Notes from TNT’s NBA Coverage – Tuesday, May 27, 2014

nba-on-tntNotes from TNT’s NBA Coverage – Tuesday, May 27, 2014

TNT’s NBA Playoffs coverage continues Thursday, May 29, with the exclusive presentation of the

Oklahoma City Thunder at San Antonio Spurs, Western Conference Finals Game 5, at 9 p.m. ET

TNT NBA Tip-off presented by AutoTrader.com

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

O’Neal on Thunder forward Serge Ibaka: “He’s a unique big guy. This guy can do it on the offensive and defensive end. He was the third scorer that OKC was missing in the first two games.”

Smith on the impact of Ibaka in Game 4: “Because of Serge Ibaka, the game plan for OKC is going to be different tonight. We will see both teams in their truest form tonight.”

O’Neal on Spurs guard Manu Ginobili: “He’s very tactful in how he plays. He never does the same thing twice. This guy is almost unscoutable at times.  He was always a great teammate and player. He always seemed to be a guy that knew his role.”

Smith on Ginobili comparisons: “Arguable the best foreign basketball player at his position other than Dražen Petrović.  They would be fighting for that No. 2 spot at the two [guard] position.”

Barkley on the impact of Ginobili: “He’s going into the Hall of Fame. He’s just amazing. He’s one of the five greatest foreign players ever. I scream his name for a reason. It would have been an honor and a pleasure to play against him.”

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San Antonio Spurs (92) at Oklahoma City Thunder (105) – Series tied 2-2
Marv Albert (play-by-play), Reggie Miller (analyst) and Steve Kerr (analyst) with David Aldridge (reporter)

Kerr on Spurs vs. Thunder, Game 4: “This is THE game tonight in this series. If OKC can find a way to win, we are right back where we were two years ago…”

Kerr on Spurs guard Manu Ginobili: “Manu Ginobili looks like he doesn’t have a care in the world in these pressure packed situations.”

Miller on Thunder role players: “The role players play better at home and in this atmosphere. The Thunder’s bench was nonexistent in the first two games, but when you get back to familiar surroundings, guys find their game.”

Kerr on Thunder head coach Scott Brooks: “He’s really grown in his job over the years in terms of being poised and confident in what he’s doing.”

Kerr on Thunder guard Russell Westbrook: “The guy just attacks in every aspect of the game. He reminds me of Gary Payton. Payton – in his heyday – was so quick with his hands that if you weren’t careful with that ball it was gone and headed in the other direction.”

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

Barkley on Thunder guard Jeremy Lamb performing right off the bench: “Jeremy Lamb has gotten better throughout the season and has played very well (tonight) being a pro’s pro. He’s giving great energy. When you don’t get to play a lot and they call your number and you come in and play well; that’s called being a pro.”

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Kerr on Thunder guard Russell Westbrook’s Game 4 performance: “This is one of the best games I have ever seen Russell Westbrook play. The focus has totally been on the defensive end while the energy as continued on the offensive end. The game has gone to both sides of the floor for him and that is when he is at his best.”

Miller on Spurs center Boris Diaw: “He’s so polished offensively. I would like to see more of that. He’s struggled in this series but he can do so much for your ball team…not only putting the ball in the basket but setting up others.”
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Inside the NBA presented by Kia
Johnson, Barkley, O’Neal, Smith

Barkley on Thunder head coach Scott Brooks playing his starters too long: “I think Scott Brooks plays these guys too many minutes. I know they are relatively young but when you have a 10- point lead with two or three minutes to go, I think you have to get Westbrook, Durant and Ibaka out of the game.”

Smith on Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook’s performance in Game 4: “Overall, this was their best game I’ve seen them play together. I have seen them play separately great, but together this might have been their best performance collectively as a duo.”

O’Neal on the Spurs heading into Game 5: “You don’t have to win on the road, you just have to win at home. I think they will play much more comfortable at home.”

Smith on Spurs guard Danny Green’s road performance: “You should always find a comfort level in what you do well. At times his aggressiveness changes from road to home. You have to seek opportunities on the road. He’s not seeking them.  He’s waiting for them to happen and that doesn’t happen on the road.”

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 Conference Finals Media Conference Call – Tuesday, May 20, 2014

nba-on-tntNotes from TNT’s NBA Conference Finals Media Conference Call

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

TNT’s NBA Playoffs coverage continues Wednesday, May 21, with the exclusive presentation of the Oklahoma City Thunder at San Antonio Spurs Game 2 at 9 p.m. ET

Participants: Greg Anthony and Reggie Miller

Greg Anthony on the Thunder adjusting to playing without injured Serge Ibaka in the lineup: “They went through this last year when Russell Westbrook went down but, ultimately, they made the adjustments. They are better equipped [this year] with Russell and [Kevin] Durant to have a chance in this series. Even though they didn’t look great in that first game, they have a sense of how they need to play in order to have some success in this series.”

Reggie Miller: “The challenge for OKC is that they haven’t practiced or played many games without Serge Ibaka. So when [an injury] happens during the playoffs, it can be challenging…they are professionals and if you’re [Russell] Westbrook and Kevin Durant, you’ve got to rally the troops, put on a front and go out there and perform.”

Miller on Oklahoma City’s Nick Collison replacing Ibaka in the lineup: “There are things that Nick Collison can’t do because he’s not Serge Ibaka but he’s still very capable and he’s seen a number of situations [in his career]. He’s not as athletic as Serge Ibaka but he’s a better passer and he does other things better than Serge.”

Miller on who can fill the role of an injured Ibaka on the offensive end: “You would assume it would be Reggie Jackson. He’s had his way with the San Antonio Spurs during the regular season so he would be a viable option, but if the Thunder are going to start [power forward] Nick Collison, [center] Kendrick Perkins and [guard] Thabo Sefolosha, those guys can’t have five points combined in the starting lineup. It’s like playing two against [the Spurs] five. It’s got to be by committee…whoever that third scorer is going to be. You can’t rely on Durant and Westbrook.”

