Notes from NBA TV’s NBA Fan Night presented by Sprint – Tuesday, December 18, 2012

NBA_TV_logoNotes from NBA TV’s NBA Fan Night presented by Sprint – Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Minnesota Timberwolves (92) @ Miami Heat (103)

Voting is open on NBA.com, the NBA Facebook Page, Yahoo.com, mobile web, mobile Game Time app and Twitter for next week’s NBA Fan Night match-up that will air on Jan. 1

Fans can select between the following games:

Dallas Mavericks @ Washington Wizards

Portland Trail Blazers @ New York Knicks

Sacramento Kings @ Detroit Pistons

Atlanta Hawks @ New Orleans Hornets

Los Angeles Clippers @ Denver Nuggets

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AutoTrader.com Pregame Show

Ernie Johnson, Chris Webber and Greg Anthony

Anthony on the Miami Heat not being the best team in the NBA: “I don’t think they are the best team in the NBA right now. It is because of the lack of motivation. This is a team that after they lost it, there was a lot of bitterness and soul searching by this entire group and they came back on a mission the following year. Now they‘ve won a championship. Once you have won a championship I’m assuming that the regular season is not as significant as the postseason. It doesn’t matter what you do in the regular season, it is all about postseason for them. They have to figure out a way to not just play to the level of their competition but make teams raise their level to compete with them.”

Anthony on LeBron James: “He can get better. He is going to have to be more efficient offensively.  He is going to have to do what he has always done which is…raising the level of play for his teammates.”

Webber on James elevating his play: “I don’t think we have seen his best. He can give a lot more. Imagine if he gets to play with a true big man or if he plays with some other pieces? I think we will see a lot more (from him) especially if he has different players around him.”

Webber on Timberwolves head coach Rick Adelman: “He is one of the most underrated coaches when it comes to a system. He puts his players in areas where they will succeed and hides their weakness.”

Anthony on Timberwolves forward Andrei Kirilenko:  “Now he is not looked at like a franchise player. Now his role has changed. He is a guy you can win with but he is not necessarily the guy you win because of. He is in a situation where he is a complementary piece and now he can play his game. He has always been able to do this when his confidence was there. Now he doesn’t have the pressure of going out and getting 25 or 30 [points] because that’s not his makeup, that’s not in his DNA.”

Anthony on the young point guards in the league – Ricky Rubio, Kyrie Irving and Damian Lillard: “The beauty of their game is that they are all distinctly different but equally effective. You can win a championship with all [of them].”

Anthony on Timberwolves point guard Ricky Rubio: “Offensively his strength is not scoring, but his vision is on par with anyone in the league. As he continues to work on that part of his game, he will begin to flourish more. Young players that play to their strengths will be more successful than young players that try to go out and prove to you what they can’t do.”

Anthony on Cleveland Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving: “Kyrie Irving is a natural. He does everything great from an offensive point. All he lacks is experience. That will allow him to take that talent and make his teammates better.”

Webber on the definition of a point guard: “The point guard is the leader; they are the Peyton Manning on the court, which is why their job is the hardest.”

Anthony on Dwyane Wade’s athleticism: “He is getting to the next level of his game. At the next level, he can be equally effective even though he may not be as athletic. The most important area and critical development for him moving forward is the mid-range jump shot. If he can make a 17-footer consistently, where it becomes a lay-up like it is for Kobe Bryant and like it was for Michael Jordan, then he will play at an extremely high level for a very long time. That is the part of his game that is not where it needs to be at this stage.”

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Sprint Halftime Report

Johnson, Webber and Anthony

Anthony on the strength of the Miami Heat: “They turn good defense into good offense. That is going to have to be their formula all year. No one is better than LeBron James and Dwyane Wade in the open floor. I don’t think they are going to out-rebound the elite teams in the league come the postseason. They are going to have to win the other areas to offset their inability to rebound.”

Webber on Utah Jazz head coach Ty Corbin: “You have to like what Ty Corbin has done with this team. He has finally had time to put his system in.  You see a little bit of Sloan’s system and a lot of his. They are playing much better this year.”

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NBA GameTime presented by Hyundai

Johnson, Webber and Anthony

Anthony on the Miami Heat: “Basketball, at the end of the day, comes down to possessions; where the Heat make up for their lack of rebounding is in their force in turnovers. While they are having their issues on the interior, they are able to offset that lack of rebounding with their overall efficiency and the defensive ability to turn over in transition.”

Anthony on the Timberwolves: “As great as Kevin Love is, he is still not the Kevin Love from a season ago. They don’t have a first option offensively. They don’t have a Dwyane Wade, LeBron James or even a Chris Bosh. They don’t have a guy that can just make a play. They don’t have a guy like that on their roster so it puts more pressure on them to be flawless in their execution. Tonight (even with great defense) they struggled.”

 

Fan Night crew interviews Dwyane Wade following the game

 

Wade on the Heat sustaining its motivation after winning a world championship: “It is tough…it is a long season. As much as you want to be professionals and come out every night and give it your all, some nights you are not going to have it. There have been a few nights this year that we haven’t had the focus that we needed. I think we have to understand it, as former champions…we need to get better this year. We have a lot of work to do. We can’t be satisfied with what has happened so far this season.”

Wade on the Heat: “We are different. I think everyone knows that we are not the biggest team. We don’t have a Dwight Howard where we can say go and get us 20 rebounds. For us to get out and rebound against these teams it is going to take a lot of effort.”

Wade on the physicality of the NBA taking a toll on his game: “Playing in the NBA with the schedule we have, it takes a toll on your body. I do a great job – I believe – of taking care of my body. I get banged up and I’ve been getting banged up my entire life. I’m still going to keep playing until I can’t play anymore. I’m not really worried about it. I’m going to keep playing my game.  I’m an attacker and, if I wasn’t an attacker, then I would do myself and the Miami Heat an injustice on not being the player that they drafted me to be.”

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