Notes from TNT’s Coverage of the NBA – Tuesday, March 24, 2009: Why Isn’t Allen Iverson Playing?

Remember I said Allen Iverson would play with the Sixers again? Do any of you still think that possibility doesn’t exist?

–Mizzo

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

(AP Photo/Steve C. Wilson)

QUOTE OF THE DAY:

“I’ve played a lot of games against Allen Iverson when he was with the Philadelphia 76ers, and he is one of the toughest guys I’ve ever gone against.  But having said that and knowing the information we know, what (Pistons strength and conditioning coach) Arnie Kander is saying, it’s almost like (Iverson) is holding this team hostage because he cannot accept the responsibility of coming off the bench and that’s sad because he is one of the truly great little men we’ve ever had in the game.”

– Miller on the possibility that Pistons guard Allen Iverson is sitting out of resentment for coming off the bench

TNT NBA Tip-off presented by AutoTrader.com

Announcers: Ernie Johnson, Charles Barkley and Kenny Smith

Barkley on bad teams thinking they have an “easy schedule”: “The headlines (in Phoenix) say the Phoenix Suns have a soft schedule coming up.  You know what those other teams are saying about the Phoenix Suns?  We’ve got the Phoenix Suns coming up. No one is intimated by the Chicago Bulls, the notion that, ‘we have an easy schedule,’ that makes me laugh. When you’re a bad team you don’t have a favorable schedule.”

Smith on the Bulls not having any games they can confidently say they should win: “When you win 33 games, you really don’t play well at home. (Chicago) is 33-38 so there are no games that you’re supposed to win, you’ve gone beyond that point.  You don’t say, ‘ok, that’s a game we should win.’  When the Pistons come in to (play) the Celtics, the Celtics say, ‘that’s a win for us,’ but the Chicago Bulls can’t say that.”

Smith on the Pistons playing better with guard Allen Iverson out: “Detroit is a better team right now without (Allen) Iverson only because their roles are defined.  Rip Hamilton knows his role, (Rodney) Stuckey knows his role. When (he’s) out, guys know their roles and they actually had too many guys in that position.  They are a team that has an identity now which they didn’t have when AI was in the lineup.  And they actually played well when Rip Hamilton was out and AI was a guy who knew his role.”

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Game #1Detroit Pistons (91) @ Chicago Bulls (99)

Announcers: Marv Albert, Reggie Miller and Mike Fratello; Craig Sager reporting

TNT’s Craig Sager reported on the unknown condition affecting Pistons guard Allen Iverson: “The Pistons are playing their 14th consecutive game without Allen Iverson, who is out with a sore back. I talked to Pistons strength and conditioning coach Arnie Kander, he said Iverson has been given an MRI, a bone scan and an EMG nerve test.  (They) all came back negative, they cannot find any cause for the back pain.  That has led some to speculate that Iverson simply does not want to accept the role of coming off the bench, to which Iverson says, ‘I’ve been a warrior my entire career.  The back injury is what it is, when I feel like I can go, I’ll go.’  Meanwhile, Michael Curry told us before the game he doesn’t know if or when Iverson will return this year.”

Miller on the possibility that Pistons guard Allen Iverson is sitting out of resentment for coming off the bench: “I’ve played a lot of games against Allen Iverson when he was with the Philadelphia 76ers, and he is one of the toughest guys I’ve ever gone against.  But having said that and knowing the information we know, what (Pistons strength and conditioning coach) Arnie Kander is saying, it’s almost like (Iverson) is holding this team hostage because he cannot accept the responsibility of coming off the bench and that’s sad because he is one of the truly great little men we’ve ever had in the game.”

Fratello on the Detroit Pistons organization avoiding discussion of guard Allen Iverson’s back injury: “There is no question about (Allen Iverson’s) toughness, and willingness to play with pain.  The question is can he accept the fact that he could be more valuable coming off the bench?  Craig Sager’s point in asking that question was outstanding because not one person is willing to talk about it in the Detroit organization. They all avoid it, they avoid answering the question, they know how sensitive a subject it is.  They also know that might be the key to making the playoffs or having any chance at all of winning a round in the playoffs.”