Anthony on whether he would pick San Antonio’s Tony Parker or Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook to lead his team at the point guard position: “You can win with either and you can win championships with either…that’s the beauty of the game. I love the fire and passion of Russell Westbrook and I think he’s going to have to play at an extremely high level for Oklahoma City to be able to overcome the loss of Ibaka and content with the greatness of the Spurs. Tony is a phenomenon in terms of what he’s been able to do. Remember, the beginning of his career was heavily criticized and it was even thought that San Antonio was going in a different direction, but he continued to persevere and has obviously become one of the best point guards in the game. Both are very unorthodox, neither are a prototype for how the position is thought to be played. Both prove that you don’t have to be the prototype to be successful; you just have to be given the opportunity and have tremendous ability.”

Anthony on the Spurs being difficult to defend against: “The Spurs are the most difficult team to guard in the NBA because the ball always finds the right guy on every possession. You don’t know where the shot is going to come from when you play San Antonio because their ball movement is so flawless and their spacing is terrific.”

Miller on the criticism of Thunder head coach Scott Brooks: “Everyone wants to knock Scott Brook. Last time I checked, the Thunder were in three out of the four last Western Conference Finals. I think that’s a pretty good job. Granted, he’s got two of the top 10 players in the league [in Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant], but it says something to be able to rally these guys every year to make the Conference Finals. He’s done a phenomenal job.”

Miller on what makes Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich one of the best in the league: “He plays zero favorites. If you’ve been watching any of [his games] over the last 15 years, you know he will dig into Tony Parker and Tim Duncan the same way he will get onto Boris Diaw and Matt Bonner. He plays to win, and the players respect that about him. A guy will take less money to play for him because,  at the end of the day, it’s all about team goals and team championships as opposed to individual goals.”

Miller on Spurs veteran Tim Duncan: “I love that it’s always been about fundamentals throughout his career. He wasn’t like [NBA Hall of Famers] Charles Barkley or Karl Malone that had great athleticism and brute strength; he played a thinking man’s game. It shows you if you have great footwork and fundamentals and you can think the game, you can play at a very high level for a very long time. That’s probably why he stayed at such a high level…he never really had to rely on a lot of athleticism. This has been more of a chess game for him, while a lot of guys have been playing checkers throughout their basketball careers.”

Miller on whether Thunder point guard Derek Fisher is ready to retire and move on to coaching: “The way he shot the ball last night, I’m not quite sure he’s ready to retire. He looks like he has a little bit left in the tank. It will come down to if he’s ready to take the next step and go to the next level as a professional head coach.”

Miller on how the Spurs have taken advantage of the NBA becoming a “global game:” “It’s a global game and obviously the Spurs were one of the first franchises to tap into that. With Aron Baynes, Patty Mills, Manu Ginobili, Tony Parker and Boris Diaw, they recognize the talent that is overseas. Let’s give credit to the Spurs scouting department as well because it’s not that easy. We tend to fall in love with American players but to go global and find players that can potentially fit your system. That’s what Gregg Popovich and the scouting department have done. They’ve gone out and signed guys that can play within their system. A lot of their guys aren’t the quickest or jump the highest or are the most athletic but they fit the ‘Popovich Way’ and the ‘Spurs Way’ and that’s been the most remarkable thing.”

Anthony on how the Spurs’ system evolved: “This system evolved out of necessity. They weren’t this type of team when Tim Duncan first got there. They were a defensive-oriented team that didn’t score a lot. They didn’t have a lot of offensive weapons. Once Tony Parker and Manu [Ginobili] developed into the great players that they are, that’s when the [current] system started to evolve. Very few coaches have the ability to adapt their style to their personnel. Popovich and Pat Riley are two of the few coaches who developed a system to fit their personnel…ultimately, it all begins and ends with a generation-defining player in Tim Duncan that’s allowed you to go through this evolution without falling off the map.”

Anthony on the Miami Heat: “Miami, while still capable, is probably not as complete as their teams that have won it in the past. The supporting cast is not nearly as supportive.  Very few teams have won back to back championships, very less three in a row. They’re going to have their place in history regardless of this outcome.”

Miller on LeBron James pushing the Heat into an extra gear: “We’re all waiting for the Heat to go into that extra gear. We haven’t seen that extra gear yet. It’s not a light switch that you can turn off and on. At the end of the day, they have a guy by the name of LeBron James on their team. When their backs are against the wall in the Brooklyn [second round] series, he went on the road and came out with 49 [points].”

Miller on the Pacers targeting the Heat all season: “Even though they won’t admit it, all they’ve talked about since training camp is Miami, Miami, Miami. Well now they have Miami. They overlooked Atlanta and had to go seven [games]. They overlooked Washington and had to go six [games]. Now they have Miami and they were built for this so you’re going to get their best games.”

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Notes from TNT’s NBA Coverage – Monday, May 19, 2014

nba-on-tntNotes from TNT’s NBA Coverage – Monday, May 19, 2014

TNT’s NBA Playoffs coverage continues Wednesday, May 21, with the exclusive presentation of the Oklahoma City Thunder at San Antonio Spurs Game 2 at 9 p.m. ET

 

TNT NBA Tip-off presented by AutoTrader.com

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

Shaquille O’Neal on Oklahoma City’s loss of forward Serge Ibaka entering the Western Conference Finals: “Serge Ibaka is a game changer. His versatility and rim protection is irreplaceable. He’s the only guy on this team in that, on one possession he can guard Tim Duncan and then on another possession he can guard Kawhi Leonard.”

Kenny Smith on Oklahoma City changing their defensive approach: “They have to change their perimeter defense now that they don’t have Serge Ibaka. They might have to be more one foot in the lane, or they might have to say, ‘No, we’re not giving up any three-pointers, and we’re going to play close.’ They have to make a concerted effort on the perimeter defense now that he’s not there.”

