA channel will feature a series of interviews with some of the NBA’s greatest postseason players, including Hall of Famers Jerry West, John Havlicek, James Worthy, Earl Monroe, Lenny Wilkens and Bernard King, NBA Champions Toni Kukoc and Richard Hamilton, as well as 11-time All-Star Allen Iverson.  Appearing at the bottom half of every hour of the programming day, these players have won a combined 22 NBA Championships and have been involved in some of the league’s most memorable playoff moments.

Throughout the day, SiriusXM NBA Radio hosts – including Hall of Famer Nancy Lieberman, two-time All-Star Jerry Stackhouse and former head coach Sam Mitchell – will break down every first round matchup and discuss favorites and potential upsets going into the postseason.

During the playoffs, subscribers will get live play-by-play broadcasts of every postseason game through the Finals on their satellite radios, through the SiriusXM Internet Radio App and at SiriusXM.com. Those listening through the app and online can also choose between the home and visiting team broadcasts for every game.  Visit www.SiriusXM.com/NBASchedule for channel listings.

Friday will be a remarkable day of programming on SiriusXM NBA Radio,” said Scott Greenstein, SiriusXM’s President and Chief Content Officer.  “On the eve of the playoffs, fans will hear some of the NBA’s greatest players, along with our hosts, look back at memorable postseason moments and look forward to this year’s run for the title. And when the games begin, our listeners get access to every minute of action.”

NBA Playoffs Preview Day on SiriusXM NBA RadioFriday, April 18

The Starting Lineup with hosts Frank Isola and Jerry Stackhouse

7:30am ET/4:30am PT: guest, Toni Kukoc

-       A three-time NBA Champion with the Chicago Bulls, Kukoc hit a buzzer beater to beat the New York Knicks in Game 3 of the 1994 Eastern Conference Semifinals.

8:30am ET/5:30am PT: guest, Bernard King

-       A four-time All-Star and two-time All-NBA First Team selection, King scored 44 points in a memorable shootout with Isiah Thomas in the 1984 Playoffs.

9:30am ET/6:30am PT: guest, John Havlicek

-       An eight-time NBA Champion with the Celtics and the 1974 Finals MVP, Havlicek’s steal in Game 7 of the 1965 Eastern Conference Finals remains one of the most famous plays in NBA history.

 

Off the Dribble with hosts Jason Goff and Sam Mitchell

12:30pm ET/9:30am PT: guest, Earl Monroe

-       The Pearl, one of the most exciting point guards in the history of the game, scored 23 points in the deciding Game 5 of the 1973 Finals as the New York Knicks won their second NBA title.

1:30pm ET/10:30am PT: guest, Rip Hamilton

-       The three-time All-Star averaged over 20 points per game during the 2004 Playoffs and led the Detroit Pistons to the franchise’s third NBA title.

2:30pm ET/11:30am PT: guest, Lenny Wilkens

-       As a rookie, Wilkens, a future nine-time All-Star, played a key role in the St. Louis Hawks’ 1961 run to the NBA Finals.  As a coach, he guided the Seattle SuperSonics to the 1979 NBA title.

 

NBA Today with hosts Justin Termine and Nancy Lieberman

3:30pm ET/12:30pm PT: guest, Jerry West

-       One of the most decorated players in the history of the league, West won five NBA Championships as a player and executive for the L.A. Lakers.  He is also the only player in history to be named the Finals MVP (1969) despite being on the losing side.

4:30pm ET/1:30pm PT: guest, Allen Iverson

-       The 11-time All-Star and 2001 league MVP averaged more than 29 points per game in his eight trips to the playoffs.

5:30pm ET/2:30pm PT: guest, James Worthy

                   -       A three-time NBA Champion, Worthy was named Finals MVP after recording a triple-double to lead the Lakers to victory over the Pistons in Game 7 of the 1988 Finals.

Throughout the playoffs SiriusXM NBA Radio, channel 217, will be a daily source of news and talk for NBA fans.  Live programming begins each weekday at 7:00 am ET. This postseason also will mark the launch of a new show, NBA Playoffs Postgame Live, which will air every weeknight after the games and give listeners a place to call in and react to the night’s results.  Follow the channel on Twitter @SiriusXMNBA.

 

TNT’s Extensive Coverage of the 2014 NBA Playoffs Begins Sunday, April 20

nba-on-tntTNT’s Extensive Coverage of the 2014 NBA Playoffs Begins Sunday, April 20

More Than 40 NBA Playoff Games on TNT;

Exclusive Home of the Western Conference Finals

TNT, in its 30th consecutive year of NBA coverage, will televise more than 40 NBA Playoff games – the most of any network – including first and second round action and the exclusive presentation of the 2014 NBA Western Conference Finals.  The network’s playoff coverage will tip off Sunday, April 20, with a tripleheader – Dallas Mavericks vs. San Antonio Spurs at 1 p.m. ET; Washington Wizards vs. Chicago Bulls at 7 p.m. and Portland Trail Blazers vs. Houston Rockets at 9:30 p.m.

TNT’s NBA Playoff coverage will feature the Sports Emmy Award-winning studio team of host Ernie Johnson alongside Basketball Hall of Famer Charles Barkley, four-time NBA Champion Shaquille O’Neal and two-time NBA Champion Kenny Smith providing pregame analysis, halftime updates and extensive postgame coverage on Inside the NBA.

The network will feature the state-of-the-art technological enhancements during the playoffs including a super-slow-motion camera that will provide viewers with gripping replays at key moments of the games.  Each first round telecast will utilize one super-slow-motion camera and then increase to two cameras per game during the second round.

The network’s Sports Emmy Award-winning playoff coverage will include four commentator teams during the first round:

  • Marv Albert with Steve Kerr
  • Kevin Harlan with Reggie Miller
  • Brian Anderson with Greg Anthony
  • Joel Meyers with Chris Webber

Reporters will include: David Aldridge, Lewis Johnson, Jaime Maggio, Rachel Nichols, Marty Snider, Molly Sullivan and Tracy Wolfson.

Additionally, TNT Overtime on NBA.com will provide a unique companion experience allowing fans to watch the games via four alternate camera angles, along with real-time stats, enhanced video replays, player and fan voting elements, and the ability to interact with fans via Twitter while watching the game.

2014 NBA Playoffs on TNT (All Times ET)

 

DATE/TIME GAME
 

Sunday, April 20

1 p.m. ET NBA Tip-Off presented by AutoTrader.com

Ernie Johnson (host), Charles Barkley (analyst), Shaquille O’Neal (analyst) and Kenny Smith (analyst)

Dallas Mavericks at San Antonio Spurs, Game 1

Kevin Harlan (play-by-play), Reggie Miller (analyst) and Jaime Maggio (reporter)

7 p.m.

9:30 p.m.

