NBA TV’s Critically Acclaimed Open Court Celebrates “Signature Moves” Tuesday, June 2, at 11 p.m. ET

NBA-TV_2004_IDHost Matt Winer is Joined by Hall of Famers Dominique Wilkins & Isiah Thomas, Seven-Time NBA All-Star Grant Hill, Five-Time NBA All-Star Chris Webber & NBA Champion Steve Smith

Hour-Long Roundtable Discussion Looks Back at Classic Signature Moves Including Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s Skyhook, Hakeem Olajuwon’s Dream Shake,

Allen Iverson’s Crossover & the Moves by Current NBA Stars Stephen Curry, James Harden and Kyrie Irving

NBA TV’s critically acclaimed Open Court returns with an all-new episode Tuesday, June 2, at 11 p.m. ET with a roundtable discussion focused on signature moves of NBA players past and present. The “Signature Moves” show features a cast of NBA greats discussing their favorite and most-feared signature moves while reminiscing about what it was like to face some of the league’s all-time greats. The group will also look ahead to the impact the moves of current NBA stars such as Stephen Curry, James Harden and Kyrie Irving and the impact they will have on the next generation.

Open Court’s “Signature Moves” episode is hosted by Matt Winer with Hall of Famers Dominique Wilkins and Isiah Thomas, seven-time NBA All-Star Grant Hill, five-time NBA All-Star Chris Webber and NBA Champion Steve Smith.

Excerpts from the “Signature Moves” episode of Open Court:

Grant Hill on NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s signature skyhook: “Unbelievable. You can’t guard it. The thing about Kareem, if you look back at some of those games and iconic moments where he hit those shots, he was hitting deep ones. You know it’s coming. You know what he’s going to do. I don’t know if there is ever a play or a shot in the history of the game that scored as many points and you couldn’t guard it as the skyhook. I’m surprised more big guys don’t try to work on that shot. I know it takes a lot of finesse and a lot of touch, but I’m even thinking why didn’t I try to work on it? That shot right there was unbelievable to defend.”

Dominique Wilkins on the footwork of Hall of Famers Kevin McHale and Hakeem Olajuwon: “They are the two best. I played against both of those guys. It got to a point where we were calling Kevin McHale ‘The Man of a Thousand Moves.’ You could not guard him one-on-one on the box. He had such great footwork. He did a great job of feeling the contact. Once he felt you, you were done. Same thing with Hakeem Olajuwon. Not only was he a very agile guy, but he was super strong around the basket. He had an unbelievable feel for the game.”

Hill on Rockets All-Star James Harden: “He has a lot of moves, but when he gets into the paint he brings his arms through, a lot like how Sam Perkins used to do in the post and Stacey Augmon. He extends his arm as he is going down the lane and goes into your arms as he is going to the basket. One of the best at drawing fouls and creating contact as an offensive player.”

Isiah Thomas on 11-Time NBA All-Star Allen Iverson’s crossover: “There are two different kinds of crossovers. I was always taught you play inside the box, so you can get right to your shot. Then Allen Iverson came in with a shot that was outside of the box. His crossover was out here, he would shake with it and then bring it back. When he added the shake to it, I’m glad it was on Michael Jordan and it wasn’t on me.”

About NBA TV

NBA TV is a part of NBA Digital, the NBA’s extensive cross-platform portfolio of digital assets jointly-managed by the NBA and Turner Sports including NBA TV, NBA.com, NBA LEAGUE PASS, NBA LEAGUE PASS Digital, NBA Mobile, NBADLEAGUE.com and WNBA.com.

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NBA Western Conference Finals Game 5 Delivers Largest NBA Audience on ESPN Since 2012

  • Average Audience of 8.9 Million Tune-in to See Golden State Defeat Houston
  • Game 5 on ESPN Peaks with 10.8 Million Viewers
  • Most-Watched NBA Playoffs Telecast of 2015 on any Network

NBA Western Conference Finals Game 5 on ESPN – the Golden State Warriors defeated the Houston Rockets to advance to the NBA Finals – delivered the largest NBA audience on ESPN in three years, according to Nielsen.

An average audience of 8,887,000 (p2+) watched Game 5, which is the most-viewed NBA game on ESPN since Game 7 of the 2012 Eastern Conference Finals – Miami Heat versus Boston Celtics. Additionally, it’s the most-watched ESPN telecast of 2015 since the inaugural College Football National Championship on January 12, 2015. Game 5 delivered a peak audience of 10,786,000 viewers.

