Notes from TNT’s Coverage of the NBA Playoffs – Thursday, April 29, 2010: The Mavs and the Trail Blazers Both Have Gone Fishin’

The Phoenix Suns took care of a depleted Portland squad and now move on to the next round. Stoudemire and Jason Richardson were big in this series although Amar’e getting just three rips in the clincher is kinda stinkish, Sup with that? He’s gotta do better.

On the other end, San Antonio kicked the Mavs out early again. For some reason not yet known to man, Rick Carlisle sat Rodrique Beaubois for what at least the first 9-10 minutes in the 4th quarter? Might have cost him his job, because the young fella was getting off. Brandon Roy obviously didn’t have it coming off arthroscopic surgery and the Trail Blazers were a little outta sync. It’s gonna be interesting to see if the Suns do what they haven’t done since Barkley was banging in on everybody and ya Pops…and that’s get to the Finals.

TNT’s coverage of the 2010 NBA Playoffs continues on Saturday, May 1 with exclusive Conference Semifinal action at 8 pm ET with the Boston Celtics @ Cleveland Cavaliers (Game #1).

Game 1: Dallas Mavericks (87) @ San Antonio Spurs (97) – San Antonio wins the series 4-2.

Announcers: Dick Stockton and Reggie Miller with Marty Snider reporting

Miller on Spurs forward Tim Duncan’s focus in Game #6: “I don’t think I’ve seen Tim Duncan this focused and we’re talking about all the games and four championships for Timmy Duncan.”

Miller on Spurs guard Tony Parker’s comments that Game #6 is not a pressure situation game: “My friend, you are wrong, the bull’s-eye is definitely on your back because if you find a way to lose this game it is going to be tough to win Game #7 in American Airlines in Dallas. So you’ve got to put all your eggs in your basket for this one game.”

Miller on the Mavericks settling for too many jump shots: “When you are on the road in a Game #6 situation, especially when you have blown the team out the game before, you’ve got to be aggressive. When I say aggressive, I mean taking the ball off the dribble, getting the ball down low, trying to create contact and getting to the foul line. I believe the Mavs have taken too many jump shots.”

TNT’s Marty Snider interviewed Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle after the first quarter.

Carlisle on the difficult first quarter for the Mavericks: “There is no reset button. We’ve got to hang in there, get a little more aggressive, get some shots to go down and we’ve got to make sure we get the 50/50 balls.”

Carlisle on if the Mavericks have taken too many jump shots: “We are a jump shooting team, we have to take open shots, but we need to get it moving it a little more, get it in the paint and get back.”

Spurs coach Gregg Popovich, during an Inside Trax segment, on what the next missed free throw will cost his players: “The next guy who misses a free throw is going to buy me a car.”

Miller on Spurs coach Gregg Popovich not playing his stars during Game #5, a blowout by the Mavs: “Gregg Popovich was taking a lot of heat in Game #5 in that blowout from resting his two stars. (Tim) Duncan only played 24 minutes and (Manu) Ginobili only 18, but you see the production tonight from both players and they look fresh. I think all coaches know the personnel on their team the best. Pop understood the more rest his three superstars have, I put Tony Parker in there as well, the more production he’s going to get out of them.”

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Ernie Johnson, Charles Barkley and Kenny Smith

Barkley on Rick Carlisle continuing to play Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki after he committed four first half fouls: “I’m not sure I would have left (Dirk Nowitzki) in the game because this is a close out game, and he’s not a great defender. I have a problem with them leaving him in the game with three (fouls). He’s your best player and he can’t even really be aggressive. I would sit him on the bench unless the Spurs made a run. If Dirk gets his fifth foul they are really going to be in trouble.”

Smith on teams knowing the Suns want to run but often not being able to prevent it: “You know (the Suns) want to run and every team in the NBA knows that they want to run, but the teams who are successful at making them change their tempo are few and far between. I would like to know what (the Trail Blazers) did that is so special in those two games that they didn’t do in those other two because stopping Steve Nash from forcing the tempo has not been successful for the last five years for most teams.”

Barkley on the high salaries of current players: “Mama, why did you have me so soon? $21 million dollars. Are you kidding me? Mama, you’re fired.”

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Miller on Spurs guard George Hill and Mavs guard Rodrique Beaubois: “This is going to be the future of this rivalry, two up and coming superstars, point/shooting guards.”

TNT’s Marty Snider interviewed Spurs coach Gregg Popovich after the third quarter.

Popovich on how the Spurs are staying focused: “We just kept fighting. They are a great team, they can really score, they got back in the game and we kept our heads in the game and stopped worrying about officials and just played.”

Popovich on whether Mavs forward Dirk Nowitzki or guard Rodrique Beaubois is a bigger threat in the game: “I think Butler’s doing pretty good too. There’s a million of them.”