Washington Wizards at Chicago Bulls, Game 1

Marv Albert (play-by-play), Steve Kerr (analyst) and Tracy Wolfson (reporter)

Portland Trail Blazers at Houston Rockets, Game 1

Joel Meyers (play-by-play), Chris Webber (analyst) and Marty Snider (reporter)

 

Postgame Inside the NBA presented by Kia

Johnson (host), Barkley (analyst), O’Neal (analyst) and Smith (analyst)

Monday, April 21
8 p.m. NBA Tip-Off presented by AutoTrader.com

Johnson (host), Barkley (analyst), O’Neal (analyst) and Smith (analyst)

Memphis Grizzlies at Oklahoma City Thunder, Game 2

Brian Anderson (play-by-play), Greg Anthony (analyst) and Lewis Johnson (reporter)

 

10:30 p.m. Golden State Warriors at Los Angeles Clippers, Game 2

Harlan (play-by-play), Miller (analyst) and David Aldridge (reporter)

Postgame Inside the NBA presented by Kia

Johnson (host), Barkley (analyst), O’Neal (analyst) and Smith (analyst)

Tuesday, April 22
7 p.m. NBA Tip-Off presented by AutoTrader.com

Johnson (host), Barkley (analyst), O’Neal (analyst) and Smith (analyst)

Atlanta Hawks at Indiana Pacers, Game 2

Meyers (play-by-play), Webber (analyst) and Molly Sullivan (reporter)

 

9:30 p.m. Washington Wizards at Chicago Bulls, Game 2

Albert (play-by-play), Kerr (analyst) and Wolfson (reporter)

Postgame Inside the NBA presented by Kia

Johnson (host), Barkley (analyst), O’Neal (analyst) and Smith (analyst)

Wednesday, April 23
7 p.m. NBA Tip-Off presented by AutoTrader.com

Johnson (host), Barkley (analyst), O’Neal (analyst) and Smith (analyst)

Charlotte Bobcats at Miami Heat, Game 2

Anderson (play-by-play), Anthony (analyst) and Rachel Nichols (reporter)

9:30 p.m. Portland Trail Blazers at Houston Rockets, Game 2

Meyers (play-by-play), Webber (analyst) and Snider (reporter)

Postgame Inside the NBA presented by Kia

Johnson (host), Barkley (analyst), O’Neal (analyst) and Smith (analyst)

Thursday, April 24
8 p.m. NBA Tip-Off presented by AutoTrader.com

Johnson (host), Barkley (analyst), O’Neal (analyst) and Smith (analyst)

Oklahoma City Thunder at Memphis Grizzlies, Game 3

Albert (play-by-play), Kerr (analyst) and Johnson (reporter)

10:30 p.m. Los Angeles Clippers at Golden State Warriors, Game 3

Harlan (play-by-play), Miller (analyst) and Aldridge (reporter)

Post-game Inside the NBA presented by Kia

Johnson (host), Barkley (analyst), O’Neal (analyst) and Smith (analyst)

Saturday, April 26
1:30 p.m. NBA Tip-Off presented by AutoTrader.com

Johnson (host), Barkley (analyst), O’Neal (analyst) and Smith (analyst)

2 p.m. Indiana Pacers at Atlanta Hawks, Game 4

Anderson (play-by-play), Anthony (analyst) and Nichols (reporter)

4:30 p.m. San Antonio Spurs at Dallas Mavericks, Game 3

Meyers (play-by-play), Webber (analyst) and Maggio (reporter)

Sunday, April 27  
6:30 p.m. NBA Tip-Off presented by AutoTrader.com

Johnson (host), Barkley (analyst), O’Neal (analyst) and Smith (analyst)

7 p.m. Toronto Raptors at Brooklyn Nets, Game 4

Albert (play-by-play), Kerr (analyst) and Wolfson (reporter)

 

9:30 p.m. Houston Rockets at Portland Trail Blazers, Game 4

Harlan (play-by-play), Miller (analyst) and Snider (reporter)

Postgame Inside the NBA presented by Kia

Johnson (host), Barkley (analyst), O’Neal (analyst) and Smith (analyst)

Monday, April 28  
7 p.m. NBA Tip-Off presented by AutoTrader.com

Johnson (host), Barkley (analyst), O’Neal (analyst) and Smith (analyst)

Miami Heat at Charlotte Bobcats, Game 4

TBA

 

9:30 p.m. San Antonio Spurs at Dallas Mavericks, Game 4

TBA

Postgame Inside the NBA presented by Kia

Johnson (host), Barkley (analyst), O’Neal (analyst) and Smith (analyst)

Additional games TBA

 

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2014 NBA Playoffs to Tip Off on ABC & ESPN Saturday

NBA-on-ESPN-logoBreen, Van Gundy, Salters to Call Games in L.A. & Miami within 24 Hours;  ESPN & Pitbull Team Up for NBA Playoffs Broadcast Open

The 2014 NBA Playoffs will tip off on ESPN’s family of networks beginning this weekend with five Game 1 telecasts. Mike Breen, analyst Jeff Van Gundy and reporter Lisa Salters will call two Game 1’s on ABC in 24 hours, beginning with the Golden State Warriors at the Los Angeles Clippers on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. ET The crew will then fly across country to Miami for Sunday’s 3:30 p.m. broadcast of the defending NBA Champion Heat and the Charlotte Bobcats. Both games will also be available on ESPN Radio and via the WatchABC app.

On Saturday, ESPN will televise a Game 1 tripleheader, beginning at 12:30 p.m. when the Brooklyn Nets visit the Toronto Raptors. ESPN’s coverage will return with a prime-time doubleheader, starting with the Atlanta Hawks visiting the Indiana Pacers at 7 p.m., followed by the Oklahoma City Thunder hosting the Memphis Grizzlies at 9:30 p.m. For more details, please see the table below.

NBA Countdown – ABC’s and ESPN’s pre-game show – will preview both of ABC’s games this weekend, starting at 3 p.m. both days. Countdown will document the entire NBA Playoffs led by host Sage Steele and analysts Bill Simmons, Jalen Rose and Doug Collins.

ESPN & Pitbull Team Up for NBA Playoffs Broadcast Open

Latin Grammy Award-winner Pitbull will star in ESPN’s new NBA Playoffs broadcast open, which will debut on Saturday, April 19 during ABC’s and ESPN’s playoff coverage. Pitbull will be joined by several NBA superstars including LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Paul George, Chris Paul, Joakim Noah and Stephen Curry. The open is set to Pitbull’s chart-topping single “Timber,” with customized lyrics that capture the spirit and storylines of the NBA Playoffs.