Charles Barkley on Oklahoma City Thunder center Steven Adams: “Don’t sleep on this [Steven] Adams kid… I don’t know if he’s ready for this moment yet, but I think he’s going to be a terrific player in this league for a long time and, as we say about young players, he might be too young right now to understand he’s in the Western Conference Finals…but he’s going to play with great energy; he’s going to drive those guys crazy.”

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Oklahoma City Thunder (105) at San Antonio Spurs (122) – Spurs lead series 1-0
Marv Albert (play-by-play), Reggie Miller (analyst) and Steve Kerr (analyst) with David Aldridge (reporter)

 

Reggie Miller on the Thunder being young but playoff tested: “This Oklahoma City team, again with Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, a lot of playoff experience… Even though, yes, the Thunder is the younger in age [than the Spurs], this is a team that has so many championship aspirations at such a young age, a lot of playoff wars between these young guys.”

Steve Kerr on Oklahoma City guard Derek Fisher: “One thing that you know with [Derek] Fisher, he can miss 10 in a row, [but] he’s still going to fire. He’s just got so much confidence built up, as well he should, given the number of big shots he’s hit in his career.”

Kerr on the Thunder’s defensive adjustments against San Antonio’s Tim Duncan: “If you think back to that series two years ago, Tim Duncan was shut down for much of that series by [Kendrick] Perkins. But with [Serge] Ibaka out, it’s changed all of the matchups, and [Tim] Duncan has been able to go right at the Thunder defense.”

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Sprint Halftime Report
Johnson, Barkley, O’Neal, Smith
O’Neal on the Oklahoma City Thunder experimenting with defenses against Tim Duncan: “You can’t experiment with the San Antonio Spurs. I know they’re going to put Kevin Durant at the four sometimes but he can’t guard Tim Duncan.”

Barkley on what Oklahoma City adjustments need to be made against San Antonio: “It’s all about adjustments and we had no idea what Oklahoma City was going to do tonight. To me, it’s going to have to be Caron Butler, he’s got to really step up, and Nick Collison has to give them something.”
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Miller on the Spurs’ defensive strategy: “If I’m Gregg Popovich, I’m going to force [Nick] Collison and [Thabo] Sefolosha and [Kendrick] Perkins to beat me.”

 

Miller on Oklahoma City center Steven Adams’ physical play: “Steven Adams is always in the middle of something and I love it.”

Kerr on San Antonio Spurs forward Aron Baynes: “[Gregg] Popovich talked about the physical play of Oklahoma City. I think [Aron] Baynes is in there to match that physicality; hard screens, good defensive rotation, he’s taken a charge. He’s changed the game with his physical play.”

Kerr on Oklahoma City not playing Nick Collison in the fourth quarter: “I’m surprised that we haven’t seen Nick Collison in the fourth quarter. I thought his defense and his hustle in the third was spectacular. I thought he changed the game. He’s not played at all in the fourth.”

Kerr on the Thunder playing big versus playing small: “From what I’ve seen tonight, if the Thunder are going to go small for extended minutes, I think they’re in trouble. I think they have to stay big for as long as possible.”
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Inside the NBA presented by Kia
Johnson, Barkley, O’Neal, Smith

Barkley on whether the Thunder should play big or small without Serge Ibaka: “I think you got to play bigger. When things were rolling tonight, he went small, and it worked for short periods of time…but I think they got worn down. I think he has to play [Steven] Adams more.”

Smith on the San Antonio Spurs’ Tim Duncan having an advantage: “I think there has to be a change. But the one thing that I’d say that San Antonio has trouble with is size with athleticism. When you just have length, then Tim Duncan still shoots over you. The fact that you have athleticism with your size and length would bother him and that’s when he has those 15-point nights. But he still makes shots against length, he just doesn’t make shots all the time against athleticism and length. So this is going to be an easy series, I feel, for Tim Duncan.”

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Mark Jackson Returns to ESPN with New Multi-year Deal

NBA-on-ESPN-logoNBA Veteran Re-joins Booth with Mike Breen & Jeff Van Gundy, Debuts Sunday for Eastern Conference Finals Game One on ABC

NBA veteran Mark Jackson has reached a multi-year agreement with ESPN to return to the network and serve as an NBA game analyst. Jackson will re-join his former booth-mates – play-by-play commentator Mike Breen and analyst Jeff Van Gundy – during the Eastern Conference Finals, starting with Game One on ABC this Sunday at 3:30 p.m. ET. The three-person booth, with reporter Doris Burke, will call the entire Eastern Conference Finals and NBA Finals.

“We’re thrilled to welcome Mark back to ESPN and for him to reunite with Mike Breen and Jeff Van Gundy – a three-person booth that was very popular and successful for us for several years,” said John Wildhack, ESPN executive vice-president, production and programming. “Mark has an outstanding NBA mind, a tremendous on-air presence and he brings a wealth of knowledge both as a player and now as a head coach.”

Jackson previously served as an ESPN NBA game analyst from 2006 to 2011 where he teamed with Breen and Van Gundy to call the NBA Finals five seasons in a row.

Jackson was the head coach of the Golden State Warriors for three seasons from 2011-2014.  He ranks fourth all-time in assists, amassing 10,334 during his 17 NBA seasons. He played with the New York Knicks, Los Angeles Clippers, Indiana Pacers, Denver Nuggets, Toronto Raptors, Utah Jazz and Houston Rockets. He was an NBA All-Star in the 1988-1989 season.