Miller on the shooting of the Spurs and Mavericks: “I hate to be cliché, but this is an old fashioned shootout by two Texas rivals.”

Miller on the San Antonio Spurs closing out the series against the Mavericks: “They had health and they have one of the best coaches ever in the professional ranks in Gregg Popovich.  But I’m going to give a lot of credit to some of the young blood, George Hill played fantastic for these Spurs.”

TNT’s Marty Snider interviewed Spurs guards Manu Ginobili and George Hill after the Spurs beat the Mavericks to advance to the second round.

Ginobili on how difficult it was to hold off the Dallas Mavericks: “Really tough, they started the third quarter hot, we couldn’t make a shot but we started to play more aggressive defense. We could run a couple of times and then down the stretch we made the big shots.”

Ginobili on the importance of winning Game #6: “It was a Game #7, we had to take it as if there was no tomorrow. For us, there was no tomorrow. The first quarter was unbelievable but then we let it down. But down the stretch we played much better and we had a lot of character.”

Hill on what it was like making big shots for the Spurs: “Very big, it’s what I spent most of my summer working on so I could come in here and step up and make big shots.”

Hill on whether the Spurs would rather play the Suns or the Trail Blazers: “It doesn’t matter, we’re ready for anybody. We’re hoping to get some rest and that we get to rest our legs and get healthy.”

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Game Break

Johnson, Barkley and Smith

Barkley on his commendation for the Dallas Mavericks or fighting back in Game #6: “I take my hat off to the Mavericks. They hung in there tonight, to get down 22-8 at the end of the first quarter, to battle back, take the lead, you’ve got to take your hat off to them for competing. But you still have to win this series.”

Barkley on Mavericks owner Mark Cuban: “Keep sharp objects away from Mark Cuban.”

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Game 2: Phoenix Suns (99) @ Portland Trail Blazers (90) – The Suns won the series 4-2.

Announcers: Kevin Harlan and Doug Collins with Craig Sager reporting

Collins on Trail Blazers guard Martell Webster hitting a three-point shot: “If (Martell Webster) keeps shooting like that he can start selling those five pound balls he practices with before the game. He can start endorsing those things.”

Collins on Suns guard Steve Nash’s similarity to Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning: “(Steve Nash) is like Peyton Manning. Peyton Manning will throw five interceptions in the first half and then five touchdown passes in the second half. He’s got that gun slinger mentality like the Peyton Mannings, Brett Farves and those guys. He does not let turnovers bother him. There are two point guards that come to mind, guys who are high risk passes; Steve Nash and Jason Kidd. Both guys will try to make plays that other guys will not try to make and they don’t get fazed by turnovers.”

Collins on the Trail Blazers needing to calm themselves at halftime to stay in the game against the Suns: “(The Suns) have dominated in their three wins, whereas Portland has won the two games very closely. They are going to have to find a way to calm themselves down offensively at halftime and have much better efficiency at halftime and get their defense back. When the Suns are in the open court they are really killing them with that three-point shot.”

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Johnson, Barkley and Smith

Barkley on why Trail Blazers guard Brandon Roy should not have come back from his knee injury: “When a guy first comes back from an injury he’s excited to play, the adrenaline goes crazy and he plays very well. After that it takes a while to get going with your conditioning, your confidence and he’s not going to play well. That’s why I was against (Brandon Roy) coming back, for the fact that they are not going to win this series, and he’s already had surgery on his knee before, he had surgery in college. Once they start cutting your knees, at some point it starts catching up to you. I didn’t think they should take that chance with him. He had that adrenaline pumping in the first game, that crowd was fantastic in Portland like it always is, but now reality has set in. I always use this analogy. Michael Jordan couldn’t come back in the middle of the season and he’s the greatest basketball player ever. You just can’t do that.”

Smith on the health of the Spurs being by design rather than luck: “(The Spurs) didn’t get healthy at the right time, Gregg Popovich planned it.”

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Collins on why it is difficult to go at your own pace when playing against the Suns: “It’s hard to slow down when you play Phoenix. If we got into rush hour traffic tomorrow and cars were driving fast you’d drive fast with them. All of a sudden you get on a pace that’s slow and you have a tendency to slow down. The Suns speed you up and that’s exactly what’s happened tonight.”

Collins on the improved defense of Suns forward Amar’e Stoudemire: “You want to talk about the growth of Amar’e Stoudemire. Two years ago he never would have stepped in to take the charge, (but now) he’s bought in defensively. In fact he had a quote the other day where he said, ‘I never realized that playing defense as a team could be so much fun.’”

Collins on the resiliency of the Portland Trail Blazers this season: “You feel for Portland and what they have been through this year. This franchise has been devastated all year with injuries and illness, it’s amazing where they are right now, a 50-win season. It’s a credit to Nate McMillan and the resiliency of his team. No excuses, this team has not made any excuses.”