Miller on the impact a healthy Allen Iverson could make by coming off of the bench during the game: “The back you really have to be careful about because it’s one of the things that obviously makes the body go. We know that Allen Iverson has played with so many injuries throughout his career and he has battled through them.  I believe that (Iverson) coming off the bench for the Pistons would be unbelievable.  I don’t think there is a guy in the league that can do what Allen Iverson does for 25 or 30 minutes if he’s given full reign going against second string guys who are coming off the bench.”

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T-Mobile Halftime Report

Announcers: Johnson, Barkley and Smith

Smith on the Chicago Bulls and Detroit Pistons’ lack of identity: “They are both struggling to make the playoffs and they both have losing records because they really don’t have a style or identity you can put your finger on.”

Barkley: “They’ve got an identity.”

Smith: “What is it?”

Barkley: “They suck.”

Smith on the Golden State Warriors going against the San Antonio Spurs: “(The Golden State Warriors are) not really playing out there tonight, that team has one foot in Cancun and one foot on the court.”

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Miller on the rumors of Washington Wizards guard Gilbert Arenas’ potential return from a season-long injury: “If I’m Gilbert Arenas and I’m a competitor, like we know Gilbert is, I have 111 reasons why I need to play a week from this Thursday (April 2). I want to test the knee, I want to go against some of the best teams, one of which is Cleveland on that Thursday.  Gilbert has got to show up.  If you sign a contract like that, and you just sat out, it’s time to play.  You’ve got to step up.  Has he been practicing from all accounts of what we’ve been hearing?  Don’t blog, don’t tweet (on Twitter), don’t Facebook and don’t Myspace to a newscaster and say, ‘I’m getting ready, I’m coming back.’ I don’t want to hear it unless you’re on the court.”

Miller on Pistons guard Rodney Stuckey: “If I’m (Pistons head coach) Michael Curry, I’ve got to talk to my young point guard in Rodney Stuckey.  (Stuckey) has had ebbs and flows all year, ups and downs.  He’s got to understand, if you’re going to be given the keys to the Ferrari, you’ve got to know how to drive it.”

TNT’s Craig Sager interviewed Bulls forward Tyrus Thomas after the Bulls defeated the Pistons.

Thomas on trying to win as many games as possible to secure a playoff seed: “Right now it’s very important that we secure all these wins, especially the ones at home and the ones on the road that we should get and just try to secure a spot in the playoffs.”

Thomas on what he needs to do as a player to help the Bulls: “Understand the game more and understand what I need to do at what time and what the team needs from me. I have the ability to do a little bit of a lot of things and I’ve just got to know when the team needs what from me.”

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Game #2:  Houston Rockets (86) @ Utah Jazz (97)

Announcers: Kevin Harlan and Doug Collins; Cheryl Miller reporting

Jazz guard Deron Williams on why the Jazz have a much better record at home versus on the road: “It’s a mentality, we have that mentality at home, but when we get on the road we get a little complacent, we don’t come out with the same energy and same intensity.  I don’t know why, it dates back to last year.  It’s just something we’ve got to turn around if we want to win these road games and get in the playoffs because nothing’s guaranteed right now.”

Collins on what the Jazz need to address during their road games: “(The Jazz) are going to have to find a way to defend the paint and rebound, do a better job challenging the shots.  That’s their weakness on the road, they can live through that at home because their offense has been so good and because they force a lot of turnovers here.”

TNT’s Cheryl Miller interviewed Jazz guard Kyle Korver at halftime.

Korver on the Rockets’ offense in the first half: “(The Rockets) are a good team, they are scrappy, that’s the way they play.  They have Yao Ming down low, he’s a load, we double him and they’re kicking it out.  They hit some threes in the last couple minutes there, and we’ve just got to do a better job.”

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T-Mobile Halftime Report

Announcers: Johnson, Barkley and Smith

Barkley on the assertion that the Rockets are a better team without guard Tracy McGrady, who is on injured reserve: “The notion that they are better without (Tracy McGrady) I think is ridiculous. Tracy McGrady is a really good player.  The problem with that team is they need to make it Yao Ming’s team and go inside-outside.  Tracy has got to become more of a role player, he’s got to be better defensively and rebound the ball better.  They can’t run their offense through Tracy McGrady.”

