Notes from TNT’s Coverage of the NBA – Thursday, November 6, 2008

(AP Photo/Reinhold Matay)

TNT’s NBA Thursday Coverage Continues Thursday, November 13 at 8 p.m. ET with a doubleheader featuring the Denver Nuggets @ Cleveland Cavaliers by the Detroit Pistons @ Golden State Warriors.

TNT NBA Tip-off presented by

Ernie Johnson, Kenny Smith and Charles Barkley

Barkley on what the election of Senator Barack Obama means to African Americans: “I am so excited. I am happy for America…America did the right thing. Now comes the hard part. We as black people need to do better. Black on black crime is an epidemic; we have more black men in prison than we do in college. It’s our time to step up. This is our time.”

Smith on what the election of Barack Obama means to him: “It feels like a weight has been lifted off of the undercurrent of ‘you can do anything,’ but can you really? And now that weight feels lifted.”

Barkley on who got the better end of the Detroit/Denver blockbuster trade this week: “The Detroit Pistons (got the better end of the deal in the trade with Denver). Allen Iverson is a terrific player and (Detroit) only has to beat Boston or Cleveland. Also, they got rid of Chauncey Billups, who is a terrific player, but he comes off (Detroit’s) cap.”

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Game #1:  Philadelphia 76ers (88) @ Orlando Magic (98)

Announcers: Kevin Harlan and Doug Collins with Craig Sager reporting

Collins on the Orlando Magic: “I think (the Orlando Magic) are feeling some pressure. This is a team that won 52 games last year, a lot of people are talking about them as going to the Eastern Conference Finals, and where you feel pressure is at home. They lost their season opener to Atlanta and they just need to relax and play basketball.”

Collins on Sixers forward Reggie Evans: “(Reggie Evans) brings (the Sixers) great energy off the bench, gives them toughness. He’s a real pro.”

Collins on Magic forward Hedo Turkoglu: “Hedo Turkoglu plays a lot as a point guard. When he’s playing well he’s almost like their point guard, you can move Jameer Nelson off the ball, that’s why he’s so important to this team.”

TNT’s Craig Sager interviewed 76ers head coach Maurice Cheeks following the first quarter.

Collins on Spurs guard Tony Parker’s 55 points on Wednesday: “How about Tony Parker? Do you think he has ever taken 36 shots (in a game)? I bet he never took 36 shots in a mini game in France when he was 10 years old.”

Collins on Sixers forward Elton Brand: “Elton Brand is not a great low post player. When his game really shot up in LA (with the Clippers) is where he picks and pops. He has that jump shot to about 15 feet and if you come at him he drives it. But I always felt that in the post if you play him with a bigger player he is not a great low post player…He brings a maturity of a guy who’s been around and understands (the game). He brings a lot more than statistics…He is a terrific running big man.”

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Johnson, Smith and Barkley

Kenny Smith announced his NBA cabinet positions:

President: Kobe Bryant: “(Kobe Bryant’s) the best player in the game so he has to be the President. He does it all on the offensive end and the defensive end and, for the first time, he makes his teammates better.”

Vice President: Pau Gasol: If you’re going to be the Vice President, (Pau Gasol) has to be on your team. He has to be unassuming, he doesn’t want the spotlight, he doesn’t want the attention. He can’t be a ‘Hilary Clinton’ so to speak. He has to be someone in the background that helps you win Championships.”

Secretary of Defense: Ron Artest: “We have to have a guy who can guard multiple positions…and at the end (Ron Artest) can give some offense. And you have to be a little crazy to be the Secretary of Defense.”

Department of Labor: Grant Hill & Tracy McGrady: “(Grant Hill and Tracy McGrady) are the guys who have been great for a long time but they haven’t been out of the first round of the playoffs, so they’re laboring in their greatness.”

Department of Treasury: LeBron James: (The head of the Department of Treasury is) LeBron James because you know he is money. He is a guy you can put the bank on and you know you are going to get a return.”

Chamber of Commerce: Yao Ming:  “We need to welcome visitors and Yao Ming is the best foreign non-American player in basketball right now, he’s overtaking Dirk Nowitzki.”

Department of Veterans: Shaquille O’Neal: “(Shaquille O’Neal is) a veteran in the league, he has the great quotes and he is still on a great team. He’s the guy who is going to take care of all the old guys.”

Department of Energy: Kevin Garnett: “(Kevin Garnett is the) guy who is going to bring it every night and the guy you want to come and see. He’s going to play the same in the first minute of the game as he would in the 48th minute of the game.”

The TNT team sent the Republican Presidential ticket of John McCain and Sarah Palin fishing.

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Collins on the offensive struggles of Sixers guard/forward Andre Iguodala: “You can see (Andre) Iguodala just dying to get in that open court to get a dunk or something good for him. You kind of feel the weight of the world on his shoulders.”

Collins on the relatively quick emergence of the Orlando Magic: “With the addition of Rashard Lewis last year and Mickael Pietrus this year, (the Sixers) are going to be a team to be reckoned with in the Eastern Conference, especially if they get solid guard play.”

Collins on Sixers center Samuel Dalembert and forward Elton Brand: “(Sam Dalembert and Elton Brand) are going to have to continue to learn to play with each other. It’s two big guys getting used to each other but they should be incredible with their shot blocking and their defense.”

