Notes from TNT’s NBA Coverage – Thursday, February 21, 2013

Nba-on-tntTNT’s NBA coverage continues Thursday, Feb. 28, at 8 p.m. ET with a doubleheader featuring the Philadelphia 76ers @ Chicago Bulls

followed by the Minnesota Timberwolves @ Los Angeles Lakers at 10:30 p.m.


(Please click the text below to view)

Kenny Smith believes the Lakers will make the playoffs


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TNT NBA Tip-off presented by

Ernie Johnson, Charles Barkley and Kenny Smith

Barkley on Dr. Jerry Buss: “He was a really nice man. Everyone knows about his basketball accolades; he was one of the greatest owners in sports.”

Barkley on not being surprised that the Atlanta Hawks didn’t deal Josh Smith at the trade deadline: “You can’t give up a valuable asset [to acquire Smith] when you don’t know if the guy is going to stay with you beyond this year. He’s an unrestricted free agent and a very good player and he wants max money. So why would you give up a lot when you don’t know if you can sign him. I wasn’t surprised that they didn’t trade him.”

Barkley on the Milwaukee Bucks trading for guard J.J. Reddick at the deadline: “I don’t know what Milwaukee is doing. They are just trying to cover the market on guards. They’ve got Monta Ellis and Brandon Jennings…Reddick isn’t better than either one of those guys. I don’t know what they’re trying to do.”

Smith on the Sacramento Kings trading Thomas Robinson, who they drafted fifth overall in the 2012 Draft: “To trade the No. 5 pick, that’s a draft day move more than a three months later move because on draft day, his stock was higher than it is now. I don’t think they got maximum value out of him. If they would’ve traded him on draft day, they would’ve gotten more.”

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Game 1:  Miami Heat (86) @ Chicago Bulls (67)

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

Kerr on the Heat: “Defensively, the Heat aren’t the team they’ve been the past two seasons. Most of that is the style of play has changed under Erik Spoelstra. They are much faster and better offensively. But when they can make a four or five minute spurt on defense, then they are so explosive offensively that they can just run away from you.”

Kerr on Miami’s Chris Andersen: “He fits in with their team with his energy and length. He can provide pick-and-roll defense and causes some havoc on the boards as well.”

Kerr on LeBron James: “He has such a deep understanding of what defenses are trying to do and what he’s capable of doing. He only takes good shots now and is constantly putting pressure on the defense.”

Kerr on Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau fitting perfectly with his team: “Tom Thibodeau is the perfect fit with this Bulls team with defensive minded players like [Luol] Deng and [Joakim] Noah. He has fit in beautifully with this team in terms of creating a defensive identity.”

Kerr on playing against the Heat: “When you play against Miami, you’re so concerned with their speed and quickness…that it forces you into playing a little faster than you’d like.”

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Sprint Halftime Report

Johnson, Barkley and Smith

Barkley on the Bulls and Heat: “These are the two best defensive teams in the NBA. If you make any mental mistakes or lazy passes, it’s going to result in a turnover.”

Barkley on LeBron James: “It’s an honor and a pleasure to watch him every night.”

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Kerr on the Bulls: “They want to grind it out but they can’t win unless they execute offensively. For them to win, they have to execute and then their defense will take its toll.”

Kerr on the challenges of coming into the NBA as a rookie: “One of the things you have to figure out when you come into the league is, ‘when do I shoot and when do I pass?’ Things are moving so quickly when you get to the league. It takes some time to figure out the rhythm and timing of an offensive set.”

Kerr on the Bulls: “This game shows that their margin for error is very slim. The Bulls have to play with intensity in order to execute. They’re not good enough individually to survive games like these. They have to execute on both ends of the court in order to just tread water until Derrick Rose comes back.”

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Game 2:  San Antonio Spurs (116) @ Los Angeles Clippers (90)

Announcers: Kevin Harlan (play-by-play), Reggie Miller and Chris Webber (analysts) with Rachel Nichols (reporter)

Webber on Spurs veteran Tim Duncan: “Tim Duncan is playing some of his best basketball in years. He’s very efficient inside and he’s found that fountain of youth. He’s able to take his time and control the whole pace of the game from the post.”

Webber on Clippers forward Lamar Odom: “He’s a matchup nightmare especially in the playoffs. Lamar can play point guard and facilitate or he can facilitate out of the post. He needs to get his wind back and his confidence. They are definitely going to need him in the playoffs to be another facilitator along with Chris Paul and Chauncey Billups.”

Miller on Spurs point guard Tony Parker being considered for MVP: “LeBron James will probably win his fourth MVP…but there has to be a lot of consideration for Tony Parker.”

Miller on Clippers point guard Chris Paul: “Whatever team Chris Paul is playing on…you always know you’re going to be in the hunt.”

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Sprint Halftime Report

Johnson, Barkley and Smith

Barkley on the MVP race: “Tony Parker should be the MVP…he’s unbelievable.”

Barkley on the Spurs bench: “Their role players do their job better than anybody else.”

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Miller on the Chris Paul vs. Tony Parker point guard match-up: “Chris Paul is the best leader in the NBA but Tony Parker is the best point guard.”

Miller on the Clippers and Blake Griffin’s limitations: “I’m worried about the Clippers. They need an inside presence and they’re going to throw the ball to Blake Griffin. I love his athleticism and I love what he can do in the open court but he’s limited offensively.

Miller on the Spurs: “The one thing I worry about [with the Spurs] is the health factor. If their big three [Duncan, Ginobili and Parker] are healthy, this is one of the teams to beat.”

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Inside the NBA presented by Hyundai

Johnson, Barkley and Smith

Barkley on how he sees the Western Conference shaking out: “It’s going to come down to San Antonio, Oklahoma City and the Memphis Grizzlies. They are three legitimate teams in the West and it depends on the matchups [to decide] who will win.”

Barkley on the potential showdown in The Finals: “The Miami Heat would rather play Oklahoma City than the Spurs or Grizzlies. Those are bad match-ups for them because [the Spurs or Grizzlies] will pound them down low and inside.”

Smith on the San Antonio Spurs prospect of winning the Western Conference: “They are the No. 1 seed going all the way. It’s San Antonio and Oklahoma City and then a boat with about four other teams. And Denver is in that boat.”

Barkley on the Denver Nuggets chance to win the Western Conference: “Denver is the fourth best team in the West. They can beat one of those teams [Spurs or Thunder] but I don’t think they can beat both of those teams.”

NBA TV Insider David Aldridge on the Utah Jazz and their lack of activity before the trade deadline: “I’m stunned that Utah didn’t do anything. With all of these free agents they have and all the potential they had to make moves and bring in guys with longer existing contracts, I thought they would move one of those guys.”

Barkley on who could defeat the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference: “The Bulls and Pacers are the clear and present danger [to beat the Miami Heat].”

Smith changes his mind on whether or not the Lakers will make the playoffs this year: “The Lakers will make the playoffs after today and the rallying cry around Dr. Buss [at the memorial service for the Lakers’ owner]. When you see Kareem, and you see Shaq and Phil Jackson, and all of the great Lakers players of past, present and future, it has to make you want to do something different.”

Barkley on the Lakers prospect of making the playoffs: “The Lakers are old and they are not going to make the playoffs. If by happenstance they do make the playoffs, they’re going to get beat like a drum in the first round.”

Barkley on the New York Knicks forward Tyson Chandler: “Tyson Chandler is probably the most underrated player in the league.”

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