Notes from NBA on TNT Coverage – Thursday, Dec. 11, 2014

nba-on-tntTNT’s NBA coverage will continue Thursday, Dec. 18, at 8 p.m. ET with a doubleheader featuring the New York Knicks @ Chicago Bulls followed by the Oklahoma City Thunder @ Golden State Warriors at 10:30 p.m.

  

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TNT NBA Tip-off presented by AutoTrader.com

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

 

 

 

 Smith on the Cavaliers: “They are a work in progress…they are not where they should be or could be.”
O’Neal on the Thunder: “They have a lot of ground to make up, so they need to start getting back on track. They are now coming out with a little bit of playoff intensity.”

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Cleveland Cavaliers (94) @ Oklahoma City Thunder (103)
Marv Albert (play-by-play) and Grant Hill (analyst) with Rachel Nichols (reporter)

 

 

 Hill on Cavaliers Head Coach David Blatt: “He certainly has the responsibility to meet the exceptions of this Cavs team.  It’s definitely not an easy situation. You have a team that was fighting to get into the Playoffs. David Blatt has a lot on his plate but he’s done a good job with some adversity.” 
   Hill on the Thunder:  “The Thunder have been sloppy on the offensive end. As they try to work Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant back in the mix it takes time to get that rhythm offensively.”

Hill on Thunder guard Russell Westbrook: “He’s unguardable, he’s relentless. He comes at you. He’s constantly attacking you at both ends of the floor.”

Smith on the best point guard between Westbrook and Kyrie Irving:   “Best is defined by winningRussell Westbrook is the better point guard because he’s been the better winner.”

Barkley on Westbrook:  “I can watch him play a lot. He’s spectacular. Before Derrick Rose got hurt, I never saw a point guard that explosive and that athletic…if he would just slow down a little bit.”

Hill on teammates Westbrook and Kevin Durant: “Those two have great chemistry out on the court.”

Hill on Thunder center Steven Adams: “Adam was a nice draft pick last year. Certainly has great size, activity inside for the Thunder…[and has] gained the trust of Coach Brooks.”

Hill on Westbrook’s athleticism: “How many guys can have that many surgeries and still not lose any athleticism? He might be the most athletic…certainly with Derrick Rose struggling to get back.”

Hill on Thunder center Kendrick Perkins: “He’s one of the best ball screeners in the game. A seasoned veteran that knows how to win.”

Hill on Durant:  “How unfair is it when your 6’10” small forward can execute a screen and roll and find a shooter in the corner?  Kevin Durant is showing he can do things in a number of ways.”

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Houston Rockets (113) @ Sacramento Kings  (109)
Kevin Harlan (play-by-play) and Brent Barry (analyst) with Rebecca Haarlow (reporter)

 

 

 

 Barkley on the Rockets going 7-3 without Dwight Howard: “People talk about Steph Curry, who is probably the front runner for MVP, but James Harden is right in there. They have played very well. I really don’t see how they are doing it. It’s been all James Harden. He’s been incredible.”
 

 

 Barry on guard Darren Collison: “Darren Collison has gotten off to a great start this year, more because he is a pass-first point guard. He’s complimentary to what Rudy Gay does as a ball dominant player. He’s been asked to score a lot in the absence of DeMarcus Cousins and he’s picked it up a little bit for the Sacramento Kings.”

Barry on Kings Head Coach Mike Malone developing a young team: “Mike has a very young team with a lot of new faces on the roster this year.  So they have to learn his vocabulary, the way he likes to play them and the style on both ends.”

Barry on forward Carl Landry: “He’s a capable offensive player. He likes to play around the mid-post area. If you don’t have the three point shooting, you are not going to have space for guys like Carl Landry or Rudy Gay to operate around the mid-range.”

Barry on Kings center DeMarcus Cousins: “[At the beginning of the season] he was remarkable by the numbers. Everyone that has watched DeMarcus Cousins knew that wasn’t an issue. Do we know he can play? Absolutely. It was about his demeanor and approach to the season. The leadership qualities, the on the court control of his emotions, playing both ends of the floor… it was remarkable. At some point as a player you have to step up and mature.”

 

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Inside the NBA presented by Kia

Johnson, Barkley, O’Neal and Smith

 

 

 

 Barkley on the Thunder: “They are going to make the Playoffs. The thing that is going to be interesting in the West is that they can all beat each other. If they are the No. 8 seed, the No. 1 seed is in for a dogfight. I have no idea who is going to win the Western Conference right now. All eight of those teams out West are better than any team in the East.”

Barkley on the probability of the Thunder advancing in the Playoffs: “They are going to be on the road for every series. They aren’t going to get higher than five. With [Russell] Westbrook and [Kevin] Durant healthy, they will have a chance against any team in the Western Conference.”

 

 

 O’Neal on Rockets guard James Harden: “This dude can do it all: penetrate, shoot, shoot from long range, finish at the rim.”
   

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 Coverage – Thursday, Dec. 4, 2014

nba-on-tntNotes from NBA on TNT Coverage – Thursday, Dec. 4, 2014

TNT’s NBA coverage will continue Thursday, Dec. 11, at 8 p.m. ET with an exclusive doubleheader featuring the Cleveland Cavaliers @ Oklahoma City Thunder followed by the Houston Rockets @ Sacramento Kings at 10:30 p.m. 

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Cleveland Cavaliers (90) @ New York Knicks (87)Marv Albert (play-by-play), Greg Anthony and Mike Fratello (analysts) with David Aldridge (reporter)

 

 

 

 Anthony on Cleveland needing more impact from their bench: “For the Cavs, it’s really about their starting five. They are not getting much of an impact [from the bench] and that’s going to have to change as this season progresses…if they really want to be a contender in the Eastern Conference.”

Fratello on Kyrie Irving: “Is there anybody in the NBA that has a better handle with the basketball than Kyrie Irving?”

Anthony: “There are some guys with great handles but he’s at the top of the list.”

Anthony on what Irving needs to do to improve his game: “As talented as Kyrie Irving is, the next level of his maturation is going to be able to use his talent to make his teammates better. That’s something he has to learn in order for this team to become championship caliber.”

   Charles Barkley [during halftime] on the Knicks’ Triangle offense: “The Triangle [offense] works when you have Shaq and Kobe [Bryant] or Michael [Jordan] and Scottie [Pippen]. When you don’t have good players, it’s not going to work…this Knicks team isn’t good.”