Collins on Trailblazers guard Brandon Roy: “Brandon Roy, that is one of my favorite players in the NBA, I just love his demeanor on the court.”

Collins on Sixers guard Andre Miller: “(Andre Miller is) a pretty good mid-range jump shooter. He shoots a very flat shot, so you never think it’s going to go in.”

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Game #2:  Houston Rockets (99) @ Portland Trail Blazers (101) in Overtime

Announcers: Marv Albert, Reggie Miller and Mike Fratello with Cheryl Miller reporting

Fratello on the Portland Trail Blazers start of the season: “(The Trail Blazers have) very high expectations, very young team and the most difficult schedule to start out.”

Miller on the new challenge that Trail Blazers guard Brandon Roy now faces offensively: “You have to understand that (Brandon) Roy is coming off an All-Star year so there are more defenses predicated against him…so you are seeing your top tier defenders going against your All-Star.”

Miller on Trail Blazers forward Travis Outlaw: “You can see the activity of Travis Outlaw. That’s why Nate McMillan wants to bring him off the bench; he brings that energy factor to the fanbase of the Blazers.”

Fratello on the deep bench of the Trail Blazers: “When Nate McMillan gets all his guys back he is going to have some tough decisions on getting minutes for all these guys.”

Miller on Houston forward Ron Artest’s pregame visit to the telecast table to talk with Marv Albert: “Are you (Marv Albert) going to let the past be the past as Ron Artest asked you when he came over prior to the game?  Are you going to give him a fair shake?”

Albert: “I didn’t realize that Ron wanted to script the telecast.”

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Johnson, Smith and Barkley

Smith on the changing of the team’s personality for the Houston Rockets: “The (Rockets) team has taken on the personality of Yao Ming, with Tracy McGrady struggling right now…It took probably three years for them to get there, but it’s there now.”

Barkley on Sixers forward Thaddeus Young: “That kid (Thaddeus Young) is going to be a helluva player.”

Barkley on the Detroit/Denver trade this week: “That was a great trade by (Detroit Pistons president) Joe Dumars. Allen (Iverson) is going to get a chance to win the championship.”

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Miller on Trail Blazers guard Brandon Roy: “To me, (Brandon Roy is) a triple threat kind of player, he can do a little bit of everything…he’s a great shooter, he can take the ball off the dribble and that last phase is in that mid-range game he is so tough to handle.”

Miller on Trail Blazers center Greg Oden missing some marquee match ups with his latest injury: “Can you imagine if Greg Oden was playing and he was not hurt? Do you think the league was trying to market him? Think about his first seven games and the people he would have went against – Andrew Bynum, Tim Duncan, Superman I in Shaq, Mehmet Okur, Yao (Ming) tonight, Al Jefferson and Superman II in Dwight Howard in his first seven games as a rookie. Are you kidding me?  I’d be on the sidelines, too!”

Miller on Trail Blazers guard Rudy Fernandez: “(Rudy Fernandez) looks like another former Blazer in Drazen Petrovic in his movements.”

Miller on Roy’s OT game-winner: “That’s why when you have a shooter and a scorer like Brandon Roy you’re never out of it.”

Albert: “A dramatic shot, showing the strength of Brandon Roy.”

TNT’s Cheryl Miller interviewed Trail Blazers guard Brandon Roy following the game

Roy on his game winning shot: “I played awful, but I made them when they counted…In this building we are never out of it. I was so disappointed that I fouled (Yao) on that play (prior). I just said, ‘Whatever you do, give me the ball and I’m going to make the last shot.'”

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Inside the NBA presented by Hyundai

Johnson, Smith and Barkley

Barkley on the bad defense by the Rockets on the final play of the game: “One of my pet peeves with basketball is you should never score when the ball is out of bounds for the simple fact that you have five guys guarding four guys.  That’s exactly what you just had (in the Rockets/Trail Blazers game) and (the Trail Blazers) still got a wide open jumper.  That’s terrible defense.”

Barkley on how great players separate themselves from everyone else in clutch situations: “Great players separate themselves because everyone in the building knows they are going to get the ball, they are going to get a shot, they are going to get fouled, they might miss the shot but they are going to get their shot anytime they want to.  You knew Michael Jordan was going to get his shot (or) that Allen Iverson is going to get a shot anytime he wants to.”

Toronto Raptors Jermaine O’Neal and Chris Bosh joined the studio team for a segment on Kenny’s Court.

Bosh on playing with O’Neal: “(Jermaine O’Neal joining the Raptors) is one of the best things to happen in my short career.  He opens up a lot of things for me. Just to have his presence on the offensive and defensive end is pretty cool.”

O’Neal on how playing with Bosh has changed his game: “Having a guy as skilled as (Chris Bosh) is do the things he can do changes the whole dynamic of the team.  In Indiana, I had to take a lot of the shots on the offensive end and take pretty much the whole burden on the defensive end.  Coming (to the Raptors), I can concentrate more on the defensive end and do some other things.”

O’Neal on not being healthy the last couple of seasons while with the Pacers: “It’s been extremely frustrating.  I was playing one leg for two years and trying to tough it out and be the bright spot (with the Pacers).  I had a great summer (getting healthy) and I’m ready to roll.”

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