TNT’s Craig Sager interviewed Suns forwards Amar’e Stoudemire and Grant Hill after the Suns closed out the series against the Trail Blazers.

Hill on the Suns defeating the Trail Blazers in the first round of the Playoffs: “It’s the Playoffs, Amar’e (Stoudemire) and Steve (Nash) have done a great job for us all year. I couldn’t hit anything out there so I was being active on defense (and getting) rebounds, do whatever it takes to get the win.  J-Rich (Jason Richardson) was big, Amar’e got into foul trouble early so there were some tough calls in the first quarter.  He weathered that and hit some big shots for us down the stretch.  Portland has a lot of heart and they’ve had a lot of guys out all year, but they played great in this series.  We’re glad we got out of the first round and are going to the second round.”

Hill on winning a Playoff series for the first time in his career: “I’m happy.  Amar’e (Stoudemire) and Steve (Nash) had done a great job.  The young guys are getting some Playoff experience.  I’m done worrying about my legacy, I’m trying to get the Stoudemire legacy going.  Hopefully we’re not done and we can go on to the second round and do well.”

Stoudemire on facing the Spurs in the second round of the Playoffs: “It’s great to finally get back in the Playoffs and out of the first round. Playing against the Spurs is always tough, they are a phenomenal team and they’ve won championships in their arena.  We’re looking forward to getting to that point.  It’s going to be a tough battle in the next round and we have to start preparing for them tomorrow.”

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Inside the NBA presented by Hyundai

Johnson, Barkley and Smith

Barkley on who he predicts will win the Spurs/Suns second round series: “I’ve been on the Suns’ bandwagon.”

Johnson: “So you’re not going to jump off now…are you?”

Barkley: “And I’m staying on it, Ernie!  I’m sticking with the Suns.  They are going to beat the Spurs.”

Smith on how Spurs point guards Tony Parker and George Hill are the keys to their second round series against the Suns: “The difference to me will be how Tony Parker plays.  Steve Nash has had a lot of trouble with Tony Parker over the years.  In the last two years, he’s had a lot of trouble with him.  George Hill was a great match-up for round one and Tony Parker is a better match-up for round two.  So we’ll see if (Spurs head coach Gregg) Popovich says, ‘I’ll start Parker and bring Hill off the bench.’  To me, that’s going to be key, so I can’t go against the Spurs.”

TNT’s Marty Snider interviewed Spurs point guard George Hill following their game

Hill on making crucial shots for the Spurs during their first round series against the Mavericks: “That’s what I spent most of my summer working on so I could come in here, step up and make big shots.”

Barkley on the Mavericks losing in the first round: “I don’t think this is a horrible loss for the Mavericks.  I know they were the number two seed (in the Western Conference) but they didn’t lose to an ordinary number seven seed.  The loss to Golden State (in 2007) was horrible.  The Spurs have one of the best coaches in NBA history, they have three guys (Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker) who are probably going to be Hall of Famers and they are a really good team.  I know everyone is really down on the Mavs right now, but this wasn’t nearly as bad as when they lost to Golden State.”

Barkley on what the Trail Blazers need to become a contender: “Until they solve their low-post scoring situation, they are not going to be a legit contender.  You’re not going to win a championship by just shooting jumpers like they do now.”

Smith on the one-on-one match-up he is most looking forward to in the Celtics/Cavaliers second round series: “The one match-up that will determine the series is Antawn Jamison vs. Kevin Garnett.  Will Kevin Garnett be able to defend him on the perimeter?  Will Antawn Jamison be able to defend him in the post?  Because if (Jamison) can’t defend (Garnett) and Kevin is able to chase him around those screens, this will be a different series.”

Smith on Sacramento Kings guard Tyreke Evans winning the Rookie of the Year Award: “I think he was the overall consensus (Rookie of the Year), from month to month the best player.  He was consistent.  I think Brandon Jennings had moments.  I give Jennings a nod over Stephen Curry because he played on a contender (Milwaukee Bucks) and had to do a little bit more.”

One Response to “Notes from TNT’s Coverage of the NBA Playoffs – Thursday, April 29, 2010: The Mavs and the Trail Blazers Both Have Gone Fishin’”

  1. sankofa says:

    Wasn’t it said that Carlisleswas a better coach than Isaiah in Indianna? At least that’s what the haters often say? Gifted with more talent than Zeke, did less than Zeke. Gifted with perhaps the most talented Dallas team in a long while and did less than Avery johnson?

    Not that I think he is a terrible coach…but he is connected Caucasian Boston pipeline and the other myth of the Caucasian “genius” coaching thinking, so he he’ll get a pass.

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