Notes from TNT’s Coverage of the NBA Playoffs – Tuesday, April 28, 2009: The San Antonio Spurs Are Fishermen

(AP Photo/Eric Gay)

TNT’s “40 Games in 40 Nights” NBA Playoffs coverage continues on Wednesday, April 29th with the Miami Heat @ Atlanta Hawks (Game #5) at 8 p.m. ET followed by the New Orleans Hornets @ Denver Nuggets (Game #5).


“They should just quit playing and start the game in overtime.”

–Barkley on the NBA Playoffs record of three overtimes in the Bulls/Celtics series.

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Announcers: Ernie Johnson, Charles Barkley and Kenny Smith

Barkley on Bulls guard Ben Gordon likely taking an injection to play with a hamstring injury: “You just shoot it up and go play if it can’t get worse. This is the playoffs, you have to hope for the best. You just shoot that thing up and go play.”

Smith on taking an injection to play in an NBA game: “You would just shoot it up and go play?”

Barkley: “Yes, it’s (my body) breaking down now.”

Smith: “I never took a shot.”

Barkley: “Well, you have to score a lot of points for it to break down.”

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Game #1 Chicago Bulls (104) @ Boston Celtics (106) in Overtime – Boston leads the series 3-2.

Announcers: Kevin Harlan and Doug Collins; and David Aldridge reporting

Collins on Celtics guard Rajon Rondo and Bulls guard Derrick Rose being asked to limit their turnovers: “Both of these great guards have the keys to the car and they have to take care of it tonight to see who is going to take the lead in this series.”

Collins on what it takes to win in the NBA Playoffs: “I’ve been in this league 36 or 37 years. You know sometimes you talk about X’s and O’s, and sometimes it is who’s going to be tough mentally and physically under pressure and make the simple play and execute when it counts.”

Collins on Celtics backup guard Stephon Marbury: “(Marbury) has come in aggressively looking for his shot. This crowd realizes how much he means to them, they need bench play tonight.”

Collins on Bulls guard Ben Gordon: “(Gordon) needs to trust his teammates a bit more, he’s 2 of 10, he’s playing too fast.”

Collins on Bulls guard Ben Gordon playing through his hamstring injury: “The problem you have is that you spend all day preparing to try and play for them (the Bulls). You do all the ice, all the stimulation and that’s not what you do. So for Ben Gordon, how much sleep did he get? How much rest? Is he out of his normal routine? And that’s what you go through when you are trying to play through an injury.”

Collins on the Bulls/Celtics series: “I love the energy in this game right now, and it’s such a different group than last year’s Celtics team, trying to match the Bulls with speed and quickness. The Bulls are playing with a lot of confidence.”

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T-Mobile Halftime Report

Announcers: Johnson, Barkley and Smith

Smith on the need to guard Rajon Rondo and Derrick Rose more closely: “You have to guard these guys like they are basketball players and not guys who can’t shoot. You don’t guard them and all of a sudden they can get offensive rebounds on you, they do everything they want to do and they have a great opportunity to do it; get into the lane and shoot floaters.  That’s just too easy for guys who are too skilled. You have to play them like they are Chris Paul or Chauncey Billups, you would not play off of those guys.”

Barkley on Celtics forward Paul Pierce: “Didn’t Paul Pierce say he’s the best basketball player in the world? That was a faux pas, apparently. You can’t walk around saying you are the best player in the world, first of all he was wrong, but he has to play better…He should be the best player in this series and he’s not even the best player on his own team.  For the Celtics to win this series and advance he is going to have to play a lot better, plain and simple.”

Johnson on the Mavericks/Spurs series: “Hey Chuck, they may be going back to Dallas.”

Barkley: “Yeah, they (the Mavericks) are going back, getting ready for the next round.”

Barkley on the technical foul on Dwight Howard in the first quarter of the Magic/Sixers game: “He should have been tossed. I like Dwight Howard but that was a punch. An elbow to me is a punch. I like Dwight Howard, but that was a cheap shot, you can’t hit somebody with an elbow.”

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Collins on Celtics forward Kendrick Perkins: “I am so impressed with Kendrick Perkins; that guy just does the dirty work every single night in that paint.”