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New Orleans Pelicans (85) @ Golden State Warriors (112)
Kevin Harlan (play-by-play) and Reggie Miller (analyst) with Rachel Nichols (reporter)

 

 

 Miller on Austin Rivers: “Sometimes he gets pigeon-holed into being a shooter. He’s at his best when he puts the ball on the floor and attacks the basket.”

Miller on Anthony Davis: “He’s made an early season bid for MVP…the way he has played, he has elevated himself to superstar status.”

   Miller on Steph Curry: “He might go down as the greatest shooter this game has ever seen.”

Miller on the difference between head coach Steve Kerr’s Warriors squad this year: “Defensively, they’re pretty much the same…but Steve Kerr has really opened up the offense. They have more flow…the ball doesn’t stick as much as it did a year ago.”

Miller on if Klay Thompson is the best two-way player in the NBA: “Absolutely…for so many years, it was Kobe Bryant who would lock you down on one end and get his points on the other end. But, in my opinion, it’s [currently] Klay Thompson.”

Miller on Steph Curry’s scoring ability: “It’s so easy for him…it’s muscle memory. He’s so good at taking the ball off the dribble and scoring.”

Miller on the development of the Warriors franchise: “We talk about the development of [a franchise] is when your young players develop. Harrison Barnes, Draymond Green, Steph Curry and Klay Thompson have gotten better each year [of their career]. That’s why the Warriors franchise is in good hands moving forward.”

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Inside the NBA presented by Kia

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

 

 

Barkley on the Warriors needing a big man: “They are an elite team but they are a big man away. Their two best players are jump shooters…the longer the season goes, those shots aren’t going to fall every time.”

O’Neal on head coach Steve Kerr: “I like the way he’s getting his guys to respond. He’s speaking their language and they’re going out there and busting their butts for this guy. Kudos to Steve Kerr, he’s doing a great job.”

 

 

 Barkley on Tim Hardaway, Jr.: “He’s going to be a heck of a player. He’s a heck of a player now, but he’s only going to get better.”
   Barkley on the Cavs: “They aren’t going to beat the Bulls [in the playoffs] playing lackadaisical. They have to play with passion and energy.”

Follow Turner Sports on Twitter at @TurnerSportsPR

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EXCLUSIVE Inside Sports Illustrated 12.3

si-logoTHIS WEEK’S SPORTS ILLUSTRATED

SI Highlights Anthony Davis the Pelicans’ Do-It-All Big Man & Wisconsin’s Record-Breaking Running Back Melvin Gordon

NEW YORK, NY (December 3, 2014) – This week’s issue of Sports Illustrated highlights New Orleans Pelicans’ Anthony Davis rise from overlooked high school junior to NBA phenom – mirroring his teenage growth spurt. Following his undeniably lofty goals, the 21-year-old is off to an historic start. In the NFL, greater emphasis is always placed on big skill-position players: taller QBs, taller receivers, taller tight ends. With humor and analytic incisiveness, Austin Murphy dives into the strategic value of the NFL little guys. He may be one of the shortest players in the majors, but Houston Astros’ Jose Altuve’s numbers aren’t small at all producing historic stats for a player of his height. Also in this issue,  Alan Shipnuck profiles Ed O’Bannon, former college basketball standout who laid the groundwork for an overhaul of the revenue-distribution practices of the NCAA and has singlehandedly done more to change a sport than any other individual.

On the regional cover, a look into Wisconsin’s running back Melvin Gordon, who despite his late start, is making a spectacular run at the Heisman Trophy after breaking the NCAA single-game rushing record.

Below is a link to the high res cover:

https://app.box.com/s/26sbgxfm5bwkjce0erxa

Lee Jenkins: Year Three A.D.

Jenkins takes us from the Davis schoolboy days where his basketball ambitions were to one day coach the game to today where he is in the conversation as one on the most dominant players in the game. Interestingly after his first practice for the MeanStreets AAU program in Indiana, an intimated Davis wanted to quit. Cajoled to continue by his coaches he continued. Then a 19-year old scout changed everything. Writes Jenkins:

In April 2010, Davis played his first game for MeanStreets, in Merrillville, Ind. Daniel Poneman, a 19-year old Chicago-based scout who lived with his parents in Evanstown, showed up at halftime. He recorded the action on a Flip video camera. “I can be prone to hyperbole,” Poneman acknowledges, “but I was seeing things I’d never seen before: block a three, lead the break, dunk it, block another shot, lead another break, lay it in.” Poneman conducted a postgame interview- in which Davis said he intended to be a high school coach someday- then hurried home to upload the footage to his Facebook account. He didn’t have enough material, so he included clips of Jamari Traylor (now at Kansas), under the heading MEANSTREETS MONSTERS. Poneman tagged about a dozen college coaches, most of whom called or texted by morning, with some variation of the same question: Oh, my God, is this real?

When talking about that AAU game, the scout responsible for the uploaded video Daniel Poneman recounts Davis’s performance: “I can be prone to hyperbole, but I was seeing things I’d never seen before: block a three, lead the break, dunk it, block another shot, lead another break, lay it in.”

Fast Forward four years and Davis is now in the conversation when debating the best player in the NBA.  Of that talk Davis says: “It makes you smile to see yourself becoming the player you want to be. When people talk about the greatest ever, I want to be in that conversation, [but] I’m nowhere close to it. No…where…close.”

While some would suggest that Davis’ average of 14.2 points per game as a freshman wasn’t eye-popping. There were always glimpses of the greatness to come. Said his college coach John Calipari: “There were things he did that made me sit down, a touch pass, a lefty hook, a Ginobili layup.”

Brian Hamilton: The Biggest Cheese

Melvin Gordon arrived in Madison wanting to be remembered forever. After two years of waiting his turn, working while others slept and a 408-yard game that disintegrated all anonymity, the Wisconsin back is on the verge of being one of college football’s best.

