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

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

TNT’s NBA coverage continues Tuesday, March 26, at 7 p.m. ET with a doubleheader featuring the New York Knicks @ Boston Celtics

followed by the L.A. Clippers @ Dallas Mavericks at 9:30 p.m.


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TNT NBA Tip-off presented by

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

Barkley on the New York Knicks chances without Carmelo Anthony: “They’re going to get beat like a drum on every game on this road trip. They can’t win without Carmelo Anthony. They’ve got no chance without that kid.”

O’Neal on the New York Knicks in the playoffs: “In order to win a championship, you’ve got to have a team that’s played together for a long time, a team that has a rhythm, a team that knows each other. They’ve had so many different lineups – because of injuries – it’s going to be pretty tough for them to go far in the postseason.”

Smith on Dahntay Jones’ controversial foul on Kobe Bryant: “Dahntay Jones is a tough defender. He’s not that type of player [a dirty player]. He wanted him to miss the shot. [He] makes you uncomfortable.”

Smith on his Archbishop Molloy high school basketball coach Jack Curran who passed away on Thursday: “Mr. Curran was someone who, every big decision I made in my life, I consulted with him about it. For me, it’s a difficult day. There was nothing in the NBA or college that was ever said that I hadn’t heard in high school already.”

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Game 1: Dallas Mavericks (91) @ San Antonio Spurs (92)

Announcers: Ian Eagle (play-by-play), Mike Fratello (analyst) and David Aldridge (reporter)

Fratello on Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard: “[He’s] so quick, [he goes] so hard to the basket.”

Fratello on the Spurs ability to score: “That’s what San Antonio does, pick up those easy, cheap baskets with their ability to move without the basketball and pass the basketball.”

Fratello on Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard’s growth as an offensive player: “He has really grown as far as his offensive game goes. [His] long arms are really effective.”

Fratello on Dallas Mavericks guard O.J. Mayo: “Just in this season, I can see the improvement in O.J. Mayo’s defense.”

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Sprint Halftime Report

Johnson, Barkley, O’Neal and Dennis Scott

Barkley on Spurs forward Tim Duncan: “This guy…he is amazing to watch every single night.”

Scott on whether the Spurs can remain on top of the Western Conference: “When you play the game the right way – you make the extra pass, you find the open man – that’s why I think they can hold onto that spot [first in the Western Conference].”

O’Neal on the Dallas Mavericks’ chances to make the playoffs: “Dallas has no shot at making the playoffs.”

O’Neal on Spurs’ system: “When you have a great system, guys like Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green look like superstars.”

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Fratello on the Spurs offense as the shot clock winds down: “Any time a Spurs player worries about getting a shot up with the shot clock running down they just look for [Manu] Ginobli. They figure some way he’ll make something happen.”

TNT’s David Aldridge interviewed Spurs forward Tim Duncan after San Antonio’s one-point win

Duncan on the win: “We were missing Tony in there to have that attack guy at the rim. We found other ways to attack and we won the game.”

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Game 2: New York Knicks (90) @ Portland Trail Blazers (105)

Announcers: Kevin Harlan (play-by-play), Chris Webber (analyst) and Craig Sager (reporter)

Webber on Trail Blazers rookie guard Damian Lillard: “He is the Rookie of the Year. He plays the game the right way.”

Webber on why Portland fans should be cheering Knicks guard Raymond Felton instead of booing him: “If it wasn’t for him, they [Portland] may not have gotten the Rookie of the Year.”

Webber on J.R. Smith and how the Knicks need to play to win: “When you’re aggressive and you go to the hole, you get other guys involved. This is how the Knicks have to play – attack the basket and find the open man.”

Webber on J.R. Smith: “J.R. Smith is the front runner for Sixth Man of the Year.”

Webber on the Knicks schedule over the next two weeks: “The schedule [Orlando, Toronto, Memphis and Charlotte] may seem conducive for them to win a few games but they must come out and play with this type of effort.”

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Sprint Halftime Report

Johnson, Barkley, O’Neal and Scott

Barkley on Lillard: “This kid came out of nowhere. Nobody had him picked for rookie of the year. He’s a terrific kid.”

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Webber on the Trail Blazers at the start of the second half: “I love this young team.”

Webber on Lillard: “He’s part of a changing culture here. He’s learning how to win. I do not believe there is a position harder to play – as a rookie – than point guard.”

TNT’s Craig Sager interviewed Lillard after the game

Lillard on the Trail Blazers’ comeback win: “We picked up our energy. We picked it up on defense and that allowed us to get back into the game.”

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Inside the NBA presented by Hyundai

Johnson, Barkley, O’Neal and Scott

Scott on J.R. Smith: “J.R. has never met a shot he didn’t like so he is always going to give himself a chance [to score].”

O’Neal on Lillard: “I know America loves LeBron [James] and Kobe [Bryant]…add this kid [Lillard] to your list. He’s a player.”

Barkley on the Miami Heat’s current 20-game win streak: “It’s impressive to win 20 games. I don’t know when the streak is going to end but every game is a Game 7 for them if they have the streak going.”

Barkley on Leonard: “Kawhi Leonard is terrific. We don’t get to pay attention to him that often but he is terrific.”

Barkley on the consistency of the Spurs: “The Spurs are amazing to me. They can win with anybody. What a great job [head coach] Gregg Popovich does down there.”

Scott: “They make everyone play the right way.”

O’Neal on Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich: “If you listen to how Gregg Popovich talks to his troops, he’s just so confident…it’s a beautiful thing to watch. That’s the type of coach that you want to play for. That’s the type of coach that you want to go out there and give everything for.”

Barkley on Popovich coaching an Olympic basketball team: “I love Mike Krzyzewski and he’s done a great job but it’s time for Gregg Popovich to be the Olympic basketball coach. He should be the Olympic basketball coach sooner rather than later.”

Barkley on the Memphis Grizzlies: “Marc Gasol is the best center in the NBA. Zach Randolph is ballin’…and Conley is playing terrific. No one wants to face Memphis in the playoffs.”

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