Notes from TNT’s Coverage of the NBA – Tuesday, March 22, 2011: Kobe And Nash Go Off In Triple Overtime Classic

Conducted an hour interview with Jalen Rose in response to the controversy surrounding the epic Fab Five documentary earlier. Will post ASAP.

I was texting a friend with hopes she kept me awake to check out this classic…to no avail. I woke up at the end of regulation and obviously had trouble falling back asleep later because the game was epic. Kobe Bryant, who in my mind catapulted himself to the front of the MVP race, scored 42 points, had 12 rips and dished 9 assists. He, as usual, made some huge shots and despite his game winner coming early in the shot clock, it was truly a dagger amongst men. Steve Nash did his thing as well with a 19 point, 20 assist effort. There were many other great performances. The box score is below following a video recap of the game as well as the notes.

TNT’s NBA Thursday coverage continues Thursday, March 31 at 8 p.m. ET with a doubleheader featuring the Boston Celtics @ San Antonio Spurs followed by the Dallas Mavericks @ Los Angeles Lakers.

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TNT NBA Tip-off presented by

Matt Winer, Brent Barry and Chris Webber

Webber on the Bulls: “We’ve seen glimpses of what (the Bulls) can do when they’re healthy with arguably the best player in the NBA in Derrick Rose.”

Barry on the Bulls’ depth: “They are coming off the bench with a second unit that can continue their defensive intensity. It’s very difficult to score against this team.”

Barry on Bulls forward Luol Deng: “(Deng) is multi-dimensional and he takes on the toughest defensive assignments whether it’s a two or three-guard. Every night he’s been a presence for the Bulls’ defense and he’s been a good anchor for them.”

Webber on the Hawks being undersized: “(The Hawks) are an undersized team. They have to come out and over-do it every night in order to win the areas they need to win; rebounding and blocked shots. They are always going to be the underdog in those areas.”

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Game 1: Chicago Bulls (114) @ Atlanta Hawks (81)

Announcers: Dick Stockton and Mike Fratello with Cheryl Miller reporting

Fratello on Hawks veteran guard Kirk Hinrich’s leadership: “Even though he’s new (to the Hawks), they want him to put his stamp on this team as far as leadership goes because he’s mentally tough.”

Fratello on Hawks reserve center Zaza Pachulia: “Pachulia does a lot of the dirty work inside. He’s a righty who likes to use his left hand around the basket. He puts fouls on people and he’s not afraid to put (the ball) down by the free throw area. He’s tough and aggressive inside.”

Hawks guard Kirk Hinrich on playing against his former team, the Bulls: “Knowing the characters of the guys I played with and watching what Coach (Tom) Thibodeau is doing with that team…they are an elite team. Obviously, the level that Derrick (Rose) is playing at is unbelievable. It’s one of those things where I’m happy for them but at the same time, we’re competing against them.”

Fratello on Bulls rookie center Omer Asik: “I saw one of their games (recently) and Asik looked like King Kong. He was tearing down rebounds and dunking over people with two hands. He’s a terrific pick-up by the Bulls.”

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Winer, Barry and Webber

Barry on the mentality of the Hawks: “Don’t think that opposing coaches aren’t telling their teams about (the Hawks). If you go into Atlanta and stick it to this team in the first quarter, you’re going to have a good chance to win the game because the team seems to fold.”

Webber on the Hawks’ crowd chanting “M-V-P” for Bulls guard Derrick Rose: “Anytime you have a home court where the crowd chants ‘MVP’ for the other players, you have no home court advantage in the playoffs. This is just going to get worse (for the Hawks).”

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Fratello on Bulls point guard Derrick Rose: “We’ve seen people weave through defenses. Derrick Rose weaves through them in the paint and is still able to finish.”

Fratello on the Hawks being constrained financially: “There were no major significant additions to this team in the off-season. The front office and management are under constraints. Financially, they weren’t able to go out and spend the kind of money that Miami did. (The Hawks) are up for sale and could be sold shortly. They wanted to keep the monies under control to make it an attractive franchise for someone to buy.”

Fratello on the Philadelphia 76ers: “Philadelphia has done an excellent job of being consistently good night-in and night-out. Once (head coach) Doug Collins got past the first 20 games of the regular season and got his defense (system) in there and got them thinking the same way. He got his rotations set and he knew who was going to contribute off the bench.”

