Notes from TNT’s Coverage of the Western Conference Finals – Sunday, May 27, 2012

Notes from TNT’s Coverage of the Western Conference Finals – Sunday, May 27, 2012

TNT’s exclusive coverage of the NBA Western Conference Finals continues Tuesday, May 29, at 9 p.m. ET when the San Antonio Spurs host the Oklahoma City Thunder (Game 2)



EJ, Charles, Kenny and Shaq send the Pacers and the Sixers on their offseason fishin’ trips



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TNT NBA Tip-off presented by
Ernie Johnson, Charles Barkley, Shaquille O’Neal and Kenny Smith

Smith on what makes San Antonio Spurs point guard Tony Parker so dangerous: “You want to make sure his jump shot isn’t clicking. Once he’s hitting his jump shot, he can get to the paint much quicker. Over the last four to five years, he’s become a prolific 15-foot jump shooter. That makes you come out to guard him and once you come out, he can go around you even more.”

Barkley on the point guards in the series – Tony Parker and Russell Westbrook: “We’ve got the two best point guards in the NBA this season [in the WCF]. Tony Parker has been the best point guard in the NBA this year and Russell Westbrook has been the second best.”

Barkley on the Tony Parker vs. Russell Westbrook matchup: “[Westbrook] can get too emotional. He’s got a tough matchup with Tony Parker. He cannot get into foul trouble. He’s got to stay under control and he can’t try to outscore Tony Parker. He can’t make it personal. It’s going to be a very interesting matchup.”

Smith on Thunder forward Kevin Durant: “He’s one of, if not the best, one-on-one player in basketball.”

Barkley on Spurs forward Matt Bonner: “Bonner is one of the top two or three shooters in the league. He is going to keep the floor spread because you can’t cheat off of Matt Bonner. He’s got a chance to be a very pivotal player in this series.”

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Oklahoma City Thunder (98) @ San Antonio Spurs (101) – San Antonio leads the series 1-0

Announcers: Marv Albert (play-by-play), Steve Kerr (analyst) and Reggie Miller (analyst) with Craig Sager (reporter)

Kerr on the Thunder’s young core group of players: “Between [Kevin] Durant, [Russell] Westbrook and [James] Harden, the Thunder are primed to dominate the Western Conference for the next ten years.”

Kerr on the Thunder’s need to be active on the defensive end: “[The Thunder] have to be energetic and active defensively for 48 minutes because if they allow the Spurs to move the ball and get into a groove, they’re in for a long night.”

Kerr on what makes Manu Ginobili a crucial part of the Spurs offense: “What makes him so important is that he gives the Spurs that other attacker along with Tony Parker. Oklahoma City doesn’t get a rest from the constant penetration that makes the [Spurs] offense work…with both of those guys going, it’s lethal.”

Kerr on the Spurs’ versatility: “The Spurs have more versatility to their attack than Oklahoma City because of their ability to go inside when they need to with [Tim] Duncan and [Boris] Diaw.”

Miller on Thunder guard Russell Westbrook: “When he is knocking down shots off the pick-and-roll, he is unguardable.”

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Sprint Halftime Report
Johnson, Barkley, O’Neal and Smith

Barkley on Manu Ginobili: “He is playing fantastic and he gets everyone involved. He’s not afraid of any situation.”

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Kerr on the Spurs defense
: “People have said the Spurs aren’t a great defensive team. By the numbers, they might not be dominate anymore but they are very capable of shutting teams down for four or five minute stretches. This is a very smart defensive team.”

Kerr on how Oklahoma City’s James Harden defensive matchups with the other team’s top scorers in the playoffs is taking a toll on him physically: “It’s different for Harden having to guard [Manu] Ginobili. One of the advantages Oklahoma City has in bringing him in is he normally goes against second-line players. In the playoffs, he’s been going against big-time scorers and it may be taking something out of his legs.”

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Inside the NBA presented by Hyundai
Johnson, Barkley, O’Neal and Smith

O’Neal on the Spurs maintaining composure: “The good thing about this Spurs team is they have a lot of experience and they never panic. It showed tonight and they came back and won the game.

Barkley on Spurs guard Manu Ginobili: “He is a great scorer and aggressive and he put James Harden on his heels. He has so much pressure on James Harden and that is going to be a big thing in this series.”

O’Neal on the Spurs: “Discipline and execution will kill size and speed anytime and the Spurs are the masters of doing that.”

Smith on the Heat/Celtics series: “Boston in six.”

Barkley on the Heat/Celtics series: “Heat in five.”

O’Neal on the Heat/Celtics series: “Boston in six.”


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