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NBA on TNT Analysts Break Down the 2014 Western Conference Finals: Spurs vs. Thunder

nba-on-tntTNT will be the exclusive home of the 2014 NBA Western Conference Finals when the San Antonio Spurs face the Oklahoma City Thunder beginning with Game 1 TONIGHT, Monday, May 19, at 9 p.m. ET. TNT’s Sports Emmy® Award-winning NBA Playoffs coverage will open with a one-hour NBA Tip-Off presented by AutoTrader.com pre-game show at 8 p.m. – hosted by Ernie Johnson with analysts Charles Barkley, Shaquille O’Neal and Kenny Smith – on-site to preview the series.

Below, TNT NBA analyst Reggie Miller, who will all be a part of the network’s game coverage, offers his breakdown of the series:

Reggie Miller on the backcourt battle between the Spurs and Thunder “Spurs point guard Tony Parker vs. OKC’s Russell Westbrook is a ‘pick-em’ match-up. There isn’t a clear advantage between the two.”
ADVANTAGE:  

EVEN

Reggie on the match-up between the two front courts “Any time your front court has the reigning league MVP [Kevin Durant] in it, you’re going to have the advantage. The edge goes to the Thunder.”
ADVANTAGE:  
Reggie on the benches “In my opinion, the Spurs have had the strongest bench throughout the regular season. They led the league in bench scoring by averaging more than 44 points per game.”
ADVANTAGE:  
Reggie on the coaching match-up: Gregg Popovich vs. Scott Brooks “Future Hall of Fame coach Gregg Popovich has seen just about every scenario in his storied career. Because of that, the Spurs head coach has to take the advantage here.”
ADVANTAGE:  

Additionally, some notable quotes from NBA on TNT analysts Greg Anthony, Charles Barkley, Steve Kerr, Shaquille O’Neal, Kenny Smith and Chris Webber on the Spurs and Thunder throughout their respective playoff runs:

Chris Webber on the Spurs bench:

“The Spurs have the best bench in the league. They rely on their bench. Why did Tim Duncan have such a healthy season? Because the bench played more than he did. Why did Manu Ginobili have such a healthy season? Because the bench held things down. Their bench has allowed for Coach Popovich to rest their team, have great practice time and come into the playoffs healthy and ready to go.” (April 26, 2014)

  Greg Anthony on Kevin Durant: “He is such a gifted scorer. He has range — his back to the basket, off the dribble, mid-range — and [gets to] the free throw line. He’s the total package offensively.” (April 21, 2014)
Kenny Smith on the Spurs:

“You have to beat the Spurs in the last two minutes of every game. They live on the fact that they are going to execute, knock down free throws and make the right play.” (April 28, 2014)

  Kenny Smith on Kevin Durant not commanding a double team:

“Kevin Durant needs to take a page out of LeBron James’ book…he [Durant] is the MVP, however, he’s not the best player in the world. He is second.  For a guy who scores 30 points, he doesn’t really get double teamed because he stays [on the] perimeter so much. His inability to get double teamed doesn’t allow other guys to get shots.” (April 29, 2014)

Webber on the Spurs’ defense-first mentality: “That is the mantra of San Antonio: ‘We play defense.’ [They are] the fourth best defensive team efficiency wise in the NBA, because they believe that if you play the way the system allows, it doesn’t matter if the bench production isn’t there or if you have a slump…the system is a failsafe so you can get your game going at any time. That’s San Antonio Spurs basketball.” (April 30, 2014)   Charles Barkley on Russell Westbrook:

“He’s so athletic.  He can get a shot anytime he wants to. He just hasn’t learned how to play the point. He plays the game 100 percent on talent. He’s a terrific player. He doesn’t realize that he is a point guard.” (May 1, 2014)

Kenny on the Spurs’ successful game plan:

“They dissect your offense and get your defense; they understand what you’re trying to do. Very rarely do the Spurs adjust as the game is going on because they already have a clear idea of [both] what you’re doing and they’re doing. Everyone [on the Spurs] is in tune to everything going on. It’s a difficult task for Portland because of their inexperience. Experience is going to beat talent.” (May 6, 2014)

  Barkley continues on Westbrook:

“He’s a terrific player but he’s never going to learn how to play the point [guard position]. He plays the exact same way he did three or four years ago. He’s so explosive but he hasn’t crossed that bridge where he makes the players around him better.” (May 7, 2014)

Reggie Miller on why head coach Gregg Popovich rests his stars during the regular season: “Everyone talks about him resting the ‘Big Three’ [Duncan, Parker, Ginobili] for San Antonio, but what he was doing was experimenting with lineups. Seeing who plays well with one another so that when its playoff time and he goes to a [different] lineup…the trust is there.” (May 12, 2014)   Steve Kerr on Kendrick Perkins:

“He’s done a nice job for [the Thunder]…Perkins is at his best when he’s given the assignment to guard a low-post scorer like Dwight Howard or Tim Duncan. That’s not the case in this series because he’s guarding [DeAndre] Jordan, so there will be times during the series when he will not play much…when he’s active defensively and scoring a few hoops around the court he can stay on the court.” (May 7, 2014)

Charles Barkley on the team effort of the Spurs: “It amazes me how everyone they put in the game contributes. It’s just remarkable.” (May 14, 2014)   O’Neal on Kevin Durant needing to take over games: “I would like to see Kevin Durant take over a game more…Forget the play [that’s called], you have to say give me the ball and take over and make the smart play.” (May 11, 2014)

 

 

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

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ABC & ESPN to Present 2014 NBA Eastern Conference Finals: Pacers vs. Heat

NBA-on-ESPN-logoNBA Countdown on Site for Pre-game and Halftime Shows throughout Eastern Conference Finals

2014 NBA Draft Lottery on ESPN Prior to Game Two of Eastern Conference Finals

ESPN Radio to Nationally Broadcast Both Conference Finals Series

ABC and ESPN will combine to present the 2014 NBA Eastern Conference Finals between the two-time reigning NBA Champion Miami Heat with LeBron James and Dwyane Wade and the top-seeded Indiana Pacers with Paul George and Roy Hibbert. The series starts Sunday, May 18, on ABC with Game One at 3:30 p.m. ET from Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. Mike Breen, analyst Jeff Van Gundy and reporter Doris Burke (@HeyDB)will provide commentary throughout the series.

