NBA On TNT Playoff Notes: ‘They’re too young, they’re going to fold.’ (Barkley chat with Ernie about gambling video added)
Ice Man? Is that you?
TNT’s Craig Sager interviewed Spurs guard Manu Ginobili before Game #7
Ginobili on if the Spurs can win without a big game from center Tim Duncan: “Yes, I think we can (win without Duncan). He’s a very smart player and every time he is going to get blitzed defensively, he’s going to kick it (out). I think we’ve got good enough shooters to step up. I think we haven’t been making those shots in (New Orleans). If we add that part of the game (and play) solid, steady defense for four quarters…not just three, we have a chance (to win).”
Barkley on the difference between the Spurs and the Hornets: “(Spurs head) Coach (Gregg) Popovich is unbelievable because he made a (defensive) switch. That’s why Morris Peterson and Peja (Stojakovic) can’t get off because (the Spurs) are going to let Chris (Paul) get his (shots) and David West get his (shots). Unless (the Hornets) get the tempo sped up, that helps Tyson Chandler and the other guys. San Antonio can win an ugly game, New Orleans can’t. They’ve got to run-and-gun to get those other guys involved.”
Barkley on the New Orleans Hornets surprising season: “(The Hornets) might not win tonight but we’ve been saying for four months that New Orleans is going to fold. When they had the best record in the West (Conference) at the All-Star Break we said, ‘They’re too young, they’re going to fold.’ Then with a week to go (in the season) they still had the best record in the West. Then we said, ‘Well, the Dallas Mavericks are definitely going to beat the New Orleans Hornets.’ And (the Hornets) beat them 4-1 (in the first round of the playoffs). Now, we’re in game seven against the defending champs. I think the one guy we’re not giving credit to is (Hornets head coach) Byron Scott. There’s not a single person in the NBA this year who said, ‘The New Orleans Hornets would have the second best record in the West and they are going to take the champs to seven games.'”
Webber on the Hornets needing to take advantage of a game seven at home: “I hope (the Hornets) take advantage of (Game #7). I’ve been in this position before, playing a game seven at home. You think this time is your time, you think next year is your time and you think you have potential in the great NBA. If you don’t take advantage of tonight, you may never see it again.”
Smith: “One injury away from being back in the lottery (draft). So you better take advantage of it.”
TNT aired a ‘Inside Trax’ segment featuring the pre-game talk of New Orleans Hornets head coach Byron Scott
Scott: “I’ve been so blessed, I’ve been to seven game seven situations as a player and this is my second elimination game as a coach. You have to play this game as if it is the last game, there is no tomorrow. There’s no waiting around.”
Smith on the difference between a game seven and an elimination game: “There’s a difference between an elimination game and a game seven. I’ve been in a lot of elimination games where we were facing elimination but the other team wasn’t. So they don’t have the same urgency that you have. But now (in game seven) the urgency is on both teams. So now possessions mean more, every basket means a little bit more for both teams. So a game seven does have a different reflection because one team usually doesn’t have the same urgency as the other.”
**** **** **** ****
San Antonio Spurs (91) @ New Orleans Hornets (82) – San Antonio won the series 4-3.
Announcers Marv Albert and Reggie Miller with Craig Sager reporting
Miller on Hornets guard Chris Paul making smart decisions: “It’s the decisions that Chris Paul has made throughout his young career, that’s the reason why these Hornets are one of the toughest teams to play, especially at home.”
Miller on Spurs center Tim Duncan being more aggressive in Game #7: “This is the most I’ve seen Tim Duncan be aggressive against the double teams all series. I understand he was a little under the weather in Games #1 and #2, but he is not settling waiting for the double team to come.”
Miller on New Orleans head coach Byron Scott not resting Chris Paul at the start of the second quarter: “I equate this to Major League Baseball when a starting pitcher goes to the bullpen and they’re available at any point during the game. Chris Paul is going to be available at any point in this game.”
Miller on Hornets guard Jannero Pargo: “Speaking with Byron Scott he said that (Jannero) Pargo is the guy that has to be the energizer, that one X factor for the Hornets. He’s really struggled in this series, he’s got to come back to life like he did against Dallas.”
Craig Sager interviewed Spurs guard Manu Ginobili at halftime.
Ginobili on missing early shots: “I just kept my confidence up, didn’t worry about the missed shots at the beginning and Tim (Duncan) has been unbelievable kicking it out and making us take the open shots.”
Johnson, Barkley, Smith and Webber
Barkley on Hornets role players needing to step up: “I picked the Hornets to win, but the pace is way too slow. San Antonio has done a great job and New Orleans has not found that third guy. (David) West is going to get his, (Chris Paul) is going to get his and unless somebody on that team steps up they are not going to win. Plain and simple.”
Webber on the pace of the game: “Just the momentum and the flow of the game right now (at halftime), it isn’t going well for the Hornets. San Antonio is using their composure to make sure they get the right shots at the right time so you see them getting shots off the glass. What I thought was especially big was in the second quarter when Tim Duncan wasn’t in the game and a lot of the scorers weren’t in the game and San Antonio sustained the lead.”
