Notes from TNT’s Coverage of the NBA Playoffs – Sunday, April 29, 2012: Will Rajon Rondo be suspended? Should he?

(Matthew West | AP)

“Dude…now what am damn I gonna do with all those Game 2 tickets?”

Why didn’t Marc Davis simply call a jump ball?

Any of us who have hooped on any level know there is a presence of some refs. We know as soon as they walk into the building by that damn “Damn! This cat…” we let out. It affects the game. You try to forget  it and focus on executing but when they blow that cotdamn whistle for some dumb shit you chill and continue playing. When they do it the second time there is a glare and by the third time there is a physical reaction of sorts. Fans need to understand refs are human to and bias becomes a part of their performance sometimes as well. Dwil (D.K. Wilson) and I were talking earlier and he said the grade system of refs should be made public. I totally agree. It’s a needed check and balance. This in no way absolves any player but the punishment should be doled out accordingly in regards to officials as well…in all sports….

Yeah yeah it’s a rule: “Any player or coach guilty of intentional physical contact with an official shall automatically be suspended without pay for one game. A fine and/or longer period of suspension will result if circumstances so dictate.”

TNT’s coverage of the 2012 NBA Playoffs continues Monday, April 30, at 7 p.m. ET with a doubleheader featuring the New York Knicks @ Miami Heat (Game 2) followed by the Orlando Magic @ Indiana Pacers (Game 2). I’ll have a playoff preview with player season quotes I collected and predictions up tonight before the games begin tomorrow. Have a great week folks.

**Addendum 5:15 pm est. Rondo suspended for Game 2.**


Now…to the meltdown in Memphis…

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TNT NBA Tip-off presented by

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


Smith on why Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose was playing at the end of the Bulls Game 1 win: “The wear and tear of an ACL just happened that way. It’s unfortunate. He’s had a plethora of injuries. I really believe this would’ve happened regardless. That’s not a question for [Bulls head coach] Tom Thibodeau.”


Barkley on what Derrick Rose’s injury means for the Chicago Bulls’ championship chances: “This kills their championship aspirations. I don’t think they [the Bulls] can beat the Celtics, Miami Heat or Indiana Pacers without Derrick Rose.”


O’Neal on an athlete’s thought process when it comes to injuries: “We rush to come back. When I had my right toe injury, I rushed to come back. When I came back, I compensated on the left side and messed up my left knee. When I compensated on my left knee, the right hip started hurting which eventually ended my career.”


Barkley on the Celtics/Hawks series: “This is going to be a competitive series. Someone has to step up and [the Hawks] Marvin Williams has to step up.


Barkley on Atlanta Hawks center Zaza Pachulia and Hawks forward Ivan Johnson: “Kevin Garnett is not going to mess with that guy [Johnson]. You will mess with a guy named Zaza but a guy with a nickname ‘Ivan the Terrible,’ you’re not going to mess with him.”


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Boston Celtics (74) @ Atlanta Hawks (83) – Hawks lead the series 1-0

Announcers: Marv Albert (play-by-play), Steve Kerr (analyst) and Tracy Wolfson (reporter)


Kerr on how the Hawks need to attack the Celtics: “Any time you play against Boston you have to get the ball moving in the halfcourt.”


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Kerr on the ejection of Celtics forward Rajon Rondo and the possibility of a further suspension for bumping the referee: “If you’re a Celtics fan you’re not so worried about Game 1, now you’re worried about Game 2. The league is going to have a look at that. What a turn of events.”


TNT’s Tracy Wolfson interviewed Hawks forward Josh Smith after his 22 point, 18 rebound night:


Smith on setting the tone in Game 1: “It was real important. We wanted home court for a reason. We didn’t want them [the Celtics] coming in here trying to steal Game 1 [and] we just played confident.”




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L.A. Clippers (99) @ Memphis Grizzlies (98) – Clippers lead the series 1-0

Announcers: Dick Stockton (play-by-play), Chris Webber (analyst) and Craig Sager (reporter)


Webber on keys to this series: “The Clippers – will they follow their leader Chris Paul? That’s how it goes…and the athletic ability and explosiveness for the Clippers’ big guys. For Memphis, Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol are two of the best players in the league and their uncanny chemistry. Will those guys dominate inside?”


Webber on the physical play of the Memphis Grizzlies: “Memphis is a hard hat team. They are very physical inside. You’re not going to just have your way inside the paint with this Memphis team.”


