Notes from TNT’s Coverage of the NBA – Thursday, December 10, 2009: Congratulations Ray Allen

TNT’s NBA Thursday coverage continues Thursday, Dec. 17 at 8 p.m. ET with a doubleheader featuring the Orlando Magic @ Miami Heat followed by the Phoenix Suns @ Portland Trail Blazers.

CLIP OF THE DAY

(click on link below to watch)

TNT’s Charles Barkley compares himself to Albert Einstein while discussing the struggles of the Washington Wizards season

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TNT NBA Tip-off presented by AutoTrader.com

Ernie Johnson, Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith and Chris Webber

Smith compares NBA referees interactions with players to how he disciplines his children at home: “I have a shorter leash in my house when my son K.J. does something than when my daughters Kayla or Monique.  Because he’s got a history of not doing the right thing.  Am I fair to all of my children?  Of course.  But do I have a shorter leash with certain kids?  Of course I do.”

Smith on the officials knowing the players much better than on any other level of basketball: “Charles Barkley is not a marginal player, he gets the benefit of the doubt of having conversations and he’s privy to say things that other players can’t. The stakes are different in the NBA than they are in college and high school. You play 20 games minimum with a referee so if you have a five year career, (you see him) 100 times. That’s never going to happen anywhere else, so they are going to know your personality, your likes, your dislikes. And they are going know your manner of speaking because Charles spoke differently to officials than I spoke to them.”

Webber on the worst part of the Tim Donaghy situation: “At the end of the day, it’s not about the players and did you win this game. What hurts is guys are calling and saying, ‘I knew the NBA was (like) this,’ and that’s not the case. No way, the NBA has the integrity of any league.”

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Game 1:  Boston Celtics (104) @ Washington Wizards (102)

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

Miller on whether Wizards guard Gilbert Arenas could move to the two guard:  “(Arenas) would give a lot of shooting guards problems because of his quickness, but Gilbert is a true one (guard).  He’s one of those hybrids, ala Chauncey Billups. He’s just slow to come back from that micro fracture surgery.”

Fratello on older players having a mix of good and bad nights: “It’s almost like one night (Garnett) loosens up and he’s ready to go and another night he just can’t get it going. We’ve heard that from Doc Rivers about a couple of his older players. On certain nights you throw a lob and they go get it and finish and on other nights they can’t even reach the ball.”

Wizards forward Antawn Jamison on what prevents the Wizards from being an elite team: “I think talent-wise we are right up there with them, but the difference is the outside distractions. Guys worry about this and I need my shots and it’s a contract year. You’ve got put all that aside and you’ve got to go out there and compete and you’ve got to go out there and play and that’s been the biggest difference so far.”

Fratello on Wizards guard/forward Mike Miller: “(Mike Miller) is such an important piece. He does so many valuable things, not only is he a terrific long-range shooter, he can handle the basketball and he’s a great rebounder for his size.”

TNT’s David Aldridge interviewed Celtics coach Doc Rivers after the first quarter.

Rivers on the Celtics’ need to play better on the defensive end: “When you’re wide open and the way they shoot they should make them. We’ve done a great job of leaving them wide open, I can tell you that.  We’re not guarding the ball. To me that’s the start. Guard the ball, create matchups and we’re not synching, we’ve got to be a better defensive team.”

Miller on Celtics forward Kevin Garnett’s respect for the history of basketball: “I love the stories from Flip Saunders talking about Kevin Garnett when he was a young rookie and during an initial workout when Kevin McHale would come over and (KG would say) yes sir, no sir, Mr. McHale. Such a basketball historian that Kevin Garnett is and the respect he has for the guys who came before, it’s hard to find guys who are so respectful of the game and so great in this game.”

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Halftime

Johnson, Barkley, Smith and Webber

Barkley on the Washington Wizards: “Sometimes people don’t watch our show because I’ve been saying for three years that the Wizards stink. Was it Charles Barkley or Einstein that said if you keep doing the same thing over and over that’s insanity.  They have no team leader, they have no style, they already got a good coach Eddie Jordan fired and Flip Saunders hopped on the Titanic halfway down. It’s embarrassing.”

Webber on the Wizards: “(The Wizards) made a commitment to Gilbert Arenas two years ago and that puts them in this position of who do you trade?

Barkley: “Jon and Kate made a commitment. How did that work out?”

Webber: “It worked out like this is working out. That just shows you that forget the talent because anyone in the league can get a rebound in a quarter. That just shows that the effort and the talent isn’t’ there.”

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Miller on CNN’s Wolf Blitzer who was a guest tweeter for the NBA Twitter feed during the Wizards game: “It looks like he’s tweeting now, but he was going to town on that popcorn before. Maybe he was going to tweet on how good that popcorn is.”

Celtics guard Ray Allen on the leadership of young guard Rajon Rondo: “We’re following you, you have the ball in your hands the majority of times. So we’re listening to what you say, whatever plays you call. You can see him out there now. The first year Doc was calling all the plays, telling him, ‘this is the play I want you to run.’ Before, he looked at the coach all the time saying, ‘what do  you want now?’ They still have that rapport; it’s even greater than it was. But for the most part you can you can see him on the free throw line, saying, ‘since they just did that, let’s run this play coming down the floor,’ and he’ll adjust to what teams are doing.”

Ray Ray goes BANG!

Fratello on the confidence of the Celtics veterans in guard Rajon Rondo: “This is very similar to when Tony Parker came in the league and Gregg Popovich step-by-step brought him along and eventually turned over play calling to him. That’s what Rondo is developing now. (There is) a lot of confidence from those veterans in that young man.”

