Notes from NBA TV’s Coverage of The Finals Game 3 – Tuesday, June 10, 2014

NBA-TV-LogoNBA TV will televise NBA GameTime on Thursday, June 12, at 7:30 p.m. ET, prior to Game 4 between the Miami Heat and the San Antonio Spurs, along with comprehensive Finals coverage including live post-game press conferences.

 

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NBA Live at the Finals Pregame

Matt Winer, Charles Barkley, Shaquille O’Neal and Steve Smith

Barkley on the role of Heat forward LeBron James: “To watch this guy play is an honor and a privilege. Michael Jordan is the greatest player ever, but in my 30 years in the NBA we have never had a superstar that has to be best scorer, assist guy, rebounder and has to guard the other team’s best player. LeBron James has to do it all for the Miami Heat.”

Smith on the versatility of LeBron James: “We know LeBron is very talented, but it’s amazing to me that he can be the best rebounder, the best point guard and best scorer in this series. The Spurs have to take something away. You have to get the ball out of his hands early and make someone else beat you. At the end of the game, you can’t let him run free. You have to make it uncomfortable for him.”

Barkley on the defense of Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard: “This guy guarded [2014 NBA MVP] Kevin Durant last week, then [Thunder point guard] Russell Westbrook and now he’s guarding the best player in the world. No matter how great of shape you’re in, at some point you only have so much gas in your tank. He slowed Durant down…you’re not going to stop him. Then after Russell Westbrook scored 40 points, they switched Leonard over to Westbrook. He’s a terrific player. Now to try and guard LeBron James, that’s a little too much to ask. LeBron’s confidence right now is at a whole other level.”

O’Neal on the Spurs struggles to win on the road: “The Spurs aren’t a good road team. They play excellent at home, but they let one slip away [in Game 2]. They are the type of team that has experience in bouncing back. They know how to focus, never panic and know what they need to do. They still believe they can win.”

Barkley on Spurs veteran Tim Duncan’s numbers in the second half of Game 1 and Game 2: “Age has something to do with that. He’s the greatest power forward ever, but everybody gets old and tired in this game. Now these games are going to come every other day. You have to wonder how he’s going to react.”

Smith on Spurs point guard Tony Parker: “Tony Parker has to play better. I know he has LeBron James on him, and he’s obviously a bigger guy, but the Spurs have got to pick up the pace and get the basketball to Parker quickly.”

O’Neal on Thunder veteran Derek Fisher being named the new head coach of the Knicks: “This is the new direction teams are going – we don’t care about experience, we want guys that are smart and young. Derek Fisher is a smart guy and a great player. Will that translate into being a great coach? We don’t know. Fisher won five rings with Phil Jackson and knows the triangle system. The next line of business is will Carmelo [Anthony] stay? If he’s not there, Fisher will not have a great first year.”

Barkley on the New York Knicks going forward: “If Carmelo Anthony does not stay, they have no chance of making the playoffs next year…with Carmelo, I’m not sure they can make the playoffs either. It’s an outside chance even with Carmelo. They are putting all of their eggs in three or four years down the line. I don’t believe this notion that people will want to come there just because they are the Knicks and Phil Jackson is there. I don’t believe that.”

 

NBA TV analyst Rick Fox joined the NBA GameTime crew

Fox on Knicks head coach Derek Fisher: “He is an experienced individual at winning championships, being consistently prepared as an individual and stepping in and supporting his teammates. That’s what the Knicks want to return to. They’d like to get going again and Phil is a nice foundation. You have to be confident that one of the best coaches in the game [Phil Jackson] would be able to find the right coach for himself and the Knicks.”

 

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NBA Live at the Finals Postgame

Winer, O’Neal, Barkley and Smith

Barkley on Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard and guard Danny Green: “I have to take my hat off to Leonard and Green. They were the keys to the game and were flat out amazing…that’s all you can say.”

Smith on Leonard’s quickness on the offensive end in Game 3: “I love that there was no offensive hesitation with Kawhi Leonard. He caught it and shot it. If he had a move, he took it to the bucket quickly.”

Barkley on the shooting prowess of the San Antonio Spurs: “I’ve never seen a team play that well in a half of basketball. To see it first hand was incredible…they were making everything — 41 points in a quarter is amazing.”

O’Neal on how he thinks Miami will respond in Game 4: “When Miami’s backs are against the wall, they always come out with a lot of energy. They don’t want to go down 3-1, so I expect LeBron, Dwyane Wade and others to have a big game. The series will be tied 2-2.”

Barkley on the resilience of the Spurs: “Every time you think it’s the end of the road, they keep coming back. Everybody thought if it was going to be a blowout today, it was going to be the Miami Heat blowing them out. For the Spurs to come out with their energy level, the game was never in doubt. You never thought the Spurs were going to lose this game. They are an amazing organization.”

 

Spurs power forward Boris Diaw joined the NBA GameTime crew

Diaw on whether it was a part of Spurs head coach Popovich’s plan for Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard to take the lead in Game 3: “The game plan was the same. We didn’t change anything. We just wanted to play Spurs basketball. Popovich just said some players have to play better. He did tell Kawhi that when he is aggressive we are a better team.”

Diaw on the shooting strategy of the Spurs: “Some guys in our team get green lights. Everybody else, we try to move the ball. If you have a great shot…take it. If you have a good shot, it’s not good enough. You have to find a great one.”

 Diaw on the Spurs plan to defend LeBron James in Game 3: “LeBron is the best player today. The philosophy is to not let him get easy shots. It’s not making him take outside shots, we just don’t want anything easy for him.”

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