Notes from TNT’s Exclusive Coverage of the NBA Western Conference Finals – Saturday, May 29, 2010: Kobe 37 Points Dusts Off Another One
Flyin as if to say, get all that regular season shine…it’s a crime…but the playoffs are mine…
Fans will be subject to losing total speaking capabilities. His shots will cause quick twitches leading to silence on twitter and facebook from those of Kobe hater lore.
Kobe Bryant is simply sidiculous.
For those who need to know, Saturday night’s performance is the difference between Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash. I can’t believe there was actually comparisons being made on any level in the aforementioned regard. What the hell are you smokin’? Pass it to the left…I don’t want that fa sho.
The last two shots will be included on his career highlight reel. What makes the last shot classic is that Grant Hill played perfect defense and it still dropped bottom.
No daggers, just BOMBS.
Those shots were for all the clowns who somehow forgot just how bad Kobe is and will continue to be.
I feel sorry for the Celtics…
NBA TV’s coverage of the NBA Finals will begin on Thursday, June 3 with extensive studio coverage throughout the series.
TNT’s NBA Tip-Off presented by AutoTrader.com
Ernie Johnson, Charles Barkley, Reggie Miller and Kenny Smith
Lakers guard Derek Fisher on forward Ron Artest: “You learn after you’ve been in this game long enough that that’s just how it is. You have to be tough enough mentally to live with the consequences of your decisions and your actions even if sometimes they don’t work out the best way. And have the mental toughness and the confidence to come back and be prepared to have the ball in your hands again and make that shot that maybe you just missed.”
Smith on Lakers forward Ron Artest’s great effort to help win Game #5: “Ron Artest is always going to miss shots, he’s always going to make some (bad) plays, but you will never fault his effort, his effort is what won that game. He continues to do what he does well, a lot of guys put their head between their legs when they don’t make the shots that they want, but he said, ‘I’m an effort guy and here’s an effort play.’ And what I love most is he didn’t assume that Superman (Kobe Bryant) was going to save the day. He assumed that Superman would get kryptonite and he’d be the one take the kryptonite away and be the one to help Superman save the day.”
Barkley on Phil Jackson having a championship pedigree due to coaching the best players in the NBA: “Phil Jackson wins because he’s got the best players. He didn’t win the year when he had Gary Payton and Karl Malone with Kobe (Bryant) and Shaq (O’Neal). People talk about all the championships, all those great Celtics teams, they had like 10 Hall of Famers. The Bulls had Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen, the Rockets had Hakeem Olajuwon and Clyde Drexler, it’s about having the best players.”
Barkley on Celtics guard Nate Robinson: “I want to give a shout out to Nate Robinson. I heard those guys tell me he’s been going in there two hours before the game and working hard. That’s a pro move, when you’re not getting to play and when you finally get your number called you go out and play. Shout out to Nate.”
Barkley on the key to Game #6: “I think it’s a star game. Amar’e Stoudemire and Steve Nash are going to have to set the tone. That bench is going to have to follow, get Jason Richardson and all those guys involved. But Amar’e or Steve or both have to put their imprint on the game. They have to get this crowd going because they cannot play from behind.”
Smith on why he thinks the Phoenix Suns will win Game #6: “I think tonight is (the Suns’) night to win. They are not flustered by being down 18 points in Los Angeles, they are not flustered by being up, this is the night that they come out and win this game and force a Game #7. They have a lot of confidence after a loss. There are not a lot of times I would say that, but I think they have so much confidence after a loss.”
Miller on Game #6 being critical for the Lakers to win: “I think tonight is the night the Lakers’ bench may travel. They played great at home with three games and three wins, but they have not traveled. I think tonight they get production from all those guys. The Lakers close the series out tonight. But if they lose tonight, Phoenix wins the series in seven.”
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L.A. Lakers (111) @ Phoenix Suns (103) – The Lakers won the series 4-2 to advance to the NBA Finals against the Boston Celtics.
Announcers: Marv Albert and Doug Collins with Craig Sager reporting
Collins on Lakers center Andrew Bynum starting the game off playing well: “Andrew Bynum is much more active tonight. He and Robin Lopez both played very poorly the other night in Game #5. He’s gone to work here early tonight and is much more aggressive. This is not a good sign for the Phoenix Suns.”
TNT’s Craig Sager interviewed Lakers coach Phil Jackson after the first quarter.