“I told you if you stick to it, you’re going to be an amazing player” – former teammate and Denver Bronco’s running back Monte Ball

“When he sees other people doing well, it pushes him to try to be better than them” – Wisconsin sophomore tailback Dare Ogunbowale

“It’s just a pride thing man. Every running back who has started here had a great career and helped lead the team to great success. They took the team to greater heights. I wanted to keep the bar high. That’s just how it is”- Gordon

Emma Span: Little Slugger

The NFL is not the only place where big hits come in small packages. Astros second baseman Jose Altuve is among the majors’ shortest players, but with his lightning reflexes and refined mechanics, the AL batting champ doesn’t produce like it. His 2014 performance was superb by any measure – but it was historic for a player of his height.

“A player like him, who just doesn’t strike out and can make contact, has tremendous value. He was in the best shape of his life and he paid attention. He looked for keys on the pitcher, he started to study those things. And he had no fear.” – Jeff Luhnow, Houston’s GM

Alan Shipnuck: Closing The Deal

In championing the rights of amateur athletes to control – and profit from – their names and images, former UCLA basketball star Ed O’Bannon has become the face of the most important legal case in the history of collegiate sports. Now a car dealer in Las Vegas, O’Bannon keeps a low profile. He has little to gain from the lawsuit, and that has made him an ideal plaintiff.

“I loved playing basketball – I got all I wanted out of it, all I could. But it’s not forever. At some point you have to move on.” – O’Bannon

“It’s a nice life. A quiet life.” – O’Bannon

Notes from NBA on TNT Coverage – Thursday, Nov. 20, 2014

nba-on-tntNotes from NBA on TNT Coverage – Thursday, Nov. 20, 2014

TNT’s NBA coverage will continue Thursday, Dec. 4, at 8 p.m. ET with a doubleheader featuring the Cleveland Cavaliers @ New York Knicks followed by the New Orleans Pelicans @ Golden State Warriors at 10:30 p.m. 

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TNT NBA Tip-off presented by AutoTrader.com

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

 

 

 O’Neal on the Clippers dealing with trust issues: “When are they going to get it?  A team of this caliber, that has been together this long, should not be talking about trust issues.”
   Smith on Heat small forward Luol Deng: “I think Luol Deng is underrated. This is a guy that, at one time, Chicago said was untradeable.”

Smith on the Heat“After 11 games, I would have thought they would have won eight games.”

Barkley on the Heat: “The Miami team is a mediocre team; they are a good solid team.”

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Los Angeles Clippers (110) @ Miami Heat (93)
Kevin Harlan (play-by-play) and Reggie Miller (analyst) with Lewis Johnson (reporter)

 

 

 Miller on the Clippers: “This Clipper team is not a great rebounding team, especially at the offensive end.”

Miller on Clippers guard Chris Paul: “When you talk about pick and rolls, this guy has eyes in the back of his head.”

Miller on Darren Collison: “The loss of Darren Collison may effect this team. I like Jordan Farmer, he’s a better offensive player than Darren Collison, but he’s not a defender like Collison.”

   Miller on the Heat: “They are building Championship habits. I like the new pieces they put together.”

Miller on Chris Bosh staying in Miami: “People are ecstatic that he stayed around and is showing his loyalty.”

Miller on Chris Bosh: “How do you utilize Chris Bosh in this system? You bring in a veteran presence on this team to surround Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade to keep that level of play.”

Miller on Heat point guard Shabazz Napier: “This rookie is smooth. I loved him when he was at UConn. I thought he played under control for a point guard. He has come here and played fantastic early on for the Heat.”

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Chicago Bulls (88) @ Sacramento Kings  (103)
Marv Albert (play-by-play) and Chris Webber (analyst) with Rebecca Haarlow (reporter)

 

 

 Webber on Bulls power forward Taj Gibson: “I just love Taj Gibson. If you watch Taj Gibson, all you have to know is that he works hard, puts his body into position and makes the second, third and fourth effort to help his team.”

Webber on the Bulls maturing on the offensive end: “When you look at the Bulls, they have been known for their defense, not offense. This year, Coach Thibodeau has more offensive power – especially off the bench. It’s going to be interesting to watch this team mature throughout the season.”

Webber on Bulls guard Aaron Brooks: “You have to love his cadence. He’s just the guy, when everyone plays with him, they have to keep up with his pace because there is no time for laziness when he is on the floor. You have to love that if you are a coach.”

Webber on Bulls small forward Jimmy Butler: “This guy may be the most improved player in the NBA, offensively.  He is going to be a great player – at the end of the season heading into the playoffs – because he’s had a chance to play with [Derrick] Rose being out.”

Webber on the Bulls work ethic: “[They have the] most injuries, most heart. You have to love and admire how they go out on the court every day and give a steady dose of hard work. You just have to admire that.”

 

 

 Smith on the Kings: “This is just the first year I can look at Sacramento and say they play with effort and energy.”

Webber on Kings center DeMarcus Cousins: “He is one of the best big men in the game. This year there is no stopping him as he is becoming a better leader in this game.”

Webber on the Kings identity: “Every team has an identity…their identity is DeMarcus Cousins in the paint. It’s good that they are starting to play off of that.”

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Inside the NBA presented by Kia

Johnson, Barkley, O’Neal and Smith

 

 

 Barkley: “This is how the Clippers play; they are a dunk and layup machine; they have no physical toughness.”

Barkley on the Clippers half-court game: “We know the Clippers are very good in the full court. We know they are an elite team, but they have to fix their half-court offense.”

Barkley on the Clippers’ potential: “This team just has a ceiling. They are very talented, they are an elite team, but they are not going to win a Championship. They are great when they are running, jumping and dunking but they do a horrible job off the boards.”

Barkley on Clippers power forward Blake Griffin: “Blake Griffin is a very talented player, but he does not enforce his will down low. He is the one guy that can be dominant every night. But you have to wonder if he will ever develop that killer instinct.”

 

 

Barkley on the Bulls: “The Bulls just don’t have enough offensive fire power without Derrick Rose and Pau Gasol.”

Barkley on Bulls guard Derrick Rose playing through his pain: “Derrick Rose has to understand something – we are all in pain when you play basketball. You have to learn to play in pain.”

Barkley on Bulls guard Derrick Rose listening to his body: “He’s going to have to change the way he plays. Derrick Rose goes 100 percent every time. He needs to learn his body.”

  O’Neal on Kings center DeMarcus Cousins: “He’s playing like the best big man in the league.”

