Notes from TNT’s Coverage of the NBA- Thursday, December 18, 2008: “Brandon Roy is one of the premier shooting guards in the league.”

TNT’s NBA Coverage Continues Thursday, Dec. 25 at 8 p.m. ET featuring the Washington Wizards @ Cleveland Cavaliers followed by the Dallas Mavericks @ Portland Trail Blazers

(AP Photo/Greg Wahl-Stephens)

Ernie Johnson, Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith and Chris Webber

Barkley on playing against basketball legends for the first time: “Anytime you play against a legend of the game, it’s exciting.  The first time I played against Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird and Kevin McHale it was exciting…The first time I played against Magic Johnson and Larry Bird I was like ‘wow.’”

Webber on meeting Larry Bird for the first time: “I got to play against the (Olympic) Dream Team my first year (out of college)…I was a big Larry Bird fan and I get off the plane and I’m nervous and we somehow get to share a limo.  He was really nice, but right when we’re getting out (of the car) he says, ‘You want to get my bags and get some sleep because I’m going to bust your (butt) tomorrow.’”

Barkley on the sweat on his forehead after Webber threw his shoes at him, mimicking a similar incident that occurred with President Bush and in honor of new Auburn University football coach Gene Chizik: “I’m not sweating, that’s just ‘cool moisture.’”

Webber on whether or not the Orlando Magic are an elite team: “I don’t consider (the Magic) an elite team yet.  An elite team has to have more than potential and they have to have been able to get out of the first round (of the playoffs).  They are a young team and a good team on the verge of being an elite team, but I wouldn’t say (they are yet).”

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Game 1:  San Antonio Spurs (78) @ Orlando Magic (90)

Announcers Kevin Harlan and Doug Collins with Cheryl Miller reporting

Collins on Magic guard Jameer Neslon: “(The Magic) feel like (Jameer Nelson) is really the key.  You look at their front court – Rashard Lewis, Dwight Howard and (Hedo) Turkoglu you know what you’re getting in those three positions.  But Jameer Nelson knows that pressure too and he’s playing very well here as of late.  He is a guy that’s got to be in attack mode and he’s got to know when to dish the ball and when to look for his shot.  He’s got to be aggressive and try to get that ball in the lane.”

Collins on Spurs guard Michael Finley: “(Michael Finley) has really had a good year.  He’s gotten very lean and he’s got that bounce back…He’s a guy you love to have on your team because he is a winner.”

Collins on Spurs guard Manu Ginobili: “(Manu) Ginobili brings that thing off the bench.  That charisma, that élan that he plays with that makes him so special.”

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Johnson, Barkley, Smith and Webber

Barkley on the struggles of playing back-to-back games for older players: “My last couple years in the NBA, those back-to-back games were a nightmare.  I think my last year with the Rockets me and Hakeem (Olajuwon) and Clyde (Drexler), we were all old and over the hill, I think we lost every back-to-back game.  (Manu) Ginobili, (Tim) Duncan and (Tony) Parker are all great players, but they’re all older players.  That was a close game last night and to get in late, that next day you’re in trouble, bro.”

Barkley on aging in the NBA: “(Tony Parker) does not have a young body (even though he’s in his 20s).  Playing sports is like dog years.”

Smith on the Spurs policing themselves: “This is what makes San Antonio a contender.  Two guys (Michael Finley and Bruce Bowen) discussing the play and getting very upset that something happened to create a wide open shot.  You don’t see that on losing teams – you don’t see that in Oklahoma, you don’t see that in Minnesota, you’re not seeing that in Washington.  You don’t see two guys discussing, before they get to the bench, what the timeout is going to be about.  They know they missed an assignment and they’re trying to figure it out.”

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Collins on the art of learning defense: “(To be effectively defensively) you have to gauge a guy’s speed.  If you’re guarding Tony Parker you might have to choose a different angle to cut him off than if you’re guarding a guy without that kind of speed.  That’s the essence of learning defensive – who am I playing and what’s the spot I can find to pick him out so that I can be able to defend him and he can’t beat me on that drive.  Same thing with defensive backs and safeties gauging a wide receiver’s speed.”

