Notes from NBA TV’s NBA Fan Night presented by Sprint – Tuesday, January 28, 2014: San Antonio Spurs at Houston Rockets

NBA-TV-LogoNotes from NBA TV’s NBA Fan Night presented by Sprint – Tuesday, January 28, 2014

San Antonio Spurs (90) at Houston Rockets (97)

Voting is open for next week’s game via NBA.com, the NBA Facebook page, NBA TV’s Facebook page, Yahoo.com, NBA.com mobile web, mobile NBA Game Time App, the NBA Game Time from Sprint App, and Twitter.

Fans can select between the following games:

·         Chicago Bulls at Phoenix Suns

·         Los Angeles Lakers at Minnesota Timberwolves

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AutoTrader.com Pregame Show

Ernie Johnson, Greg Anthony and Rick Fox

Houston Rockets Head Coach Kevin McHale’s Pre-Game Interview

McHale on whether he expected more out of Dwight Howard: “No, I think that we’ve got to do a better job of getting him the ball more, and we’re doing a better job. I think he started off in November, he was averaging about 17 [ppg].  Now in January, I think he’s averaging well over 19, almost 20. We’re doing a better job. He came to a team that had a lot of guys that never played with a post guy. Our post feeding was really poor. We had a lot of turnovers getting it into him. We didn’t hit him when he was open. We’re getting a little bit better at that. I think people are getting a little more used to playing with a post player…post feeding for me is a lost art. We work on it every day…as we get better [at feeding the post], Dwight will get the ball in better position.  He’s been great. He’s been fun to work with.  He was frustrated for a while because he was open and guys weren’t hitting him, but we’re hitting him more now.”

McHale on Chandler Parsons’ development: “His development has been fantastic. He came in and his three-point shot was really shaky his first year…but [he’s] just a good, solid all-around NBA player; he worked really hard the last couple summers. His three-point shot now is very good. You can really count on him. He can play-make, he can drive, he can finish at the hoop; he’s a good, solid defender. He’s really turned into a tremendous player for us, and a guy that we really need on a nightly basis, and he’s been delivering.”

McHale on whether the Rockets need to be more physical: “No question. I think that’s one of our biggest lacks, one of the biggest areas that we lack is our physicality.  I can’t tell you how many times at halftime I walk and say, ‘Guys, we cannot continue to get pushed around. It’s going to be a physical game.’ There’s no question we have got to build that up. We don’t come out with enough physical presence in our team.”

Fox on Howard and expectations: “I just think he’s been held to a higher standard, maybe unfairly…but I’d rather be expected to be great than to just be good.”

 

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Sprint Halftime Report

Johnson, Anthony and Fox

Fox on Tim Duncan following the first half: “You realize age is just a number for him because he still plays the game as if he was 28.”

Anthony on the match-up being important for Duncan and Howard: “This is also a statement game for both these guys. Neither were selected to be in the All-Star Game [as starters]…and [this is] one of the last opportunities you have to show the world, if you will, that you’re worthy and deserving.”

Webber [via video conference] on Howard and the influence of Hakeem Olajuwon: “I think too much is made of Hakeem Olajuwon [mentoring Howard]. Hakeem Olajuwon is one of the best players to ever play, that’s touched the ball, but that’s not the only way to score…a lot of guys who had less talent have been really effective by just using their body, just using spacing.”

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NBA GameTime presented by Kia

Johnson, Anthony and Fox

Fox on the Houston’s ceiling in the West: “The teams ahead of them know who they are, already. And this is a team that’s still trying to discover how they all play together. They’re getting better.”

Anthony on what the Rockets’ success against the Spurs this season represents: “Not a lot… and that’s why San Antonio’s not going to be overly concerned. In the regular season, timing has a lot to do with things. People get caught up in what you do against a team a lot of times but very rarely do you both come into a situation on level footing.”

Dwight Howard’s Post-Game Interview

Howard on the Rockets improvement: “We’re getting better every day. Each game is different and we’re learning how to play with each other. Last year the way they played was a little bit different than how we’re trying to play this year. We want to be able to play inside-out, but also get up in transition. So, it’s a learning process for all of us, including myself.”

Howard on whether he expects to hear his name called as an All-Star participant: “I do expect to hear my name. But if not, that’s just going to give me motivation to go win that championship and come back next year to make sure everybody votes for my guys on the team and also myself.”

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