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 Coverage – Thursday, Nov. 13, 2014

nba-on-tntNotes from NBA on TNT Coverage – Thursday, Nov. 13, 2014

TNT’s NBA coverage will continue Thursday, Nov. 20, at 8 p.m. ET with a doubleheader featuring the Los Angeles Clippers @ Miami Heat followed by the Chicago Bulls @ Sacramento Kings at 10:30 p.m.  

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TNT NBA Tip-off presented by AutoTrader.com

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

 

 

 TNT’s Rachel Nichols interviewed Bulls point guard Derrick Rose prior to the game 

Derrick Rose on his recent comments about sitting out games: “I was just worrying about myself and worrying about my future like every player in the league does. I’ll probably just think different. It’s only my seventh year but further into my career and my life, just trying to plan things out. I think people took that out of context but it is what it is. I was being myself and that’s all I can be. I couldn’t care less.” 

Barkley on Rose’s comments: “He’s a great player and a great kid…but that was stupid. We’re so blessed. I limp around but I go home to a big ol’ mansion. There are people that work harder than Derrick Rose that go home to a shack. There are consequences for what we do for a living. We’ve got the best life in the world. I’m a poor black kid from Leeds, Alabama, who grew up in the projects and I don’t mind limping around [now]. When I go home, I have a big ol’ house. I’ve got good sheets; I don’t know the thread count, but they’re good sheets. I’ve got a big car and I never have to worry about bills. Derrick Rose is making $20 million dollars a year and he’s got a couple of bad knees. There are pros and cons of what we do for a living.” 

O’Neal: “I was taught that if you could walk, you could play. You see how Kevin McHale walks now, how Phil Jackson walks now, how Charles [Barkley] and I walk…but it was worth it. When you make comments like that, it makes you look soft…but he can only be himself. If that’s how he feels, that’s how he feels.”

Smith: “I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt because an MVP can’t have a low threshold of pain. It’s impossible.” 

 

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Chicago Bulls (100) @ Toronto Raptors (93)
Kevin Harlan (play-by-play) and Reggie Miller (analyst) with Rachel Nichols (reporter) 

 

 

 Miller on how Derrick Rose has altered his game: “He’s a much smarter player because of the injuries. I think he’s gotten away from that Tasmanian Devil mentality that he always has to attack, attack, attack. He’s not the same player.”

Miller on Rose’s comments: “It’s unfortunate because it would be more of a story if you were hearing things coming out of the Bulls locker room that Derrick Rose isn’t pulling his weight. To a man, everyone understands [what he’s gone through]. He’s had two major injuries in two and a half years…the execution was wrong with what he said but if there’s any guy who has heart in this league, it’s Derrick Rose. His commitment is there 100% to his team and the organization.”

Miller continues: “He’s in a no-win situation because, if he plays with sore ankles and plays badly, the headline is ‘damaged goods’ but if he sits out, he’s not fully committed.”

Miller on the passing prowess of the Bulls frontcourt:  “The Bulls have arguably the two best passing big men in the game in Pau Gasol and Joakim Noah.”

Miller on Jimmy Butler’s outside shooting: “That’s the one area of his game that has vastly improved from his rookie season. That’s why he’s going to be a bona fide All-Star in this league.”

   Miller on DeMar DeRozan: “He was an All-Star last season and is so underrated as a shooting guard. He’s not seen on national TV a lot. I hope people come to appreciate the type of game that DeMar plays with.”

Smith on the Raptors: “What Toronto does better than any other team right now is they put pressure on you off the dribble. Their dribble penetration is second to none…they are the best at getting to the lane.”

Miller on the Raptors having a target on their back: “When you have a young team that’s on the verge of breaking through and wants to take that next step, two things stand out: consistency and trust. Now there’s a bulls eye on this young Raptors team because of their high expectations. Can they sustain that each and every night that they take the floor? They are expected to compete at a high level.”

 

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Brooklyn Nets (99) @ Golden State Warriors (107)
Marv Albert (play-by-play) and Grant Hill (analyst) with David Aldridge (reporter) 

 

 

 Hill on Deron Williams: “He looks energetic like he did [when he played] in Utah. He hasn’t been healthy since he’s been with the Nets. It’s very encouraging to see him back playing at a high level.”

Hill on head coach Lionel Hollins: “He’s adapted to the personnel on this team. They are scoring more points in transition and taking quick shots. He’s a great coach and it’s great to have him back in the league.”

 

 

 Hill on Leandro Barbosa: “He’s the epitome of a sixth man and he’s in that role in Golden State. He will thrive in this system.”

Hill on the Warriors’ bench: “To have the luxury to rest your starters and have your second unit come in a play well is something that’s going to help this team throughout the season. Getting production out of [Andre] Iguodala and [Leandro] Barbosa is going to be huge.”

Hill on Andre Iguodala: “Iguodala is known for his defense, his length and he takes the challenge day in and day out to guard the other team’s best player on the perimeter. He’s going to be big for this team defensively and off the bench once he gets comfortable in that role.”

Hill on Klay Thompson: “As a young player, he’s not satisfied with where he’s at with his game. He’s taking the time to develop his all-around play.”

 

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Inside the NBA presented by Kia

Johnson, Barkley, O’Neal and Smith

 

 

 Smith on the Raptors: “I really like Toronto. They came into the season not having to find an identity. They already had one coming off of last year. Teams that build off the previous year are more successful when the playoffs come.”
 

 

 Smith on the Cavaliers: “They have the best player in the world [LeBron James] but they don’t play the best basketball. I don’t know if they can learn quickly with guys that young. Being that young, with a new coach, doesn’t seem like a championship mix.”
 

 

 Barkley on Darren Collison: “Darren Collison is the reason why Sacramento is playing well. He solved all of their point guard issues.”

Smith on how the Kings need to learn how to win: “Sacramento has figured out a style to play well; now the second part of that equation is how to finish teams off. Finishing them off is paying attention to details. Sometimes the things that allow you to get the lead won’t allow you to win the game. Sacramento has to learn how to slow down.”

   Smith on the Grizzlies being a championship contender: “They don’t get enough credit. They are not only a contender [to make the playoffs] but a championship contending team. They have all the elements and all the pieces.”

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, October 30, 2014

nba-on-tntNotes from TNT’s NBA Coverage – Thursday, October 30, 2014

Notes from TNT’s NBA Coverage – Thursday, October 30, 2014

TNT’s NBA coverage continues Thursday, November 6, at 8 p.m. ET with an exclusive doubleheader featuring the San Antonio Spurs @ Houston Rockets followed by the Dallas Mavericks @ Portland Trail Blazers at 10:30 p.m.