The TNT studio crew joined the game crew during the fourth quarter

Barry on how the Hawks have settled for being an average team: “It’s unfortunate for the Atlanta Hawks. They’ve settled for being mediocre. They don’t have enough guys hungry enough that are digging deep down in their character to become a better basketball team. I don’t think that they believe they can compete with the Boston Celtics and Miami Heat and that’s a shame because they had improved under (former head coach) Mike Woodson. They’ve taken steps backward this year and you can see it in their play. They are uninspired, they still have an opportunity to play in the postseason but they don’t look like a postseason team right now.”

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Game 2: Phoenix Suns (135) @ Los Angeles Lakers (137) in Triple Overtime

Announcers: Kevin Harlan and Kevin McHale with David Aldridge reporting

McHale on Lakers reserve forward Lamar Odom: “(Odom) should win Sixth Man-of-the-Year. I think he deserves the award and I think he’s played great. They aren’t the same team without Andrew Bynum out there and it changes all the rotations. Odom put up good numbers as a starter but he is so valuable coming off the bench.”

McHale on Lakers forward Ron Artest: “Ron Artest can get off track pretty easily and with a backup like (Matt) Barnes, it keeps Artest very focused on doing his job on defense. He’s special.”

McHale on the Suns: “When you have guys like Grant Hill and Steve Nash on your team, you are going to be competitive. They have such great characters on this team. These guys are just wonderful people, they’re competitors and they love the game of basketball. The Suns are in good shape with those guys but the problem is they aren’t getting any younger.”

Suns guard Vince Carter on the team making the playoffs: “It’s definitely reachable. We’re playing better basketball lately. We have to keep everybody healthy and each game means something to us. We’re playing a playoff game each and every night.”

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Winer, Barry and Webber

Webber on Lakers forward Lamar Odom: “(Odom) can get your team in the offense and you don’t need a point guard when he’s on the floor. He sets the offense up so fast because he can get a rebound and take the ball all the way down the court on his own for a fast break.”

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McHale on the Lakers playing well down the stretch of the season: “When you can see the finish line (of the season), everyone focuses in a little bit more because it’s a long season. Right now, watching how the Lakers are playing, they’ve got a pep in their step that I didn’t see earlier in the season.”

McHale on Suns forward Channing Frye: “Frye is one of those guys that shoots a lot of threes. When they go in they look great but when they don’t, it’s tough but that’s his job. His job is to spread the court and shoot threes.”

McHale on Suns reserve guard Aaron Brooks: “(The Suns) want (Brooks) to score, attack and not worry so much about defending somebody or taking too many shots. They just want Aaron Brooks to go out there and play.”

Lakers forward Pau Gasol on teammate Lamar Odom: “He’s always been a productive and versatile player. I think he might be more mature now as he’s gotten more years (in the league). We all do. For the most part, he still does a good job coming off the bench and adjusts to any role and whatever the coaches ask him to do. He’s a key piece of our puzzle.”

McHale on playing with Suns point guard Steve Nash: “If you play with Steve Nash you can just hang around the basket and average 20 points per game.”

TNT’s David Aldridge interviewed Kobe Bryant following the game

Bryant on teammate Lamar Odom: “Lamar has been playing great. He gets my vote for Sixth Man-of-the-year. He’s just a fantastic player.”

Bryant on the Lakers playing well heading towards the playoffs: “We’re playing with a sense of urgency. We’re executing pretty well. Now it’s just a matter of keeping it going.”

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Inside the NBA presented by Hyundai

Winer, Barry and Webber

Webber on the Lakers/Suns game following the Bulls/Hawks game: “We needed that because the first game was so terrible. Thank the basketball Gods for blessing us with a triple overtime game!”

Webber on the L.A. Lakers following their triple-overtime win over the Suns: “My takeaway from all of that is the rest of the NBA needs to get ready. We always talk about Kobe (Bryant) is old, we talk about everything else. The fact of the matter is while everyone talks, everyone insinuates and everyone tries to figure it out, this team always comes together. Kobe and Derek Fisher are not going to let these guys get out of sorts and start thinking about things besides the playoffs. What I took out of it is this team is real, you can talk about the roller coaster this year, but these guys are for real and the NBA needs to take note.”

Barry on why he wants to the Phoenix Suns to make the playoffs: “I tell you what, I want the Phoenix Suns in the NBA Playoffs for this reason. Watching what Steve Nash and Grant Hill were able to do tonight, backs up against the wall, they’re trying to make a playoffs push, the types of performances those two players had was just remarkable.