Wednesday’s telecast also stands as the most-watched game of the NBA Playoffs on any network.

Additionally, Game 5 delivered a 5.6 U.S. household rating, making it the highest-rated telecast of the night across key demos, including M18-34, M18-49, M25-54, P18-34, P18-49, and P25-54.

 ABC will exclusively present the 2015 NBA Finals – Golden State Warriors versus Cleveland Cavaliers – beginning with Game 1 on Thursday, June 4, at 9 p.m. ET. More coverage details will be released in the coming days.

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 Media contact: Ben Cafardo at 860-766-3496 or ben.cafardo@espn.com (@Ben_ESPN).

 

Trailer Unveiled for NBA TV Originals’ Clutch City Documentary, Set to Premiere Monday, June 8, at 9 p.m. ET

NBA-TV-LogoNBA TV to Televise Countdown to Clutch City, a 30-Minute Pre-Show Special, at 8:30 p.m.

NBA TV has unveiled a trailer for its latest original documentaryClutch City – set to premiere Monday, June 8, at 9 p.m. ET during the NBA Finals. The documentary, produced as a part of the Sports Emmy Award-winning NBA TV Originals franchise, features extensive interviews with former Houston Rockets coach Rudy Tomjanovich and teammates Hakeem Olajuwon, Clyde Drexler, Kenny Smith, Robert Horry, Sam Cassell and Vernon Maxwell, among others, as they reflect on their back-to-back championships in the 1990s.

NBA TV’s premiere of the documentary will be preceded by Countdown to Clutch City at 8:30 p.m., a 30-minute show hosted by Vince Cellini that looks back at Houston’s championship legacy.  The show will include interviews with former Rockets, including Horry, along with special guests.

A few excerpts from NBA TV’s Clutch City documentary:

Smith on how Hakeem Olajuwon brought the team together by involving them in his MVP reception: “There’s never been a superstar who is as selfless as Hakeem. Zero. That gesture, to bring us up and have us with him and the trophy, was living proof of that. He made me feel that that was my MVP.”

Tomjanovich on the importance of his relationship with Olajuwon: “Hakeem is one of the most important people in my life because, if we don’t have this relationship, if we are not in each other’s lives, you’re not talking to me. I was the right guy for him. He was the right guy for me.”

Clutch City is the latest in a long line of NBA TV Originals’ critically acclaimed films and specials that include the Sports Emmy Award-winning The Doctor; the Emmy-nominated The Dream Team; and THE84DRAFT; as well as the network’s popular Open Court series.

About NBA TV

NBA TV is a part of NBA Digital, the NBA’s extensive cross-platform portfolio of digital assets jointly-managed by the NBA and Turner Sports including NBA TV, NBA.com, NBA LEAGUE PASS, NBA LEAGUE PASS Broadband, NBA Mobile, NBADLEAGUE.com and WNBA.com.

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Western Conference Finals Game 5 is Highest-Rated NBA Game on ESPN Since 2012

  • 8 Overnight Rating is Best for any ESPN Telecast in 2015 Since January
  • Record Local Ratings in San Francisco & Houston Markets

Game 5 of the 2015 NBA Western Conference Finals – the Golden State Warriors defeated the Houston Rockets to advance to the NBA Finals – delivered a strong 6.8 overnight rating, according to Nielsen. The game peaked with an 8.1 rating from 11:30 p.m. – 11:45 p.m. ET.

Last night’s telecast is the highest-rated NBA game on ESPN since its telecast of Miami Heat-Boston Celtics Eastern Conference Finals Game 7 on June 9, 2012. Game 5 is also the highest-rated ESPN telecast of 2015 since the inaugural College Football Playoff National Championship on January 12.

Additionally, Game 5 was up double-digits from both the Western Conference Finals and Eastern Conference Finals Game 5’s in 2014.  Last night’s 6.8 was up 28 percent from a 5.3 for San Antonio-Oklahoma City in 2014 and up 19 percent from a 5.7 for Miami-Indiana in 2014.

Record local numbers

Locally, Game 5 delivered records in both team markets. In San Francisco, Game 5 generated a 21.9 and in Houston, the telecast posted a 17.1. Both rank as the highest-rated NBA games on ESPN in those markets, as far as records go back (2003).