  

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TNT NBA Tip-off presented by AutoTrader.com

Ernie Johnson, Shaquille O’Neal, Kenny Smith and Chris Webber

 

 

Smith on Cleveland’s LeBron James being a scorer as opposed to deferring to teammates: “When he did that in Miami they didn’t win. When he said, ‘I’m the best player, and I’m going to be the best player, and you guys have to fall back,’ that’s when they won championships. So, to me, he’s going to have to be the best player for them to be successful.”

Webber on the excitement building for James’ return as a special event in Cleveland: “When you go to places, New York, L.A., you notice the stars, the celebrities on the side. If you’re a superstar, you want to make sure you give them their money’s worth; you go to their movies and to their concerts. I think it’s going to be electric.”

 

  Smith on the New York Knicks needing to display patience: “Patience is not a New York City word. I’ve never heard that in the vocabulary of a New York franchise, New York person. So, the lack of patience, they have to get it done, figure out a way to get it done… J.R. Smith and Carmelo Anthony, they have to have phenomenal seasons to take them to the 54 wins they had two or three seasons ago.”

O’Neal on players improving individually once they grasp the triangle offense: “History shows the triangle has worked perfectly when you have two Hall of Famers, two great players… Every great player that has used the triangle, when you look at their highlights, it’s [Michael] Jordan in the iso, it’s Shaq in the post, it’s Kobe [Bryant] in the iso; so once these guys learn it, Carmelo can say, ‘cut through, cut through,’ I’m going to do what I do.”

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New York Knicks (95) @ Cleveland Cavaliers (90)
Marv Albert (play-by-play), Charles Barkley and Reggie Miller (analysts) with Rachel Nichols (reporter)

 

 

 

Miller on the adjustment James’ Cavaliers teammates need to make: “When you acquire the best player on the planet in LeBron James, I said early on, Kyrie Irving and Dion Waters need to be in the gym shooting 500 to 1,000 jump shots a day because LeBron James is going to be double and triple teamed, especially in the open court.”

Barkley on Kevin Love as one of the best power forwards in the NBA: “The guy’s been the best power forward in the NBA the last three or four years. He didn’t have a lot of help in Minnesota. You’re getting 12, 13, 14 rebounds a night… You can’t fake rebounding numbers…if you’re getting 14 rebounds a night, you’re a hell of a player.”

Barkley on David Blatt’s goal the first month of the season: “The first month of the season is really going to be for the Cavaliers, trying to figure out who works well together. He’s [Blatt] got to figure out [Anderson] Varejao, Love, Tristan Thompson, he’s got to get their big man rotation in order. That to me is going to be the key to the first month for the Cavaliers.”

Miller on Love’s passing: “An underrated part of Kevin Love’s game is his ability to pass the basketball, and more so, his length of court outlets.”

Barkley on the Cavaliers’ weaknesses: “One thing I think the Cavs need is they’re missing a big guy.”

Barkley on the Cavaliers not handling pressure of such a big game to start the season: “The moment just got too big for them tonight. They played flat the entire game…they played great, like the first five minutes, then the adrenaline, everything, made them tired and flat for the rest of the game.”

  Barkley on Tim Hardaway, Jr.: “I like Tim Hardaway, Jr. He’s going to be a good player in the league for a long time.”

Barkley on Carmelo Anthony, the Knicks and Kevin Durant: “Carmelo’s obviously a great player. It drives me crazy sometimes, he’s not the reason the Knicks are not any good. Kevin Durant is a good scorer, but if I need one basket, inside [or] outside, I’m going to Carmelo Anthony.”
Miller on the Knicks bouncing back for the win: “In this league, you don’t get too high, you don’t get too low. You talk about New York just getting shellacked at home in their season opener versus Chicago. And all the adrenaline is in the favor of Cleveland tonight. And New York comes out here, and got off to a slow start, and found a way.”

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Oklahoma City Thunder (90) @ Los Angeles Clippers (93)
Kevin Harlan (play-by-play) and Greg Anthony (analyst) with David Aldridge (reporter)

 

 

 

Anthony on Russell Westbrook’s status in the league: “He’s a true superstar. It still baffles me that he catches so much criticism for a guy who’s truly a superstar.”

Anthony on Oklahoma City Thunder forward Perry Jones: “This is about as good as he’s looked as a pro. It’s been a transition for him. [He had] only the one year in college. Often times with players like that, it takes them a little longer to get comfortable, and physically be mature enough to have an impact at this level.”

Anthony on the Thunder’s approach without Kevin Durant: “They have realistic expectations. The bottom line, you want to make sure that by the time [Kevin] Durant comes back, our young guys are better basketball players. It may not be reflective in the win-loss column, but it allows you to keep your eye on the big picture.”

  Anthony on Blake Griffin’s improved jumper: “The talk was coming in, the improvement of that midrange jump shot. It just takes a lot of pressure off your body when you have that where you can knock down several of these during the course of a game.”

Anthony on new Clippers’ owner Steve Ballmer: “He’s like a kid in a candy store. It is good to see.”

****    ****    ****    ****

Inside the NBA presented by Kia

Johnson, O’Neal, Smith and Webber

 

 

Webber on Cavaliers’ struggles: “I want to go back to the Miami Heat. Watching this Cleveland team just made me remember how much of a well-oiled machine the Miami Heat were with LeBron… and remembering their journey, and how they they had to do that [develop] with Erik [Spoelstra] makes those fans kind of patient.”

Smith on James’ uncharacteristic turnovers: “The one thing you don’t expect him to make are mental errors. With eight turnovers it was mental errors. That means possessions when you didn’t get a shot…he is the master at getting the right shot at the right time in his runs with Miami. And, today, he was not that.”

  O’Neal on the Knicks’ triangle offense: “As a professor of the triangle, I gave them a C-minus on the triangle tonight. But, when it comes to heart and effort, I give them a B-plus. When it comes to Carmelo doing what he does, they get an A-plus.”
 