Collins on the Suns: “(The Suns team) is an offensive juggernaut.  You hope to score points and be a better defensive team, but they are never going to be a great defensive team because they don’t have good individual defenders.  Do what you do well, score, and try to shore up your weaknesses defensively.”

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Game Break

Barkley on the Suns needing to speed up the pace of their game: “You can’t play slow.  You can’t walk the ball up and down the court and pound into Shaq.  Shaq is not the same guy he was five years ago.  They’ve got to run and gun up and down the court.  Their better players are able to run up and down the court and it’s going to help Amare (Stoudemire), clearly it helps (Steve) Nash and it’s going to help (Jason Richardson) and it’ll be up to Shaq to keep up with them.”

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Game 2:  Phoenix Suns (119) @ Portland Trail Blazers (124)

Announcers Marv Albert and Reggie Miller with Craig Sager reporting

Miller on Phoenix Suns guard Steve Nash’s reaction to his friend and teammate Raja Bell being traded to the Charlotte Bobcats: “Steve Nash was sounding like a jilted lover.  Did he send those guys some flowers and a box of chocolates?  Its part of the business, you have to be able to grow up and move on.  You’ve got to incorporate Jason Richardson into your team.”

Fratello on the Suns’ defense: “This could be some defensive unit.  You have (Jason) Richardson out there with (Leandro) Barbosa’s quickness and length and then (Matt) Barnes has some toughness about him.  You have Amare (Stoudemire) and Shaq (O’Neal) to protect the basket, this could be an interesting unit down the road for Phoenix.”

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Johnson, Barkley, Smith and Webber

Barkley on Suns center Shaquille O’Neal: “You know (Shaq) was going to be ready to play against Greg Oden, it’s an ego game.  Shaq has been the Suns’ best player all season.  He’s played fantastic.”

Webber on Trail Blazers center Greg Oden: “Everyone knows that (Greg Oden’s) a project player.  The expectations on him may be high.  He’s a great talent, but if you expect him to average 10 rebounds and four blocked shots, that’s a fair expectation.  He’s a great force inside on the defensive level and I think he’ll get his early points.”

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Miller with advice for Trail Blazers center Greg Oden on dealing with negative media coverage: “If I could give him a piece of advice, I would tell Greg (Oden) don’t go on the Internet, don’t read the blogs, try not to read the paper and stop watching the news reports.  You’re the number one pick and there’s a lot of high expectations for you and if you read all that there’s going to be a lot out there that’s criticizing you and it may make you a little bit depressed at times.”

Miller on Trail Blazers guard Brandon Roy: “Brandon Roy is one of the premier shooting guards in the league.  I think Kobe Bryant is at the top of that list, and maybe Dwyane Wade, Joe Johnson, Manu Ginobili.  (Roy) has to be mentioned in that discussion.”

TNT’s Craig Sager interviewed Trail Blazers guard Brandon Roy following the game.

Roy on keeping the game ball: “I need this one.  I haven’t beat Phoenix since I’ve been in the NBA, I had the best game of my career.  A lot of my teammates stepped up tonight, it was team effort, we needed this win.”

Roy on what the Trail Blazers proved by beating the Suns: “We proved that we’re tough.  Phoenix had three days off and they brought it tonight.  Shaq was working hard, Nash played well and we outlasted them tonight.  I think we even showed a lot to ourselves and to our fans that we’re a tough team when we come to play for 48 minutes.”

Roy on his confidence during the game: “I can’t say the basket was big, but my confidence was huge tonight.  I felt like every shot I took was going to go in and my teammates just kept feeding me confidence.  It’s one of those nights that you have to ride out.  I said, ‘Coach ‘I want to play, I feel good’ and he said, ‘Go with it.’”

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Inside the NBA presented by Hyundai

Johnson, Smith, Barkley and Webber

Barkley on Trail Blazers guard Brandon Roy’s 52-point performance: “One of the best performances we’ve ever seen on TNT on a Thursday night.”

TNT aired a feature on 15-year NBA veteran Derrick Coleman who is helping to rebuild his Detroit neighborhood.