Game 5 on WatchESPN

Golden State-Houston Game 5 delivered an average minute audience of 171,571 on WatchESPN. This is the second-highest average minute audience ever for an NBA game on the platform.

SportsCenter

Last night’s midnight ET edition of SportsCenter on ESPN delivered a 3.1 overnight rating, making it the highest-rated SportsCenter in the timeslot since the night of the inaugural College Football National Championship game.

ABC will exclusively present the 2015 NBA Finals – Golden State Warriors versus Cleveland Cavaliers – beginning with Game 1 on Thursday, June 4, at 9 p.m. ET. More coverage details will be released in the coming days.

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Media contact: Ben Cafardo at 860-766-3496 or ben.cafardo@espn.com (@Ben_ESPN).

 

Notes & Video Clips from TNT’s NBA Eastern Conference Finals Game 4 Coverage – Tuesday, May 26, 2015

nba-on-tntTNT culminated its coverage of the 2015 NBA Playoffs with last night’s victory by the Cleveland Cavaliers over the Atlanta Hawks in Game 4 of the NBA Eastern Conference Finals.  Following are video clips and notes from Tuesday’s NBA on TNT coverage.

Click here  for a “Best of Inside the NBA” video clip looking back at some of the top moments from this past season.

Click here for a video clip featuring the cast of the upcoming Entourage movie making a guest appearance on TNT’s Inside the NBA.

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TNT NBA Tip-off presented by Autotrader 

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

Smith on guard Jeff Teague: “He’s not a guy that is going to take difficult shots, he’s a guy that just takes more. He has a clear advantage on this team, no one else has a clear advantage.”

O’Neal on the aggressiveness of Matthew Dellavedova: “He’s not a dirty player, he’s a hustle player. I understand the brotherhood, but this is the playoffs and all that goes out of the window.”

O’Neal on power forward Tristan Thompson: “He’s a great player. Tristan Thompson has been the heart and soul of this team all year.”

Smith on LeBron James: “What poison are you going to pick with LeBron? I think LeBron James can get 10 assists and 18 rebounds every night. To make him more of a passer allows you to not get him a 40-point night. To me, he is going to rebound and assist and when he scores he compounds everything on you and it is just too hard.”
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Cleveland Cavaliers (118) @ Atlanta Hawks (88); Cavs sweep Atlanta Hawks 4-0; advance to 2015 NBA Finals for the first time since 2007
Marv Albert play-by-play) Chris Webber & Reggie Miller (analysts) with Rachel Nichols and David Aldridge (reporters)

Miller on guard Matthew Dellavedova: “A lot of people have been weighing in on hustle versus dirty play. There is one thing you can say about Dellavedova; he’s not going to change how he plays the ball game and I like that.”

Webber on team chemistry: “We talk a lot about chemistry starting in the locker room. Chemistry is when you know where a guy is without looking and that is what this team has right now.”

Webber on staying consistent with how you play: “I remember this same situation with Patrick Beverley when he was playing that type of way. Some guys have to stick with what got them there.”

Miller on the distinction between dirty plays: “If you are Matthew Dellavedova, be who you are. Just be careful when doing that. He’s not a dirty player but those are borderline dirty plays. There is a big difference.”

Webber on guard Kyrie Irving returning for Game 4: “This is definitely a calculated risk. You just don’t want to see anything happen.”

Webber on [head coach David] Blatt’s adjustments:  “It seems as if all the adjustments he made early on in the year prepared him for all the adjustments he has to make now.”

Miller on how the Cavs adjusted to team injuries: “I think this team really changed their identity. It was somewhat a blessing in disguise when [Anderson] Varejao went down. They went out and got [Timofey] Mozgov and that gave them a rim protector. [Kevin] Love goes down…which is difficult for everyone but Tristan Thompson comes in. This has made them better defensively for playoff basketball. Where it may rear its ugly head is against Golden State.”

Barkley on the risk of playing guard Kyrie Irving in Game 4: “These are the same Chihuahuas out here in Atlanta. There is a pitbull in Golden State. You can’t take any chances when you are up 3-0.”

Webber on the Cavs lineup: “They have so many talented players and so many substitution patterns they can put in.”