Barry on the Atlanta Hawks’ struggles: “Atlanta is not having much fun. They are really struggling at this point. They have that fifth seed locked up, but if you’re playing them in the first round, you’re thinking, ‘man, this is like being one of the top seeds in the East because we could get a walk through.’ They’ve got to figure some things out in the last 10 or 12 games.”

Webber on the Hawks not having the right personnel on their roster to compete with teams: “I agree with you, but I’m not necessarily putting this on the players. I mean, this is the team they came into training camp with. This team is small and bad, period. And it’s been that way, we said that last year, we said all of this at the playoffs last year. We’re not that smart, we’ve just heard that song before. You don’t have a big guy, you don’t have a main post player, you have guys who are playing out of position, these guys are playing against much bigger guys. They really just don’t have personnel.”

Phoenix Suns
Grant Hill, SF 44 4-8 2-3 1-2 1 9 10 1 1 0 1 6 +1 11
Channing Frye, C 57 11-23 5-13 5-5 2 12 14 1 0 0 4 2 -1 32
Robin Lopez, C 10 2-4 0-0 0-0 2 1 3 0 0 2 0 4 -5 4
Steve Nash, PG 49 7-15 5-7 0-0 1 4 5 20 0 0 6 2 -4 19
Vince Carter, SG 40 7-23 2-13 1-2 1 2 3 5 1 0 2 4 -20 17
Hakim Warrick, PF 6 1-2 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 +1 2
Mickael Pietrus, SF 13 3-6 2-3 3-3 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 +3 11
Aaron Brooks, PG 14 6-9 1-2 2-2 0 1 1 3 0 0 0 1 +2 15
Jared Dudley, SF 30 1-1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 2 0 1 0 3 +10 2
Marcin Gortat, C 53 9-15 0-0 6-8 3 13 16 1 0 2 0 2 +3 24
51-106 17-41 18-22 10 42 52 34 3 5 13 24 137
48.1% 41.5% 81.8%
Fast break points: 19
Points in the paint: 56
Team TO ( points off ): 13 (20)
+/- denotes team’s net points while the player is on the court.
Los Angeles Lakers
Ron Artest, SF 48 7-14 3-5 1-2 1 4 5 2 3 1 1 2 +9 18
Lamar Odom, PF 55 13-22 1-4 2-2 5 11 16 5 0 1 0 3 +4 29
Pau Gasol, PF 52 9-25 0-0 6-6 6 7 13 3 2 2 0 4 +12 24
Kobe Bryant, SG 48 15-31 3-5 9-11 2 10 12 9 1 0 3 1 +15 42
Derek Fisher, PG 46 0-7 0-2 2-2 1 2 3 2 4 1 0 2 +8 2
Matt Barnes, SF 20 6-9 1-3 0-0 2 3 5 1 0 0 0 2 -14 13
Steve Blake, PG 17 2-4 2-4 0-0 0 1 1 4 0 0 0 2 -6 6
Luke Walton, SF 11 1-5 1-4 0-0 1 0 1 3 0 0 1 0 -10 3
Shannon Brown, PG 17 0-3 0-0 2-2 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 2 -8 2
Derrick Caracter, F DNP COACH’S DECISION
53-120 11-27 22-25 18 38 56 30 10 5 6 18 139
44.2% 40.7% 88.0%
Fast break points: 6
Points in the paint: 48
Team TO ( points off ): 9 (16)
+/- denotes team’s net points while the player is on the court.

Flagrant Fouls: None
Technical Fouls: PLAYERS: None – TEAMS (def3sec): None – COACHES: None
Officials: Kevin Cutler , Greg Willard , Pat Fraher
Attendance: 18,997
Time of Game: 03:09


One Response to “Notes from TNT’s Coverage of the NBA – Tuesday, March 22, 2011: Kobe And Nash Go Off In Triple Overtime Classic”

  1. KevDog says:

    I love C. Webb, don’t get me wrong. In fact, I one of the great joys of being an NBA fan is watching he and Kevin McHale do their thing. They are, IMO, far and away the best NBA analyst duo. But his criticism of Kobe’s show pretty much just showed why Kobe has 5 rings, soon to be six, while Webber never even played in a finals.

    Killers just kill. That’s what they do.

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