Notes from NBA TV’s Coverage of The Finals Game 6 – Tuesday, June 18, 2013

NBA_TV_logoNBA TV will televise NBA GameTime on Thursday, June 20, at 7:30 p.m. ET, prior to Game 7 between the San Antonio Spurs and the Miami Heat, along with comprehensive Finals coverage including live post-game press conferences.

***CLIP OF THE NIGHT***

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NBA TV’s GameTime crew previews Game 7

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NBA TV GameTime

Matt Winer, Chris Webber, Greg Anthony and Shaquille O’Neal

O’Neal on the Miami Heat: “The trophy is in the building. All year the Miami Heat have been the masters of not losing two games in a row. Starting today, they must be the masters of winning two games in a row.”

Webber on the San Antonio Spurs: “Everybody talks about what Miami is playing for, [but] the Spurs are playing for the rest of their life. This is probably the last chance they’ll make it to The Finals with these players and all the intrigue.”

Anthony on Spurs playmakers Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker: “The difference for the Spurs has been the playmaking ability of Manu [Ginobili] and Tony Parker. That is what has allowed for guys like Danny Green and Gary Neal to have such a big series, because of their ability to force help consistently.”

O’Neal on Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich: “We always talk about the great Gregg Popovich as a great coach; no one really speaks to him as a great motivator.  From the old Manu [Ginobili] to the new Manu we saw after that conversation [Ginobili had with Coach Popovich prior to Game 5], I would have loved to be a camera in that locker room to see what he really said. Whatever he said, it worked [and] hopefully it continues tonight.”

Anthony on the difference between Heat forward LeBron James and Spurs guard Tony Parker: “Everyone’s saying how well [the Spurs] have defended LeBron… LeBron’s defended himself in the series, because he’s settled. The difference with Tony Parker [is] he doesn’t take the shots you want him to take. He takes his shots. That’s what LeBron has to do.”

Anthony on how the Spurs have made the Heat think: “The athlete doesn’t play athletically when they think. The Spurs have made the Heat think. They’ve been out there thinking about everything they do because of the adjustments the [Spurs] have made.”

Hall of Famer Isiah Thomas joined the NBA GameTime crew prior to Game 6

 

Thomas on Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich and the adjustments he’s made: “It’s been a ping-pong match, going back and forth, [with] wild swings. Neither team has really taken control of the series. There have been blowouts on both sides. The adjustments Popovich has made have been crucial in my opinion. The way he has moved the pieces around, taken [Manu] Ginobili who is struggling and got him into a position where he is feeling good about himself, and got [Tony] Parker back in the series [after he struggled in Game 2]. Popovich has kept his team confident throughout this whole series.

Thomas on Heat forward LeBron James: “We say he has to be aggressive. What does that mean? He has to be allowed to have enough space to operate. There have to be some play calls set up for him in term of misdirection. He has to be able to catch and shoot, get to the foul line and be a scorer tonight, as opposed to a distributor.”

Hall of Famer Bill Russell joined the NBA GameTime crew prior to Game 6

Russell on the adjustments made by both teams in this series: “I think it’s very interesting, because every game is different. That’s because the coaches make adjustments. When I played, when we had to make adjustments, we would not adjust to what we did wrong, but try to get back to what we did right and do that. That’s the only way you can take control in the game.”

Russell on whether or not he has been surprised by the back-and-forth nature of this series: “No. The teams did not get here because they were invited. They played [well] and they’re here. What happens when you play another good team [is] once they get a break, you have to pay for it. That’s why, when a team gets a lead going into the last quarter, they blow it out. That’s what good teams do to you…they make you pay for your mistakes. After you see the game get out of hand, you call on your other players to finish the game. That game is lost. Now let’s worry about the next game.”

Russell on Spurs forward Tim Duncan: “If San Antonio were to win, I would pick Tim Duncan as the MVP, because he makes both [the] offense and defense for San Antonio. [He has] inside presence offensively and defensively. One thing about Tim Duncan that I like is he is one of the best passing big men ever.”

Russell on the possibility of this being the Spurs fifth championship in 15 years: “Streaks are a diversion, because you talk about teams from this franchise five years ago…that has nothing to do with these guys. If you get involved with making history you’re going to mess yourself up.”

Russell on how the Miami Heat should use LeBron James: “[LeBron should do] whatever he likes to do. You take LeBron and get out of his way. This is a great, great, great player. You don’t want to hold him down or pump him up…you just let him play the way he plays. You just have to figure out which of his teammates can he help?”

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NBA TV GameTime

Winer, Anthony, O’Neal and Webber

O’Neal on the Miami Heat: “I know we’ve all heard the saying, ‘Never give up.’ Even being down five, the Heat never panicked.”

Anthony on the Miami Heat’s run in the fourth quarter: “It was what the Heat did in the start of that fourth quarter. They went on that 19-7 run, done mostly by LeBron [James]. He made a lot of plays that gave his team confidence and put them in a position where they had a chance down the stretch.”

O’Neal on LeBron James’ fourth quarter performance: “When you’re a superstar player, you have to force your will on the other team. That’s what he did in the fourth quarter.”

Anthony on whether or not fatigue will be a factor in Game 7: “Part of the issue was fatigue. [The Spurs] played this like a Game 7. [Their star players] played big minutes in an intense environment, in this atmosphere, on the road. It’s also a little more demoralizing because you lost. Having said all that, I don’t think it matters. Going into a seventh game, [both teams are] going to be tired and fatigued.”

O’Neal on Game 7: “I’m going to be looking for the effort of [Manu] Ginobili, the intensity of Tony Parker and Tim Duncan and how LeBron James comes out and plays. The energy in the building is going to be great. [The Heat] fought for home court advantage all year. If they want to win a championship they must protect it. [However], the San Antonio Spurs are a great adjustment team. They will be ready.”

Heat guard Mike Miller joined the NBA GameTime crew after Game 6

Miller on how the Heat are feeling going into Game 7: “We’re right where we want to be. It’s one game at home. If we could start the beginning of the season and say, ‘You have one game at home to win a championship’…you’d take it. [It will be] another war on Thursday.”

Miller on how he is feeling physically at this point in the series: “It’s whatever it takes at this point. I haven’t played a lot of minutes this year, so my body actually feels good. Obviously after [a game like] this, you get a little banged up. It’s about getting in the fight right now.”

Miller on LeBron James: “It’s about filling in the gaps. LeBron obviously carries a heavy load and does a lot. Whenever we can help [him] with the hustle, is big.”

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