NBA Countdown – ABC’s and ESPN’s NBA pre-game show – will hit the road for on-site pre-game and halftime shows throughout the Eastern Conference Finals. Countdown will precede every Eastern Conference Finals telecast on ABC and ESPN, starting Sunday at 3 p.m. on ABC. Additional Countdown telecasts will generally begin at 7:30 p.m. on ESPN. NBA Countdown is hosted by Sage Steele (@SageSteele) with analysts Bill Simmons (@BillSimmons), Jalen Rose (@JalenRose) and Doug Collins.

The 2014 NBA Draft Lottery will air live on ESPN prior to Eastern Conference Finals Game Two at 8 p.m. Mark Jones (@MarkJonesESPN) will host Draft Lottery coverage with Jay Bilas (@JayBilas) and Heather Cox (@HeatherESPN). The telecast will include interviews with draftees and team representatives.

ESPN Radio – the exclusive, national radio home of the NBA Playoffs in its 19th season of NBA postseason coverage – will nationally broadcast both the Eastern Conference Finals and the Western Conference Finals (San Antonio Spurs vs. Oklahoma City Thunder). Marc Kestecher (@MarcKestecher) and analyst Jon Barry will describe the action for the Eastern Conference Finals, while Kevin Calabro (@RealKCalabro) and Hubie Brown will handle commentary for the Western Conference Finals.

ESPN Deportes will also televise the Eastern Conference Finals with Alvaro Martin and Carlos Morales calling the action. In addition, Claudia Trejos and Sebastian Martinez Christensen will serve as the pre-game and halftime team.

ESPN International will have coverage of both Conference Finals series. The Eastern Conference Finals will be available throughout South America, Central America, Mexico, Caribbean and Oceania, while the Western Conference Finals will be available in Oceania.

2014 Eastern Conference Finals and NBA Countdown schedule:

Date Time (ET) Telecast Network(s)
Sun, May 18 3 p.m. NBA Countdown ABC, WatchABC
  3:30 p.m. Game One: Miami Heat at Indiana Pacers ABC, ESPN Radio, ESPN Deportes, WatchABC, ESPN3
Tues, May 20 7 p.m. Kia NBA Countdown ESPN, WatchESPN
  8 p.m. 2014 NBA Draft Lottery ESPN, WatchESPN
  8:30 p.m. Game Two: Miami Heat at Indiana Pacers ESPN, ESPN Radio, ESPN Deportes, WatchESPN
Sat, May 24 7:30 p.m. Kia NBA Countdown ESPN, WatchESPN
  8:30 p.m. Game Three: Indiana Pacers at Miami Heat ESPN, ESPN Radio, ESPN Deportes, WatchESPN
Mon, May 26 7:30 p.m. Kia NBA Countdown ESPN, WatchESPN
  8:30 p.m. Game Four: Indiana Pacers at Miami Heat ESPN, ESPN Radio, ESPN Deportes, WatchESPN
Wed, May 28 7:30 p.m. Kia NBA Countdown ESPN, WatchESPN
  8:30 p.m. Game Five: Miami Heat at Indiana Pacers *if necessary ESPN, ESPN Radio, ESPN Deportes, WatchESPN
Fri, May 30 7:30 p.m. Kia NBA Countdown ESPN, WatchESPN
  8:30 p.m. Game Six:  Indiana Pacers at Miami Heat *if necessary ESPN, ESPN Radio, ESPN Deportes, WatchESPN
Sun, June 1 7:30 p.m. Kia NBA Countdown ESPN, WatchESPN
  8:30 p.m. Game Seven: Miami Heat at Indiana Pacers *if necessary ESPN, ESPN Radio, ESPN Deportes, WatchESPN

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TNT’s Exclusive Coverage of the NBA Western Conference Finals Tips Off Monday, May 19, with Game 1 at 9 p.m. ET

nba-on-tntTNT’s Exclusive Coverage of the NBA Western Conference Finals Tips Off

Monday, May 19, with Oklahoma City vs. San Antonio Game 1 at 9 p.m. ET

TNT will be the exclusive home of the 2014 NBA Western Conference Finals when the San Antonio Spurs face the Oklahoma City Thunder in a best-of-seven series beginning with Game 1 on Monday, May 19, at 9 p.m. ET. Marv Albert will be courtside to call the action alongside analysts Steve Kerr and Reggie Miller and reporter David Aldridge. TNT’s Sports Emmy® Award-winning NBA Playoffs coverage will open with a one-hour NBA Tip-Off presented by AutoTrader.com pre-game show at 8 p.m. – hosted by Ernie Johnson with analysts Charles Barkley, Shaquille O’Neal and Kenny Smith – on site throughout the series to preview each game. The studio crew will also recap each night’s action with TNT’s Inside the NBA presented by Kia postgame show.

Oklahoma City and San Antonio will face each other in a rematch of the 2012 NBA Western Conference Finals. The Thunder won that best-of-seven series in six games to advance to The Finals. In addition to its coverage of the 2014 NBA Western Conference Finals, TNT reporter Rachel Nichols will provide reports from the Eastern Conference Finals.

