Notes from TNT’s Coverage of the NBA – Thursday, January 29, 2009

(AP Photo/John Raoux)

TNT’s NBA coverage continues Thursday, Feb. 5 at 8 p.m. ET with an exclusive doubleheader featuring the Los Angeles Lakers @ Boston Celtics followed by the Dallas Mavericks @ Utah Jazz.

Game 1:  Cleveland Cavaliers (88) @ Orlando Magic (99)

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

TNT’s David Aldridge interviewed Magic forward Rashard Lewis prior to the game.

Lewis on what it means to make the NBA All-Star team: “It means a lot, it’s a stepping stone in my career.  Especially after getting drafted in the second round, a lot of hard work pays off.  I think I was even more excited that Jameer Nelson made it, I’m happy for him, I think it’s well deserved.  Even if I didn’t make it, as long as he made it I would have been happy for him.”

Miller on Cavaliers guard Mo Williams getting snubbed from the NBA All-Star reserves: “Of course there are always going to be snubs and the guys that made it are All-Star caliber players, but I’m shocked that a team with the best record in the league, the Cleveland Cavaliers, only has one representative in, LeBron James.  You cannot tell me they cannot have another representative, there is no way you have the best record in the league and you can’t get a reserve.  The coaches ought to be shot in the East.  They ought to be shot, whoever did not select Mo Williams to be on the team. I like to reward guys on winning teams, Mo Williams is on a winning team with the best record in the league, he deserves to be playing in Phoenix.”

TNT’s David Aldridge interviewed Cavaliers head coach Mike Brown after the first quarter.

Brown on his defensive plan to control Magic center Dwight Howard: “We’ve got to mix it up, (Dwight Howard) is a young player that has a great feel for the game at an early stage in his career.  So sometimes we’re not going to double, sometimes we’re going to come on the dribble, sometimes we just got to figure it out as we go along, but our guys have to do that in order to control him a little bit.”

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Johnson, Smith, Webber and Payton

Smith on the differences between the Magic and the Cavaliers: “(The Magic and the Cavaliers) both have ‘super men’ with LeBron James and Dwight Howard, the one difference is with how they win and what makes them special is their two units.  I think the first unit for the Orlando Magic, with the exception of the Boston Celtics, can arguably be the best starting five in the Eastern Conference.  The second unit for Cleveland could be the best second unit on the East Coast.  One unit (Magic) does it with its starting five.  The other unit (Cavaliers) does it with LeBron and their second unit is so big.”

Webber on Toronto Raptors center and Eastern Conference All-Star Chris Bosh: “(Chris Bosh) is arguably the best big man in the game.”

Webber on Dallas Mavericks forward and Western Conference All-Star Dirk Nowitzki: “(Dirk Nowitzki is) one of the best power forwards to play the game and one of our best shooters.  I’m not surprised that he’s going to be there for the (All-Star) Game, the three point contest…everything but the dunk contest because he doesn’t have any hops.”

Smith on Lakers forward and Western Conference All-Star Pau Gasol: “(The Lakers) were a good team before (Pau Gasol) came and he made them a contender.”

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Miller on Magic assistant coach Patrick Ewing working with Dwight Howard: “Dwight Howard’s moves are reminiscent of (Magic) assistant coach Patrick Ewing.  You can see a lot of individual work has gone into Dwight Howard’s game.”

Fratello on Cavaliers rookie guard J.J. Hickson: “(J.J. Hickson) has some skill.  They’ve liked him from training camp all along.  That’s why they felt that they could get rid of a couple of the big men they had last year.  They felt his talent and ability and little by little he has come along and become a contributor.

Miller on whether or not TNT’s broadcast team could challenge Tiger Woods who was in attendance at the Cavaliers/Magic game: “Do you think the three of us combined would have a shot in a foursome with Tiger (Woods)?  If you put our golf scores together going against Tiger Woods, would we have a shot?”

Fratello: “(Miller) and I might.”

Albert: “I’d like to take him on in pop-a-shot.”

Miller on the Magic gaining confidence in the game against the Cavaliers: “This is a measuring stick for the Cavaliers.  They played the Lakers in Los Angeles and they didn’t show up and the Lakers had their way with them.  The Magic are a team they could face down the road in the playoffs and if they don’t shoot the ball well or play well…this could be a nice sign for the Magic and they could be gaining some confidence.”