Miller on LeBron’s journey of leaving Cleveland only to return to take a young team to the NBA Finals: “He had to go away and find a way to win a championship. I know how tough it is in a small market. The fans were heartbroken… For LeBron to go to Miami, he had to find a way to win. Now he is back here showing this younger team how to win like he did in Miami.”
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Inside the NBA presented by Kia

Johnson, Barkley, Smith and O’Neal

Smith on the Hawks in Game 4: “When they got up about nine, 12 points, the realization that their season was over hit. You never know how that feels. It’s not quitting, its just defeat. Hats off to the Hawks…great season.”

O’Neal on the Hawks getting over the hump: “You learn from this. Nobody expected them to go this far. We knew it was going to be tough for them to win. They now have the blueprint to win. I still think they are a few key pieces away. They play good team ball but you have to have a 1-2 punch you can rely on.”

Smith on what the Hawks need for next season: “The first issue they have to address is size. They are too small. Tristan Thompson looked like Wilt Chamberlin on the offensive and defensive board.”
O’Neal on the Cavs: “It’s just their time. I’m really excited for the city of Cleveland and LeBron.”

Barkley on power forward Tristan Thompson: “He’s a terror on the offensive board. This was just a complete win by the Cavs.”

Smith on LeBron reaching his fifth consecutive NBA Finals: “This is his best accomplishment in all of his runs.”

O’Neal on LeBron’s legacy: “We all grew up on great sports stories. If this kid wins for this town, it will have to be a top 10 sports story. Guy grew up here, left…was criticized, won in Miami and came back.”

Barkley on the potential matchup between the Cavaliers and Warriors in The Finals: “The Cleveland Cavaliers are going to win the World Championship this year. [Tristan] Thompson has solidified the power forward spot… They have athletic ability on the perimeter now. [Timfoey] Mozgov saved their season…because they were just too small. The addition of [Iman] Shumpert and J.R. Smith made them a legit NBA team. Kyrie [Irving] has to be healthy. I think the Cleveland Cavaliers are going to win.”

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Western Conference Finals Game 4 on ESPN is Most-Watched Game of 2015 NBA Playoffs

  • Audience of Over Eight Million for Game 4; Up 59 Percent from Last Time on ESPN
  • Game 4 Peaked with 9.4 Million Viewers Tuning-in

Game 4 of the 2015 NBA Western Conference Finals – the Houston Rockets defeated the Golden State Warriors to stay alive in their series – is the most-watched telecast of the 2015 NBA Playoffs so far, according to Fast Nationals from Nielsen.

The game generated 8,280,000 viewers (p2+), which is up 59 percent from last time ESPN televised Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals (San Antonio-Memphis 2013), which drew 5,210,000 viewers. It’s also up 29 percent from last year’s Western Conference Finals (San Antonio-Oklahoma City), which drew 6,420,000 viewers.

Game 4 peaked with 9,399,000 viewers in the final half-hour from 10:30 p.m. – 11 p.m. ET.

In addition, Game 4 delivered a 5.0 U.S. household rating on ESPN, which is up 56 percent from the comparable Game 4 in 2013 (3.2) on ESPN and up 19 percent from the comparable game in 2014 (4.2).

 NBA Western Conference Finals Game 5 on ESPN is Wednesday, May 27, at 9 p.m. with Mike Breen, analysts Jeff Van Gundy and Mark Jackson and reporter Doris Burke providing commentary. Kia NBA Countdown will precede the game at 8 p.m. with a one-hour, on-site pre-game show hosted by Sage Steele and featuring analysts Doug Collins and Jalen Rose.

For a transcript and replay of ESPN’s NBA Western Conference Finals media conference call with Van Gundy/Jackson media conference call, visit ESPN Media Zone.

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Media contact: Ben Cafardo at 860-766-3496 or ben.cafardo@espn.com (@Ben_ESPN).

 

Notes from NBA on TNT Playoff Coverage ­ Sunday, May 24, 2015

nba-on-tntNotes from NBA on TNT Playoff Coverage – Sunday, May 24, 2015

TNT’s exclusive coverage of the 2015 NBA Eastern Conference Finals – Game 4 between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Atlanta Hawks – will continue tomorrow, Tuesday, May 26, at 8:30 p.m. ET.  The NBA Tip-Off presented by Autotrader pre-game show will preview the live game action at 8 p.m.

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NBA Tip-Off presented by Autotrader

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

O’Neal on LeBron James: “He’s a great player that makes the ‘others’ great.  He’s the true definition of a great player.”

