Notes from TNT’s Coverage of the NBA Playoffs – Sunday, May 24, 2009: “We’ve got to have a conversation when the playoffs are over about the officiating. I love the officials but the officiating during the playoffs has not been very good. It’s been terrible officiating. They call every little bump foul and they aren’t sure what a flagrant (foul) is.”

(AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

TNT’s exclusive coverage of the Eastern Conference Finals continues on Tuesday, May 26 with pre-game coverage beginning at 8 p.m. ET, followed by Game #4 of the Cleveland Cavaliers @ Orlando Magic at 8:30 p.m. ET.

TNT NBA Tip-off presented by

Announcers: Ernie Johnson, Charles Barkley, Reggie Miller and Kenny Smith

Barkley on why LeBron James’s game-winning shot in Game #2 was more impressive than Michael Jordan’s series-clinching shot in 1989 vs. the Cavaliers: “I thought (LeBron James’ game-winning shot in Game #2) was better than Michael Jordan’s (series-winning) shot (in the 1989 playoffs) because (James’ shot) could’ve closed out a series, too.  The Cavaliers weren’t going to win the (NBA) Championship that year (1989) and (the Magic) have a legitimate chance this year to win a championship.  That shot may have changed their entire season.”

TNT’s Craig Sager interviewed Magic guard Courtney Lee before the game

Lee on how the Magic will react to LeBron James’ game-winning shot: “We’ve been in that situation before.  In the Boston series, ‘Big Baby’ (Glenn Davis) came in and hit a big shot so we just let (LeBron James’ shot) fuel us for (Game #3).  We need to make sure it doesn’t come down to a last-second shot.  We need to get as much separation as we can.”

Smith on how great teams and players should play with a short memory: “I’ve been blessed to be on some great teams and be around some great players and they’ve always had short memories.  So you don’t remember the last game (either) positively or negatively because each game has to be its own entity.  Great players don’t remember the last shot they missed and great teams don’t remember the last game they lost.  That’s the resiliency that you need to be championship team.”

Miller on the Magic needing more fourth quarter offense from Rashard Lewis and Hedo Turkoglu: “Dwight Howard needs Rashard Lewis and Hedo Turkoglu in the fourth quarter.  Those two superstars need to get it going for the Magic.  (Howard) is only averaging two or three touches in the fourth quarter and the fourth quarter numbers need to come from Rashard Lewis and Hedo Turkoglu.”

TNT’s John Thompson interviewed Magic forward Rashard Lewis in another edition of “Thompson’s Timeoout”

Lewis on how LeBron James’ game-winning shot affected the Magic: “It took a lot out of us.  We were really upset about that last shot because we really felt like we had the game won.  We felt like him hitting that shot gave them new life and reenergized their team.  It gave them confidence that they are back in the series.”

Lewis on what the Magic need to keep up with the Cavaliers early in games: “We have to match their energy at the jump-ball.  They come out of the gates and it’s almost like a shock to us.  It’s like they are moving faster than us and hitting us before we hit them.  If we can make it a ballgame in the first half, hopefully we can continue to play like we’ve been playing in the second half.”

****    ****    ****    ****    *****

Orlando Magic (99) @ Cleveland Cavaliers (89) – The Magic lead the series 2-1

Announcers: Marv Albert and Doug Collins; with Craig Sager reporting

Collins on Cavaliers guard Mo Williams taking some difficult shots: “When you’re not shooting well, you want to make sure to get good (shots).  I thought (in Game #2 Mo Williams) took some very difficult shots and when you’re not shooting well, you want to make sure you get some good shots.”

Cavaliers guard Mo Williams on LeBron James’ defensive play: “If you’re a fan or any kind or a reporter watching our games, (LeBron James) does everything for us.  He does the things that you see and the things that don’t show up in the stat book.  (He’ll track) someone down for a wide-open layup that 99.9% of the time would be a layup for any other team and he’ll get a block.”

Collins on the speed of LeBron James: “You just don’t realize how fast (LeBron James) is in the open court.”

Collins on LeBron James creating space for himself: “When LeBron (James) has the ball in his hands, everyone is looking (at him).  But when he is moving away from the ball, he is actually freeing himself up (more).”