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Sprint Halftime Report

Johnson, Barkley, O’Neal and Smith


O’Neal on the two point, one rebound effort of Clippers forward Blake Griffin in the first half: “He needs to step up. The magic number for him to do well is 26-10 [points-rebounds].”


Barkley on the Clippers’ Blake Griffin: “He’s not a polished offensive player. With his physical body and athletic ability, all he needs is a jump-hook and an up-and-under. He’s a mini Kevin McHale…but he’s got to learn you just can’t dunk.”


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Webber on the Grizzlies demise: “The Grizzlies lost their lead by not playing inside-out.”


Webber on the comeback: “To me, Reggie Evans – his defense aside – him banging, him putting on his hard helmet has been the catalyst for this Clippers resurgence.”


Webber on the Clippers Reggie Evans: “So many times you hear about the main names – the All-Stars. The teams I played against…the role players always came through and embraced their role and played so well. You need that on teams that have championship aspirations and Evans picked up his game off the bench tonight.”


Stockton’s final call on the game: “The Clippers have won it – one of the more remarkable comebacks in playoff history! The L.A. Clippers – who were outplayed and down by as many as 27 [points] – staged an incredible fourth quarter rally. They finish on a 28-3 run. And the Memphis fans – shocked.”


Stockton on the Clippers comeback: “The comeback…came very quietly. The 27-point comeback is the largest in playoff history in at least 10 years as the Clippers win it 99-98.”



TNT’s Craig Sager interviewed Clippers guard Chris Paul following the game:


Paul on the Clippers’ 27 point comeback: “We’re going to look at the tape and see why we came out so lethargic. It’s a good win though.”


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Inside the NBA presented by Hyundai


Johnson, Barkley, O’Neal and Smith


Barkley on the Clippers dramatic come-from-behind win over the Grizzlies: “It had been such an easy, free-flowing game and [Memphis] just fell in love with shooting a bunch of jumpers. You have to take your hat off to the Clippers’ bench, they really turned this game around…when the Clippers sent their bench in, Reggie Evans, [Eric] Bledsoe and Nick Young were fantastic.”


Barkley on the Grizzlies’ strategy late in Game 1: “I didn’t like Memphis’ strategy down the stretch. They started playing not to lose. When their lead started going down, they tried to milk the clock instead of just playing.”


O’Neal on the Clippers Game 1 comeback win: “In order to be a great team, you have to win on the road. I think Memphis came out too hot. I remember playing against teams who got off to hot starts and I would tell guys in the huddle, ‘they aren’t going to continue to shoot the ball this well.’ The Grizzlies fell in love with the jumper, the Clippers didn’t give up and they did what they’re supposed to do…win on the road.


Barkley on Grizzlies center Marc Gasol: “[The Grizzlies] stopped running their offense through Marc Gasol. He has become the best passing big man in the NBA and I don’t remember him touching the ball down the stretch.”


Barkley on Clippers/Grizzlies Game 1: “The Clippers didn’t win this game…the Grizzlies lost this game.”


Smith on how the Grizzlies should spend their time before Game 2: “You shut your radio off, you don’t look at the paper and you get in the gym. The gym is your solace and you can stay in an active mind of basketball.”


Smith on Hawks forward Josh Smith’s poor three-point shooting: “Josh Smith should look at the three-point line as a cliff…if he’s on it, he’ll fall off.”


The Inside the NBA crew handed out their 2011-12 Coach of the Year Award


O’Neal – Gregg Popovich (San Antonio Spurs): “When it comes to leadership, he’s a task-driven guy. That task is winning his fifth NBA Championship. They’ve been the playoffs 15 straight years, that’s the longest active streak. He’s a great leader and a no-nonsense guy. You do it his way or you do not play.”


Barkley – Tom Thibodeau (Chicago Bulls): “Derrick Rose and Luol Deng missed games due to injury and they still had the best record in the NBA. Coach Thibs did a great job.”


Smith – Gregg Popovich (San Antonio Spurs): “Popovich was overlooked in previous years. This is the year that having the best record [in the Western Conference] and still sitting out guys when you have a 15 game win streak and saying ‘take a break, I don’t care about win streaks, I care about winning championships.’”

One Response to “Notes from TNT’s Coverage of the NBA Playoffs – Sunday, April 29, 2012: Will Rajon Rondo be suspended? Should he?”

  1. Temple3 says:

    Why didn’t Mark Davis call the ball out of bounds on Josh Smith? That’s what set this off in the first place. Kenny said it — and I was thinking the same thing while watching the game.

    Still can’t believe I missed the end of that game.