Jackson on his assessment of the first quarter: “It’s pretty ragged out here, it’s pretty ragged. It’s two very excitable teams, excitable refs I think, too. We’ve got a lot of guys in foul trouble, a lot of foul shots, but so far it’s a pretty exciting game.”
Jackson on Lakers guard Kobe Bryant: “(Kobe Bryant) has been indecisive a couple of times, but he’s got that aggressive look in him.”
Collins on the Suns’ bench having synergy: “(Synergy) is a word that means the sum of the parts is greater together than they are individually and this second unit counts on each other. By themselves, they aren’t great players, but you put them together and they all bring something unique. Alvin (Gentry) has found a nice blend with that bench this year and deserves a lot of credit for developing that bench and then using them in the playoffs. A lot of coaches go away from the bench in the playoffs, they stop trusting them.”
Collins on a long three-pointer by Lakers guard Kobe Bryant late in the second quarter: “That’s unguardable, I mean he was eight feet behind the three point line. That was ridiculously long.”
Collins on why the Suns were outscored in the second quarter: “The Suns are not getting any defensive stops and they can’t get out and run. When they are not running and getting (shots) early in the clock it’s going to cause a lot of problems.”
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Johnson, Barkley, Miller and Smith
Smith on why the Lakers are beating the Suns: “Hustle plays, sometimes (Ron Artest) doesn’t make shots but he never has a lack of effort. To me, he got the Lakers to where they are. They are outhustling and outefforting (the Suns).”
Miller on the Suns playing from a deficit: “The Suns needed to play from ahead, but they are playing uphill. Even though both teams are shooting well from three point distance, that was supposed to be one of the strengths of the Phoenix Suns, but the Lakers are shooting 8 of 14 and they are getting looks from beyond the arc anywhere they want. It’s going to be tough for Phoenix, even with this crowd, if they are always crawling uphill and playing from behind. Kobe has that look in his eyes that he wants to close this series out.”
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Collins on the Lakers’ defense against Suns forward Amar’e Stoudemire: “The Lakers have frustrated him. They’ve had (Pau) Gasol on him, they’ve had (Andrew) Bynum on him. They’ve run a secondary defender to take away his four lanes to the rim so he’s become a jump shooter and really has not been effective.”
Collins on the Suns’ ability to shoot the three being similar to a knock out punch: “When you play a team who can shoot the three, it’s like the boxer who has the knock out punch who can be beat the whole fight and hit you with one good shot and knock you out. The Suns have that capability with their shooting.”
TNT’s Craig Sager interviewed Suns coach Alvin Gentry.
Gentry on Lakers forward Ron Artest making shots: “(Ron Artest) has made shots, we’ve put hands in his face. You can either have Kobe shooting them or Ron Artest shooting them, we choose to have Ron shooting them.”
Collins on Suns guard Goran Dragic: “How about (Goran) Dragic? He is fearless, his speed has changed this game.”
Collins on the flagrant foul committed by Lakers guard Sasha Vujacic against Suns guard Goran Dragic: “That was a great Hollywood flop by Dragic, but there was no question he got hit (by Vujacic). He did a great job selling that. You know, something like this can turn the game around. The Lakers had the crowd quiet, and the last thing you want to do is juice this crowd up. You know how this bench can play. I’m sure Phil Jackson is going to talk to his team about maintaining composure. Vujacic has got to be smarter than that.”
Collins on Lakers guard Sasha Vujacic: “Sasha Vujacic, he’s going to be on a commercial flight home. They’re not going to let him on the plane, he made it awfully tough on his teammates here today.”
Collins on the perseverance of the Phoenix Suns: “Valiant effort, the last two games were indicative of who the Phoenix Suns have been all season long. A 54-win team, Alvin Gentry has done an amazing job here. Down 18 (points) on the road the other night, battled back, down 18 (points) here today and getting it back to within three. There was no quit in this Suns teams.”
TNT’s Craig Sager interviewed Lakers guard Kobe Bryant.
Bryant on facing the Boston Celtics in the NBA Finals: “We’ll see how much we’ve matured. They challenged us in the finals a couple of years ago, now this is a test to see how much we’ve grown.”
Bryant on his reaction to Lakers guard Sasah Vujacic’s flagrant foul in the fourth quarter: “I was going to kill him.”
Sager: “What do you say to him now?”
Bryant: “I’m still going to kill him. I’m just kidding, of course.”
Collins on what he expects to see in the NBA Finals between the Celtics and Lakers: “Competitive, intense, two terrific defensive teams. It’s going to be grind it out games. Every possession, every basket is going to be earned. Some great matchups…I really look forward to it.”
