Notes from TNT’s NBA Coverage – Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Nba-on-tntNotes from TNT’s NBA Coverage – Tuesday, April 2, 2013

The NBA on TNT continues Thursday, April 4, at 7 p.m. ET with a doubleheader featuring the Chicago Bulls @ Brooklyn Nets

followed by the San Antonio Spurs @ Oklahoma City Thunder at 9:30 p.m.


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The Inside Team Discuss the ‘Race for Eight’ in the Western Conference

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TNT NBA Tip-off presented by

Ernie Johnson (host), Brent Barry and Dennis Scott (analysts)

Barry on the Heat resting their star players: “All the hard work and focus they put into the [winning] streak allows the Miami Heat to be afforded the next couple of weeks to prepare themselves [for the playoffs]; not only mentally but physically they can do that.”

Scott on the Heat having confidence in their bench players: “[Head coach Erik] Spoelstra has put some confidence in his role players. So if there’s an injury or foul trouble, they can put a guy in to knock down shots, share the basketball and play that Miami Heat defense.”

Barry on Knicks point guard Jason Kidd’s influence on teammate J.R. Smith: “Coming off the bench with Jason Kidd is the reason why he’s found his offensive rhythm. Jason has a way of calming [Smith] down and keeping him in check. [Smith has] been fantastic over the past month.”

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Game 1: New York Knicks (102) @ Miami Heat (90)

Kevin Calabro (play-by-play) and Greg Anthony (analyst) with David Aldridge (reporter)

Anthony on Knicks guard J.R. Smith: “I really like this ‘new-and-improved’ J.R. Smith. He’s staying in attack mode and isn’t relying on his jump show. He is such a terrific athlete and has such great ability to get to the rim. It’s nice to see him take advantage of those opportunities.”

Anthony on Knicks point guard Raymond Felton: “Felton tends to be more aggressive when he plays against the Heat. But you want to make sure that you make good decisions on the floor [when being aggressive].”

Anthony on the Heat bench: “A lot of these guys knew what their roles would be. It was defined for them early on [in the season] and that’s not going to be a major issue for them. It allows them to be fresh…plus they are already accomplished players. They aren’t going to be asked to do something that they aren’t comfortable doing. They can still go out and perform at a very high level every night.”

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Sprint Halftime Report

Johnson, Barry and Scott

Barry on how Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony builds confidence in his teammates: “If he gets going early for the Knicks, it’s such a huge confidence builder for the guys coming off the bench.”

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Anthony on Heat reserve Chris Andersen: “It’s not that he comes in [the game] to statistically overwhelm anybody. What he’s done is allowed everyone to go back to a position of comfort. He creates a lot of trust on the court when he’s out there because of what he’s able to do.”

Anthony on Knicks forward Kenyon Martin: “A lot of what he does doesn’t show up on a stat sheet because he gives the Knicks’ frontline a bit of an edge. He creates a lot of tough fouls and he forces you to account for him on the offensive glass.”

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Game 2: Dallas Mavericks (81) @ Los Angeles Lakers (101)

Kevin Harlan (play-by-play), Reggie Miller and Chris Webber (analysts) with Craig Sager (reporter)

Webber on Lakers forward Pau Gasol: “The great thing about Pau is that not only is he a great scorer inside, he’s a great passer. When Nash isn’t out there, they need him to be a facilitator and part of this offense.”

Miller on Lakers guard Kobe Bryant: “Kobe Bryant is all about winning championships. He has the competitive fire of a Michael Jordan, they are so closely resembled [to each other] in terms of winning. If the team is losing and suffering, Kobe is not going to sacrifice his health just for numbers.”


TNT’s Craig Sager interviewed Lakers guard Kobe Bryant prior to the game

Bryant on former teammate Shaquille O’Neal [who had his jersey retired last night]: “He enjoyed having a good time. He was a prankster. When he came to L.A., that’s when he really started feeling the pressure and started to understand what his legacy was going to be. That turned things around for him. It brought a hunger out in him that the people in Orlando probably hadn’t seen. He just became a monster. He would do anything to dominate an opponent. That’s what I enjoyed seeing from him the most.”