 

Early schedule

Date Time (ET) Game Commentators Network(s)
Sat, Apr. 19 12:30 p.m. Brooklyn Nets at Toronto Raptors Gm.1 Dave Pasch, Jon Barry,

Chris Broussard

ESPN, WatchESPN
  3 p.m. NBA Countdown Sage Steele, Bill Simmons, Jalen Rose, Doug Collins ABC, WatchABC
  3:30 p.m. Golden State Warriors at Los Angeles Clippers Gm. 1 Mike Breen, Jeff Van Gundy, Lisa Salters ABC, ESPN Radio, WatchABC, ESPN3
  7 p.m. Atlanta Hawks at Indiana Pacers Gm. 1 Mark Jones, Doris Burke, Israel Gutierrez ESPN, WatchESPN
  9:30 p.m. Memphis Grizzlies at Oklahoma City Thunder Gm. 1 Mike Tirico, Hubie Brown, Heather Cox ESPN, WatchESPN
Sun, Apr. 20 3 p.m. NBA Countdown Sage Steele, Bill Simmons, Jalen Rose, Doug Collins ABC, WatchABC
  3:30 p.m. Charlotte Bobcats at Miami Heat Gm. 1 Mike Breen, Jeff Van Gundy, Lisa Salters ABC, ESPN Radio, WatchABC, ESPN3
Fri, Apr. 25 7 p.m. Toronto Raptors at Brooklyn Nets Gm. 3 TBD ESPN2, WatchESPN
  8 p.m. Chicago Bulls at Washington Wizards Gm. 3 TBD ESPN, WatchESPN
  10:30 p.m. Houston Rockets at Portland Trail Blazers Gm. 3 TBD ESPN, WatchESPN
Sat, Apr. 26 7 p.m. Miami Heat at Charlotte Bobcats Gm. 3 TBD ESPN, WatchESPN
  9:30 p.m. Oklahoma City Thunder at Memphis Grizzlies Gm. 4 TBD ESPN, WatchESPN, ESPN Radio
Sun, Apr. 27 12:30 p.m. NBA Countdown Sage Steele, Bill Simmons, Jalen Rose, Doug Collins ABC, WatchABC, ESPN
  1 p.m. Chicago Bulls at Washington Wizards Gm. 4 TBD ABC, WatchABC, ESPN3
  3:30 p.m. Los Angeles Clippers at Golden State Warriors Gm. 4 TBD ABC, WatchABC, ESPN Radio, ESPN3
Fri, May 2 TBD Miami Heat at Charlotte Bobcats Gm. 6 (if necessary) TBD ESPN/ESPN2, WatchESPN
TBD Toronto Raptors at Brooklyn Nets Gm. 6 (if necessary) TBD ESPN/ESPN2, WatchESPN
TBD San Antonio Spurs at Dallas Mavericks Gm. 6 (if necessary) TBD ESPN/ESPN2, WatchESPN
TBD Houston Rockets at Portland Trail Blazers Gm. 6 (if necessary) TBD ESPN/ESPN2, WatchESPN
Sun, May 4 1 p.m. TBD ABC, WatchABC
3:30 p.m. TBD ABC, WatchABC, ESPN3

The NBA Playoffs will exclusively start and finish on ESPN’s family of networks, culminating with ABC’s exclusive presentation of The Finals on ABC, starting June 5.

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Notes from TNT’s NBA Coverage – Tuesday, April 15, 2014

nba-on-tntNotes from TNT’s NBA Coverage – Tuesday, April 15, 2014

TNT’s NBA Playoff coverage will get underway this Sunday, April 20. TNT, in its 30th consecutive year of NBA coverage, will televise more than 40 NBA Playoff games – the most of any network – including first and second round action and the exclusive presentation of the 2014 NBA Western Conference Finals.

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TNT NBA Tip-off presented by AutoTrader.com

Ernie Johnson, Brent Barry, Shaquille O’Neal and Steve Smith

Smith on Pacers center Roy Hibbert needing to be more aggressive: “Roy Hibbert doesn’t dominate the center position…as a [center] he has to come out, establish [himself] and demand the basketball. If the Hawks go to a small lineup and Indiana tries to match up, the Hawks have a good chance [to win the series].”

O’Neal on Roy Hibbert: “Roy has to get the ball to be effective. He has to demand the ball. Sometimes it seems like he doesn’t want the ball. He’s fine with not getting the ball, but he has to demand it.”

O’Neal on the Atlanta Hawks vs. Indiana Pacers first round playoff series: “You can’t take the Atlanta Hawks lightly. The Pacers are a No. 1 seed but they aren’t playing like it. If they take them lightly, it might be a longer series than we expect.”

Barry on the Rockets vs. Trail Blazers first round match-up: “The match-up at the four-spot is critical for Portland because they have to make sure that game-in and game-out, LaMarcus Aldridge is fed and taken care of.”

O’Neal on Rockets center Dwight Howard: “He needs to dominate so that [the opposition] goes back after every game and say, ‘How do we stop that guy?’ Will they double [team]? Every time you double team, you open up the shooters.”
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New York Knicks (109) at Brooklyn Nets (98)
Ian Eagle (play-by-play), Greg Anthony (analyst) with Rachel Nichols (reporter)
Anthony on the Nets: “Brooklyn is an older team but their experience can make up for their lack of athleticism. They have a high basketball I.Q.”

Anthony on what new Knicks president Phil Jackson is looking for with his players: “Phil Jackson wants to see how these guys play without the basketball. Teams like San Antonio know how to play without the basketball. They have great movement and execution. That gives you a chance to be successful in this league.”

Anthony on the Nets ability to get to the free throw line: “I like that they are showing the ability to get to the free throw line. That’s a great way to create and extend momentum. They didn’t do that as well a season ago.”

Anthony on the impact of rookies Mason Plumlee [Nets] and Tim Hardaway, Jr. [Knicks] on their respective teams: “Neither [Mason] Plumlee or [Tim] Hardaway will be Rookie of the Year but both have had phenomenal rookie seasons in terms of what they brought to the table. They are having far more of an impact than either organization thought they would at this stage in their career.”

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Sprint Halftime Report
Johnson, Barry, O’Neal, Smith
O’Neal on Nets rookie Mason Plumlee: “The two things you need to become an NBA player is heart and effort. Those are two things you can’t teach and [Plumlee] has it. He doesn’t get a lot of plays called [for him] but he just plays smart basketball…he’s ‘Plumdog Millionaire’ and he will be a star. He’s Joakim Noah-ish.”

Smith on Nets forward Andrei Kirilenko: “Kirilenko is a nightmare to play against because of his length and size. He’s a phenomenal rebounder because of his sense to get the basketball. He does so many things.”
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Anthony on Knicks head coach Mike Woodson: “I’m a huge fan of Mike Woodson and I think he’s a solid coach…but he has to take some of the responsibility. The players haven’t had a great year and he hasn’t had a great year as a coach.”

Anthony on Nets reserve guard Marcus Thornton: “Marcus Thornton is the kind of guy who can be a difference maker because of how explosive he can be offensively.

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Denver Nuggets (105) at Los Angeles Clippers (117)
Kevin Harlan (play-by-play), Reggie Miller (analyst) with Jaime Maggio (reporter)
Miller on Clippers’ Jamal Crawford returning from injury: “His contributions are going to be huge for the Clippers. When you play with Chris Paul and Blake Griffin, it’s so important to get onto the same page and into the same rhythm with them. It could take two or three weeks to get that flow back.”