 

Webber on players needing to step up for Oklahoma City following injuries to Durant and Westbrook: “Every team I played on or watched, you see it as an opportunity for other guys to step up. Look at Chicago, the reason why I think Chicago will be such a problem this year, [Jimmy] Butler got chances to play without [Derrick] Rose, other guys got a chance to play.”
  O’Neal on the Clippers needing to put teams away: “We talk about identity, and for so many years the Clippers were viewed as soft… New owner, we’re at home, new, fresh beginning, you have to start developing that killer instinct now.”

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

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Notes from TBS Exclusive Coverage of the ALCS, Game 4 – Orioles vs. Royals – Wednesday, Oct. 15, 2014

mlb-on-tbsNotes from TBS Exclusive Coverage of the American League Championship Series – Game 4

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

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MLB Postseason Pre-Game on TBS presented by The All-New Chrysler 200
Casey Stern (host), Pedro Martinez and Gary Sheffield (analysts)

 

 

 Martinez on the Royals team play: “Everyone has the same focused look and determination to win a ball game. The whole team deserves a lot of credit for chipping in. They are doing everything they have to do and not missing a beat. They are really dangerous.”
   Sheffield on the Orioles not playing Delmon Young much in the ALCS: “Where have you been Delmon? He should’ve been playing in this series because he is clutch in the playoffs. He was brought in for these moments and he came through for his team [in the LDS]. To have him on the bench and not using him is baffling to me because they’ve been struggling to score runs.”

****    ****    ****    ****

Kansas City Royals (2) @ Baltimore Orioles (1) – The Royals sweep the series 4-0 and advance to the World Series
Ernie Johnson (play-by-play), Ron Darling and Cal Ripken (analysts) with Matt Winer (reporter)

 

 

 Darling on the Kansas City bullpen: “They have the best bullpen going. It might be the best weapon in the postseason.”

Ripken on the importance of the Royals scoring early: “Early in the game you don’t want to play for one run. You want to play for a big inning but the way Kansas City has been pitching, they want to shorten the game, get the lead and apply the pressure.”

Ripken on Lorenzo Cain’s decision to bunt that resulted in Kansas City scoring: “It’s so indicative of the attitude that this Royals team has…they know how they play and how they want to manufacture runs. They are all willing [to sacrifice].”

Ripken on the Royals’ defense: “We always talk about the spectacular plays that make the highlight reel but I’ve been impressed with [Omar] Infante’s steady play at second [base]. [Alcides]Escobar has made some really nice plays and [Eric] Hosmer handles every play with ease.”

Ripken on the Royals: “We knew they were good and they’ve been a fun team to watch. They couldn’t play any better than they’ve played.”

****    ****    ****    ****

The Postseason Show presented by Mobil 1

Stern, Martinez, Sheffield

   Martinez on Lorenzo Cain being named ALCS MVP: “It couldn’t happen to a better person. He’s a humble kid who’s had to work his way through. He did everything the Royals asked him to do.”

Sheffield on the Royals: “You have to appreciate the baseball we just saw. We saw a little bit of everything from these guys. From the first game of this series until the end, they kept their focus the whole time and didn’t let up.”

Martinez on the Royals bullpen trio of Wade Davis, Kelvin Herrera and Greg Holland: “I have never seen a one-two-three punch better than this one…I’ll take this group over any other group.”

Martinez on the Royals: “The momentum that they are carrying over to the next series is something special.”

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Notes from TBS Exclusive Coverage of the ALCS, Game 3 – Orioles vs. Royals – Tuesday, Oct. 14, 2014

mlb-on-tbsNotes from TBS Exclusive Coverage of the American League Championship Series – Game 3

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

TBS’ exclusive presentation of the ALCS will continue today, Wednesday, Oct. 15, at 3:30 p.m. ET with the MLB Postseason Pre-Game on TBS presented by The All-New Chrysler 200, followed by the Baltimore Orioles @ Kansas City Royals (Game 4) at 4 p.m. The night will conclude with The Postseason Show presented by Mobil 1.

****    ****    ****    ****

MLB Postseason Pre-Game on TBS presented by The All-New Chrysler 200
Casey Stern (host), Pedro Martinez and Gary Sheffield (analysts)

 

 

 Martinez on Royals pitcher Jeremy Guthrie, his long layoff between starts and other factors: “I would take advantage of the simulated game, but that’s not the most important thing. I think the chilly wind and the dryness on the field today is going to play a big role.”

Sheffield on outfielder Nori Aoki at the number two spot in the lineup: “I love this player. He’s seen 36 pitches in this series. And what that does, it allows the next hitter to see those same pitches and go up there with a better game plan.”

 

 

 Sheffield on first baseman Steve Pearce’s struggles: “This guy has to be proud of what he did during the season.  He’s one of the reasons why they’re here. But to me, it seems like this situation is getting a little too big for this kid. This kid is starting to press a little bit, instead of doing the things you did to get you here.”

Sheffield on outfielder Adam Jones and needing to demonstrate patience: “He’s not patient…as middle of the order guys, the last thing we want to do is be patient. We want to be the heroes, we want to hit the ball out of the park and be the big guy on campus, but the opposite applies in the playoffs. You have to go in and tell yourself, I have to set the stage, I’m a third place hitter for a reason.”

****    ****    ****    ****

Kansas City Royals (2) @ Baltimore Orioles (1) – The Royals lead the series 3-0
Ernie Johnson (play-by-play), Ron Darling and Cal Ripken (analysts) with Matt Winer (reporter)

 

 

 Darling on Mike Moustakas’ diving catch in foul territory in the sixth inning: “On the 11th anniversary of the Steve Bartman game, the Royals fans let [Mike] Moustakas catch the baseball.”

Ripken on how to approach Royals reliever Kelvin Herrera: “You’ve got to get the bat started. You know you’re going to get fastballs, you’re going to get a lot of them. The approach should be, give yourself three chances. I wouldn’t go taking [pitches].”

Ripken on the Royals’ approach to winning: “They truly find a way to win. That’s a symptom of all the good teams that are winning and are hot like they are. The diversity of their offense, the threat of steal, the first to third, the ground ball, they do everything they can to scratch away a win. And I haven’t seen anything like it.”

   Darling on pitcher Kevin Gausman: “At some point he’s going to be one of their most valuable starting pitchers. I know he’s in the pen now, but at some point, he’s a guy that’s going to give you 200 innings, win you 15 games, that’s how much talent he has.”

