Notes from TNT’s Coverage of the NBA – Thursday, March 19, 2009: LeBron Goes Trip Dub…Again

(AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

QUOTE OF THE DAY:

“Personally, when we played the Bulls for the Championship, I really wanted to play the Clippers.  I ain’t going to lie, I wanted a championship and I wanted to see the damn Clippers in a heartbeat!”

–Barkley on preferring to play a weak team for the NBA Championship. NBA on TNT continues on Tuesday, March 24 at 8 p.m. ET featuring the Detroit Pistons @ Chicago Bulls followed by the Houston Rockets @ Utah Jazz

TNT NBA Thursday returns on Thursday, March 26 at 8 p.m. ET featuring the Miami Heat @ Chicago Bulls followed by the Phoenix Suns @ Portland Trail Blazers

TNT NBA Tip-off presented by AutoTrader.com

Announcers: Ernie Johnson, Charles Barkley and Chris Webber

Barkley on the NBA MVP race: “Dwyane Wade is having a fantastic season but LeBron James is the MVP in the NBA.  It’s so easily cut and dried, it’s not even a fair contest.”

Webber on Kobe Bryant getting criticized for being unselfish: “I think we are disrespecting Kobe (Bryant).  We said Kobe was selfish and he shot all these shots.  Kobe is taking it easy and playing well and we kind of judge him for that.”

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Game #1 Portland Trail Blazers (92) @ Cleveland Cavaliers (97) in OT

Announcers: Marv Albert and Doug Collins; Craig Sager reporting

Collins on the steady play of Trail Blazers guard Brandon Roy: “Brandon Roy is one of those guys when you look at him, you don’t think he’s that quick, you don’t think he’s that fast or that he jumps that high.  But he’s so deceptive and he plays at such a good tempo that he’s an easy guy to play with.  He is their guy in crunch time; he is very, very good in close games.  They are very comfortable in close games and it’s because of Brandon Roy.”

Collins on the development of Trail Blazers center Greg Oden: “When (Greg Oden) catches the ball, he’s playing too quickly.  That’s what happens when you’ve been out (injured).  The game is so fast, that you’ve really got to slow yourself down.  He’s doing a nice job on the boards. He’s been through a lot and he needs a dose of confidence.”

Collins on the durability of LeBron James: “We take (LeBron James) for granted because he is so big and strong that he could never get hurt.  This guy takes punishment, he dishes it out, but he gets kicked in the shin or kneed in the quad.  All those things take their toll.  This guy answers the bell every single night.

TNT’s Craig Sager interviewed Trail Blazers forward Channing Frye after the first half

Frye on being in the starting lineup for an injured LaMarcus Aldridge: “I prepare every day and I think you have to if you want to stay in this league.  I’ve proved myself and it’s just a situation that I’m in.  Hopefully L.A. (Aldridge) gets better for our next game but I just have to keep the faith and understand that everything happens for a reason.  I’ve got nothing to lose, I know I can play, and play with these guys.  I just come out here with confidence.”

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T-Mobile Halftime Report

Announcers: Johnson, Barkley and Webber

Barkley on the Cavaliers needing to play a more up-tempo style: “I have been complaining about the Cavaliers for the last two or three years because they don’t play fast enough.   When they give the ball to LeBron (James) and let him go one-on-five, it might work in the regular season but it won’t work in the playoffs.  It showed when they played against the Spurs in the (2007) Finals and they got swept.  It will show if they play against the Celtics or the Magic in the playoffs this year.  They’ve got to speed up their offense and LeBron will be able to get a lot more baskets in the open floor.  To ask a great player to go one-on-five is not going to work.”

Barkley on the Dallas Mavericks: “(The Mavericks) don’t play any defense.  They’re not a good shooting team.  The Dallas Mavericks are not a very good team.  They’ve got a lot of questions to answer in the off-season.”

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TNT’s Craig Sager interviewed Cavaliers head coach Mike Brown after the third quarter

Mike Brown on Cavaliers guard Daniel Gibson: “Daniel (Gibson) is a shooter and he’s been playing great for us all season in terms of toughness and doing all the little things.”

Collins on Cavaliers head coach Mike Brown: “(Mike Brown) came (to Cleveland) with a defensive mindset, that’s what his background was and he has built this team up defensively. As the years have gone on, they’ve gotten better offensive players.  They are a better offensive team and they have kept their defensive mindset.  Mike Brown has done a wonderful job in Cleveland.”

Collins on the importance of home court advantage to the Cavaliers: “If Cleveland gets the best record in the East, that keeps them from playing Boston in the second round.  That first seed is very, very important.”

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Game #2:  Golden State Warriors (106) @ Los Angeles Lakers (114)

Announcers: Dick Stockton, Mike Fratello and Reggie Miller

Miller on what teams want as they head into the playoffs: “Going into the playoffs, there are a few things you want to happen.  You want to be clicking offensively and defensively.  You want your stars to be healthy and fresh.”

Fratello on good teams being confident that they can win on the road: “Teams that are as good as the Lakers and Boston believe that they can win on the road.  Doc Rivers said last year that they had supreme confidence that they could win if they had to on the road.  This Lakers team has the best road record in the NBA.

Lakers head coach Phil Jackson on the Lakers bench: “They want things to go right but they aren’t going right for them.  They get down (on themselves), it’s close to malaise.  There’s not a spark or that enthusiasm.  You really want young players with energy off the bench.”