Miller on Clippers’ center DeAndre Jordan: “I love everything about DeAndre Jordan. His sit-down [meeting] with [head coach] Doc Rivers before the season has really taken him to another level at both ends of the floor. They don’t run a single play for him, but he finds a way to be effective offensively.”

Miller on the Clippers veteran bench depth: “They go nine or 10 deep [on the bench]. They have experience with Glen Davis, Danny Granger and Hedo Turkoglu. They have a lot of guys with playoff experience.”
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Sprint Halftime Report
Johnson, Barry, O’Neal, Smith
Smith on the Clippers: “I picked [the Clippers] to play in the [Finals] against Miami because of [head coach] Doc Rivers. He demands defense and a lot of guys want to go play for Doc Rivers.

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Miller on the Clippers: “They have all the confidence in the world going into [the playoffs]. They had a very disappointing season last year when they lost in the first round to Memphis…but there is a confidence about this team that is different than last year. Defensively, they are much better. Offensively, the ball moves more crisper. It will be interesting to see what they do this weekend [in the playoffs].”

Miller on the Nuggets center Timofey Mozgov: “The most consistent player this season for the Denver Nuggets has been Timofey Mozgov.”

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Inside the NBA presented by Kia
Johnson, Barry, O’Neal, Smith

Barry on Nets’ Marcus Thornton: “He’s going to have a huge role them in the playoffs…he’s going to provide instant offense.”

Barry on the Indiana Pacers: “The Pacers are starting off the playoffs playing against two teams – they are playing against Atlanta and they are playing against themselves. They have not found their identity in the last month of the season.”

The Inside the NBA crew made their end-of-season awards predictions

Steve Smith

Coach of the Year: Dwane Casey – Toronto Raptors

Rookie of the Year: Michael Carter-Williams – Philadelphis 76ers

Most Valuable Player: Kevin Durant – Oklahoma City Thunder

Shaquille O’Neal

Coach of the Year: Gregg Popovich – San Antonio Spurs

Rookie of the Year: Michael Carter-Williams – Philadelphia 76ers

Most Valuable Player: Kevin Durant – Oklahoma City Thunder

Brent Barry

Coach of the Year: Jeff Hornacek – Phoenix Suns

Rookie of the Year: Michael Carter-Williams – Philadelphia 76ers

Most Valuable Player: Kevin Durant – Oklahoma City Thunder

Smith on how the Boston Celtics can get back to the playoffs in 2015: “You’ve got to keep guys like [Celtics point guard] Rajon Rondo, guys who love to win and don’t accept losing. [The Celtics] also have to get lucky in the draft and develop from within…they’re on the right track.”

O’Neal on what the Lakers need to do to get the spark back in Los Angeles: “The Lakers have always been notorious for making miraculous moves during the summer. They need to bring in a few top free agents…[Timberwolves power forward] Kevin Love and [Knicks forward] Carmelo Anthony’s names are going to be out there. They need to do something miraculous to get that spark back in Los Angeles.”

Barry on how Knicks president Phil Jackson will help the team rebuild: “That’s one thing [the Knicks] have going for them…When Phil Jackson is the guy that’s on the phone, they have the ears of the top free agents. That is going to help them rebuild in a way that other teams in smaller markets cannot do.”

 

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Notes from TNT’s NBA Coverage – Thursday, April 10, 2014

nba-on-tntNotes from TNT’s NBA Coverage – Thursday, April 10, 2014

TNT’s NBA coverage continues Tuesday, April 15 with doubleheader action featuring the New York Knicks @ Brooklyn Nets at 8 p.m. ET and the Denver Nuggets @ Los Angeles Clippers at 10:30 p.m.

 

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TNT NBA Tip-off presented by AutoTrader.com

Ernie Johnson, Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith and Shaquille O’Neal

Barkley on the Playoffs: “If the playoffs started today, the team that wins the series between the Oklahoma City Thunder and LA Clippers is going to represent the Western Conference in the playoffs.”

Barkley on the San Antonio Spurs: “I guarantee the Spurs are praying they don’t play Memphis in the first round. They don’t want to play Memphis.”
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San Antonio Spurs (109) at Dallas Mavericks (100)
Kevin Harlan (play-by-play) and Steve Kerr (analyst) with Craig Sager (reporter)

Kerr on the Dallas Mavericks: “Dallas is not a good defensive team, but a great offensive team – one of the best in the league.”

Kerr on Spurs small forward Kawhi Leonard: “Kawhi has great defensive versatility. He can guard a 6’0″ guy or a 6’11″ guy. That’s one of the many things he’s brought to this team.”

Kerr on the Spurs and Mavericks: “With San Antonio and Dallas, you have two teams that are filled with guys that can dribble, pass and shoot and two coaches that demand execution and ball movement so it’s a beautiful game to watch.”

Kerr on a team in the Western Conference with the most wins not making the playoffs: “It just seems so unfair especially with what is happening at the bottom of the Eastern Conference. It is just amazing that a team that is approaching 50 wins will not make the playoffs.  If you make it to 50 in the NBA you have had a great season, I can’t believe that a team can do that and not make the playoffs.”

Kerr on the makeup of the Spurs roster: “The Spurs have been phenomenal in the last few years, figuring out who to chase in free agency.  Guys like [Patty] Mills, [Boris] Diaw…just fit the design.”

Kerr on Mavericks forward Shawn Marion: “Shawn Marion has been one of the best defensive players in the NBA. He may not score like he used to but he can still guard anybody. With his athleticism, he can guard anyone from a point guard to a power forward.”

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Sprint Halftime Report
Johnson, Barkley, Smith and O’Neal

O’Neal on Tim Duncan: “Good thing about Tim Duncan, he’s a true definition of a great player.  He does things that makes his teammates better.”

Barkley on the Spurs not being able to make it past the first round in the playoffs: “I don’t think those old guys will be able to hold on. Tony Parker is the only one that is still in his prime. I think that age is going to take its toll on them.”

Barkley on Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki: “Greatest European player ever…best big man shooter ever.  He’s probably top 25 [players] of all time.”

O’Neal on Nowitzki: “When he came in, he didn’t have what Magic [Johnson] had or [Larry] Bird had or even what Kobe [Bryant] had. His first couple of years he struggled, but he stuck with it.”
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Kerr on the potential of the Spurs and Mavericks facing each other in the first round of the playoffs: “It would be fun to watch. [They are] two of the most beautiful offensive clubs we have in the NBA. The execution is just fantastic to watch.”

Kerr on Kawhi Leonard: “He could be a great post-player with his strength and his length.”

Kerr on Kawhi Leonard: “This Spurs stretch in this last couple of months is directly related to Kawhi Leonard’s return from his wrist injury and his tremendous play at both ends of the floor.”
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Denver Nuggets (100) at Golden State Warriors (99)
Marv Albert (play-by-play), Reggie Miller (analyst) with David Aldridge (reporter)

Miller on Warriors guard Steve Blake: “This is a guy that has playoff experience, is tough and can make big shots. He’s more of a facilitator and he fits right into the plans of Golden State and Mark Jackson.”