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Miller on the Utah Jazz: “A couple of weeks ago, they seemed dead in the water. [Head coach] Tyrone Corbin has found a way to rally his young guys…let’s give them some credit for hanging on and finding their game late [in the season].”

Webber on the importance of every game down the stretch of the season: “Right now is when you have to reset your thought process and remind yourself, ‘What are we playing for?’…in the NBA, with all the competition, you have to play every second almost like it’s your last.”

Miller on the Mavericks: “With their ability to stretch the floor with their three-point shooting, the Mavericks are never really out of it.”

Miller on the Indiana Pacers: “The Indiana Pacers might be the second best team in the league from top to bottom. They are well-coached by Frank Vogel. They are playing at such a high level, they’re winning games on the road and they are getting it done by committee. We are seeing a superstar in the making in Paul George.”

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Inside the NBA presented by Hyundai

Johnson, Barry and Scott

The Inside the NBA team interviewed Lakers forward Dwight Howard following the game

Howard on the Lakers making the playoffs: “I believe 100% we will make the playoffs. I believe in our team. I believe in our system. And I believe if we just play together, go out there and play as hard as we can – we’ll be in the playoffs.”

Howard on the Lakers finding their rhythm at home: “The main thing is we’re getting healthier. We’re just trying to learn how to play with each other. It takes a lot of time for that to happen. We’ve been faced with a lot of injuries this year so it’s been tough to get that chemistry. We’re coming back together now that everyone is healthy and, hopefully, we can continue this run at home.”

Howard on his health: “I still have those days when I’m super soar and I feel it [back pain] when I’m playing, but I just try to play through it.”

Howard on whether or not the game is as fun for him as it used to be: “Coming off this injury, it hasn’t been fun because I haven’t been able to do a lot of the things I’ve been able to do in the past.”

Howard on playing with Kobe Bryant: “His intensity. He’s super intense. He’s going to give you the ‘death stare’ and that stuff. He’s just fun. He’s a fun teammate and we have a lot of fun off the court. But when we step between those lines he’s ready to go.”

Howard on how all of the Lakers injuries have impacted the chemistry of the team this season: “It’s been tough. All year, it seems like every time somebody gets healthy or somebody comes off the injured reserve, somebody else goes down. That’s one thing that could stop a team from being what they want to be. Unfortunately, we’ve been faced with it all year but we’ve stayed strong; we’ve stayed together.”

Barry on Shaquille O’Neal and the Lakers jersey retirement: “Everybody else adjusted to him and the way he played the game. He dominated not only by what he did on the court; he dominated in terms of his personality and larger than life off the court. It was a moment.”

Scott on the ageless Lakers guard Kobe Bryant: “Just when you think Kobe is too old, he’s still showing you he’s got hops not hopes.”

Scott on Dallas Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle keeping his team in the playoff hunt: “Rick Carlisle has done a heckuva job just keeping these guys buying in day-in and day-out and now still trying to believe [the Mavs have a chance to make the playoffs].”

Scott on who will claim the last playoff position in the Western Conference: “I don’t want to bet against Kobe Bryant right now. If he says he’s going to will his team into that eighth spot…[he is] getting it done right now for the Lakers.”

Barry on N.Y. Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony’s 50-point night and 17-point (7-8 FG) first quarter: “He’s the best first quarter scorer we have in the league.”

 Anthony on the healthy play of Knicks forward Tyson Chandler heading into the postseason: “He’s going to be critical because it gives them [Knicks] a lot more versatility. Tyson

Chandler is going to be really important. He and J.R. Smith are going to be counted on heavily if this team wants to make a serious run [in the postseason].”

Scott on Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony: “I was impressed with his patience. He’s getting back to the rhythm that he had in the first two months of the season.”

 Barry on whether or not Chicago Bulls guard Derrick Rose will return for the postseason: “I don’t think we’re going to see Derrick Rose as part of their lineup or roster this season. The future of the franchise is in those legs, on that knee.”

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