Additionally, TNT Overtime presented by Gatorade and Samsung Galaxy 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 Western Conference Finals Schedule

(All Times ET)

 Time/Date Event
 
Mon., May 19
 
8 p.m. ET NBA Tip-Off presented by AutoTrader.com

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

 
9 p.m. Oklahoma City Thunder @ San Antonio Spurs, Game 1

Marv Albert (play-by-play), Steve Kerr and Reggie Miller (analysts) with David Aldridge (reporter)

 
Postgame Inside the NBA presented by Kia

Johnson, Barkley, O’Neal and Smith

 
Wed., May 21
 
8 p.m. NBA Tip-Off presented by AutoTrader.com

Johnson, Barkley, O’Neal and Smith

 
9 p.m. Oklahoma City Thunder @ San Antonio Spurs, Game 2

Albert, Kerr, Miller and Aldridge

 
Postgame Inside the NBA presented by Kia

Johnson, Barkley, O’Neal and Smith

 
Sun., May 25  
 
8 p.m. NBA Tip-Off presented by AutoTrader.com

Johnson, Barkley, O’Neal and Smith 

 
8:30 p.m. San Antonio Spurs @ Oklahoma City Thunder, Game 3

Albert, Kerr, Miller and Aldridge 

 
Postgame Inside the NBA presented by Kia

Johnson, Barkley, O’Neal and Smith 

 
Tues., May 27  
 
8 p.m. NBA Tip-Off presented by AutoTrader.com

Johnson, Barkley, O’Neal and Smith 

 
9 p.m. San Antonio Spurs @ Oklahoma City Thunder, Game 4

Albert, Kerr, Miller and Aldridge 

 
Postgame Inside the NBA presented by Kia

Johnson, Barkley, O’Neal and Smith 

 
Thu., May 29
 
8 p.m. NBA Tip-Off presented by AutoTrader.com

Johnson, Barkley, O’Neal and Smith

 
9 p.m. Oklahoma City Thunder @ San Antonio Spurs, Game 5*

Albert, Kerr, Miller and Aldridge

 
Postgame Inside the NBA presented by Kia

Johnson, Barkley, O’Neal and Smith

 
Sat., May 31
 
8 p.m. NBA Tip-Off presented by AutoTrader.com

Johnson, Barkley, O’Neal and Smith

 
8:30 p.m. San Antonio Spurs @ Oklahoma City Thunder, Game 6*

Albert, Kerr, Miller and Aldridge

 
Postgame Inside the NBA presented by Kia

Johnson, Barkley, O’Neal and Smith

 
Mon., June 2  
 
8 p.m. NBA Tip-Off presented by AutoTrader.com

Johnson, Barkley, O’Neal and Smith 

 
9 p.m. Oklahoma City Thunder @ San Antonio Spurs, Game 7*

Albert, Kerr, Miller and Aldridge 

 
Postgame Inside the NBA presented by Kia

Johnson, Barkley, O’Neal and Smith 

Follow Turner Sports on Twitter at @TurnerSportsPR.

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Eight NBA Draft Prospects to Appear on SiriusXM NBA Radio May 20

SIRIUS XM RADIO LOGOSiriusXM to present special roundtable discussion with top prospects Joel Embiid, Doug McDermott, and Marcus Smart on day of NBA Draft Lottery

Other prospects scheduled to be on channel include Tyler Ennis, Dante Exum, Aaron Gordon, Noah Vonleh, and Andrew Wiggins

NEW YORK – May 16, 2014SiriusXM NBA Radio (channel 217) will offer NBA fans a special day of programming on NBA Draft Lottery Day Tuesday, May 20, featuring live interviews with several of the top prospects who are set to begin their NBA careers this June.

Throughout the day SiriusXM listeners will hear from former University of Kansas forward and Big 12 Freshman of the Year Andrew Wiggins; former University of Arizona forward and Pac-12 Freshman of the Year Aaron Gordon; former Indiana University forward and Big Ten Freshman of the Year Noah Vonleh; former Syracuse University guard Tyler Ennis; and Australian high school star Dante Exum as they discuss their future in the NBA.

At 4:00 pm ET that day, SiriusXM will present a special roundtable discussion with former Creighton forward Doug McDermott, winner of the 2014 John R. Wooden Award and 2014 Naismith Trophy, as well as former Oklahoma State guard and 2013 Big 12 Conference Player of the Year Marcus Smart and former University of Kansas forward Joel Embiid.

SiriusXM NBA Radio hosts – including three-time NBA Champion center Stacey King, former head coach Sam Mitchell and Hall of Fame Michigan State guard Mateen Cleaves – will talk with the young players about their experiences and the transition from college to the pro game.

NBA Draft Lottery Day on SiriusXM NBA RadioTuesday, May 20 (Times subject to change)

The Starting Lineup with hosts Frank Isola and Stacey King

8:00 am ET/5:00 am PT: Noah Vonleh

8:15 am ET/5:15 am PT: Tyler Ennis

9:00 am ET/6:00 am PT: Milt Newton, Minnesota Timberwolves GM

9:30 am ET/6:30 am PT: Pat Williams, Orlando Magic Senior Vice President

Off the Dribble with hosts Jason Goff and Sam Mitchell

12:30 pm ET/9:30 am PT: Dante Exum

1:00 pm ET/10:00 am PT: Monty Williams, New Orleans Pelicans head coach

1:15 pm ET/10:15 am ET: Aaron Gordon

1:45 pm ET/10:45 am ET: Andrew Wiggins

NBA Today with hosts Justin Termine and Mateen Cleaves

4:00 pm ET/1:00 pm PT: roundtable with Doug McDermott, Marcus Smart and Joel Embiid

SiriusXM subscribers get live play-by-play broadcasts of every regular season and postseason NBA 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 choose between the home and visiting team broadcasts for every game.  SiriusXM also offers select Spanish-language NBA game broadcasts.  Visit www.SiriusXM.com/NBASchedule for channel listings.  In addition to live play by play, subscribers get the most comprehensive radio coverage of the league – featuring up-to the moment news, talk and expert analysis 365 days a year – on SiriusXM NBA Radio, channel 217.