Collins prior to a Bulls 9-0 fourth quarter run: “It is going to be the toughest seven minutes of the Chicago Bulls’ season, because the Celtics are trying to make a push.”

Collins on Celtics guard Rajon Rondo: “How good is Rajon Rondo? This kid is fearless!  He has been the star of the Playoffs.”

Collins after back-to-back baskets by Rose and Rondo: “These guys realize it’s Game #5 of the playoffs, right?”

Collins on a late turnover by Derrick Rose: “That time (Rose) got caught over penetrating. After that 36-point first game this has been a real growth process for Derrick Rose.”

Collins on Celtics guard Stephon Marbury passing up a shot late that would have given the Celtics the lead: “Marbury had a shot and passed it up. If Marbury is in the game you have to be ready to take the shot.  Win or lose you have to be willing to take the shot.”

Collins following a block by Kendrick Perkins in Overtime: “Kendrick Perkins right now is like a heavyweight fighter in the 15th round. He is out on his feet right now and going strictly on adrenaline.”

Collins following Paul Pierce’s go ahead jumper with 3.4 seconds left in Overtime: “This is why I keep talking about Paul Pierce. Without Kevin Garnett, this is the guy that has to play great. No Ray Allen (who fouled out)…When your best player is playing well you get a dose of confidence, and that is what is happening with the Boston Celtics and Pierce.”

TNT’s David Aldridge interviewed Celtics forward Paul Pierce after the Celtics defeated the Bulls in Overtime.

Pierce on his play at the end of the game: “I haven’t really been playing particularly well in this series. It’s about time for me to step up.”

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Game #2:  Dallas Mavericks (106) @ San Antonio Spurs (93) – The Dallas Mavericks won the series 4-1.

Announcers: Matt Devlin and P.J. Carlesimo; Marty Snider reporting

Carlesimo on the porous San Antonio defense in the first half: “Defensively, the San Antonio defense has to offer a lot more resistance. The first four games of this series, with the exception of Game #2, the San Antonio defense has been good. Tonight, it’s been non-existent.”

Carlesimo on the Spurs’ role players: “The supporting cast is helping out on the offensive end, on the defensive end all five Spurs need to dig in.”

Carlesimo on Dallas forward Dirk Nowitzki: ‘The thing with Dirk Nowitzki, he’s capable of going for 30 points on any given night. You had to figure, four straight games under 20, he was ready to explode.”

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T-Mobile Halftime Report

Announcers: Johnson, Barkley and Smith

Barkley on the Celtics forward Paul Pierce’s late game efforts: “Paul Pierce did what he was supposed to do; he played like the Finals MVP.”

Barkley on Celtics guard Rajon Rondo’s foul on Brad Miller at the end of Bulls/Celtics Game #5: “This is very close to being a flagrant foul. (Rondo) hit the guy in the head.”

Barkley on the Portland Trail Blazers: “The only way that Portland can win is for them to run. You see (Portland head coach) Nate (McMillan) is urging them to run. They can’t walk it up and down with the Rockets.”

Johnson on the elbow thrown by Orlando’s Dwight Howard on Philadelphia’s Samuel Dalembert: “Should he be suspended for the next game, Charles?”

Barkley: “No question about it, it’s a punch.”

Smith: “He will be, that’s too obvious.”

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Carlesimo on San Antonio forward Kurt Thomas: “Usually when somebody hits the deck and Kurt Thomas is in the vicinity it’s a good idea to look at him. He’s not afraid to throw his body around. Teammates love to play with Kurt Thomas.”

Carlesimo on’s Barkley Zone promo: “‘Straight from the mouth of Charles doesn’t sound good to me, especially with all that swine flu.”

Carlesimo on Mavericks guard Jason Kidd: “Jason Kidd has, as all great players do, improved throughout his career.”

Carlesimo on the Dallas Mavericks: “(The Mavericks) are no longer under the radar. People have to understand that this series was not just about San Antonio maybe playing a little bit sub-par. They (the Spurs) played well enough in this series to beat a lot of teams. (Mavs coach) Rick Carlisle has his team playing extremely well at the time you want them to be playing well. They are going to be a tough out.”