Miller on the importance of David Lee for the Warriors in the playoffs: “If this Warriors team is going to go far in the playoffs, David Lee has to be healthy and playing at a high level. If the playoffs started today, the Warriors would be playing against the Clippers. He and [Andrew] Bogut have to have a monster series in order for them to advance. You need a walking double-double and that’s exactly what David Lee is.”
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Sprint Halftime Report
Johnson, Barkley, Smith and O’ Neal

Barkley on the Warriors without David Lee: “They have no chance of winning a series without David Lee.  He’s a walking double-double.”
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Miller on Nuggets power forward Kenneth Faried improving on offense: “We know what he can do on the offensive glass, he’s relentless on rebounding, but he has to become a little more polished offensively.”

Miller on Nuggets head coach Brian Shaw: “I love what Brian Shaw is bringing to the Denver Nuggets. The number one thing is accountability. He has experience as a player and a coach and I think these young guys recognize that.”
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Inside the NBA presented by Kia
Johnson, Barkley, Smith and O’Neal

Barkley on the Denver Nuggets: “I would love to see this Denver team get healthy.”

Barkley on the San Antonio Spurs: “When they get to the playoffs, they are going to play against a really good team. They are 2-8 against the top 2, 3, and 4 teams in the Western Conference. They are going to have a tough series against Memphis, Dallas or Phoenix.”

Visit the Turner Sports online press room for additional press materials; follow Turner Sports on Twitter at @TurnerSportsPR

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Notes from TNT’s NBA Coverage – Thursday, April 3, 2014

nba-on-tntTNT’s NBA coverage continues Tuesday, April 8, with doubleheader action featuring the Brooklyn Nets @ Miami Heat at 8 p.m. ET and the Houston Rockets @ Los Angeles Lakers at 10:30 p.m.

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TNT NBA Tip-off presented by AutoTrader.com

Matt Winer, Shaquille O’Neal, Steve Smith and Chris Webber

Steve Smith on Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard: “We all know to win championships you’re going to have to defend. And they don’t have the lockdown defenders other than Kawhi Leonard that you can put on somebody and make it hard… They need a guy that they can just take [an opposing player] out of a ballgame, and Kawhi Leonard is one of those guys.”

Chris Webber on the Oklahoma City Thunder: “I still believe you have to have three great players, two Hall of Famers, to win a championship in this league…That third great player could be [Serge] Ibaka, defensively.”

Shaquille O’Neal on Oklahoma City: “The difference between OKC and Miami is you can look at Miami and say, ‘they’re going to win because they do everything right.’ With OKC you have to say, ‘if their jumper is falling, then they’ll win. If they can score on the inside, then they’ll win. If [Thunder point guard] Russell Westbrook is playing under control, then they can win.’”
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San Antonio Spurs at Oklahoma City Thunder 
Kevin Calabro (play-by-play), Mike Fratello (analyst) with David Aldridge (reporter)

Mike Fratello on Thunder guard Reggie Jackson: “He takes some of the pressure off [Russell] Westbrook. They have developed so much confidence in him, and he has developed so much confidence from when he took over for Westbrook. He’s a terrific defender, can penetrate and get to the rim; he’s another weapon on the floor.”

Fratello on Thunder forward Kevin Durant: “It’s just too easy for him to score because at his size he can run the floor, he can handle the ball; he can beat you off the dribble; he shoots the ball with incredible range.”

Fratello on Oklahoma City’s defensive focus: “Give Oklahoma City credit, when they get down in their stance, when they’re engaged, all five players on the floor, they’re a terrific defensive team.”

Fratello on the upcoming NBA television schedule: “There’s hardly a game that you can look at on the schedule and say not one of the two teams aren’t involved somehow in the playoff race.”

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Sprint Halftime Report
Winer, O’Neal, Smith and Webber

Webber on Spurs forward Tim Duncan: “This is what I love about him, the fact that right now he’s averaging close to 10 rebounds. There are guys seven-foot that aren’t doing that, and they’re in their 20s. I think a lot of it is just being boring, just playing the same way, like a drill.”
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Dallas Mavericks at Los Angeles Clippers
Kevin Harlan (play-by-play), Brent Barry (analyst) with Craig Sager (reporter)

Brent Barry on the Dallas Mavericks trying to make the playoffs: “Their fate is in their hands. They just have to play better basketball. They have struggled in fourth quarters. They got to keep getting themselves in that position to win games.”

Barry on Los Angeles Clippers point guard Chris Paul: “He plays both ways. He knows how to take over games. Defensively, [he is] the steals leader in the league. He probably uses more energy than anybody who plays this game, talking, moving and communicating. He’s a special, special player.”

Barry on the Mavericks adding players during the offseason: “I think the Mavericks’ brass, in looking at free agency in the offseason, talked about what they needed to compliment Dirk Nowitski’s game. These guys fit together. Jose Calderon is a set up point guard, a great spot up shooter… And Monta Ellis causes all kind of matchup problems at his size.”

Barry on Glen “Big Baby” Davis’ role with the Clippers: “There are going to be some times I think quite frankly that “Big Baby” is going to be important for the Clippers, just in terms of the emotional energy he brings to the game.”

Barry on Dallas winning on the road: “[They had] some struggles in the fourth quarter but overall Rick Carlisle has got to be very pleased with this performance… They got this road trip started the right way by winning against one of the best of the West.”
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Sprint Halftime Report
Winer, O’Neal, Smith and Webber
Webber on Dallas Mavericks guard Monta Ellis: “I played with Monta Ellis when he was a rookie. You would have never seen him have the stats he has tonight… He’s become one of the best finishers in the game… When he’s keeping everyone on their toes, on ice-skates, on their toes, he gets guys involved.”

Smith on Ellis: “I like the way he’s distributing. It seems like he’s looking to win basketball games right now. And he’s playing with Dirk Nowitzki, who’s playing out of his mind at his age.”
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Inside the NBA presented by Kia
Winer, O’Neal, Smith and Webber

Smith on Dallas’ veteran contributors off the bench: “I take my hat off to Shawn Marion and Vince Carter. Old guys still getting it done, [they] still want to make the playoffs. I think to win championships… you have to have these vets. Vets know how to play at the end of the year. That’s when they get to going.”

Webber on the Clippers’ inconsistency: “This is why Doc Rivers probably isn’t getting all the sleep he should during the year because sometimes the Clippers go back to being the old Clippers from last year in the middle of the game. That’s the only thing that worries me about them.”

O’Neal on Thunder guard Russell Westbrook: “I think he could play linebacker in the NFL.”