Barkley on the Hornets home crowd: “The crowd has got to get into the game, this is a nervous crowd… This crowd is nervous, they don’t think (the Hornets) are going to win. They need to find a way to get the crowd involved, that’s the beauty (of home court advantage)…Home court really means something, especially in a Game #7. If they’re going to be scared it’s not helping the Hornets at all.”
Miller on Hornets guard Jannero Pargo coming alive late in the fourth quarter: “He’s starting to show life here a little bit late (in the game). He’s done a good job of not settling for those quick wild shots and doing a good job of penetrating and getting into the teeth of the defense.”
Miller on the performance of the San Antonio bench in Game 7: “I’m impressed by the bench of the San Antonio Spurs. Both benches really have been nonexistent in this playoff series but in Game #7 (Ime) Udoka, (Michael) Finley and Robert Horry (are) coming up huge for Gregg Popovich.”
Miller on Hornets guard Chris Paul: “When you look at (Chris Paul’s) numbers (in tonight’s game) it’s a near triple double, but how about Chris Paul being one of the new faces of the league? What he has done this year, second in MVP voting behind Kobe Bryant, really willing this team and bringing this city together all on his shoulders. It’s great what he has done for this franchise.”
TNT’s Craig Sager interviewed Spurs guard Manu Ginobili following the game.
Ginobili on his mentality going into Game #7: “Not any different from than any other game. In Game #6 we had the same responsibilities, so it just happened that I made a lot of shots in the first half and then in the second I didn’t play as good, but we stayed solid and we kept them with 82 points, and that’s great for us. It was great teamwork.”
Ginobili on containing Hornets guard Chris Paul: “The last two games we did a very good job on him. We have to give Tony (Parker) and Bruce (Bowen) a lot of credit, they did an unbelievable job, he’s a heck of a player. He’s very smart and good finishing at the paint, so it was a tough job, but they did unbelievable work the last two games.”
**** **** **** ****
Inside the NBA presented by Hyundai
Ernie Johnson, Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith and Chris Webber
San Antonio Spurs guard Tony Parker joined the show via satellite.
Parker on how the addition of Pau Gasol to the Lakers affects the Spurs: “It makes it a whole lot different because now they got a presence inside and they are playing very good basketball. Kobe (Bryant) is playing unbelievable so it’s going to be a very tough task. It’s a quick turnaround for us, with my old team it’s going to be tough, but we’ll see.”
Parker on whether or not the team confidence wavered during the series: “Not at all, not at all. We always thought we were playing well, we just played horrible third quarters. So we always thought we had a chance if we could just play for 48 minutes and that was the whole key against (New Orleans), play them for 48 minutes.”
Smith on which area the Spurs will have an advantage over the Lakers: “(The Spurs will have an advantage over the Lakers in the) point guard (position). It’s going to be difficult for Derek Fisher and (Jordan) Farmar to keep Tony Parker out of the paint. They are different kinds of guards, they are better defenders off of jump shooter guards…but guys who penetrate like Parker he has a clear advantage.”
Barkley on point guards Derek Fisher and Tony Parker: “Derek Fisher is underrated, he’s like the brains of the whole operation. I don’t think Tony Parker is going to get near as many layups against (Lamar) Odom and (Pau) Gasol as he did against New Orleans because they are a small team.”
Webber on LA Lakers guard Derek Fisher: “I think Derek Fisher is the reason that (the Lakers) were in first place before they got (Pau) Gasol. A lot of people are saying ‘Gasol, Gasol, Gasol,’ but Fisher was the point guard on the (LA) championship team that was killing everybody in the West before. I think him being in there, keeping everybody calm, playing defense, hitting those open threes, I won’t say that they have an advantage but I think those two are going to play head-to-head.”
Barkley on the potential of this season’s Lakers team: “I think this Lakers team could potentially win a lot of (NBA) Championships in the next few years.”
Webber: “I agree with that, they could win a championship in the next three or four years in a row.”
Smith: “From top-to-bottom, this is the most talented Lakers team.”
Webber on what led to Hornets forward Peja Stojakovic be ineffective in the last two games of the series: “I would say the point guard (didn’t help Peja Stojakovic be more effective), but you can’t blame anything on Chris Paul. Peja has to take it on himself to be more aggressive. But he’s used to playing with a point guard like (Mike) Bibby and the Chris Paul who force feeds you and you can’t get your shot one-on-one. He needs to be more aggressive because he’s hard to check and I don’t think he was able to get himself in the rhythm.”
Smith on Detroit center Rasheed Wallace: (Rasheed Wallace) can do everything Kevin Garnett can do, he just can’t do it as consistently. He can do more thing that Kevin can’t, that’s step outside for three (points). But for seven games, he possibly can be just as good or even better as a guy who’s a (future) NBA Hall of Famer.”