Barkley on Kyrie Irving not playing in Game 3: “He’s gotta be smart.  It’s only been 48 hours since he didn’t play in Game 2.  He hasn’t gotten back to 100%.  Just rest up and get ready for June 4.”

Barkley on the Hawks: “From Game 1, their body language and energy has not been there.  It’s like they’re mentally defeated.”

Barkley on how the Hawks can be successful: “If they’re not making threes, they’re not going to beat the Cavaliers because they always have a rebounding deficiency.”

Smith on what Jeff Teague needs to do in Game 3: “Jeff Teague has to change his mental fortitude and personality.  He has to take, minimally, five shots a quarter and I don’t know if that’s in his DNA…He can get anywhere on the floor to score, and [the Hawks] are having trouble scoring.”

O’Neal on how he would defend LeBron James in Game 3: “The Hawks should take it old school; let’s see if LeBron goes crazy before you start to double [team] him.”

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Atlanta Hawks (111) @ Cleveland Cavaliers (114) in OT; Cavaliers lead the series, 3-0
Marv Albert (play-by-play) Chris Webber and Reggie Miller (analysts) with Rachel Nichols and David Aldridge (reporters)

Webber on the energy level he expects from Cleveland: “When I think about Kobe [Bryant], Magic [Johnson], LeBron [James], those guys that know what it takes to get to the pinnacle, they’re going to make sure their team comes out with the right energy.”

Webber on how he would handle Kyrie Irving’s recovery: “If I’m Kyrie’s teammates, I’m telling him I don’t care what the doctors say, we need you later on…If we do advance, we’re gonna have some guards and we’ll need your quickness.”

Webber on James driving the ball to the basket: “That’s where I like seeing LeBron James…he’s so tough to stop inside with his size and quickness.”

Miller on Matthew Dellavedova: “He’s not a dirty player, but when I look at those three plays [Taj Gibson, Kyle Korver and Al Horford], contact is initiated by Dellavedova…There’s a difference between being an irritant and being a dirty player and I think he’s an irritant…but those three plays, it kind of makes you question it a little bit.”

Webber on Tristan Thompson: “This is a guy we’ve been watching improve in the playoffs under the [brightest] lights of the league.”

Miller on how Atlanta’s offense needs to flow: “The ball has been sticking, and now without their catch-and-shoot player in Kyle Korver, it’s even more paramount that you have that ball movement from side to side.”

Webber on what the Hawks miss without Kyle Korver on the floor: “Kyle Korver can go zero-for-10 in a game, and still get players on his team wide open jump shots.  Now, you don’t have anybody on the floor that you have to respect play after play after play, just for fear of them knocking down that shot.  His presence is sorely missed for the other guys out here.”

Miller on Atlanta’s fast break: “This is where the Hawks have to be better, in transition.  Something we haven’t seen is a lot of fast break points this series from Atlanta.”

Webber on the Hawks’ fourth quarter comeback: “They’ve done it playing Hawk basketball…[their offense] has pace, they move the ball, get the others involved, you’re seeing that tonight.”

Webber on Jeff Teague’s aggressiveness: “I love seeing Teague take it upon himself tonight, especially late in [the fourth] quarter to attack the basket and get some easy shots for his teammates.”

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Inside the NBA presented by Kia

Johnson, Barkley, O’Neal and Smith

O’Neal on the total team effort by Cleveland: “When LeBron came out of the game the ‘others’ played very well, they moved the ball, they took some shots and they hit some shots.”

Smith on the Cavs’ rebounding edge: “The difference in this game was the offensive rebounds Cleveland had.”

O’Neal on Matthew Dellavedova: “I commend this guy for going out, playing hard and diving for the ball.  It’s just the nature of the game.”

Barkley on Dellavedova’s style of play: “This kid plays hard.  He doesn’t have the talent of some of these other guys, so he’s going to be a pest, he’s going to nag you, but I want to be careful before we start calling guys dirty players.”

Smith on James leading the Cavaliers within a game of the NBA Finals without Kevin Love and a banged up Kyrie Irving: “It’s probably the biggest Criss Angel, Harry Houdini performance ever.”

Barkley on Atlanta’s missed opportunity: “I thought Atlanta lost the game in the first half when LeBron was 0-for-10 and it was a tie game…That really came back to haunt them in the long run.”