Smith on why people believe the Rockets are a better team without guard Tracy McGrady: “When Ron Artest and Yao Ming are together they are a better team than they were with Tracy McGrady and Yao Ming. Now people look at that team and say they are better without (McGrady), I think that’s where the ‘better without (McGrady)’ comes from. That tandem never lived up to the expectation of what they are actually doing right now and how well they are doing.”

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TNT’s Cheryl Miller interviewed Jazz coach Jerry Sloan after the third quarter.

Sloan on what he wants the Jazz to do in the fourth quarter: “Make better shots, these are the worst shots I’ve ever seen them take.”

Collins on the quickness of the game due to Rockets guards Kyle Lowry and Von Wafer allowing the Jazz to pull away in the fourth quarter: “When you make mistakes and take bad shots in this building the Jazz will make you pay for it. What has happen is with (Kyle) Lowry and (Von) Wafer in the game, the game gets so fast and they’ve taken two or three bad shots. Those two guards have picked up the pace of the game and Yao Ming, (Luis) Scola and Shane Battier are no longer a part of it.”

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Inside the NBA presented by Hyundai

Announcers: Johnson, Barkley and Smith

Barkley on the depth of the Utah Jazz bench: “Whoever is drafting the players in Utah is doing a good job.  They are one of the deeper teams in the NBA.”

Barkley on Spurs point guard Tony Parker: “(Tony Parker) has been (the Spurs) best player all season.  Tim Duncan has been injured a lot and (Manu) Ginobili has clearly been injured.  Tony Parker has been fantastic all season.”

Smith on the Spurs bench improving once Manu Ginobili returns from injury: “Roger Mason helps spread the floor.  Obviously, Manu Ginobili helps spread the floor and he drives to the basket so having him come off the bench where I think he is more effective is going to make them a better team.”

Barkley on the Spurs having another successful season despite injuries to key players: “You have to take your hat off to (Spurs head coach) Gregg Popovich for the Spurs to have the second best record in the West (Conference) with (Tim) Duncan and (Manu) Ginobili missing (games with injuries).  I’m a big Popovich fan and for them to be right there (at the top), you have to give (Spurs general manager) R.C. Buford credit.  (Guard) Roger Mason is definitely the free agent signing of the year.  He’s been fantastic.  You have to take your hat off to the entire Spurs organization because they play basketball the right way.”

Smith on the Toronto Raptors’ disappointing season: “The Toronto Raptors fired their coach and they have had a very disappointing season to this point.  They never got into a rhythm, they’ve made some trades and brought in Shawn Marion, (Chris) Bosh has been injured.  What they need to start doing is learning how to get a style and push the ball up the court.   Chris Bosh will be a free agent and he’s going to be looking (elsewhere) if they aren’t playing well (in Toronto).  Shawn Marion is a guy who only plays well in an up-tempo (system).”

Smith on the Memphis Grizzlies learning how to utilize O.J. Mayo: “(The Memphis Grizzlies) are a young team and they haven’t figured out how to win yet.  They have a lot of young talent and a lot of good players but they haven’t figured out what to do and how to win.  They need to figure out (O.J. Mayo).  Is he really an 18-point scorer or is he going to become a 25-point superstar?  They need to start running more plays for him down the stretch to see if he can carry the load offensively.”

Smith on the Chicago Bulls improving since the trade deadline: “The Bulls are an interesting team because they are finding their stride a little bit in the latter part of the season especially after the trade that brought in two veterans; (John) Salmons and (Brad) Miller.  They have really brought a calming affect to that team.”

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One Response to “Notes from TNT’s Coverage of the NBA – Tuesday, March 24, 2009: Why Isn’t Allen Iverson Playing?”

  1. barbie says:

    i think the rocket’s are an awesome team and i luv them. i think that they can do anything as along as they keep working together, we might have a chance to beat the Lakers in the PLAYOFFS. cAUSE WE ALREADY HAVE THE WIN AGAINST THE Portland trailblazers

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