Notes from TNT’s Coverage of the NBA Playoffs – Wednesday, April 28, 2010: The Hawks Are in Trouble

Brandon Jennings scores 25 and John Salmons 19 to offset Al Horford’s 25 and Marvin Williams’ 22 as the Bucks pushed the Hawks to the brink of elimination 91-87. Milwaukee leads the series 3-2. With the victory, the surprising Bucks can wrap up the series at home Saturday.

TNT’s coverage of the 2010 NBA Playoffs continues on Thursday, April 29 at 8 p.m. (ET) with a doubleheader featuring the Dallas Mavericks @ San Antonio Spurs (Game #6) followed by the Phoenix Suns @ Portland Trail Blazers (Game #6).

Game 1: Milwaukee Bucks (91) @ Atlanta Hawks (87) – Milwaukee leads the series 3-2.

Announcers: Matt Devlin and Kevin McHale with Lewis Johnson reporting

McHale on Bucks guard John Salmons: “(Salmons) is a scorer, he’s going to score in a multitude of ways.  He’s going to get to the line, hit jump shots and he’s got a step back set shot.  He goes right, he goes left and he can just put the ball in the hole.”

McHale on the influence Bucks reserve guard Luke Ridnour has on rookie guard Brandon Jennings: “Ridnour has given (the Bucks) effective minutes all season long.  He really gives Coach Skiles a nice blend with (Brandon) Jennings.  When Jennings struggles, Ridnour comes in and gives him a break.  He’s been a settling influence on (Jennings).”

McHale on Hawks reserve center Zaza Pachulia: “(Pachulia) is a nice, big physical presence.  Zaza is going to bang in there, root around and knock some people over.  I like him, he’s a nice ‘glue’ guy for the team.”

McHale on Hawks forward Josh Smith: “They call him a ‘live wire’ and he surely is.  He’ll have spectacular dunks and blocks.  He protects the paint and his game has really evolved under head coach Mike Woodson.  ‘Woody’ has done a great job with him.”

McHale on veteran Bucks center Kurt Thomas: “What a competitor Kurt Thomas is.  He is tough as nails and he doesn’t give an inch out there.  He plays hard all the time.  He’s been in a lot of playoff battles.  He really gives the Bucks a physical presence and a toughness.”

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Ernie Johnson, Charles Barkley and Kenny Smith

Barkley on what Bucks rookie Brandon Jennings needs to work on this summer: “I think he’s terrific.  When he starts making shots, he has a quickness advantage over (Hawks point guard) Mike Bibby.  He’s going to be fun to watch for the next few years but he needs to spend the summer working on his jump shot.”

Smith on what separates the great teams from everyone else in the Playoffs: “The one thing that separates the great teams that we’ve seen in the Playoffs (like) the Lakers, Cleveland (Cavaliers) and Orlando (Magic) is their intensity level and their attention to detail.”

Barkley on the point guard match-up between Denver’s Chauncey Billups and Utah’s Deron Williams: “It’s a tough match-up.  Chauncey is an older guy and Deron Williams is the best point guard in the NBA.  It’s a very tough match-up.  (Williams) is great with the ball but the big guys for Utah need to step up.”

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McHale on important aspects of Playoff basketball: “Part of playoff basketball is understanding mismatches and where the ball should go.  Those are all things you need to do as a team to be able to beat quality NBA playoff teams.”

McHale on how smaller players need to take advantage of their speed to draw fouls: “(Smaller players) have to drive that big guy, get him in the paint and use your speed.  Attack them and get them back on their feet.  Make the referees call the foul at the rim by getting in on the body.”

McHale on teams recognizing mismatches: “I love it when you see a mismatch and the teams see it, recognize it and go after it.”

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Game 2: Utah Jazz (102) @ Denver Nuggets (116) – Utah leads the series 3-2.

Announcers: Dick Stockton and Mike Fratello with Marc Fein reporting

Fratello on the various meanings of a low assist total: “When (a team has) 12 and 13 assists in a game, you wonder if it’s because you’re not passing the ball or are guys not making shots.  You need a lot of film work to figure that out.”

Fratello on the Nuggets capitalizing on Carmelo Anthony being double-teamed: “When they double-team Carmelo Anthony, and he’s going to face double-teams all night, some of them are going to come right away and others will come right away and others will come as he puts the ball on the floor.  Then he has to be able to spot and pick out his teammates, then they have to make shots.”

TNT’s Marc Fein interviewed Jazz forward Carlos Boozer following the second quarter

Boozer on how the Jazz have been successful against the Nuggets: “We just keep fighting.  They are a good team and they aren’t going to come out here and B.S.  They are going to bring it.  Fortunately for us, we’ve made some big shots and playing good enough defense.”