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Game 2:  Orlando Magic (111) @ Utah Jazz (120)

Announcers: Kevin Harlan and Doug Collins with Craig Sager reporting

Collins on rookie Jazz guard Eric Maynor: “(Eric Maynor) has been a good pick up for them, he is still trying to figure out his role. Sometimes at the point guard position he wants to think a little too much about scoring. Maynor has a lot of potential. I like his game and I think he could be an excellent backup to Deron Williams.”

TNT’s Craig Sager interviewed Magic coach Stan Van Gundy after the first quarter.

Van Gundy and the first quarter for the Magic: “We shot the ball very well. I did not like our rebounding didn’t particularly like our defense. They missed some free throws and some open shots. I liked our offense; I did not like our defense or rebounding.”

Collins on the Jazz needing something that will spark their season and put them in better position: “(The Jazz) need a spark. Last year right before the All-Star break they beat the Lakers, won 12 straight and didn’t lose for a month. They haven’t had any of those runs. They have three games at home. They have tonight’s game, they play Minnesota, then they play the Lakers and then they go on the road for five straight. They need something to jump start their season. They are just muddling along right around 500 right now.”

TNT’s Craig Sager interviewed Magic forward Ryan Anderson at halftime.

Anderson on coming off the bench during the first half: “You’ve just got to be ready every time coach calls your name. Rashard (Lewis) got into some foul trouble so I’ve got to step it up from the bench and produce. We’re playing real well, we’re getting into the flow of the game. We are struggling a little bit in this second quarter, but we’ll get back in the flow.”

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Halftime

Johnson, Barkley, Smith and Webber

Smith on how the Jazz can beat the Magic:  “If you play against the Orlando Magic you have to guard the three-point line. They are not a team that can drive off the three point line. (J.J.) Redick, Ryan Anderson, Rashard Lewis, they don’t drive off the line so if you force them and you put a hand in their face and make them drive off the line and get them into a half court offense, then you  can collapse in and have a tough time against (Dwight) Howard. If you let them stay on that line and not run them off it, you will have a tough time.”

Barkley on the Magic having the deepest team in the NBA: “(The Magic and Celtics) are easily the best two teams in the East. The Magic are the deepest team in the league, they have a better bench than the Lakers. Do they have anyone as good as Lamar Odom? No they don’t. The Lakers have the best starting team and the best sixth man, but they don’t have the best bench.”

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Collins on Magic center Dwight Howard’s love of basketball: “(Dwight Howard) has got a lot of joy, a lot of energy. You love to see that out before the game, bouncing around and having a good time. He’s got a great mentor over on that bench in Patrick Ewing.  That guy was a warrior and loved to play. Patrick’s worked with Dwight Howard, with Yao Ming as a young player. He’s one of the all time great guys who does a wonderful job teaching these big guys.”

Collins on the Orlando Magic this year vs. last: “They have a lot of work to do. Last year they were a terrific defensive team, sometimes what go lost in all that three-point shooting is what a good defensive team the Magic are. They’ve had some slippage in that area with injuries and with new faces and they are going to have to get their defensive swagger back. Dwight Howard is not blocking as many shots, his rebounding is down, he’s got to pick those numbers up. Vince Carter has got to get in the mix, get Jameer Nelson back, get their rotations down, new guys in the rotations coming off the bench. They have a ton of talent, they are very deep.”

TNT’s Craig Sager interviewed Jazz guard Deron Williams after the Jazz defeated the Magic.

Williams on the Jazz’s slow start to the game: “We were all disappointed with our loss in L.A., that fourth quarter, and we kind of continued that in the first quarter. We just had to get out of that funk. So try to get more aggressive going to the basket and open some things up.”

Williams on whether this game will be a jump start for a winning streak: “I hope so. We’ve got some tough ball games coming up, we’ve got an East coast swing before Christmas that we normally don’t do too well on.”

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Inside the NBA presented by Hyundai

Johnson, Barkley, Smith and Webber

Barkley on the Magic and Celtics potentially playing each other in the Eastern Conference Finals: “That is going to be a great series, once they get Jameer (Nelson) back. There are only two dogs in that (Eastern Conference) race.  Orlando and Boston are by far the best two teams in the East.”

Barkley on Jazz forward Carlos Boozer: “(The Jazz) are a decent team, but they have to do something about Carlos Boozer. They know they are not going to re-sign him. Carlos Boozer started it last year when he said he was opting out of his contract. That offended the Jazz and the people of Salt Lake and now he is going to be a free agent. So now they are going through the motions this year because Boozer is not going to be there after next year.”

EJ: “Do you think Deron Williams and those guys are thinking that much about next year right now?”

Barkley: Yes, that is one reason Carlos Boozer has been inconsistent. You can’t fake energy and effort. He knows he is not going to be there next year. Everyone in Utah knows it; everyone on that team knows it.”

Webber on the Jazz playing differently this season under long-time head coach Jerry Sloan: “Out of all the years that Sloan has had this team, this is the first year that you would say this doesn’t look like a Jerry Sloan team.”

Webber on the Denver Nuggets depleted energy: “Who exactly is this Denver Nuggets team? Carmelo (Anthony) came back ready and now they’ve got Chauncey (Billups) but this goes back to how they played before the trade, it’s like they only had energy for a second.”

One Response to “Notes from TNT’s Coverage of the NBA – Thursday, December 10, 2009: Congratulations Ray Allen”

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