Smith on Spurs guard Manu Ginobili: “I think they’re going to have to have Manu [Ginobili] play at a high level… We all know great scorers don’t want to really guard [other] great scorers.”
Visit the Turner Sports online press room for additional press materials; follow Turner Sports on Twitter at @TurnerSportsPR

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Notes from TNT’s NBA Coverage – Thursday, March 13, 2014

nba-on-tntNotes from TNT’s NBA Coverage – Thursday, March 13, 2014

 TNT’s NBA coverage continues Tuesday, March 25, at 8 p.m. ET with doubleheader action featuring the Oklahoma City Thunder @ Dallas Mavericks followed by the New York Knicks @ Los Angeles Lakers at 10:30 p.m.

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TNT NBA Tip-off presented by AutoTrader.com
Matt Winer, Charles Barkley, Shaquille O’Neal and Kenny Smith

Barkley on Knicks head coach Mike Woodson: “Mike Woodson is not the problem with the Knicks. The Knicks stink. Mike Woodson has been totally disrespected throughout this entire process.”

Barkley on reports of Phil Jackson joining the Knicks front office: “The ‘Zen Master’ is going to have to go see Dr. Phil after seeing that team play.”

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Houston Rockets (87) at Chicago Bulls (111)
Marv Albert (play-by-play) and Steve Kerr (analyst) with Rachel Nichols (reporter)

Kerr on the Triangle offense: “It’s a great offense if you’ve got great talent…much like any offense.”

Kerr on the Rockets’ James Harden: “Harden is at the point in his career where he has star status…he’s so good offensively. When he’s making the three with his ability to get to the rim, with his strength, people just bounce off of him.”
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Sprint Halftime Report
Winer, Barkley, O’Neal, Smith

Barkley on the Rockets: “They are a good solid team but they aren’t a contender.”

Smith on Houston point guard Jeremy Lin: “There are a lot of different variables that he offers but he gets discredited because of what happened in New York with ‘Linsanity.’ He’s very effective and tough to play against. The credit that he gets now works against him because he got too much already [while with the Knicks].”
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Kerr on Chicago’s chances in the playoffs:  “They could do some serious damage [in the playoffs] if the match-up is right. I don’t like Miami [as an opponent] for them but Indiana, with their own offensive inefficiencies…I could see Chicago and Indiana going a long way [in a series].”

Kerr on how the Rockets lack of grit could impact them in the playoffs: “They are a happy-go-lucky bunch. Led by Dwight Howard, they are very loose and the chemistry is great; but you have to question the grit. Do they have enough fire in them to get through a playoff series with all the adversity they are going to hit? That’s what you have to get through as a team if you’re going to evolve through that pain and learn those lessons.”

Kerr on Houston guard Patrick Beverley: “He’s the one guy on the team that fires the Rockets up.”

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Los Angeles Lakers (102) at Oklahoma City Thunder (131)
Kevin Harlan (play-by-play) and Chris Webber (analysts) with Craig Sager (reporter)
Webber on the Lakers: “Think about how hard it is for a team like the Lakers to get any rhythm. They’ve had six different point guards. How can you have any consistency with different leadership [on the court]?”

Webber on Oklahoma City veteran Caron Butler: “He can score, he plays defense, he has experience and he’s happy to be [in Oklahoma City]. He wants to be sure that his impact is felt.”

Webber on the Thunder’s cohesiveness: “When you’re on a championship run, you have so many moving parts and things that may not go well. [The Thunder] have been together for so long, it seems like they can handle the misfortunes and the changes.”

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Sprint Halftime Report
Winer, Barkley, O’Neal, Smith

O’Neal on Oklahoma City’s Serge Ibaka: “Serge Ibaka is [Oklahoma City’s] third guy, he does everything. Every championship team has a guy that does all the small things.”

 

Barkley on the Lakers: “The Lakers made a huge mistake not re-signing Dwight Howard. They should’ve found a way to make it work. You can’t let the best big man in the game just leave.”

 
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Webber on the toughness of the Thunder: “They are tough and not only because of [Kendrick] Perkins. They have Ibaka, who is one of the best defenders in the game. They have Durant and Westbrook, who is an animal…he just goes.”

Webber on the Thunder: “There was a rumor that [the Thunder] were selfish. I don’t know who started that rumor but this team is fun to watch. When you’re putting up 115 [points] a game…it’s hard to be selfish.”

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Inside the NBA presented by Kia
Winer, Barkley, O’Neal, Smith

Barkley on Russell Westbrook: “He’s never going to be a conventional point guard. He’s too talented.”

Barkley on the Clippers: “The Clippers are the favorite in the West right now.”

Visit the Turner Sports online press room for additional press materials; follow Turner Sports on Twitter at @TurnerSportsPR
 

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Fans Select Houston Rockets at Oklahoma City Thunder as NBA TV’s NBA Fan Night presented by Sprint Telecast Tuesday, March 11, at 8 p.m. ET

NBA-TV-LogoFans Select Houston Rockets at Oklahoma City Thunder as NBA TV’s

NBA Fan Night presented by Sprint Telecast Tuesday, March 11, at 8 p.m. ET

NBA TV’s upcoming NBA Fan Night presented by Sprint will feature Dwight Howard and the Houston Rockets visiting Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder on Tuesday, March 11, at 8 p.m. ET.

The NBA Fan Night presented by Sprint game selection was based on fan voting via NBA.com, the NBA Facebook page, NBA TV’s Facebook page, Yahoo.com , NBA.com mobile web, mobile NBA Game Time App, the NBA Game Time from Sprint App and Twitter.

Host Matt Winer will be joined by Chris Webber to offer analysis during the AutoTrader.com Pregame Show starting at 7:30 p.m. Winer and Webber will also provide updates at times during the game telecast, along with halftime and NBA GameTime presented by Kia post-game coverage.

Fan voting for the final NBA Fan Night presented by Sprint telecast – Tuesday, March 18 – will be conducted from Tuesday, March 11, at 8 a.m. through Thursday, March 13, at midnight. Potential game telecasts:

  • Toronto Raptors at Atlanta Hawks
  • Milwaukee Bucks at Portland Trail Blazers
  • Washington Wizards at Sacramento Kings

Upcoming NBA TV Game Schedule

Date Time (ET) Matchup
Saturday, March 8 7:30 p.m. New York Knicks at Cleveland Cavaliers
Sunday, March 9 6 p.m. Detroit Pistons at Boston Celtics
  9 p.m. Phoenix Suns at Golden State Warriors
Monday, March 10 10:30 p.m. Phoenix Suns at Los Angeles Clippers
Tuesday, March 11 8 p.m. Houston Rockets at Oklahoma City Thunder (NBA Fan Night)

Notes from TNT’s NBA Coverage – Thursday, March 6, 2014

nba-on-tnt TNT’s NBA coverage continues Thursday, March 13, at 7 p.m. ET with doubleheader action featuring the Houston Rockets @ Chicago Bulls followed by the Los Angeles Lakers @ Oklahoma City Thunder at 9:30 p.m.
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TNT NBA Tip-off presented by AutoTrader.com
Ernie Johnson, Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith and Grant Hill

Hill on [Heat forward] LeBron James’ 61-point night earlier this week: “He has become that kind of guy that can go off and have big nights. He enjoys passing and facilitating, but when he gets it going there is no one that can stop him.”