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Johnson, Barkley and Smith

Barkley on the lack of energy from the Nuggets and their fans during Game #5: “There is no sense of desperation or energy in that building.  We’ve all been in games where you have to stay alive.  You’ve got to come and get the crowd involved.  I’m very disappointed in the Denver Nuggets because there isn’t any energy from the crowd.  They have been sitting down the entire game.”

Smith on how you can measure how desperate a team is to win: “How do you measure (desperation)?  This is how you measure it.  If you look at the team rebounds, the loose balls and the deflections.  That’s when you know if they are playing with desperation.  If those aren’t high numbers, and they aren’t for the Denver Nuggets, you can tell that they aren’t playing with desperation.”

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Fratello on the Jazz reserve players: “The thing I like about it, the role players show great toughness for Utah.  They are mentally tough.  They understand what their assignments are and they play off the two leaders: (Deron) Williams and (Carlos) Boozer.”

Fratello on the Nuggets turning the ball over too much in Game #5: “(Turnovers) can’t happen in a close game in a Playoff game.  You can’t stand around and watch Utah get second and third shots and then come down (the court) and turn the ball over carelessly.”

Fratello on Nuggets forward Kenyon Martin being an effective player when healthy: “Kenyon Martin is one of those guys who has had to battle injuries throughout his career in the NBA.  When you have a healthy Kenyon Martin, who is able to play with the aggressiveness and toughness that he has in him, he’s tough to defend, he’s hard on the glass and he’s good enough to make an open jump shot.  But he’s struggled with injuries.”

Fratello on Nuggets interim head coach Adrian Dantley: “It’s so difficult to take over in the middle of the season.  Many people felt that the Nuggets, when they were playing their best, were good enough to beat the Lakers in the Playoffs.  Their head coach (George Karl) comes down with cancer and (Adrian Dantley) had to move over and it’s not a difficult situation, some teams are easier to coach.  You have a mixture of personalities on this Denver Nuggets team that can be very tough to handle.”

TNT’s Marc Fein interviewed Nuggets forward Carmelo Anthony following the game

Anthony on the Nuggets winning Game #5: “We did it as a team tonight (with) our defense, we passed the ball tonight, we made plays.  We made each other better tonight and we won the game.”

Anthony on the Nuggets still being in the series with the Jazz: “We have to battle.  We’ve got guys injured and hurt and we have to battle.  It’s a fight, a dog fight and we’re here.  We’re still in it.”

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Johnson, Barkley and Smith

Barkley on who will win Game #6 of the Jazz/Nuggets series: “I’m going to go with Utah. I think this was clearly a must win for Denver but I think Utah has outplayed Denver, realistically.  That is a very tough place to play. (Paul) Millsap plays a lot better and (so do) those other role players. (Carlos) Boozer and Deron Williams will get theirs, but those other players play a lot better at home. I think Utah will close them out.”

Smith: “The difference will be if Nene does not play, Denver becomes a very small team. (Paul) Millsap and (Carlos) Boozer are the best small power forwards in basketball. All of a sudden you get them playing against smaller guys and I don’t think the Denver Nuggets can come out and win.”

TNT’s Lewis Johnson interviewed Milwaukee Bucks guard Brandon Jennings following the game

Jennings on winning Game #5 on the road: “We are not a good playoff team until we win on the road. We came in here and took one from them tonight. We have one more to go. “

Jennings on how big of a role defense played in Game #5: “Once we got Joe Johnson out the game, I thought we had it. We did a good job switching and a good job helping.”

Barkley on the Bucks being able to win the series in Game #6: “The Hawks have a chance. This is going to be a very difficult game for Milwaukee; this is the first time that they will have the monkey on their back. They have been playing with house money the first five games of this series. When this series started, no one thought they could win it without (Andrew) Bogut. Then they win the first game and they get somewhat back into it.”

Barkley on what he calls the Milwaukee Bucks: “They are Denver East, because they have issues going on in that locker room. They don’t like each other.”

Barkley on Brandon Roy starting in Game # 6: “I think he should start because he is already warmed up. Sometimes when you have a knee injury and you go to the bench, sometimes it stiffens up.”

3 Responses to “Notes from TNT’s Coverage of the NBA Playoffs – Wednesday, April 28, 2010: The Hawks Are in Trouble”

  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Hawks Fan Zone. Hawks Fan Zone said: Notes from TNT's Coverage of the NBA Playoffs – Wednesday, April …: McHale on Hawks forward Josh Smith: “They ca… [...]

  2. Temple3 says:

    Can the Hawks win Game 6?

  3. Mizzo says:

    Somebody has got to light a fire under the entire team’s ass so they manage to get a stop or eight when it counts. The Bucks still are bigger even with Bogut out and there’s just no happy medium where the Hawks feel comfortable on the floor. Brandon Jennings is gonna go off because I know he feels snubbed in not winning ROY. Should be a great game. I’m finally about to get some rest.

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