Darling on Gausman’s relief performance: “A heroic effort. He came in, though, he got ahead with that one fastball against Billy Butler and then made too good of a pitch that cost him a sac fly.”

Darling on outfielder Nelson Cruz’s power to all fields: “What makes him so valuable, and tough to pitch to…is that he can take you deep to right field, coast to coast.”

****    ****    ****    ****

The Postseason Show presented by Mobil 1

Stern, Martinez, Sheffield

 

 

 Martinez on the focus of the Kansas City team: “The whole Kansas City team, you can look at them in the eyes and they are all focused, and that impressed me from this young team.”

Martinez on the performance by starting pitcher Jeremy Guthrie: “He surprised me and surprised I think everybody because he not only competed in the key situations, when he was rattled by the Orioles, he came back and made quality pitches…unexpected for a guy that has spent 19 days without pitching in a real game.”

Martinez on Kansas City’s superior defense throughout the playoffs: “I’ve seen many things in the game, but a defense like I’ve seen in this postseason, believe me, I’ve never seen in my 18 years in the big leagues, in the postseason specifically. It’s impossible. I’ve never seen something like it.”

 Sheffield on first baseman Steve Pearce getting back on track at the plate: “I liked his approach today. He took a couple pitches, he seemed relaxed today, he got the fat part of the bat on the ball and good things happen when you do that. He had some quality at-bats but unfortunately the defense was there for the Royals again.”

Sheffield on who needs to rally the Baltimore team: “That guy is Adam Jones. He needs to get in front of the team and step up and tell these guys, ‘Hey, we still have a game to play. We just have to focus on one game at a time. Our backs are against the wall right now, but we just have to play Orioles baseball, and if we can get back to that, we can turn this series around.’”

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Notes from TBS Exclusive Coverage of the ALCS, Game 2 – Royals vs. Orioles – Saturday, Oct. 11, 2014

mlb-on-tbsNotes from TBS Exclusive Coverage of the American League Championship Series – Game 2

Saturday, October 11, 2014

TBS’ exclusive presentation of the ALCS will continue Monday, Oct. 13, at 7:30 p.m. ET with the MLB Postseason Pre-Game on TBS presented by The All-New Chrysler 200, followed by the Baltimore Orioles @ Kansas City Royals (Game 3) at 8 p.m. The night will conclude with The Postseason Show presented by Mobil 1.

****    ****    ****    ****

MLB Postseason Pre-Game on TBS presented by The All-New Chrysler 200
Casey Stern (host), Pedro Martinez and Gary Sheffield (analysts)

 

 

 Martinez on the exciting comeback by the Royals in Game 1: “I could not fall asleep last night thinking about everything that happened in that crazy game.”

Martinez on the versatility of the Royals: “This is a team that is very dangerous. Kansas City can play any kind of game they choose. They can play small ball, play defense, play with speed…anything. They can adjust to any kind of game…pick your poison.”

Sheffield on the Royals’ speed on the bases: “No matter what they do, they let you know that they’re going to steal bases. They don’t care who’s the pitcher or how quick you are to home. If they’re hitting, their main objective is getting to second base and then get the timely hit. If they can’t get to second base [with a double], they’ll steal second base. They’ve been doing it all series long; they’ll tell you about it and they’ll continue to do it.”

Sheffield on the defensive strength of the Royals: “This might be one of the best defensive teams I’ve ever seen.”

Martinez on Royals catcher Salvador Perez: “This kid has a bright future. He’s a smart kid and can guide the whole staff by himself. He deserves credit for Kansas City’s success.”

   Martinez on the postseason struggles of Orioles outfielder Adam Jones: “I can understand what he’s going through. He wants to do a lot more. He’s such a competitor, but he has to settle down and watch [Orioles] Nick Markakis taking pitches and being selective. Jones can feed off of Markakis at bat. Jones is a guy that is capable of doing everything. That’s the reason he’s hitting third. He needs to be selective with his pitches and feed off of what Markakis is doing.”

Sheffield on Orioles lead-off hitter Nick Markakis: “He’s going to turn out to be one of the best lead-off hitters in the game. They did a smart thing by taking him out of that third spot where he felt like he had to hit home runs and drive in runs. In the lead-off spot he can settle in and set the table. He likes to set up pitchers, drive the ball when he is ahead in the count and be the difference maker.”

Martinez on Markakis: “He’s the complete package. He can play defense, throw, run and hit with power. He’s very underrated and is the one that will bring all of the energy to the Baltimore Orioles today.”

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Kansas City Royals (6) @ Baltimore Orioles (4) – The Royals lead the series 2-0
Ernie Johnson (play-by-play), Ron Darling and Cal Ripken (analysts) with Matt Winer (reporter)

 

 

 Ripken on Royals outfielder Alex Gordon’s Game 1 performance: “It was the Alex Gordon show. He’s their all-around best player. He showed us many facets of his game, including toughness. I know there are a lot of heroes every night…but he is a hero most nights.”

Darling on Royals starting pitcher Yordano Ventura : “This kid has unbelievable confidence in himself and, of course, his stuff. You know a pitcher has a good fastball when you’re an accomplished hitter, you know the fastball is coming and you’re still late.”

Ripken on the Royals’ confidence: “If you’re another team watching this series, you are realizing the scary thing about the Royals is they have gotten more and more confident, and they are very talented.”

Ripken on the leadership of Royals catcher Salvador Perez: “Perez’s leadership, ability to calm pitchers during excitable times in the playoffs and ability to fix mechanics has been a big intangible for the Royals this postseason.”

Darling on the Royals’ early-inning offense: “I don’t know whether it’s the confidence, the youth, good coffee or white egg omelets, but they have outscored the opposition in the postseason 16-6 in the first three innings. They’ve been getting off to quick starts.”

Darling on Royals outfielder Alex Gordon: “The player that [Royals manager] Ned Yost wanted on this team was an athletic player who could play defense, doesn’t strike out a lot and is a leader…Gordon represents all of that.”

Darling on the Royals postseason strategy: “In a postseason where one of the themes as been ‘We don’t want to get away from what we’ve done all year,’ you look at this Kansas City team. [Royals reliever] Kelvin Herrera pitched two innings yesterday; he never pitched the next day in the regular season…he’s pitching today.”