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Notes from TNT’s NBA Playoffs Coverage – Wednesday, May 14, 2014

nba-on-tntNotes from TNT’s NBA Playoffs Coverage – Wednesday, May 14, 2014

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Brooklyn Nets (94) at Miami Heat (96) – Heat win series 4-1
Brian Anderson (play-by-play) and Greg Anthony (analyst) with Rachel Nichols (reporter)

Anthony on Nets veteran Kevin Garnett encouraging his teammates throughout the series: “It’s about belief. It’s important to have that kind of voice in your locker room. It’s easy for young players who haven’t accomplished what [Nets forward] Paul Pierce and KG have to have a little bit of self-doubt.”

Anthony on Brooklyn’s defense: “This is not their strongest defensive group, but they’ve done the job. [Their defense has] helped them a lot during this game to get into a little bit of a rhythm offensively.”

Anthony on the Nets play in the face of elimination: “The Nets have been struggling down the stretch of games [in this series], but tonight you can see the confidence on display for the Nets and the sense of urgency that you want to see your team come out with in the face of elimination.”

Anthony on the health of Heat guard Dwyane Wade: “That’s the Dwyane Wade we have come to know…his ability to get into the paint and not just settle for the jump shot. That tells you physically he’s feeling a lot better about his body.”

Anthony on Nets guard Joe Johnson: “Joe Johnson is the quiet assassin. He has ice in his veins and has had so many big moments in his short tenure here with the Brooklyn Nets.”

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

Barkley on Heat star LeBron James: “LeBron is going to have to explode. He has to do so much for this team to win. He has to be their best scorer, rebounder and assist guy. If LeBron does not go off and get Chris Bosh and those other guys involved, [the Heat don’t win].”

O’Neal on Heat guard Dwyane Wade taking charge for the Heat in Game 5: “The great thing about being part of a one-two punch is you feed off each other. Every now and then Dwyane Wade can go off like this. I don’t know what he did, but he has fresh legs and is very aggressive. He’s picking up the slack for LeBron. [Wade] has always had it in him, he’s just been dormant because LeBron has been [leading the team this postseason].”
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Anthony on the footwork of Nets forward Paul Pierce: “He has unbelievable footwork. That, in essence, makes you a better athlete. He can still be a difference maker on this team and is just as good as anybody. Paul Pierce has had an unbelievable career.”  

Anthony on the Nets ability to defend Heat forward LeBron James in Game 5: “The Heat were far more aggressive [coming out of the half], but the Nets have done a great job defensively on LeBron James coming off that monster 49-point performance in Game 4.”

Anthony on Nets point guards Deron Williams and Joe Johnson: “They have a history together. They’re not going to go for 35 and 40 points…you’re not going to see a LeBron James type game from either of them. But they can do enough with the balance that the Nets have as a team to create a lot of problems for the Heat.”

Anthony on the strength of Nets guard Joe Johnson against LeBron James: “Not many people match LeBron James in terms of his strength…Joe Johnson is one of the few.”

Anthony on the maturation of Nets guard Joe Johnson: “It’s been all about Joe Johnson and that silky smooth offensive game. He’s strong enough to overpower people at times, even LeBron James has felt his wrath here tonight. It’s been impressive to see the maturation of Joe Johnson and hopefully the appreciation of just how good a basketball player he really is.”

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Portland Trail Blazers (82) at San Antonio Spurs (104) – Spurs win series 4-1
Kevin Harlan (play-by-play) and Reggie Miller (analyst) with Jaime Maggio (reporter)

Miller on the strong start of Trail Blazers power forward LaMarcus Aldridge: “I love that he’s being aggressive. The best player has to take that leadership role on the road, facing elimination.”

Miller on Trail Blazers guard Will Barton’s strong Game 4 performance against the Spurs: “I’m curious to see if that energy will translate on the road. He’s a guy with not a lot of playoff experience who has kind of been thrust into these minutes because of the injury to [Trail Blazers point guard] Mo Williams.”

Miller on Trail Blazers forward Nicolas Batum: “He’s engaged. The switch to guard Tony Parker caused a switch in his head on both ends of the floor.”

Miller on Spurs guard Danny Green: “If you want to be a one trick pony…better make sure you can knock down shots.”

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

Smith on the San Antonio Spurs: “Tonight I got to watch the San Antonio Spurs go to work…that’s what basketball is about…to actually see ball movement and scoring without using a pick and roll every time makes for the best half of basketball.”

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Miller on Spurs point guard Tony Parker not returning to Game 4 due to tightness in the hamstring: “For Tony Parker it’s called Father Time…age. He came into the league when he was 19 years old, a lot of mileage on that body. We don’t know the severity of the tightness in the hamstring, it could be precautionary by the Spurs, but [it adds] even more of a sense of urgency to close out this series.”

Miller on Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard: “When he’s engaged offensively, like he has been this entire playoff run, he takes this team to a whole other level. He’s getting it done on both ends of the floor…and how about the unselfish play?”

Miller on Spurs shooter Danny Green: “He was so good in the postseason last year that in the first four games of the 2013 NBA Finals, people were talking about him as Finals MVP if the Spurs were to go on to win. His ability to knock down those long-range shots is so important on this team.”

Miller on the future of the Portland Trail Blazers: “No one even expected them to make the playoffs this year…they end up winning 54 games; no one expected them to win their first round series against Houston…they take them out. Now you’re going against the No. 1 overall seed in San Antonio. If you’re a Portland fan there’s a lot to look forward to. You have two young All-Stars in [point guard] Damian Lillard and [power forward] LaMarcus Aldridge, and you’re well coached by Terry Stotts. It’s been a fantastic season. Your city is alive and Blazer mania is back. This is a great stepping stone.”

Miller on who the Spurs will play in the Western Conference Finals: “Even though [Spurs head coach] Gregg Popovich won’t admit it, they’ve been watching the [Thunder/Clippers] series as well. They’ve seen how physical, tough and demanding it is. That gives the Spurs a sense of urgency to end this series tonight, which would give [injured point guard] Tony Parker a chance to recover from his hamstring tightness a little bit longer.”

