Notes from TNT’s NBA Coverage – Thursday, April 5, 2012: Who is in the wrong here? Stan Van Gundy, Dwight Howard or Otis Smith?

Dude looks fired as a mug…

Ron spoke on it. This is a crazy situation (I think all three are at fault) but only because of how everything has become so encapsulated in this sports media era. Truthfully, it happens all the time. We really don’t know when this went down (Dwight’s comments). I’m sure you can name 5 situations off the top of your head where players have put coaches on blast. What is Otis Smith’s role in this? Could this have been leaked now to exacerbate everything and get Van Gundy out? Should he have fired SVG yesterday or at the latest today?Ask yourself this, since Orlando appeared in the Finals, (Kobe wasn’t having it)has the team gotten better, leveled off or become worse? How many times have you heard SVG throw his players under the bus on hot road just finished in the summer? You all know how hard I am on Dwight, so hell yeah he’s at fault here as well. You can’t come out after everything that happened last night and put up 8 and 8 with zero points in the first half. Orlando quit last night. I was disgusted seeing Dwight and his teammates laugh and giggle as if everything is peace.  That’s unacceptable. Dwight, you should be 30 and 20 easy in this league with my sister as the head coach. When Van Gundy does get fired, you have to step up fam…

I’ve talked to Patrick Ewing a few times and he’s said every time he wants to be a head coach. Maybe, he’ll get his shot soon enough.

Interesting  Orlando is here tomorrow to play the Sixers in a very important game for the Eastern Conference standings. I’ll be at Wells Fargo with the report…

TNT’s NBA coverage continues Thursday, April 12, at 8 p.m. (ET) with doubleheader action featuring the Miami Heat @ Chicago Bulls followed by the Dallas Mavericks @ Golden State Warriors (10:30 p.m. ET)

The Inside crew discusses the Magic’s performance against the Knicks and the Dwight Howard/Stan Van Gundy situation

 

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Game 1: New York Knicks (96) @ Orlando Magic (80)

Announcers: Marv Albert (play-by-play), Mike Fratello (analyst) and David Aldridge (reporter)

Fratello on the Orlando Magic defense when Dwight Howard is not in the lineup: “Dwight Howard affects so many parts of your defense. Stan Van Gundy said, ‘It all starts with guarding the basketball [on the perimeter] and we don’t guard the basketball. That’s why people blow by us.’”

TNT’s David Aldridge interviewed Orlando Magic GM Otis Smith on the controversy in Orlando

Smith on head coach Stan Van Gundy and Magic center Dwight Howard: “Coaches and players have been doing this forever. It will have to work out for the remainder of the season and we’ll have to see where both of them are at the end of the season. I talked to them both and we had a nice conversation. I talked to them both and they both listened.”

Fratello on the possibility of Orlando Magic head coach Stan Van Gundy being fired before the end of this season: “You’re at such a difficult time, the fifth spot in the playoff position, with a dozen games left. What do you do? Make a change with 12 games left? Who are you going to bring in – one of the assistant coaches? Can you improve your position [in the playoffs] or do you know that you have one of the premiere coaches in the NBA?”

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Sprint Halftime Report

Ernie Johnson, Charles Barkley, Shaquille O’Neal and Kenny Smith

Barkley on the controversy in Orlando between head coach Stan Van Gundy and Magic center Dwight Howard: “We don’t know what’s true…I don’t think Coach Van Gundy should have spoken out right now. And I don’t think Dwight Howard should’ve asked to have his coach fired. But I have a serious problem with somebody in management…who had a private conversation with Dwight Howard to leak that to Coach Van Gundy.”

Smith: “I don’t understand the relevance of him [Van Gundy] bringing it out. What is being accomplished?

O’Neal on how Magic head coach Stan Van Gundy handled the situation with Dwight Howard:

“Private conversations should never be brought public. It was a bush league move by Stan Van Gundy. He’s lost his team forever now.”