Collins on LeBron James needing offensive help
: “When Delonte West and Mo Williams make shots, it makes LeBron’s life a lot easier.”

Collins on LeBron James putting pressure on the referees: “(LeBron James) is going to create all kinds of contact.  He’s a very tough guy to officiate; he reminds me how Allen Iverson and Shaq (O’Neal) are (with) so much contact on all the plays.  What’s the foul?  Who’s creating the foul?  Who’s creating the contact?  He puts all kinds of pressure on the referee.”

Collins on Magic forward Hedo Turkoglu playing better on the road: “(Hedo Turkoglu is) one of these guys whose numbers are much better on the road than at home.  Normally, players play better at home with the home crowd and the energy.  But Hedo is a guy who has played much better on the road, especially in the playoffs.”

TNT’s Craig Sager interviewed Magic forward Rashard Lewis after the second quarter

Lewis on how the Magic need to find a way to contain LeBron James: “We’re closing out to their shooters hard but mainly trying to keep the paint closed.  But LeBron somehow seems to find his way to the rim every time so we’ve got to contain him a little bit.  He’s the only one keeping them in the game.”

****    ****    ****    ****    *****

T-Mobile Halftime Report

Announcers: Ernie Johnson, Charles Barkley, Reggie Miller and Kenny Smith

Barkley on how Magic center Dwight Howard needs to play smarter on defense: “(Dwight Howard) has to be smarter.  You can’t help your team sitting on the bench.  Sometimes when you are a great player, you need to say, ‘I need to give up these two (points) and I’ll get more on the other end’.”

Barkley on the inconsistency of the officiating in the playoffs: “We’ve got to have a conversation when the playoffs are over about the officiating.  I love the officials but the officiating during the playoffs has not been very good.  It’s been terrible officiating.  They call every little bump foul and they aren’t sure what a flagrant (foul) is.”

Miller: “It’s not so much that they are calling every little bump, it’s the inconsistency between a flagrant-one and a flagrant-two.  I think the rules committee needs to get together and expand replay (reviews).”

****    ****    ****    ****    *****

Collins on Magic center Dwight Howard becoming more active in the paint: “I like (Dwight Howard’s) activity.  They are really looking inside to him and if he can take his time and get some position, (the Magic) can get help and free up a shooter.  They can play inside and out, which is their strength.”

Collins on Cavaliers reserve center Ben Wallace: “When you help off of Ben Wallace, he’s an opportunity scorer.  When he gets to the offensive boards and gets some dunks, that’s when he is at his best.”

Collins on Magic reserve guard Mickael Pietrus: “(Mickael Pietrus) is a guy who had a lot of injuries this year and they actually got him (as a free agent) to be a starter and to get a little more athletic at the two-guard position.  They didn’t know what they would be able to get from Courtney Lee early (in the season).  (Pietrus has) been very effective for them.”

TNT’s Craig Sager interviewed Magic head coach Stan Van Gundy after the third quarter

Van Gundy on the Magic having a hard time defending against LeBron James: “If (LeBron James) dribbles, it’s a foul and he’s on the free throw line.  It’s very hard to play (against).”

Collins on Dwight Howard needing to expand his game: “(Dwight Howard) is a work in progress as a low post player.  When he can step off the lane, face up and shoot a little bank shot off the glass, then his game will start expanding and he can play away from some of that congestion.”

TNT’s Craig Sager interviewed Magic center Dwight Howard after the game

Howard on the Magic winning Game #3: “We just kept fighting, that’s what we do, we fight to the end.  We can’t worry about (anything), we can’t worry about the calls, we can’t worry about anybody else.  We just have to get out there and play.”

Howard on what he said to referee Joey Crawford that got him a technical foul: “I didn’t say anything to Joey Crawford.  My response was to the other team.  I didn’t say anything to Joey Crawford.  I’m not stupid enough to get in his face and say anything so I try to keep it to the other team.  It is what it is.  We can’t worry about anything else, we just have to come out and beat (the Cavaliers).”

****    ****    ****    ****    *****

Inside the NBA presented by Hyundai

Announcers: Johnson, Barkley, Miller and Smith

Barkley on the officiating in the playoffs: “The referees have been very inconsistent throughout the playoffs.  I shouldn’t say that they stink, but I’m going to say it.  They’ve been stinking the whole playoffs.”

