Notes from TNT’s NBA Coverage – Thursday, Feb. 7, 2013

Nba-on-tntTNT’s NBA coverage continues Thursday, Feb. 14, with doubleheader action featuring the Miami Heat vs. Oklahoma City Thunder at 8 p.m. ET

followed by the Los Angeles Clippers vs. Lakers at 10:30 p.m.


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TNT’s Craig Sager interviews Dwight Howard & Kobe Bryant post-game and the TNT studio crew talks about playing through pain.


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NBA Tip-Off presented by

Ernie Johnson, Charles Barkley, Shaquille O’Neal and Kenny Smith

Barkley on Kobe Bryant’s recent comments about teammate Dwight Howard: “You can never question another player when they say they’re hurt. To me, that is a technical foul. That’s not cool at all. If a guy tells me he’s hurt, I have to take his word for it.”

O’Neal on Lakers center Dwight Howard: “The great players before us showed us that you can play through pain. We have all played through pain. His shoulder isn’t going to get any better, [so] play through pain. If you’re so hurt all the time, stop smiling on the court all the time.”

Smith on the Lakers: “This is a technical foul [by Bryant]. Coaches sometimes take technicals to rally their team. Kobe took this technical to rally his team. They are in a position…of not making the playoffs. Forget about winning the championship, they might not make the playoffs.  It would be the biggest fumble in the history of basketball if they don’t make the playoffs.”

O’Neal on Celtics legend Bill Russell and some of his all-time favorites: “There are four guys…any time I’m around them I feel like it’s just and honor and a pleasure – Mr. Russell, Sam Jones, John Havlicek and Jerry Lucas. Any time I’m around those four guys, I’m around royalty.”

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Game 1:  L.A. Lakers (95) @ Boston Celtics (116)

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

Kerr on the Lakers recent controversy involving Dwight Howard and Kobe Bryant: “The soap opera continues for L.A. Just when you thought they’d gotten it back together.”

Kerr on Lakers guard Kobe Bryant: “Kobe is as good as anybody in the league at being versatile and playing whatever role his team needs.”

Kerr on an athlete’s tolerance for pain vs. injury and how Dwight Howard’s health is being reported: “You have to know – as an athlete – the difference between pain and injury. As an athlete, only you know. The other point here is the Lakers insist on having all of their discussions made publicly through the media. Why don’t Kobe and Dwight talk about this on their own?”

Kerr on the Lakers current roster: “This roster does not suit Mike D’Antoni’s eye for the game and what he likes to do.”

Kerr on Boston’s Kevin Garnett: “He changed the culture almost by himself. It was his defensive approach and attitude combined with the Celtics coaching staff – Tom Thibodeau and Doc Rivers – that changed this organization entirely.”

Kerr on rumors the Celtics will trade Kevin Garnett: “I think it’s a lot of chatter…the Celtics would be nuts to trade him [Garnett].”

Kerr on the Denver Nuggets: “Everything has changed for them [since the start of the season]. That team might be the fastest team in the NBA. They play at warp speed.”

Kerr on the Celtics defense: “When you look at the Celtics season, what’s really turned it around in the last month is the Celtics’ defense.”

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Sprint Halftime Report

Ernie Johnson, Charles Barkley, Shaquille O’Neal and Kenny Smith

Smith on the Celtics since Rajon Rondo’s injury: “They are not a better team but they are playing better. There is a sense of urgency. The reason is a lot of their guys aren’t skill guys, they’re effort guys. Their effort and energy are being showcased now…with Rondo, it wasn’t.”

O’Neal on playing through pain: “I was raised in an environment that you always play through pain. He [Dwight Howard] either has to decide to play with it [pain] or not.”

Barkley on Dwight Howard playing with a potential injury: “We don’t know what kind of pain that kid is in.”

Smith on playing with injuries: “You can play hurt. You can’t play injured.”

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Kerr comparing the Washington Redskins Robert Griffin III with the Lakers Dwight Howard: “Do you think the Redskins regret telling Robert Griffin III to play through his pain? You can make a huge error as an organization if one of your star players gets further injured by putting himself at risk.”

Kerr on the Celtics ball distribution throughout the game: “I wish we had a stat for just total passes made during this game. It seems like Boston passes five or six times per possession and the Lakers maybe twice.”

Kerr on the Celtics level of play since the Rajon Rondo injury: “This team has played so well since Rondo’s injury…it’s a group that has really come together.”

Kerr on the Celtics chances for success as the season progresses: “The Celtics are only going to go as far as their defense carries them. It’s going to be very interesting.”

TNT’s Craig Sager interviewed the Celtics Kevin Garnett following the game and was asked what surprises him about how the Celtics are playing since Rajon Rondo was injured:

Garnett: “Nothing surprises me. Everybody has to come together and share the ball. And we’ve been doing that. Nothing surprises me when you put the work in.”

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Game 2:  Chicago Bulls (96) @ Denver Nuggets (128)

Announcers: Kevin Harlan (play-by-play), Reggie Miller (analyst) and Marty Snider (reporter)

Miller on Chicago’s Luol Deng: “He is the face of this team until [Derrick] Rose comes back.”

Miller on the Denver Nuggets team speed and home court advantage: “You can’t get into a track meet with Denver. If you get into a track meet, you’re going to lose in this building [Pepsi Center].”

Miller on the difficulty of playing in Denver: “The first eight minutes were the toughest and then you got used to it. But by then you were down 15 points so you were always struggling to get back into the game.”

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Sprint Halftime Report

Johnson, Barkley, O’Neal and Smith

Barkley on Denver Nuggets forward Kenneth Faried: “This kid plays on straight energy. Nobody in the world wants to play the Denver Nuggets in the playoffs. They’re going to be a tough out.”

O’Neal on Denver Nuggets forward Kenneth Faried: “He’s a bona fide superstar.”

Smith on the Denver Nuggets and why they may prosper in the playoffs: “They are better than Chicago…they can get easy baskets in the playoffs.”

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Miller on the size of the Denver Nuggets: “This is a big team if you take away Ty Lawson…6’8” is your shooting  guard in [Andre] Iguodala and 6’10” is your small forward in [Danilo] Gallinari.”

Miller on Denver Nuggets forward Kenneth Faried: “This kid has a non-stop motor.”

Miller on whether the Denver Nuggets can make a deep run in the playoffs: “They’re deep. They’re long. They’re athletic and well-coached. The key is going to be that first-round match-up for Denver. They’ve got to win that first-round match-up to gain their confidence.”

TNT’s Marty Snider interviewed Denver Nuggets forward Kenneth Faried after the game:

Faried: “Nobody really knows us as well as some of the other elite teams. We’re getting out there and we tried to make a statement tonight.”

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Inside the NBA presented by Hyundai

Johnson, Barkley, O’Neal and Smith

Smith on the Nuggets: “They defend and they are the best team in the league at turning defense and turnovers into [offensive] baskets.”

Barkley on the Nuggets: “They might be the deepest team in the league top-to-bottom.”

Smith on the Nuggets: “When they are at their best, they are better than anybody. But how do they get to their best every night? That’s the hard part.”

Smith on the Nuggets’ fast break: “They are more impressive to me on the fast break than the Clippers.”

O’Neal on Chicago’s Derrick Rose returning from injury: “He’s going to give them an extra lift. They’ve been playing pretty good without him. They’re going to be dangerous in the postseason.”

Smith on the BBVA Rising Stars Challenge: Team Shaq vs. Team Chuck: “[Team Shaq] is better than [Team Chuck]. He has multiple players who will be perennial All-Stars. He has the guy [Kyrie Irving] who actually made the All-Star team.”


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