Webber, a Detroit native, on Coleman’s impact on the city: “Growing up, I wanted to be Derrick Coleman, I’ve watched him my whole life, I’ve seen him in Detroit recently in the last few years and this piece isn’t just talk. Derrick has been someone that has always given back to the community.  He’s like a big a brother so he’ll come say, ‘you need to come do some business with me and turn it around.’  He said his biggest accomplishment is building that mall, but I don’t think that’s true.  I think it’s setting an example for other guys in Detroit to say we need to invest in our own city because Detroit is hurting.”

Smith on Coleman reaching his potential as a person: “If (Coleman) had reached his potential as a player he might not have reached his potential as a person. He would have been thought of as one of the great players if he had reached his potential as a player because of all those great skills.  Now he’s going to be far more known for what he’s doing today and he’s gong to far reach is potential as a citizen and go above and beyond.”

Barkley on Coleman not reaching his potential as a player: “I know (Coleman) regrets not reaching his potential as a player, I used to say, ‘that boy is a man.’  I don’t know if he really liked to play basketball.  We always say the same thing about Rasheed Wallace, if he wanted to be the best player in the NBA, he could be.  If Derrick Coleman wanted to be the best player in the NBA he could have been.”

Barkley on having his jersey retired: “I’ve been fortunate enough to get my number retired in Phoenix and Philadelphia…”

Webber: “And Auburn.”

Barkley: “They might take it down at Auburn.”

Johnson: “I’d like to watch that ceremony.”

6 Responses to “Notes from TNT’s Coverage of the NBA- Thursday, December 18, 2008: “Brandon Roy is one of the premier shooting guards in the league.””

  1. Temple3 says:

    Mike Fratello, the oft-fired Mike Fratello, is on CRACK about the defensive potential of the Phoenix Suns. Defense begins with an attitude, energy and enthusiasm they simply do not have. The Suns haven’t played defense in 40 years. Why would they start now?

    My take on Coleman, Webber and Wallace is that all 3 of them were just a little too smart for their coaches and the league. They simply know tooo much about toooo many things to follow explicitly stupid orders about unimportant things. They’re the soldiers who would fight a corrupt commander to the death over an illegal command — but they still knew how to throw a damn good party.

    I did wisht that each of them spent more time playing a conventional game because their unique skills would have garnered more gold (championships). What’s done is done. At the least, Derrick Coleman will always have the memory of having Brad Daugherty, Hot Rod Williams and Larry Nance for lunch for 2 weeks in the playoffs back in the day.

  2. Big Man says:

    My top five shooting guards

    Joe Johnson

  3. Temple3 says:

    That’s interesting. No love for Ray Allen or Rip. I presume you mean for a regular season.

  4. Origin says:

    Great to see what Coleman is doing in detroit. Now that is a real kat giving back.

    LOL……….at Webber throwing those shoes at Barkley.

    HAHA man westbrook is killing calderon……….the raps lost to the thunder……….LOL!!!

    Can’t blame that on smith now.

    I hear you Temple but in the modern NBA normally you have a dominate 7 footer and a dominate wing when winning rings. Webber at 6-9 and coleman at 6-10 were never large enough to be dominate big men. The last dominate big man I have seen who was 6-10 or smaller was hakeem even though he was listed at 7 feet he was 6-10.

    Also those guys were listed as PF. Most PF from malone to barkley (except Duncan who is a Center). Have always had inside and outside games. Now you could say maybe it was coaching. Realize that if they were developed to be centers their games would have been different.

    But it amazes me how they list these euro big men (PF) as so fundamental when players like rasheed, Webber, Barkley and Coleman. Are the most fundamental PF (on the offensive side) I have ever seen in my life. From passing (Barkley and Webber) to outside shooting and the ability to put the ball on the floor and create. And most of all post up………..something guys like Dirk and Barganni have never done.

    HAHA Devin Harris treated the Mavs liek 2 dollar whores……..41 points and 10 assists………..yeap he is the weekend warrior. He does this every weekend.

  5. Origin says:

    Temple I think Big man was listing based on the current season.

  6. Origin says:

    I guess all those ignorant Trailblazer fans that were saying Rudy Fernandez was as good as Brandon Roy can now shut up.

    Same as those folks who swore up and down that Ricky Rubio was a better NBA prospect then Derrick Rose.


    Fools are funny!!!!

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