Notes from TNT’s Coverage of the NBA Playoffs – Wednesday, April 21, 2010: Dwight Howard and the Mavs Go Offense/Defense

The 2 time consecutive winner of the DPOY award helped hold the Bobcats to 43% shooting in an impressive 92-77 win. The Magic are a scary team in that they get a team effort every game. Stan Van Gundy has his squad read and willing to take on and defeat all comers. Cleveland, don’t sleep…

Of course this is all premature, but the rivalry no matter what you hear is Dwight vs. LeBron. This is the match up everyone wants to see first.

TNT’s coverage of the 2010 NBA Playoffs continues on Thursday, April 22 at 7 p.m. ET with a doubleheader featuring the Cleveland Cavaliers @ Chicago Bulls (Game #3) followed by the Los Angeles Lakers @ Oklahoma City Thunder (Game #3).

QUOTE OF THE DAY

“You know you’ve lived a long time when Jason Williams is called a calming influence. Either that or the apocalypse is right around the corner.” Kevin McHale on Magic head coach Stan Van Gundy saying that reserve guard Jason Williams has been a calming influence on the bench


TNT NBA Tip-off presented by AutoTrader.com

Ernie Johnson, Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith and Chris Webber

Webber on if the Bobcats should continue to attempt to shut down Dwight Howard: “I think that Gerald Wallace (and the Bobcats) need to do the same thing (focus on Dwight Howard).  I don’t think Jameer Nelson is going to have 37 points again.  If they can hold Dwight Howard to five points, chances are they are going to win those games.  They do need to hold him to that.”

Bobcats guard Raymond Felton on playing in the Bobcats’ first playoff game: “It was amazing.  It was kind of like college ‘March Madness’ in a sense but with much more intensity.  No question about that. At some point, I think the floor was shaking.”

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Game 1: Charlotte Bobcats (77) @ Orlando Magic (92) – Orlando leads the series 2-0

Announcers: Matt Devlin and Kevin McHale with Cheryl Miller reporting

McHale on the difference between the Bobcats offense in Game #1 and #2: “When Charlotte got back into the game during the second half of the first game, there was more cutting, more movement, more things on the run and there was really a trust in their offense.  Right now (in Game #2), it’s very stagnant.”

McHale on the importance of getting to the free throw line: “When things aren’t going well, you can get to the line and slow things down a little bit.  You start seeing some points go up on the board.  It really relaxes you when you are getting to the line as the offensive team.”

McHale on Magic guard J.J. Reddick: “He’s really worked hard at his game.  He’s one of the guys that the Orlando coaches love because of his work ethic.”

Bobcats forward Gerald Wallace on defending against the Orlando Magic: “That’s how they play, pick your poison.  The main thing is you try to control both (parts).  You don’t want Dwight to go off and you have to double (team) him and that opens up the perimeter.  You pick your poison early and hope they miss some early shots and go from there.  You have to force them to do something else.”

McHale on Magic head coach Stan Van Gundy saying that reserve guard Jason Williams has been a calming influence on the bench: “You know you’ve lived a long time when Jason Williams is called a calming influence.  Either that or the apocalypse is right around the corner.”

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Halftime

Johnson, Barkley, Smith and Webber

Smith on how Bobcats forward Gerald Wallace needs to expand his game to become a superstar: “I think there are five ways to become a superstar and you have to be able to control the game in three ways.  Gerald Wallace can control the game in two ways: defensively and with rebounds.  He has two quality ways.  To become a superstar, he has to be able to do it a third way in the game, which is scoring.  The (remaining) two ways (to become a superstar) are tempo and leadership.”

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McHale on the versatility of the Orlando Magic: “When (Dwight) Howard and (Marcin) Gortat are rolling hard, you can pick your poison.  You have to make sure Dwight doesn’t get dunks and worry about the three point line.”

McHale on Magic guard Vince Carter being more relaxed on the court: “(Vince Carter is) much more relaxed now.  You can’t play this game going a million miles per hour.  You have to let the game come to you and you have to be aggressive.  Vince has a nice flow to his game.”

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Game 2: San Antonio Spurs (102) @ Dallas Mavericks (88) – Series tied 1-1

Announcers: Dick Stockton and Mike Fratello with Marty Snider reporting

Spurs point guard Tony Parker on head coach Gregg Popovich calling out the team after losing Game #1: “I think he wants to see a reaction out of everyone.  We know we can play better and we didn’t have our best game (in Game #1).  A lot of guys need to show up and I definitely want to see how we’re going to react.  (Game #2) is a big game for us to see our character and how we’re going to react in Game #2.”

Fratello on Spurs forward Richard Jefferson: “(Jefferson) is a very competitive person.  I think he’ll take the challenge that Gregg Popovich has put out there for this team and have a really big night.”