Collins on being the new head coach of the Philadelphia 76ers: “I can’t wait, going back to Philadelphia and being a part of that organization, one of the proud organizations in the NBA. I’m hoping to get them relevant soon and be back in the playoffs. Hopefully TNT will come in and do one of our games. Full access to TNT!”
Albert: “Are you recruiting?”
Collins: “I am recruiting. Come on (Turner Sports president) David Levy, get us on!”
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Inside the NBA presented by Hyundai
Johnson, Barkley, Miller and Smith
Miller on Lakers guard Kobe Bryant making shots that only Michael Jordan could make: “The Lakers were resilient, they came in with the size, the length and, really, the Suns chopped them down a little bit. But Kobe Bryant showed tonight that he is truly the best player, best closer. I had a chance to play against him and Michael Jordan, there’s only one other guy who can make those shots and he’s retired right now doing Hanes commercials. Bad Hanes commercials, I might add.”
Barkley on the shots made by Lakers guard Kobe Bryant: “That is greatness, there is no other word for it. All those shots had great defense, but you can’t stop greatness.”
Smith on Lakers guard Kobe Bryant being the best closer: “That’s why (Kobe Bryant) is the Mariano Rivera of basketball, he’s the best closer in the game and usually that signifies you’re the best player in the game. With two minutes to go in the game he knows what to do, he understands clock maintenance.”
TNT’s Craig Sager interviewed Suns coach Alvin Gentry after the Suns loss to the Lakers.
Gentry on playing against the Los Angeles Lakers: “Was that Kobe (Bryant) or was that Michael (Jordan)? I couldn’t tell. That was a great performance, we did everything we possibly could. I thought we played great defense on him, I think he single handedly got them over the hump. I thought we did a great job on everyone else. Obviously, (Ron) Artest had a great game, a great first half, he shot the ball extremely well. I thought we did a good job defensively in the second half, but we couldn’t quite get over the hump. When you’re down 18 (points) it’s really tough to come back, everything would have to work perfectly to get over the hump against that team. I appreciate the way we played and the effort that we played with, we just played a team that’s the world champs and we played the best player in basketball. I don’t think it’s even close.”
Gentry on whether he expects Suns forward Amar’e Stoudemire back next season: “We would hope so, I hope so. I think that (Amar’e Stoudemire) enjoys playing here, we’ll have to see how that works out, but I’d like to have the whole team back. We’ve got great chemistry on this team, everyone gets along great. Obviously we need him, he’s an integral part of what we’re trying to do. The rumors of Steve Nash taking a step back and getting slower, I think you can see that that’s not the case. Grant Hill had a great year and then our bench has played well. We like our team, if we could, we’d like to bring them back intact, but that is something that will be dealt with when the time comes.”
L.A. Lakers guard Derek Fisher joined the TNT set after the Lakers defeated the Suns.
Fisher on the similarities between guards Steve Nash and John Stockton: “It reminds me of playing against John Stockton early in my career. Where you had a guy who shot the ball well, passed the ball well, read the defense well, if you made one mistake he was great enough to take advantage of it. It’s exhausting because you can’t relax and that’s how it is playing against Steve (Nash), he can do anything, (anything) that you’re trying to take away, he has a reaction for it. It’s unfortunate in sports that someone has to win because this was a great series and I feel bad for guys who didn’t get the opportunity, but obviously we played hard, we wanted to win.”
Fisher on the lasting effect of losing to a team in the NBA Finals: “Anytime you lose in the Finals, you never forget it. I’m still angry over losing to the Pistons, I can’t stand to hear anyone say ‘DETROIT BAKETBALL.’ I hate that, still to this day. Playing against the Celtics now in the Finals, a lot of the emotions and things will come up from playing them a couple of years ago, but at the same time we have to realize that this is a different series and we have to go out and make sure that what we want to happen happens.”
Barkley on Suns guard Steve Nash: “That guy represents everything good about the NBA.”
|D. Mbenga||DNP — COACH’S DECISION|
|J. Powell||DNP — COACH’S DECISION|
|L. Walton||DNP — COACH’S DECISION|
|A. Morrison||DNP — INACTIVE|
|E. Clark||DNP — COACH’S DECISION|
|J. Collins||DNP — COACH’S DECISION|
|T. Griffin||DNP — INACTIVE|
|D. Jones||DNP — INACTIVE|
Time of Game: 2:49