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Announcers: Johnson, Barkley and Smith

Smith on the Spurs lacking a consistent front court player to play next to forward Tim Duncan: “The one spot that (the Spurs) haven’t filled that they’ve been trying to fill for four years is who plays alongside Tim Duncan.  There hasn’t been a consistent starter on that team. Robert Horry has been the closest thing to a consistent player next to Tim Duncan.  (Manu) Ginobili comes back, Tony Parker is still at the top of his game, Tim Duncan is not at the top of his game, but he’s going to get healthier and he’s going to be effective. They need a guy who goes in that baseline with Tim, who’s a little more athletic and a little more youthful. (Duncan) is not the most athletic big man anymore and he should not be the most athletic big man on the team.”

Barkley on the aging San Antonio Spurs: “(The Spurs) still won 50 games. (Tony) Parker, (Manu) Ginobili and (Tim) Duncan missed a lot of games and they still won 50 games. I actually like (Matt) Bonner with that group, but the problem is they have an old bench. Kurt Thomas, love him, old; Bruce Bowen, starter, old; Michael Finley, starter, old. Roger Mason had a good year, but he’s got to develop his game and stop just being a steady three shooter, he was taken completely out of the series. He had a fantastic regular season, but he didn’t make any plays (in the postseason). They need some guys who can get their shot off the dribble.  Tim Duncan, the thing they’ve got to concern themselves with when you get to his age, I’ve been there and done that, you get rested but you don’t get healthy. Tim Duncan is the greatest power forward ever, the notion that he’s going to get a good summer rest at this age, that he’s going to get healthier, is ridiculous, he’s just going to get older.”

Barkley on Magic coach Stan Van Gundy: “I like Stan Van Gundy, but he’s a little sensitive.”

Barkley on whether Magic center Dwight Howard should be suspended for an elbow on 76ers center Samuel Dalembert: “(Dwight Howard) will be and he should be (suspended).  It would a travesty if they don’t suspend him for the next game. That’s a punch, just because he delivered it with his elbow doesn’t mean it’s not a punch. It would set a precedent where you could say, ‘I didn’t punch him, I just hit him with my elbow.’ That’s an easy call. Orlando was very fortunate, he could have gotten tossed tonight, they got very lucky.”

Smith: “Is Chris Webber in on Thursday? If he isn’t, there is a seat for Dwight Howard because he will be available. He will be suspended.”

Barkley on the NBA Playoffs record of three overtimes in the Bulls/Celtics series: “They should just quit playing and start the game in overtime.”

Barkley on a foul by Celtics guard Rajon Rondo against Bulls center Brad Miller: “That is a flagrant foul.  You have to look at the result, not the intent, (Rondo) hit a guy in the head. The action that he hit a guy in the head, I thought that should have been a flagrant foul. In fairness to the ref, I can understand the ref’s situation, that call would have maybe given the Bulls the game with two free throws and the ball. (The officials) do not want to decide the game.”

Smith on the hard foul by Celtics guard Rajon Rondo: “If Brad Miller hit Rondo going to the lane like that, they would have called it (flagrant). A big guy hitting a small guy.”

TNT’s Cheryl Miller interviewed Heat guard Dwyane Wade.

Wade on his injured back: “It’s not feeling better yet at this time. You go to sleep, you get stiff, you wake up and come in and try to get therapy on it. Hopefully I feel better tomorrow (Wednesday). No matter what, I’ll be on the floor trying to help my teammates win.”

Wade on when he realized something was wrong with his back: “Before the game, but you try to block it out. You can’t really go into it thinking about it. Early on my first couple shots you could tell that I didn’t have lift, but you keep going.”

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One Response to “Notes from TNT’s Coverage of the NBA Playoffs – Tuesday, April 28, 2009: The San Antonio Spurs Are Fishermen”

  1. TC says:

    I love Popovich, but he had Matt Bonner starting and Drew Gooden had a DNP-CD. Also, starting Bruce Bowen AND Michael Finley? The Spurs fell ahead with those guys on the floor at the start. They bought in Hill, Roger Mason Jr., they did better. Usually I think Pop is a great in-game coach but I think he got a little stubborn in using Bonner and his Old Faithfuls too much. Dallas is not THAT much better than San Antone and I think Denver’s going to hammer them 4-1. Ya heard it here first.