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

Barkley on the team effort of the Spurs: “It amazes me how everyone they put in the game contributes. It’s just remarkable.”

Barkley on what the Trail Blazers need to do to make it to the next level: “The key to me is [Portland forward] Nicolas Batum. He’s got to take his game to the next level. They have to improve their bench. This bench is not good enough.”

O’Neal on whether the Spurs would rather play the Thunder or Clippers in the Western Conference Finals: “The first series [against the Mavericks] was a struggle for the Spurs to win seven games. They’re going to get three to five days off now…they’re going to be strong. I see them beating both teams. They’re going to be well-rested and they’re the best team in the NBA. I’ll take a well-rested, experienced, old guy before an athletic young guy any day.”

Barkley on the pressure on LeBron James and the Miami Heat: “I don’t think they’re the favorite. They’re playing against the best teams now. LeBron has to play at such a high level. Michael Jordan is the best I’ve ever seen, but in my 30 years with the NBA I’ve never seen a star have to do as much as LeBron James. We’ve never had a player in the NBA who was under that much pressure.”

Smith on the big three of the Miami Heat: “Some of LeBron’s responsibilities can be delegated. I think Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade can do it at times…but LeBron James and his abilities take over. I think those three are still a potent force. [Bosh and Wade] still allow LeBron to grow as a player. When your star guy is going, it fuels so much confidence in the team. I think LeBron could get 50 every game…he could do it.”

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Notes from TNT’s NBA Playoffs Coverage – Tuesday, May 13, 2014

nba-on-tntNotes from TNT’s NBA Playoffs Coverage – Tuesday, May 13, 2014

TNT’s NBA coverage of the playoffs continues Wednesday, May 14, with an exclusive doubleheader featuring the Brooklyn Nets @ Miami Heat (Game 5) at 7 p.m. ET and the Portland Trail Blazers @ San Antonio Spurs (Game 5) at 9:30 p.m.

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Washington Wizards (102) at Indiana Pacers (79) – Pacers lead series 3-2
Ian Eagle (play-by-play) and Chris Webber (analyst) with Tracy Wolfson (reporter)

Webber on Wizards guard John Wall handling the pressure of the playoffs: “Everyone is under pressure in the NBA, no one cares whether you are playing good or bad and no one gives any pity for you. He needs to forget all the criticism and just be the leader and the player that he is and let it come to him naturally.”

Webber on Pacers forward Luis Scola: “Scola has been inconsistent with his scoring but his effort has never been in question.”

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

Barkley on the Wizards downfall:  “I think the Wizards fall in love with the jump shot too much. If you go back and look at the Bulls series, they played well and won. They haven’t shot threes well this entire series. That’s been the difference in this series. They haven’t been getting easy baskets in the low post.”
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Webber on the value of veteran players: “Effort is when you give all you have even though you know you are outmatched. Andre Miller is outmatched by the quickness of [CJ] Watson. You like to see veterans know when to use their basketball IQ and include that with their effort.”

Webber on the consistency of a team’s effort:  “One thing you gain as a player and as a team that watches film you understand how they play, you understand how they make their runs, their leaders and you understand their heart…going into the next series, coaches are going to say, ‘We can take their heart because they didn’t bring effort, not because they didn’t bring talent but because their effort is not consistent.’”

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GameBreak

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

Wizards center Marcin Gortat joins EJ, Chuck, Kenny and Shaq following the Wizards 23-point win against the Pacers

Gortat on his performance in Game 5: “I believe that I’m a better player than I presented at home [in Game 4]. I just came out and tried to play the best game of my life. I was glad I was able to help the team win the game tonight.”

Smith on the Pacers: “You can win a championship the way they are doing it, but I have never seen it happen. Now, they can be the first team that does it, but I have never seen it.”

O’Neal on the Pacers lacking effort: “They haven’t showed me that they are back consistently. The possibility of them winning a championship…if they go into the next series, Miami will blow them out.”

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Los Angeles Clippers (104) at Oklahoma City Thunder (105) – Thunder lead series 3-2
Marv Albert (play-by-play) and Steve Kerr (analyst) with David Aldridge (reporter)

Kerr on Blake’s confidence level: “There is a level of confidence for every shooter. You might have confidence in the regular season but not so much in the Playoffs…I think Blake [Griffin] is still searching for that level.”

Kerr on Thunder center Steven Adams: “He’s going to be some player. He hasn’t played a lot of basketball in his life…but athletic, moves well and he has a nasty streak to him.”

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

Smith on Wizards guard John Wall: “This guy was unbelievable.  He set the pace and the tone of the game.”

Barkley on the importance of a third guy: “Someone has to step up and be the third guy on one of these teams. Someone has to step up [for the Thunder], whether it is Reggie Jackson or [Serge] Ibaka.”

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Kerr on Thunder forward Kevin Durant: “With his athleticism, his emotion, competitive desire, he’s an incredible player.”

Kerr on Thunder/Clippers Game 5: “Unlike Game 4, both teams are staying big, traditional lineups on the floor, power forwards on the floor…very different feel for this game.”

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

Barkley on the Clippers losing Game 5:  “I like the way Doc [Rivers] came back and said ‘We never should have lost this game.’ Refs do a good job, they just missed a call. The replay didn’t work in this situation. We can’t argue over that one call. Let’s not make this game about that one call.”

Barkley on blaming coaches rather than the players for mistakes: “Two weeks ago we blamed everything on [Pacers head coach] Frank Vogel. The week before we blamed [Thunder head coach] Scott Brooks. We blame coaches for everything but it’s these players that are making some of the dumbest, stupidest mistakes.”

Barkley on Clippers guard Chris Paul’s comments: “I respect Chris Paul because he’s a leader in the NBA and for saying ‘I really made a dumb play.’”

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