Notes from TNT’s NBA Playoff Coverage – Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Nba-on-tntNotes from TNT’s NBA Playoff Coverage – Wednesday, May 15, 2013

TNT’s coverage of the 2013 NBA Playoffs continues Thursday, May 16, with a special one-hour edition of TNT NBA Tip-off presented by at 7 p.m. ET

followed by the Indiana Pacers vs. New York Knicks (Game 5) at 8 p.m.


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Inside Team Reviews Grizzlies vs. Thunder Series

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Game 1: Chicago Bulls (91) @ Miami Heat (94) – Heat win series 4-1 and advance to the Eastern Conference Finals

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

Kerr on the Heat’s performance in Game 5: “This is the best Miami has looked offensively in this series. The ball [and] the players [are] moving with a lot of pace and rhythm.”

Kerr on the Miami Heat: “Miami has gotten so much better since the ‘Big Three’ came together [with] the recognition of where their teammates are going to be, their ball movement [and] their spacing. It was painful to watch when they first came together. Now you look at this team [and] they are totally in sync with one another.”

Kerr on Heat guard Dwyane Wade dealing with injuries: “I don’t think it’s about rest and trying to heal the knee. It’s about trying to recapture his rhythm, confidence and timing. It’s more important that he plays than rests.”

Kerr on Chicago’s ability to play Miami so well: “There is a reason Chicago has played Miami so well. The Bulls defend so well. [Miami] has a difficult time getting to the rim, getting easy points and getting to the foul line. Chicago has been able to really battle Miami and keep them away from a lot of the things they like.”

Kerr on Miami’s need to get guard Dwyane Wade going as they move forward: “They’ve got to get Wade going. Miami is going to need a turnaround from Wade as they go forward if they are going to win the NBA title.”

Kerr on Bulls guard Nate Robinson: “He’s always got that fighting spirit [and] underdog mentality. [Robinson] has converted [that] into energy tonight.”

NBA on TNT interviewed Bulls center Joakim Noah prior to Game 5:

Noah on his distaste for the Miami Heat: “I love playing in hostile environments. I love Miami. I love the city. I just don’t like the Heat. I really don’t like the Heat, but I love the city of Miami.”

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Sprint Halftime Report

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

Barkley on the Miami Heat: “They came out with great energy but they’re not into the game. You have to kill [the Bulls]. They’re not going to die. [The Heat] tried to jump on the Bulls quick, and then they let their guard down. That’s the difference in the game.”

Barkley on Heat forward LeBron James’ need to consistently play at a high level: “As great as Miami is, LeBron James has to play at such a high level. He has to score most of their baskets, he has to get all of their rebounds and he is their best assist guy. If he doesn’t play spectacular they’re going to struggle, plain and simple.”

O’Neal on the Bulls play in the face of elimination: “When facing elimination there are two things you can do – quit or come out and play loose. Right now, [Bulls forward] Carlos Boozer is playing loose and putting it all on the line. The Miami Heat are playing lackadaisical. Chicago is not going to quit. No one on the team is going to quit…ever.”

Smith on the Chicago Bulls: “I’m going to live my life like the Chicago Bulls now. I’m going to stay in character, always stay the course and I’m not going to panic. If you live your life like the Chicago Bulls, you’ve got a great life. Win, lose or draw.”

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Kerr on flagrant fouls in the playoffs: “Committing a hard foul while trying to avoid an easy basket has now become an art form. It’s so difficult to avoid the flagrant. You have to foul hard and you have to try to stop the play that’s unfolding but if you make the slightest misstep, you’re going to get called for a flagrant.”

TNT reporter Craig Sager interviewed Heat guard Dwyane Wade following the game

Wade on playing through pain: “Everybody has to play through something. Some moments it feels great and some moments it doesn’t. It’s all about doing whatever you can for your team. I’m a team guy and that’s what I did tonight.”

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Game 2: Memphis Grizzlies (88) @ Oklahoma City Thunder (84) – Grizzlies win series 4-1 and advance to the Western Conference Finals

Announcers: Matt Devlin (play-by-play) and Mike Fratello (analyst) with Marty Snider (reporter)

Fratello on Grizzlies point guard Mike Conley: “He is sneaky-fast. He can change direction and turn the corner, he can stay with the ball with either hand or turn it straight on. He’s got the great ability to finish with both hands…his game has gone up each year that he’s been in the NBA. He’s developed into a much more confident offensive player.”

Fratello on Thunder forward Kevin Durant’s ability to make difficult shots: “Who makes more difficult shots than [Durant]? He comes down and elevates over the top of defenders that are right there and still has the ability to knock them down.”

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Sprint Halftime Report

Johnson, Barkley, O’Neal and Smith

Barkley on Thunder head coach Scott Brooks plans for Game 5: “Scott Brooks has the worst game plan by going to Kevin Durant every single time with three guys hanging on him. It’s a horrible game plan.”

Barkley on the Grizzlies: “Not only are they going to win their series tonight, they’re going to The Finals.”

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Fratello on what the addition of veteran forward Tayshaun Prince has meant to the Grizzlies: “Prince coming in doesn’t command as many shot attempts. He’s a defensive guy who understands his role. He’s been on a championship team before so coming in, he understood that [Memphis] is built around the two big guys [Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol]…if he does what he’s comfortable doing and fills his role, this team can go far.”

Fratello on Grizzlies guard Tony Allen’s defense: “You always have to fight against Tony Allen. No easy shots.”

TNT’s Marty Snider interviewed Grizzlies guard Mike Conley following the game

Conley on the Grizzlies: “All heart…we just kept it going through all the adversity. We’ve gone through the ups and downs. It was just hard work.”

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Inside the NBA presented by Hyundai

Johnson, Barkley, O’Neal and Smith

Barkley on Thunder head coach Scott Brooks’ game plan with Kevin Durant: “Scott Brooks did [Durant] a disservice making him go one-on-five all night.”

Barkley on Kevin Durant: “He was struggling and trying too hard. He’s been under so much stress without [an injured] Russell Westbrook, but they weren’t going to win this series anyway. He’s going to get some blame but he doesn’t deserve it. It’s hard to be a one-man wrecking crew every single night.”

Barkley on the Grizzlies: “They are going to The Finals…they’ve got it all. They’ve got two big guys [Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol]. Mike Conley is the most underrated point guard in the NBA. Tony Allen is a terrific defender. The key is Tayshaun Prince and he has played fantastic. Their front line is going to be tough for anyone to deal with.”

Smith on Houston Rockets guard James Harden: “I don’t know if anyone knew that James Harden is as good as he is because I don’t think he’s ever had that responsibility [to be a team leader] in his life. When he was given that responsibility, he became a great player.”

Barkley on what changes the Bulls need to make in the off-season: “They need another big guy. I like their perimeter game. They’ll obviously get Derrick Rose back. But they need one more big man in order to contend.”


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