Miller: “Which one is it?  Do they stink or are they inconsistent?”

Barkley: “They’ve been both in some games.”

Miller on Cavaliers guard Mo Williams needing to get more involved offensively: “There really wasn’t any consistency to (Game #3).  LeBron James has been a one-man gang and you wonder when Mo Williams is going to get involved offensively.  His offense has been non-existent.”

Smith on Mo Williams needing to be more aggressive: “Mo Williams has to be more aggressive and make plays for himself and his teammates.  I think they are too dependant on LeBron to make every single play for the team.”

Barkley on Orlando getting past the Cavaliers’ defense: “(The Cavaliers are) not as good defensively as everyone thinks they are because they aren’t stopping anybody.  Orlando is getting any shot they want in any situation.”

Smith on someone on the Cavaliers needing to step up offensively to help LeBron James: “You have to make shots, end of story.  If you’re Cleveland, you have to have someone other than LeBron get more than 20 points.  There’s not a championship team where one guy gets 40 (points) and no one else gets 20 (points).  Every single game, somebody has to step up.”

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

9 Responses to “Notes from TNT’s Coverage of the NBA Playoffs – Sunday, May 24, 2009: “We’ve got to have a conversation when the playoffs are over about the officiating. I love the officials but the officiating during the playoffs has not been very good. It’s been terrible officiating. They call every little bump foul and they aren’t sure what a flagrant (foul) is.””

  1. Eric Daniels says:

    The officials have been bad for the last 5 years in the playoffs (remember Phoenix /San Antonio 2 years ago) and this year they are letting Kobe get away with grabbing Carmelo’s jersey and Le Bron has been getting calls but both series have been the best Conference Championships in 20 years. The Cavs should be down 3-0 because James supporting cast has not shown up and the Magic has outplayed the Cavs in the 4th quarter of every game.

    The Lakers – Nuggets series has gone to form with the Lakers winning becasue the “Black Mamba” has shown up late to win games for the “Lake Show” and Denver’s bad inbound passes late in both games 1&3. The Nuggets will win the NBA title next year but this year should toughen the Nuggets and make them hard as steel in the 2009-10 season.

    I think Le Bron will be playing for the Knicks unless Cleveland gets him another superstar.

  2. Temple3 says:

    My father thinks LBJ should attack the rim more often. It seems like Orlando is playing off of him and forcing him to shoot jumpers. What would you do?

    1) Post LBJ on the block more often and run the offense through him that way?

    2) Attack the rim anyway and risk drawing charges?

    3) Practice that jumper?

  3. Mizzo says:

    All of the above bruh.

  4. Temple3 says:

    Good answer.

  5. kos says:

    Rashard Lewis actually said before Game 3, that their goal was to turn LeBron into a jump shooter. It also helps that the Magic have Pietrus. He seems to guard LeBron as well as I have seen anyone guard him. More than practicing his jumper, attacking the rim, and posting up (which I would dare him to shoot from that position, because he still isn’t that big a threat to score from that position), there’s one thing that would help him. If his team mates could hit the open shots that they were hitting in the regular season! Oh yeah, he might like being liked by his teammates, but if they are in any danger of losing tonite, he might want to start yelling at them. Being nice & friends with your co-workers/teammates can be a good thing, but if they aren’t producing, sometimes you have to go the other route….

  6. Kirk Mitchell says:

    LeBron should attack the rim on every play. They don’t call him for any charging fouls, and they call fouls on the Magic for just breathing on him.

  7. Universe says:

    West and Mo Williams need to start hitting their jumpers. If they do so than Lebron begins to get his near triple doubles, there is balanced scoring, and the Cavs return to the success of the regular season.

  8. Eric Daniels says:

    Lebron’s supporting cast is not showing up again tonite, what is Celeveland goning to do? If the Cavs don’t win this series you have to fire Mike Brown because he can’t win a champaionship with all that talent.

    Avery Johnson anyone?

  9. mwtsaginaw says:

    Somebody please tell me that LeBron was really fouled at the end of regulation on Tuesday, or that he never lowers his shoulder.