Smith on Jeff Teague’s impact tonight: “I thought what kept Atlanta in the game was Jeff Teague just deciding ‘I am the advantage.’”

Barkley on Horford’s ejection: “I don’t like guys getting thrown out of playoff games.  I wish they would have given him a Flagrant 1.”

O’Neal on the Hawks battling back and competing all game after Al Horford was ejected: “They showed a lot of heart tonight.”

Barkley on this being a wildly successful season for Atlanta regardless of the series outcome: “There’s not a single person in New York, Cleveland, San Antonio, even in Atlanta, that thought before the season started that the Hawks would win 60 games, so you take your hat off.”

Barkley on Danny Ferry: “I gotta give this guy a shout out because I know he’s in the dog house right now.  Danny Ferry did a fantastic job of putting this team together.  I hope he gets his job back because Danny Ferry did a fantastic job and nobody wants to say that.  Danny Ferry made a mistake, I’ll be the first to admit that, but he did a hell of a job putting this team together.”


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 on TNT Playoff Coverage ­ Friday, May 22, 2015

nba-on-tntNotes from NBA on TNT Playoff Coverage – Friday, May 22, 2015

TNT’s exclusive coverage of the 2015 NBA Eastern Conference Finals Game 3 between the Atlanta Hawks and Cleveland Cavaliers will continue tomorrow Sunday, May 24, at 8:30 p.m. ET.  The NBA Tip-Off presented by Autotrader pre-game show will preview the live game action at 8 p.m.

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TNT NBA Tip-off presented by Autotrader 

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

Smith on Hawks forward DeMarre Carroll playing through injury in Game 2: “You can’t guard LeBron James on one leg…I don’t know many that can guard him with two. This is a big blow for the Atlanta Hawks.”

O’Neal on Carroll: “Carol is the heart and soul of the Atlanta Hawks. I commend him for coming back to play.”

O’Neal on Hawks sharpshooter Kyle Korver: “If you’re a team with championship aspirations, your shooter has to keep busy. Don’t tell me he can’t get off the shot.  He has to get off the shot. He has to get going, play big, and knock down timely shots for the Hawks to have a chance.”

Smith on the Cavaliers without injured point guard Kyrie Irving: “The Cavaliers have been playing without him for the last 5 or 6 games because [even when he’s in the game] he hasn’t been the same Kyrie Irving. I don’t think their attack will change.”

Smith on how pace of play can work in the Cavaliers’ favor: “If you are watching the game at home and it doesn’t look like a tennis match or a ping pong match, that means the Hawks are losing. When the ball gets stationary on either end of the court, the Cavs have the advantage. When LeBron just has it and it’s not moving, he is good enough to make a play. When the Hawks have it and it’s stationary, they are not good enough to make a play. If the ball is moving around, it is the Hawks game.”

O’Neal on Cavaliers center Tristan Thompson: “He’s an animal out there and a very hard worker. He’s definitely been doing his job.”

O’Neal on Cavs point guard Matthew Dellavedova starting in Kyrie Irving’s absence: “Let’s not forget what he did in the Chicago series when he got hot. We know this guy is a capable player.”

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Cleveland Cavaliers (94) @ Atlanta Hawks (82); Cavs lead series 2-0
Marv Albert play-by-play) Chris Webber & Reggie Miller (analysts) with Rachel Nichols and David Aldridge (reporters)

Webber on Carroll guarding James with an injured left knee: “You have to admire Carroll’s heart tonight. You’re guarding the best player in the league on one wheel, but at the same time you have to make sure that you can offer your team as much help you can without being a hindrance, since you can’t move as well as you would like.”

Webber on Hawks guard Kent Bazemore: “That’s what Bazemore does. He’s an energy player, gets the crowd involved and attacks the basket. Players like that keep the crowd in it and keep the game close with their extra effort.”

Miller on the Hawks offense in Game 2: “The Hawks are playing isolation offense…they are playing the Cavaliers game! If you go back to Game 1, the Cavs actually had more passes than the Hawks.”

Webber on the Hawks team ball: “When you get back down, how do you get back in? For the Hawks, it is usually about playing as a unit.”

Webber on what Hawks point guard Jeff Teague needs to do for the Hawks to win the series: “This is not a team of superstars, but Teague needs to become one.”

Miller on Cavs forward LeBron James facing an injured DeMarre Carroll: “LeBron realizes he has a wounded animal in front of him.”