Smith on the Miami Heat’s increasing intensity as they head towards the playoffs: “This is the time of year when LeBron and the Heat start to move the motor up. They’re going for [the top seed]. I don’t think they were going for it earlier in the year. They were just playing hard basketball, but now that they see it’s within reach, they could possibly get the best record [in the Eastern Conference].”

Barkley on where the Indiana Pacers stand in the Eastern Conference: “This thing is going to come down to the wire. The Indiana Pacers made a big mistake [this season] being concerned about home court advantage. If you’re going to win the Championship, you’re going to have to win on the road. [The Pacers] have to start playing better, interject [Pacers center] Andrew Bynum and [Pacers guard] Evan Turner in some capacity and get back to playing Pacers basketball.”

Barkley on his disappointment with Pacers forward Paul George stating his interest in being mentored by LeBron James: “Paul George, I like you. You’re a great player, but you can’t say you want to be mentored by LeBron James. That’s wrong. I love Michael Jordan like a brother, but I would never ask [Jordan] for advice on how to beat him. Same with Larry Bird. I admire and respect him, so I would never ask him for advice. You should want to beat your friends more than anybody.”

Hill on the tendency to underestimate the Spurs: “We keep underestimating this team. Every year you think their run is over, and last year they got to The Finals. Now they have everybody healthy and the playoffs are around the corner.”

Barkley on the best teams in the Western Conference: “The two best teams in the Western conference are the Los Angeles Clippers and the Oklahoma City Thunder…in that order.”

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Miami Heat (87) at San Antonio Spurs (111)
Kevin Harlan (play-by-play) and Greg Anthony (analyst) with Craig Sager (reporter)

Anthony on Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard: “He is the only next-level athletic player [the Spurs] have that gives them a chance to play out of space. He’ll be important for them when matching up with [LeBron] James.”  
 
Anthony on the efficiency of the Spurs offense: “It’s a treat to watch San Antonio offensively. They play the game the way it’s supposed to be played.”

Anthony on how this year’s Spurs team compares to last season’s group: “[Spurs head coach Gregg] Popovich feels like this is a better basketball team. They’re just getting back in terms of continuity and health, but he really likes this group.”

Anthony on the Heat’s ability to get to the basket: “The ability to get to the cup, in terms of the penetration by [Heat guard] Dwyane Wade and LeBron James, is what separates the Heat from a lot of other teams.”

Anthony on Spurs veteran Tim Duncan: “Tim Duncan looks terrific physically. His energy is as good as you could imagine for a guy at this stage of his career.”

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Sprint Halftime Report
Johnson, Barkley, Smith, Hill

Hill on Spurs point guard Tony Paker: “Historically, Tony Parker has been one of the top players for scoring in the paint. His penetration really ignites their offense.”

Barkley on where the Spurs stand in the Western Conference: “They are the third best team in the Western Conference. If they get a bad first round matchup [in the playoffs], like the Houston Rockets or the Golden State Warriors, they’re going to lose in the first round.”

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Anthony on the importance of having a pair of great leaders on a team: “The Spurs have [Tony] Parker and [Tim] Duncan and the Heat have [LeBron] James and [Dwyane] Wade. When you have two great players it makes the game so much easier for everyone else, especially when those great players are unselfish.”

Anthony on Heat forward Chris Bosh: “Sometimes you forget how great of a shooter Chris Bosh is.”

Anthony on Spurs point guard Patty Mills’ improved play: “He can score the basketball. His minutes have gone up because of injuries, but also because [Spurs head coach] Popovich trusts him more as a basketball player.”

Anthony on the Spurs taking great shots: “They live by turning a good shot into a great shot, something more teams should try to implement. They are not a team that looks to isolate the basketball.”

Anthony on the importance of Kawhi Leonard to the Spurs: “There is no one player who is going to stop [Heat forward] LeBron James, but Leonard gives you the ability to at least make LeBron have to work over the course of the game to get everything that he earned. That’s vital for the Spurs. [Leonard] is their most important player. They’ve been pretty successful without [Tim] Duncan, [Tony] Parker or [Spurs shooting guard Manu] Ginobili, but they’ve struggled without Leonard. He gives them that athleticism and defensive minded toughness.”

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Los Angeles Clippers (142) at Los Angeles Lakers (94)
Marv Albert (play-by-play), Reggie Miller and Steve Kerr (analysts) with Ric Bucher (reporter)

Kerr on the Lakers’ Pau Gasol: “Pau Gasol has a lot of basketball left in him. There was a lot of talk whether he would be moved at the trade deadline; he is a free agent at the end of the season. [Gasol's] got a few really good years left, but he may need a change of scenery. This has been a tough couple of seasons for Gasol here [in Los Angeles].”

Kerr on Clippers point guard Chris Paul’s return from injury: “[The return of Paul's shooting ability] is a good sign for the Clippers. He has struggled to get his shot back since his return from injury. The Clippers are a much better team when Paul is aggressive offensively.”

Miller on Clippers small forward Danny Granger: “He’s really going to help this ball club out. Not only being an experienced veteran, but [because of] his ability to shoot the basketball at 6’9.” The three-point shot has really been the only thing missing from this Clippers team.”

Kerr on the unraveling of the Lakers: “It’s amazing how quickly things can slip away from you in this league. One year ago the Lakers got [injured Lakers point guard Steve] Nash, [Houston Rockets center] Dwight Howard and they’re thinking Championship. Now it’s all just falling apart, and it’s onto the next phase. It’s going to be a few years before they can get back to at least a respectable level.”

Miller on injured Lakers point guard Steve Nash: “Once again, father time is showing us that he is still undefeated. I don’t care how well conditioned you are, the older you get it’s that much tougher to play at such a high level. [Nash] is a two-time MVP and one of the most well-conditioned athletes in our game. One little thing and you’re gone.”
 
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Sprint Halftime Report
Johnson, Barkley, Smith, Hill

Barkley on Clippers All-Star forward Blake Griffin: “The best thing that happened to [the Clippers] was Chris Paul getting hurt. It forced Blake Griffin to be aggressive. He has to dominate his position every night…that’s what a star does.”
 
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Miller on whether or not the current Lakers roster is motivated to play with so many stars injured: “You’re auditioning. If not to stay here with the Lakers, there are 29 other teams watching you [take advantage of] an opportunity. A lot of these guys would be 11th and 12th men or behind the bench in suits and wouldn’t be playing on other teams. You’ve been given an opportunity to play major minutes for one of the historic franchises in the NBA. You should care.”

Kerr on the struggles of the Lakers: “This is a team that is demoralized. Sometimes you see this in March when a season has already been decided; the care factor goes out the window.”

Kerr on Clippers backup point guard Darren Collison: “He’s best suited in the role he’s in now: a backup, occasional starter. He’s just not a pure point guard. He’s a guard that thinks shot first. That’s fine, if he’s in the role he’s in now.”

