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

Nba-on-tntNotes from TNT’s NBA Coverage – Thursday, November 7, 2013

TNT’s NBA coverage continues Thursday, November 14, at 8 p.m. ET with doubleheader action featuring the Houston Rockets @ New York Knicks followed by the Oklahoma City Thunder @ Golden State Warriors at 10:30 p.m.

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

Barkley on the Clippers’ lack of toughness: “The Clippers are softer than tissue paper. They’ve got the toughness of a flea and the toughest guy on their team is 5’7” [Chris Paul]. They are soft and they’re only going to go as far as Blake [Griffin] and DeAndre [Jordan] take them.”

O’Neal on the Clippers adjusting to new head coach Doc Rivers’ defensive schemes: “If you look at Doc’s championship teams in Boston, he didn’t have a defensive stopper but they played great team defense. It’s going to take some time to learn all of Doc’s concepts but they’ll get it. They want to win, they want to do well and they want to be the best team in L.A.”

Barkley on the Pacers: “I think Indiana has a better team [than Miami] but there are two things I worry about. They turn the ball over and that won’t show until they’re under the gun [in the playoffs]. Also, Lance Stephenson is so talented but he does some crazy stuff sometimes. He’s got superior talent…but he has to keep maturing.”

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Los Angeles Clippers (97) at Miami Heat (102)
Kevin Harlan (play-by-play), Greg Anthony and Reggie Miller (analysts) with Rachel Nichols (reporter)

Anthony on LeBron James: “He allows the game to come to him. He’s never been a guy that imposes his will on the game. He’s always focused on getting his teammates involved and giving them confidence so late in the game, they’ll be able to make plays.”

Miller on two keys to playing the Heat: “There are two things you have to do against Miami…you have to beat them up inside and you’ve got to get out in transition before they can set up their defense.”

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

Smith on the Clippers: “[They’re a] great regular season team…the things that they do really well, they can do in the regular season. But the things that they need to do in the playoffs, they’re sparse.”

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Anthony on the Clippers’ team defense: “It’s going to be a season-long process for them to figure things out. They still haven’t developed any type of defensive identity. They don’t seem to be in the right spots all the time.”

Miller on Clippers guard Jamal Crawford: “You know what you’re going to get offensively from Jamal Crawford but he has to do a better job defensively.”

Anthony on Clippers’ J.J. Redick: “He’s a solid player but, defensively, he’s going to be at a disadvantage. This is when you miss [injured] Matt Barnes and having that versatile swing-defender that you can have for stretches of the game.”

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Los Angeles Lakers (99) at Houston Rockets (98)
Marv Albert (play-by-play) and Steve Kerr (analyst) with Craig Sager (reporter)

Kerr on the Rockets when they play Dwight Howard and Omar Asik at the same time: “When [Asik and Howard] are on the floor together, the Rockets are excellent defensively and they dominate the glass. They are a terrific rebounding team.”

Kerr on Howard leaving the Lakers for the Rockets during the off-season: “Dwight Howard made the right move coming [to Houston]. This is a franchise with younger talent and more talent [than the Lakers]. He’s playing with a top-15 NBA player in James Harden. If you look at the Lakers’ future, who knows what it holds.”

Kerr on how Howard leaving the Lakers is beneficial to L.A.: “In the long run, it’s going to be best for the Lakers. I don’t think they were going to be able to build a championship team with Howard and his huge contract.”

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

Barkley on the Clippers: “The Clippers can’t win a championship. I know that already, after five games. They don’t have a half-court game. Miami took the ball out of Chris Paul’s hands and [the Clippers] had no idea how to get a basket.”

Barkley on the Rockets deficiencies: “Houston needs a point guard. They play way too slow and they’ve got a horrible half-court offense…their big guys don’t know how to post-up. Dwight Howard still doesn’t know how to post-up. He just holds his hand up and says, ‘Throw me the ball.’ He doesn’t use any leg action.”

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Kerr on Dwight Howard’s lack of an inside game: “Howard has never been that guy on the block who is going to create one-on-one mismatches and score with an array of moves. He’s worked with [head coach Kevin] McHale and Hakeem [Olajuwon], but that work has not paid off yet. He’s still a work in progress but he’s a long way into his career.”

Kerr on Rockets guard James Harden: “For Harden to truly make the leap to a championship player…we already know he’s going to be an All-Star for the next six to eight years…his defense has to get better.”

Kerr on the Lakers: “The only way the Lakers are going to be any good, is if Kobe [Bryant] comes back at a high level and is able to take over games late.”

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

Barkley on the Lakers’ and Rockets’ lack of guard depth: “If I’m a guard, I’m calling these two teams [Lakers and Rockets]…they need guards.”

Smith on Howard’s lack of aggressiveness: “He’s too talented to be average…he’s allowing himself to be average by not demanding the ball.”

O’Neal on Howard: “This is [Howard’s] 10th year in the league and I don’t know what kind of player he is…if Houston wants to have a chance [to win], he has to dominate. The way he’s playing now? They don’t have a shot.”

Barkley on Danny Granger’s impact on the Pacers once he returns from injury: “Danny Granger has a chance to make or break [the Pacers]. If he comes back trying to be an All-Star again, or if he doesn’t want to fit in, that could rock the boat.”

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