Webber on the defensive play of Cavaliers guard Iman Shumpert: “Shumpert looks like a ball in a pin ball machine running around chasing [Hawks guard] Kyle Korver and running into those screens. You have to love his effort defensively.”

Miller on the Cavaliers defense: “The defensive effort of the Cavaliers is keeping every one of the Hawks off of the three point line.”

Webber on the Cavaliers control of Game 2: “You know when you have a team by the neck when you have them playing out of character.”

Miller: “Make them play your way. That’s exactly what the Cavaliers have done in these first few games against the Atlanta Hawks.”

Webber on the determination of LeBron James: “LeBron James hasn’t been as efficient as he was in other playoff series, but it just seems he is more determined.”

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Inside the NBA presented by Kia

Johnson, Barkley, Smith and O’Neal

Barkley on the Hawks defensive strategy against LeBron James: “The Hawks were doubling him for no reason, way out on the court. Then [Cavs guard] Iman Shumpert was standing there just making wide open shots.”

O’Neal on the lack of energy from the Hawks in Game 2: “I thought when they announced DeMarre Carroll was playing there would be more energy and passion from these guys. They played with no energy.”

Barkley on whether the Hawks can come back from being down 2-0 to win the series: “The Hawks are in trouble. They are going to get swept…plain and simple.”

O’Neal on the similarities between LeBron James and Magic Johnson: “A lot of people try to compare LeBron to Michael Jordan, but he is more like Magic. He is going to keep everybody involved.”

Smith on the chemistry between LeBron James, Iman Shumpert and J.R. Smith: “I didn’t know LeBron James could take the New York Knicks to the NBA Finals. That’s basically what he’s doing.”

O’Neal on the dominance of LeBron James: “If you double [team] this guy he is going to pick you apart, and he’s going to get his 30-points…no matter what.”

Barkley on the Cavaliers ability to win while Kyrie Irving is out with injuries: “This is going to be great for Kyrie Irving. He shouldn’t play the rest of the series if the Cavaliers know what they are doing. If I’m Kyrie, I’m not playing until June 4 [in the NBA Finals].”

O’Neal on the Cavs’ instinct: “I think they have a killer instinct, and will try to end the series so they can get some rest. They are getting ready for June 4.”

O’Neal on the Houston Rockets, down 2-0 against the Golden State Warriors: “The Houston Rockets are not intimidated, because they believe they could have won both games. They are comfortable going back home to Houston.”

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6.0 Overnight Rating for NBA Western Conference Finals Game 4 is Up 46 Percent from Last Time on ESPN

The 2015 NBA Western Conference Finals Game 4 – the Houston Rockets defeated the Golden State Warriors to stay alive in the best-of-seven series – delivered a 6.0 overnight rating, according to Nielsen. The game peaked with a 6.8 from 10:45 p.m. – 11 p.m. ET. This is up 46 percent from the last time ESPN televised Western Conference Finals Game 4 (San Antonio-Memphis) in 2013, which delivered a 4.1 overnight rating.

Last night’s telecast is also up 22 percent from Game 4 of the 2014 Western Conference Finals (San Antonio/Oklahoma City), which drew a 4.9.

Local ratings

In the San Francisco market, Game 4 generated a 19.5 rating, which ranks as the best ever for an NBA game on any network in the market, at least as far as records go back (2003).  Also, the telecast did a 14.1 in the Houston market, which is good for fourth-best ever for a non-Finals NBA game on ESPN in the market.

Game 4 on WatchESPN

Western Conference Finals Game 4 on ESPN delivered an average minute audience of 146,547, making it the second-highest audience for an NBA game on WatchESPN.

 NBA Western Conference Finals Game 5 on ESPN is Wednesday at 9 p.m. with Mike Breen, analysts Jeff Van Gundy and Mark Jackson and reporter Doris Burke providing commentary. Kia NBA Countdown will precede the game at 8 p.m. with a one-hour, on-site pre-game show hosted by Sage Steele and featuring analysts Doug Collins and Jalen Rose.

For a transcript and replay of ESPN’s NBA Western Conference Finals media conference call with Van Gundy/Jackson media conference call, visit ESPN Media Zone.

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Media contact: Ben Cafardo at 860-766-3496 or ben.cafardo@espn.com (@Ben_ESPN).

