Notes from TNT’s NBA Coverage – Thursday, February 14, 2013

Nba-on-tntNotes from TNT’s NBA Coverage – Thursday, February 14, 2013

TNT’s coverage continues from Houston with NBA All-Star 2013 including the

NBA Rising Stars Challenge, Feb. 15, at 9 p.m. ET; State Farm All-Star Saturday Night, Feb. 16, at 8 p.m. and the 2013 NBA All-Star Game presented by Kia Motors, Feb. 17, at 7 p.m.

***CLIP OF THE NIGHT***

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Inside the NBA debates: Kobe vs. LeBron

 

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TNT NBA Tip-off presented by AutoTrader.com

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

Barkley on Miami Heat superstar LeBron James: “Nobody can guard him out on the perimeter; now he’s going to the basket. He’s in full bloom. I always tell people when you’re between 25 and 32 is when you’re at your peak – when your mental and physical come together.”

Smith on whether Miami Heat superstar LeBron James can get better: “Defensively is where he can probably improve the most. He dominates the game, obviously, offensively; defensively not as much. We’ve never seen an athlete that has the same skill set at his size in the NBA.”

O’Neal on Miami Heat superstar LeBron James: “I like the fact he’s very unselfish.”

Barkley on the key to OKC’s potential success this season: “You’re not going to beat the Miami Heat with perimeter play. Serge Ibaka is the guy that’s got to learn to dominate.”

O’Neal on the importance of last night’s game to Oklahoma City: “It’s vital for their mindset. If they don’t get this game they’re going to be down.”

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Game 1:  Miami Heat (110) @ Oklahoma City Thunder (100)

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

Kerr on Miami’s ‘Big 3’ – LeBron James, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade: “All three of them have been on their games as of late. That’s why they’re playing at such a high level.”

Kerr on the magnitude of last night’s game: “This is a bigger game for Oklahoma City than it is for Miami.”

Miller on the magnitude of the game: “The Heat are the champions and they’ve proven they can beat this team [OKC]. Until [OKC head coach] Scott Brooks and this OKC team find a way to defend LeBron James…they’re going to have problems.”

Kerr on Miami’s defensive prowess: “When Miami’s defense is active like they are tonight, they’re basically unbeatable.”

Kerr on the OKC fans: “They’re angry and frustrated because they’ve lost to the Miami Heat five straight times.”

Kerr on the improvement in LeBron James’ game: “The biggest area of improvement for LeBron in the last couple of years is…mostly his shot selection.”

Kerr on how to beat the Miami Heat: “The blueprint on how to beat Miami was written by Dallas a year and a half ago.”

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Sprint Halftime Report

Johnson, Barkley, O’Neal and Smith

O’Neal on OKC’s problem in the first half: “The difference in these teams is execution. You cannot play one-on-one against Miami and you cannot turn the ball over against the Miami Heat.”

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Kerr on Miami’s first half of play and holding OKC to its worst half of play this season: “It was a spectacular half for Miami. Their defense really stifled Oklahoma City that first half.”

Miller on Miami’s recent dominance of the Thunder: “There is no way the Thunder can compete with this team [Miami]. They’re trying to serve notice.”

Miller on OKC’s lack of offensive prowess: “Until they [OKC] get a low-post threat…that, to me, is the only way they’re going to be effective against the Heat.”

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Game 2:  L.A. Clippers (125) @ L.A. Lakers (101)

Announcers: Kevin Harlan (play-by-play), Mike Fratello (analyst) and Tracy Wolfson (reporter)

Fratello on the importance of last night’s game for both L.A. teams: “This is a very big game for both teams. There’s a lot going on with these two teams – one trying to win a division [Clippers], the other trying to make their way back into the playoffs [Lakers]. And, there’s bragging rights in the city as well.”

Fratello on the depth of the Clippers this season: “It would be tough to find a team than can be deeper than this Clippers team. This is a special team.”

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Sprint Halftime Report

Johnson, Barkley, O’Neal and Smith

Smith on the Lakers first half of play: “The low-post presence of the Lakers was not there.”

Barkley on the fast start of Clippers forward Blake Griffin: “He has to have an imprint on the game. He has to dominate his man every night. That’s what makes stars, stars.”

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Fratello on Lakers forward Dwight Howard: “This has not been the same Dwight Howard that we saw at Orlando all those years.”

Fratello on what Clippers head coach Vinny Del Negro would like to see from his team: “He would like to see a solid month of his team being able to play together and get an idea of who they are and just how good they can be…going into the playoffs.”

Fratello on the job of Clippers head coach Vinny Del Negro this season: “Vinny Del Negro, coming in here in his own unassuming way, has done an excellent job.”

TNT’s Tracy Wolfson interviewed Clippers guard Chris Paul after the game; Paul on what the Clippers mindset was entering the game: “We just wanted to close it out [before the All-Star break]. This was a great team win.”

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Inside the NBA presented by Hyundai

Johnson, Barkley, O’Neal and Smith

O’Neal on the Clippers: “I never thought I’d see the day when the Clippers would toy with the Lakers.”

Barkley on LeBron James vs. Kobe Bryant: “This guy – LeBron James – he’s doing stuff that I’ve never seen. He’s on another planet.”

O’Neal on LeBron James vs. Kobe Bryant: “Kobe has five championships. Until he [LeBron] gets six…it’s very unfair to put him past Kobe.”

Barkley on the message the Miami Heat sent last night: “They [Miami] sent a message – ‘We are the champs and, if we play you again, we’re going to beat you again.’”

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