Kerr on the potential strength of the Western Conference postseason matchups: “You can go up and down the West and look at the matchups. Right now Memphis wouldn’t even be in and that’s a scary team. I don’t think anybody wants to play them. [Then there’s] Phoenix, playing at such a high level. Every first round matchup would be competitive and fun to watch.”

Miller on the Clippers without point guard Chris Paul: “[The Clippers] are not beating the Thunder or the Spurs [in the postseason] without a healthy Chris Paul. Going against [Spurs point guard] Tony Parker and [Thunder point guard] Russell Westbrook, Chris Paul has to be engaged, focused and healthy to win those series.”

Miller on how the Lakers should react to this historic loss: “This is one of those tapes that if you’re [Lakers head coach Mike] D’Antoni, you put it in a shredder and let it go. Just move on.”
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Inside the NBA presented by Kia
Johnson, Barkley, Smith, Hill

Barkley on the Spurs chances in the playoffs: “The Spurs aren’t going to be able to last three rounds deep into the playoffs. Their older players will not hold up. They’re a great organization and have the best coach in the NBA, but every series is going to be very difficult for them.”

Smith on the Miami Heat heading into the postseason: “Whatever happens in the regular season for the Miami Heat, they don’t worry because no one has proven that they can beat them over a 10-day stretch. They’re right where they need to be: in a top spot, two games out, comfortable playing on the road and at home and they have one thing that everyone else doesn’t have…the atomic bomb. They have LeBron James, and at any time it could detonate and blow up the whole city.”

Barkley on whether the Heat should be worried about the Pacers: “You better be worried about Indiana. They’re not going anywhere. They’re going to be [in the Eastern Conference Finals]. There’s no one else in the conversation in the Eastern Conference. Those two teams are going to have a knock down, drag out fight.”

Barkley on Pacers forward Paul George: “Paul George needs to learn how to be a superstar. He’s too casual with the ball.”

Hill on the Thunder adjusting to point guard Russell Westbrook’s return from injury: “The chemistry is off a little bit, and that’s to be expected. They’re used to playing without Russell Westbrook, but they need him in order to win a championship. It’s going to take some time to get more comfortable with [Westbrook] in the lineup.”

Barkley on potential playoff matchups in the Western Conference: “If I’m at the top of the Western Conference, I would rather play Phoenix than Memphis. Phoenix is a jump shooting team. You can play defense against jump shooters, but when you’ve got big [Grizzlies center Marc] Gasol and [Grizzlies forward] Zach Randolph down there…they’re a handful for anybody.”

Visit the Turner Sports online press room for additional press materials; follow Turner Sports on Twitter at @TurnerSportsPR

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Notes from NBA TV’s NBA Fan Night presented by Sprint – Tuesday, January 28, 2014: San Antonio Spurs at Houston Rockets

NBA-TV-LogoNotes from NBA TV’s NBA Fan Night presented by Sprint – Tuesday, January 28, 2014

San Antonio Spurs (90) at Houston Rockets (97)

Voting is open for next week’s game via NBA.com, the NBA Facebook page, NBA TV’s Facebook page, Yahoo.com, NBA.com mobile web, mobile NBA Game Time App, the NBA Game Time from Sprint App, and Twitter.

Fans can select between the following games:

·         Chicago Bulls at Phoenix Suns

·         Los Angeles Lakers at Minnesota Timberwolves

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AutoTrader.com Pregame Show

Ernie Johnson, Greg Anthony and Rick Fox

Houston Rockets Head Coach Kevin McHale’s Pre-Game Interview

McHale on whether he expected more out of Dwight Howard: “No, I think that we’ve got to do a better job of getting him the ball more, and we’re doing a better job. I think he started off in November, he was averaging about 17 [ppg].  Now in January, I think he’s averaging well over 19, almost 20. We’re doing a better job. He came to a team that had a lot of guys that never played with a post guy. Our post feeding was really poor. We had a lot of turnovers getting it into him. We didn’t hit him when he was open. We’re getting a little bit better at that. I think people are getting a little more used to playing with a post player…post feeding for me is a lost art. We work on it every day…as we get better [at feeding the post], Dwight will get the ball in better position.  He’s been great. He’s been fun to work with.  He was frustrated for a while because he was open and guys weren’t hitting him, but we’re hitting him more now.”

McHale on Chandler Parsons’ development: “His development has been fantastic. He came in and his three-point shot was really shaky his first year…but [he’s] just a good, solid all-around NBA player; he worked really hard the last couple summers. His three-point shot now is very good. You can really count on him. He can play-make, he can drive, he can finish at the hoop; he’s a good, solid defender. He’s really turned into a tremendous player for us, and a guy that we really need on a nightly basis, and he’s been delivering.”

McHale on whether the Rockets need to be more physical: “No question. I think that’s one of our biggest lacks, one of the biggest areas that we lack is our physicality.  I can’t tell you how many times at halftime I walk and say, ‘Guys, we cannot continue to get pushed around. It’s going to be a physical game.’ There’s no question we have got to build that up. We don’t come out with enough physical presence in our team.”

Fox on Howard and expectations: “I just think he’s been held to a higher standard, maybe unfairly…but I’d rather be expected to be great than to just be good.”

 

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Sprint Halftime Report

Johnson, Anthony and Fox

Fox on Tim Duncan following the first half: “You realize age is just a number for him because he still plays the game as if he was 28.”

Anthony on the match-up being important for Duncan and Howard: “This is also a statement game for both these guys. Neither were selected to be in the All-Star Game [as starters]…and [this is] one of the last opportunities you have to show the world, if you will, that you’re worthy and deserving.”

Webber [via video conference] on Howard and the influence of Hakeem Olajuwon: “I think too much is made of Hakeem Olajuwon [mentoring Howard]. Hakeem Olajuwon is one of the best players to ever play, that’s touched the ball, but that’s not the only way to score…a lot of guys who had less talent have been really effective by just using their body, just using spacing.”

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NBA GameTime presented by Kia

Johnson, Anthony and Fox

Fox on the Houston’s ceiling in the West: “The teams ahead of them know who they are, already. And this is a team that’s still trying to discover how they all play together. They’re getting better.”

Anthony on what the Rockets’ success against the Spurs this season represents: “Not a lot… and that’s why San Antonio’s not going to be overly concerned. In the regular season, timing has a lot to do with things. People get caught up in what you do against a team a lot of times but very rarely do you both come into a situation on level footing.”

Dwight Howard’s Post-Game Interview

Howard on the Rockets improvement: “We’re getting better every day. Each game is different and we’re learning how to play with each other. Last year the way they played was a little bit different than how we’re trying to play this year. We want to be able to play inside-out, but also get up in transition. So, it’s a learning process for all of us, including myself.”

Howard on whether he expects to hear his name called as an All-Star participant: “I do expect to hear my name. But if not, that’s just going to give me motivation to go win that championship and come back next year to make sure everybody votes for my guys on the team and also myself.”