ESPN Digital Media Reaches 76 Million U.S. Fans in April

Click to view info graphic.

Click to view info graphic.

29 percent share of sports category is more than Nos. 2 and 3 properties combined; ESPN’s last 11 monthly unique visitor totals are the 11 biggest months in sports category history; New ESPN.com reaches 55 million people, up 19 percent in first month of relaunch.

ESPN Digital Media reached 75.5 million unique visitors in the U.S., up 14 percent from a year ago and the ninth-largest monthly total in sports category history. Across digital platforms fans spent 5.7 billion minutes with ESPN content, a sports category record for the month of April and up seven percent from a year ago.

DigitalStats154ESPN now owns the top 11 monthly unique visitor totals in sports category history – June 2014 through April 2015.

The new ESPN.com, launched April 1, garnered 55.2 million unique visitors for the month, up 19 percent from a year ago, while 39.9 million people visited ESPN.com via smartphones and tablets, an increase of 24 percent from April 2014.

Overall, ESPN accounted for 29.0 percent of all sports category usage on digital platforms, more than the Nos. 2 and 3 properties combined (MLB had 14.7 percent, Yahoo! Sports-NBC Sports Network 13.7 percent).

More results from the April comScore Multi-Platform report:

  • On mobile devices alone, 59.4 million unique users accessed ESPN web and app content, an increase of 9.8 million over a year ago. ESPN mobile visitors generated 3.3 billion minutes of usage, up 26 percent.
  • 64 percent of ESPN’s unique users – 48.6 million people – exclusively accessed content on smartphones and tablets. This is the 13th consecutive month that more than half of ESPN’s digital users came only from mobile devices.
  • 57 percent of all time spent with ESPN digital content was consumed by mobile device users, the 12th consecutive month that smartphones and tablets contributed a larger share of usage to ESPN’s digital total than desktop and laptop computers.
  • ESPN accounted for the top two sports apps on smartphones and tablets in April. The ESPN app topped the category for unique visitors (13.9 million), with WatchESPN at No. 2 (5.6 million).
  • ESPN’s portfolio of apps generated 1.7 billion minutes of usage, accounting for 28 percent of all time spent with apps in the Sports Category.
  • espnW and Grantland set all-time highs in monthly unique visitors with 8.1 million and 6.7 million respectively, while FiveThirtyEight notched its second-highest total ever with 4.9 million.
  • In the average day in April, ESPN web and app properties were accessed by 5.7 million millennial males (age 18-34) via smartphones. ESPN ranked seventh among the more than 6,000 mobile entities reported by comScore, ahead of Twitter (4.1 million) and Buzzfeed (989,000), among many others.

Additional results from ESPN Research & Analytics:

  • 8 million unique devices streamed WatchESPN and ESPN3 content in April (up 49 percent from a year ago), as viewers spent 859 million minutes with programming across all platforms (up 78 percent).1
  • ESPN3 was the second most-streamed network on the WatchESPN platform (trailing only ESPN) racking up 160 million minutes of viewing.1
  • Fans watched 375.0 million ESPN digital video clips in April across all touch points, up four percent from a year ago.1
  • 67 percent of all ESPN platform clips (338.3 million) were viewed on computers, 28 percent on phones and tablets, and 6 percent on connected TVs.1
  • ESPN’s top piece of content in April was Jane McManus’s “The tragic love story of Christy Mack and MMA fighter War Machine”, which received 4.2 million views.1

DigitalContent154

  • ESPN networks and ABC sports television content generated 10.7 million tweets in April, accounting for 16 percent of all TV-related activity during the month.2

Other key social media metrics:

  • 3 million unique authors wrote tweets about ESPN/ABC Sports content, representing nearly 30 percent of those tweeting about TV in April. 2
  • With 1.8 million unique authors and 7.7 million TV-related tweets, ESPN was the No. 1 most social network for the month (broadcast or cable) based on total tweets, total unique authors, and daily unique Twitter audience (4.2 million per day).2
  • ESPN’s top Twitter accounts were retweeted or favorited 11.9 million times, up 11 percent from a year ago. ESPN’s Twitter accounts have 50 million unduplicated followers.3
  • ESPN’s top Instagram accounts generated 31 million engagements, a 19 percent increase from March.4

1 Source: Adobe Analytics
2 Source: Nielsen SocialGuide
3 Source: Twitter
4 Source: Instagram

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