For a full replay of Inside the NBA log onto TNT OverTime on NBA.com or check out the “Daily Top 5 of Inside“
TNT Opens Chapter with Yellowbook for Multiplatform Promotion During Network’s Exclusive NBA Western Conference Finals Coverage
TNT OverTime on NBA.com to host live, interactive coverage with Fans Choice Cameras
Turner Network Television (TNT) announced today it will partner with Yellowbook, the leading independent publisher of print and online yellow pages nationwide, for a unique multiplatform promotion during TNT’s online and exclusive on-air coverage of the NBA Western Conference Finals. The promotion, Yellowbook’s Future Faces, will include a series of features on TNT and the network’s broadband channel TNT OverTime on NBA.com that will highlight the young, up and coming stars of the NBA such as Lakers players Ronny Turiaf and Jordan Farmar, Hornets forward Julian Wright and Celtics guard Rajon Rondo.
In addition, Yellowbook will sponsor TNT OverTime All-Access on NBA.com, the new online video player that will provide four live streams, including the Fans Choice Cameras, from inside the arena throughout each game of the series to complement the network’s television coverage.
“Our partnership with Yellowbook illustrates the expansive multiplatform experience that Turner Sports can offer, combining our cutting edge technology with our outstanding televised coverage to deliver unprecedented access,” said Trish Frohman, executive vice president, ad sales and local ad sales, Turner Sports. “The true winners in this partnership are the fans that have multiple ways to consume the Western Conference Finals during one of the most exciting NBA Playoffs in the league’s history.”
TNT OverTime All-Access tips off its live coverage with Game #1 of the Western Conference Finals on Wed., May 21. The live feeds feature Fans Choice Cameras which provides an interactive viewing experience by allowing fans to vote online for which player from each team they want to watch for the entire quarter. The two Fans Choice Cameras will follow the players whether they are on the court, in the huddle or on the bench. The other live camera feeds available throughout the series include:
- Mosaic View– offers a simultaneous look at the camera angles and the live, online show all at once.
- Robo Camera– a feed from one of the TNT cameras positioned within the arena.
- Fans Choice Cameras– two cameras devoted to a player from each team during an entire quarter, as voted on by the fans online.
TNT OverTime on NBA.com’s coverage of the first two rounds has seen a significant 22% increase in video streams over the first three weeks last year, due in part to the popular on-demand features of the Top 5 of Inside, EJ’s Office, Reggie’s Mailbag, Running the Point with Michael Bivins, NBA Life and replays of TNT’s Emmy® award-winning studio show, Inside the NBA.
In addition to Yellowbook’s Future Faces and the video player, TNT will run a full court press of Western Conference Finals coverage on TNT OverTime on NBA.com with online correspondent Michael Bivins providing an all-access pass to the star-studded action and competitive series with celebrity and player interviews and special behind-the-scenes features from San Antonio and Los Angeles in his Running the Point with Michael Bivins segments. In addition, new TNT and NBA TV analyst Chris Webber will provide a regular online contribution of The Webb Report, providing analysis and breaking down the Conference Finals match-ups.
TNT’s Exclusive Western Conference Finals coverage takes center court on Wed., May 21 at 9 p.m. ET with the San Antonio Spurs @ Los Angeles Lakers; the game will be called by play-by-play announcer Marv Albert and analyst Doug Collins with Craig Sager reporting from the sidelines. Games will follow on Fri., May 23 (Game #2); Sun., May 25 (Game #3); Tues., May 27 (Game #4); Thurs., May 29 (Game #5); Sat., May 31 (Game #6); and Mon., June 2 (Game #7).
With the San Antonio Spurs 91-82 victory over the New Orleans Hornets in Game #7 of a Western Conference Semifinal last night TNT completed its second round NBA Playoffs coverage, posting double digits increases in ratings, households, viewers and all key demos to date. TNT’s exclusive coverage of the 2008 NBA Western Conference Finals between the defending NBA Champion Spurs and top seeded Los Angeles Lakers tips off tomorrow night with Game #1 at the Staples Center at 9 pm.
- For TNT’s Round #2 coverage (14 games) the network averaged a 2.5 US HH rating, up 18% over last year’s second round action on the network (13 games). TNT also has seen 18% growth in homes (3,263 vs. 2,769) and +17% growth in Total Viewers (4,249 vs. 3,639) for its second round coverage.
- TNT has also scored over 20% growth in all major demo categories including A18-34 (+35%, 1,364 vs. 1,012), A18-49 (+27%, 2,488 vs. 1,956), A25-54 (+27%, 2,259 vs. 1,775), M18-34 (+39%,1,020 vs. 734), M18-49 (+26%, 1,795 vs. 1,420) and M25-54 (+24%, 1,605 vs. 1,295).
- Overall through the first two rounds (36 games) the 2008 NBA Playoffs on TNT have averaged a 2.4 US HH rating, up 14% from a year ago (37 games). TNT has also seen a 16% increase in Homes (2,698 vs. 2,334) and a 15% rise in Total Viewers (3,459 vs. 3,019). TNT also scored 20% growth in all key demos to date including A18-34 (26%, 1,134 vs. 897), A18-49 (23%, 2,071 vs. 1,677), A25-54 (+25%, 1,875 vs. 1,499), M18-34 (+32%, 862 vs. 653), M18-49 (+24%, 1,509 vs. 1,212) and M25-54 (+23%, 1,333 vs. 1,085).