TNT’s David Aldridge interviewed Magic guard and Eastern Conference All-Star Jameer Nelson following the game.

Nelson on how he felt after finding out he made the All-Star team: “When I heard (I made the team) I was really emotional.  Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t crying or anything, but I was just happy for my team.  My assistant coaches and my head coach, they put us in great situations and  work us out and trying to make us the best players we can be.  I have to give a lot of credit to my assistant coaches.”

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Game 2:  San Antonio Spurs (114) @ Phoenix Suns (104)

Announcers: Kevin Harlan, Doug Collins with Craig Sager reporting

Collins on the inconsistency of Spurs guard Manu Ginobili: “(Manu Ginobili is) a streaky player.  He’s struggled this year with his consistency.  He said there are three things he thinks about, ‘focus, juice (energy) and consistency.’  He’s been inconsistent this year coming off his ankle injury trying to do too much.”

Collins on Suns forward and Western Conference All-Star starter Amar’e Stoudemire: “I like (Amar’e Stoudemire) mixing up his game.  I think his jump shot is much-improved.  When he gets to the free throw line, he opens things up and gets in the paint.  He should be a very good offensive rebounder because he’s so quick and he’s got great hands.”

Collins on how veteran Spurs forward Kurt Thomas helps his team: “When (Kurt Thomas) really helps his team is when he can knock down that 15 foot jump shot.  He is a guy who plays very good position defense and knows where to be on the floor when playing with Tim Duncan.”

Collins on how Suns point guard Steve Nash is most effective for his team: “The more assists (Steve Nash) gets, the better his team is.  When he has to score, the less the winning percentage.  You would like for Steve Nash to take a lot of shots so he doesn’t get his teammates involved.  If you make him a scorer, (the Suns) aren’t nearly as effective.”

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Johnson, Smith, Webber and Payton

Smith on the Suns changing their offense when playing with Shaquille O’Neal: “(The Suns’ offense) has changed dramatically now because they go through Shaq (O’Neal) now.  Going through Shaq slows the offense down but if makes them more effective and efficient in other areas.  The Suns still seem to be a little uncomfortable playing (at a slower pace) so they have to do a combination (up-tempo and half-court) game.”

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Collins on Grant Hill continuing to play despite numerous injuries: “When I see Grant Hill, I think of all the games he helped me win in Detroit.  He was so good in Detroit.  When I had the opportunity to coach him, he was my point guard.  When he was in the open court, he was so good and I can only think about the injuries this man went through.  He’s back playing the game because he loves to play.  He could’ve retired along time ago and taken all that money to the bank.  That’s not Grant Hill.”

Collins on the energy in the arena during the game: “This is a great a game.  This is one of the better games I’ve seen this year.  The energy in this building (is great).  Guys are making big shots.  (It’s a) fun, fun game to watch.”

TNT’s Craig Sager interview Spurs guard Manu Ginobili following the game

Ginobili on his struggles since returning from injury: “I feel good; I’m just not playing well.  I’m not able to get to the rim as strong as before.  I guess it’s mental.  I feel healthy and strong.  I’m trying to focus on (getting to the rim) and draw more fouls.”

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Johnson, Smith, Webber and Payton

Payton on the San Antonio Spurs: “When (the Spurs) first started, when they were on their rough, I wasn’t on their bandwagon. But now they are back to San Antonio, once (Manu) Ginobili and (Tony) Parker came back it was great and now they are the same team. Tim Duncan is going to stay steady, but (Roger) Mason is the key, he comes in and gives them big shots, defense, he does everything and they found a good star in him off the bench.”

Smith on his pick to win the NBA Championship: “The Lakers have more of a sense of urgency too win it all, the Lakers have the best team in basketball from (players) one to eight.”

Smith on Raptors forward/center Chris Bosh who made the NBA All-Star reserves: “(Chris Bosh) is the best power forward, he is the best big man in Canada.”

2 Responses to “Notes from TNT’s Coverage of the NBA – Thursday, January 29, 2009”

  1. origin says:

    D@MN D@MN D@MN Bynum out 8-12 weeks!!!!!!

  2. Mizzo says:

    Yeah, crazy it happened against the same team in Memphis almost a year to the day. Very unfortunate. We are about to see what the young fella is made of.