Fratello on 19-year-old Anthony Randolph taking himself out of the game with an injury:  “I hope (Anthony Randolph) learns is when you get a little nick, you can’t say too much about it if you want to continue to play.  He’s been playing well lately, Nellie’s been giving him the minutes.  You can’t take yourself out of the lineup because of a little bump or bruise.  That’s what the NBA is all about, playing through that stuff.”

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T-Mobile Halftime Report

Announcers: Johnson, Barkley and Webber

Webber on Lakers forward Pau Gasol: “When I played, (Pau Gasol) was a hard guy to check, even though he’s not the strongest guy.  One of the reasons why is because he can post-up on both sides of the lane.  Pau Gasol’s inside presence is one of the reasons why the Lakers will always be in contention.  Gasol can dominate any night.”

Barkley on the Lakers winning without injured center Andrew Bynum: “I just don’t think they can win (the NBA Championship) without (Andrew Bynum).  I’ve watched them play and I just don’t think they can win the championship.  They have arguably the best player in the league (Kobe Bryant) along with LeBron (James).  I don’t think their bench is as good because they really need Lamar Odom on the bench.”

Barkley on Trail Blazers center Joel Przybilla: “If (Joel) Przybilla played on a really good team, he’d be scary.  If you put him with Dirk Nowitzki or LeBron (James), he’d be scary.”

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Fratello on Warriors guard Monta Ellis’ ability at point guard: “Is (Monta Ellis) a very good point guard?  No, he’s not.  He’s a very good scorer.  Don Nelson is hoping he can get by with him as a point guard.  (Ellis) needs to improve his decision-making and his passing ability.  As a two-guard, he is too small to guard the big two’s (around the league).”

Miller on the Lakers bench having a down year: “If you look at the numbers for a lot of the (Lakers) bench players, Sasha’s (Vujacic) numbers are down from last year.  (Jordan) Farmar’s numbers are down.  Luke Walton’s numbers are down.  It’s going to be tough (for the Lakers) if these guys don’t step up their games.”

Miller on the shift in Kobe Bryant’s mindset as the Lakers’ regular season winds down: “Kobe (Bryant) is starting to think about the playoffs.  There are a few teams that could end up in that seventh or eighth position that they could face in the first round.  I think Kobe is starting to get ready for the grind of the playoffs and as long as it takes.”

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Inside the NBA presented by Hyundai

Announcers: Johnson, Barkley and Webber

Barkley on why the Lakers’ lack of defense will hinder their quest for an NBA Championship: “I don’t think the Lakers can win the championship without Andrew Bynum. You know what killer instinct really is? It’s just defense.  And realistically, if you look at (the Lakers), Kobe Bryant is a defender, but there’s nobody else on the team that you say, ‘he’s a defender.’ The game always comes down to defense. They’ve got to be concerned, they are one of the elite teams in the NBA, but can they beat the Spurs, Utah, Celtics, Cleveland and Orlando? It’s not going to be that easy.”

Webber on the lack of toughness by the Lakers: “We interviewed Kobe (Bryant) earlier this year (on NBA TV), and I keep going back to this. He said the reason why (the Lakers) lost (in the NBA Finals) last year is because they weren’t tough.  Just because you have a great team and you can win those (regular season) games, it is a totally different season when the playoffs come. If toughness is an issue and then you’re worried that ‘we’re not as good as we are,’ they may be on to a theme that ‘we don’t have it.’  When you’re not respected by other NBA teams or when other people see that chink in your armor, they are going to go after that.  If they don’t have (Andrew) Bynum, then they don’t have shot blocking inside, they don’t have toughness in their presence and other teams could exploit that.”

Barkley on Milwaukee Bucks coach Scott Skiles: “I’ve got to give my boy Scott Skiles a shout out, he and (assistant coach) Kelvin Sampson in Milwaukee. You have to give him credit, he lost Michael Redd, he missed (Andrew) Bogut a lot, so you have at take your hat off for the job that Scott Skiles has done.”

TNT’s Craig Sager interviewed Cavaliers forward LeBron James after the game.

James on whether he should be in consideration for the All-Defensive Team: “I work hard on the defensive end every night, and if I’m honored to be on an All-Defensive Team, that would be great for me because I put in a lot of hard work.  I take defense as serious as I take offense.”

Barkley on an altercation between Celtics coach Doc Rivers and NBA referee Bill Kennedy: “In the heat of the moment we always say things to officials, but they have an obligation to not stand there and entice you and try to get you to say something. All the officials are good guys, they are out there trying to do their job. We all say things in the heat of the moment, but they can’t stand there and antagonize you.  That wasn’t cool.”

Barkley on the Celtics being healthy for a second championship run: “I hope KG (Kevin Garnett) comes back.  (The Celtics) deserve the right to defend their championship as a healthy team.”

Barkley on preferring to play a weak team for the NBA Championship: “Personally, when we played the Bulls for the Championship, I really wanted to play the Clippers.  I ain’t going to lie, I wanted a championship and I wanted to see the damn Clippers in a heartbeat!”

Log onto TNT OverTime on NBA.com for a full replay of Inside the NBA and exclusive reports from TNT announcers.

One Response to “Notes from TNT’s Coverage of the NBA – Thursday, March 19, 2009: LeBron Goes Trip Dub…Again”

  1. NBA says:

    This is unbelievebla match.. The King Lebron James..

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