   Ripken on Orioles All-Star Adam Jones’ recent struggles in the postseason: “You are that guy. You are the All Star. Your team is relying on you and you want to be that guy, but you can’t fight yourself. You have to play the way you did during the course of the season.”

Darling on the resiliency of the Orioles: “Baltimore is a team that has a lot of resiliency and fight in them. That bodes well for the Orioles and for this series.”

Darling on Orioles starting pitcher Bud Norris: “He is an excitable pitcher, pitches on adrenaline and kind of has that football mentality. He has come out of the blocks firing!”

Darling on the diving catch made by Orioles outfielder Adam Jones in the 3rd: “Adam Jones really is one of the few guys on the Baltimore lineup that can match the athleticism of the Kansas City Royals.”

Ripken on the Orioles bullpen: “The Orioles have a really in-depth bullpen. They are fighting and going back and forth with the Royals. Really, really exciting baseball.”

****    ****    ****    ****

The Postseason Show presented by Mobil 1

Stern, Martinez, Sheffield

   Sheffield on the Royals: “They make it happen. No matter what they do, they push all the right buttons and make all the right plays. They are the new, young kids in town now. They are here to stay.”

Martinez on the exciting baseball being played by the Royals: “I don’t think I’ve ever seen more exciting baseball, and I’ve never been in a series when you’ve seen more excitement than you’ve seen today. Kansas City is outstanding. They are a fun team.”  

Sheffield on the winning combination for the Royals: “This is going to be the team that everyone is talking about for years to come, because it starts with their pitching and ends with their defense. You can’t beat these guys.”

 

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Notes from TBS Exclusive Coverage of the ALCS, Game 1 – Royals vs. Orioles – Friday, Oct. 10, 2014

mlb-on-tbsNotes from TBS Exclusive Coverage of the American League Championship Series – Game 1

Friday, October 10, 2014

TBS’ exclusive presentation of the ALCS will continue today, Saturday, Oct. 11, at 3:30 p.m. ET with the MLB Postseason Pre-Game on TBS presented by The All-New Chrysler 200, followed by the Kansas City Royals @ Baltimore Orioles (Game 2) at 4 p.m. The night will conclude with The Postseason Show presented by Mobil 1.

 

****    ****    ****    ****

MLB Postseason Pre-Game on TBS presented by The All-New Chrysler 200
Casey Stern (host), Pedro Martinez and Gary Sheffield (analysts)

 

 

 Martinez on Kansas City’s outlook: “Last year, after the first half, I saw a team that was capable of doing it [winning], had a lot of energy, a lot of young players, hungry to win. I think Kansas City has all the tools and the momentum, the energy, and not only that, the talent to actually do it. They’re very pesky around the bases. They can cause a lot of trouble to any pitcher and they’re resilient.”

Sheffield on first baseman Eric Hosmer: “He’s in the middle of everything. He’s been that leader that they all expected him to be. He’s hitting home runs, driving in big runs…and he’s playing a heck of a defense at first base.”

   Sheffield on Buck Showalter: “You got the best manager in baseball, that’s what you call momentum.”

Sheffield on the Orioles carrying three left handers in the bullpen: “That’s a Jim Leyland move, that [Showalter] brought a third lefty in the bullpen to neutralize these big bats. When it gets late in the game, what’s going to happen is, he’s going to be able to waste one of these pitchers and have two waiting on you later to get them out of trouble. This is a big move.”

Martinez on the Orioles re-signing shortstop J.J. Hardy and the message that sends to the team: “That’s typical GM Dan Duquette. That’s the kind of GM he is, very professional. He knows how to go about his business…for Nelson Cruz, this is a good sign to see the fact that Dan Duquette is willing to pull the trigger.”

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Kansas City Royals (8) @ Baltimore Orioles (6) in 10 innings – The Royals lead the series 1-0
Ernie Johnson (play-by-play), Ron Darling and Cal Ripken (analysts) with Matt Winer (reporter)

 

 

 

 Ripken on Kansas City’s mistakes: “It’s all about the execution, and Kansas City has executed all the way around [the postseason] except tonight. Salvador Perez had him picked off… Moustakas throws the ball away over at first base, so they are prone to the error but their execution hasn’t been perfect like it’s been so far.”

Ripken on shortstop Alcides Escobar and the complexities of playing every day: “Mentally it’s a real challenge going out there every day. And [Alcides] Escobar proved he can do that. Physically, you’re going to have bumps and bruises, and obviously he can play through those; it’s mentally how you keep a good frame of mind every day.”

Darling on the Royals being a team of destiny: “It’s just amazing how resilient this team is, to not score in the top of the ninth after having the bases loaded on three walks, you just feel like destiny is falling out of your dugout.”

   Darling on Showalter’s bullpen approach changing for the playoffs: “Buck Showalter said, ‘Hey, listen, everyone’s available, and we’ll try to eek out a win today. We’ll figure out tomorrow tomorrow; great way to think in the postseason.’”

Darling on outfielder Nick Markakis wanting to capitalize on his opportunity this series: “With his three hits, [Nick] Markakis is seeing the ball well tonight. He missed that postseason in 2012 with that broken hand. [He] wanted a shot, and made the most of it tonight.”

****    ****    ****    ****

The Postseason Show presented by Mobil 1

Stern, Martinez, Sheffield

   Sheffield on Kansas City’s resiliency: “This team bends, but they don’t break. That’s what I’m seeing. We had these kids as underdogs, that they’re glad to be here, ok, [we assumed that] they’ll be out of the series soon. But now, we’re saying, ‘Who can beat these guys?’ I don’t see anyone beating these guys.”

Martinez on the outfield’s impressive defensive range: “In the outfield, it looks like they have State Troopers. They chase all over the place.”

Sheffield on the Royals possessing two different styles of scoring runs: “Once they get to these smaller ballparks, they can reach the fences, and they can still play small ball. They put up crooked numbers.”

 

 

 Sheffield on outfielder Adam Jones struggling in the playoffs: “You have to have a short memory. Hitting third is the toughest place to hit in the order because you can get the leadoff guy on, you can get the second guy on, but the pitcher is really still not in trouble if you’re [too] aggressive and swing at bad pitches. You have to shrink the strike zone, make them throw strikes when people are on base. Now you’re going to get your pitch to drive. Even if you just hit a long fly ball, you move the runner over to third base to give your cleanup guy a chance to drive him in.”

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

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