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Fratello on how the Magic front office can handle things moving forward: “The front office management for the Magic can do one of two things – support Stan Van Gundy and let this team know he’s going to be the coach. He has one more year left on his contract and you could add another year to his contract – extend it – or make the decision now that people feel is inevitable and let him go. Don’t let him [SVG] suffer through if his star doesn’t want to play for him.”

 

Barkley on the Magic’s effort vs. the New York Knicks: “The Orlando Magic quit. That was one of the least inspired…you should just try and compete.”

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Game 2: Boston Celtics (86) @ Chicago Bulls (93)

Announcers: Kevin Harlan (play-by-play), Steve Kerr (analyst), Reggie Miller (analyst) and Craig Sager (reporter)

Miller on Celtics guard Ray Allen accepting his role as a non-starter against the Bulls: “Here is a first ballot Hall of Famer – Ray Allen – who is sacrificing for the betterment of the team…you accept the role the coach gives you. You listen and you respond to authority. I think that is missing in today’s sports. Some of these younger players think they run things. And that is wrong.”

Kerr on Reggie Miller’s selection to the Hall of Fame 2012 class: “Reggie and I go way back to high school days in summer series in L.A. and Pac-10 at UCLA and Arizona, Bulls-Pacers, I never thought I could be this happy for you. I never liked you [laughing].”

Kerr on the Celtics’ chances of making a deep run in the playoffs: “Boston, because of the way they are playing and because of the core foundation they’ve built defensively with this group over the last few years, is really interesting to see if they can make a run. I think they are really capable.”

 

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Kerr on Celtics guard Avery Bradley’s defensive prowess: “He’s unreal. His on-ball defense is as good as anybody in the league.”

Miller on the difference between the Boston Celtics and Chicago Bulls: “The only thing Boston doesn’t do as well as Chicago is rebound the basketball.”

Kerr on the excitement of the upcoming playoffs: “The playoffs are going to be great this year. I think there’s going to be some weird stuff happening because of the lockout.”

TNT’s Craig Sager interviewed Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah after the game

Noah on the Bulls winning against the Celtics: “We just wanted to play inspired basketball. It always feels good to win against Boston. Not going to lie, beating Boston, there is nothing better. When we play inspired we’re usually a tough team to beat.”

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Inside the NBA presented by Hyundai

 

Johnson, Barkley, O’Neal and Smith

The Inside crew interviews Reggie Miller about his selection into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame class of 2012

Miller on his best attribute: “To play for one organization, one team, one city, one state for 18 years. There are so many kids [that are now adults] that come up to me and say ‘I remember when…’ These are all young kids that have grown up. There are so many players that can’t say they had an opportunity to say they wore one jersey throughout their whole career. Hopefully that will be one thing that people take away.”

Miller on his greatest moment as a player: “Being drafted in 1987. I knew it was going to be a gamble for Donnie Walsh and he told me that. To hear that they were booing because they wanted Steve Alford, I knew I had a lot to prove when I came to Indiana. I just wanted to make them proud. Hopefully after 18 years, it can be put to rest that Donnie Walsh made the right decision.”

Barkley on the Chicago Bulls: “The Chicago Bulls are my favorite to win the Eastern Conference. If you don’t like the Chicago Bulls, you don’t like basketball. They are the toughest team in the NBA and they play better defense than anyone else. They are fun to watch.”

Smith on the team the Bulls remind him of: “They remind me of the 1990 San Antonio Spurs. They are not super flashy but everybody contributes and everyone knows their role.”

O’Neal on the loss of respect between the Orlando Magic team and Coach Stan Van Gundy: “You don’t have to like your coach, but you have to respect them. Now the respect is gone in Orlando. The respect is all the way gone.”

Barkley on what’s next for the Orlando Magic: “There is going to be a fog over that team. They can’t play anymore for Coach Van Gundy. There is going to be so much drama. Fans can be cruel. Players won’t listen and it’s sad because he is a good coach.”

Smith on the Oklahoma City Thunder beating the San Antonio Spurs in the playoffs: “I feel like OKC’s energy will get them through.”

O’Neal: “Energy doesn’t win you championships.”

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