Mavericks guard Caron Butler on Spurs guard Manu Ginobili: “He’s one of the top players in the game.  Obviously he’s a driving force, a guy that can get to the paint and do magnificent things when he gets there.  He’s a great finisher.”

Tim Duncan on teammate Manu Ginobili: “He went through a stretch when Tony (Parker) got hurt where he was one of the top players in the league.”

Dirk Nowitzki on Manu Ginobili “He’s been shooting, he’s been getting to the lane, he’s getting other players involved and he’s finishing around the rim like he used to.  You have to try to contain him.”

TNT’s Marty Snider interviewed Spurs forward Richard Jefferson following the second quarter

Richard Jefferson on the Mavericks: “They are a talented team and they are the two-seed for a reason.  They are at home and they have an amazing crowd.  We still have a lot of work to do.”

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Halftime

Johnson, Barkley, Smith and Webber

Webber on how Manu Ginobili improves Richard Jefferson’s game: “I look at the fact that Tony Parker got hurt during the season.  Tony Parker is a great point guard but when the ball was in Manu’s hands (when Parker was injured).  When the ball was in Manu’s hands, we saw the liberation of Richard Jefferson.  When Manu was aggressive, Jefferson was more aggressive.”

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Fratello on what the Spurs envisioned by bringing in Richard Jefferson in the off-season:  “All of the moves were made to strengthen the teams: The Lakers bringing in (Ron) Artest, the Mavericks bringing back Jason Kidd and bringing in Richard Jefferson and the Cavs bringing in Shaq (O’Neal).  What San Antonio envisioned by bringing in Jefferson was that he would be the next piece in the playoff puzzle.”

Fratello on things going the Spurs way in Game #2: “(In Game #1) some of (Dirk) Nowitzki’s shots had a great bounce even though he was off-balance.  Tonight, a lot of the bounces of the ball went San Antonio’s way.  Those are what (TNT analyst) Doug Collins calls 50/50 balls.  Who is going to get there (to the balls) first, your team or the other team?  Those make such a huge difference.”

Duncan on teammate Richard Jefferson being the difference in Game #2: (Jefferson) was the difference in the game.  He was great in the first half and he was very aggressive.  We talked about getting the ball up the court, open it up and get some stuff going.  When he makes those easy shots, his jump shot comes a little easier for him.  It was great for us.”

Duncan on the Spurs’ team defense: “(Our team defense was) a lot better.  Obviously, we hoped that Dirk (Nowitzki) wouldn’t shoot 10 for 12 again.  We did a much better job with him.  We made him move the ball and contest their shots.  We’re going to have to continue to do that to come back strong (in Game #3).”

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Inside the NBA presented by Hyundai

Johnson, Barkley, Smith and Webber

Barkley on the Spurs and Mavericks series: “This is going to be a terrific series; we said that coming in. You have Gregg Popovich, (Manu) Ginobili, Tim Duncan and (Tony) Parker. Realistically the Dallas Mavericks are not going to beat the Spurs scoring 88 points. The Spurs are happy to get 102 which is higher than their season average but the game is going to come down to tempo. Unless the Mavs get the sped up, they are not going to beat the Spurs. It is just a game of tempo. I think the Mavericks have a little bit better team, they are a little bit deeper but they are going to have to play well to beat this team.”

Smith on the San Antonio Spurs: “To me San Antonio is what I call the George Foreman team. We have to see if they have one good fight left in them because they don’t have a window of opportunity for four or five more years.”

TNT’s Cheryl Miller interviews Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard after the game

Howard on what is more frustrating for him, back to back games with foul trouble or winning over the Charlotte Bobcats when the Magic had the lead: Both have been very frustrating but I’m glad we got the win. Nothing is going to be easy this series so we have to go and take it.”

Webber on the series going back to Orlando: “When Dwight Howard has two subpar games you still have no chance of winning. Coach (Larry) Brown said it best, they don’t have any jump shooters and when you don’t have jump shooters you get it (the ball) to guys messing up the offense’s rhythm. So no, I don’t see that.”

Barkley on how big Game #3 is in the Phoenix Suns/Portland Trail Blazers series: “I think the Suns are a better team and I think reality is going to start setting in. The Suns are a better team; I think they got their mojo going in Game #2. They just need to get their tempo sped up. I think the Suns are going to impose their will and they are going to win.”

Webber on the Suns/Trail Blazers series going seven games: I think all they have to do is win Game #3. If they win Game # 3. I think it will be tough but if they win Game #3 the series will go seven games.

One Response to “Notes from TNT’s Coverage of the NBA Playoffs – Wednesday, April 21, 2010: Dwight Howard and the Mavs Go Offense/Defense”

  1. Temple3 says:

    I’m going on record now.

    The Lakers will not win the championship this season if they have to rely on Kobe shooting 25+ shots per game. He doesn’t have the legs to shoot a high percentage. He’s in better shape than most, but they’re not gonna make it.

    Book it, baby!

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