Durant and Westbrook help Thunder rout Lakers; Holiday and Sixers steal one in Boston (With TNT Notes)

Holiday is growing into a star by the second

The Lakers got caught. Simple as that. Westbrook was making turnaround bank shots. Come man…

I picked the Lakers in 6 because of their experience and size advantage inside. I said so because I thought Andrew Bynum would be up for the test. The Lakers obviously will have problems with Durant and Westbrook. As one of the TNT guys says below, Kobe Bryant will most likely guard Westbrook from the gun. Like I said after the 29 point blowout, 4 games is not won in one. You know damn well the Lakers will come out with fire in Game 2.

In Boston, the Sixers just stayed close. Covering this team, I notice something different. Yes, they still get tight at times, but Andre Iguodala is impressing me. He’s showing a confidence and also leadership I haven’t seen him show this season (more vocal on the floor). He’s taking big shots in rhythm and making them. Elton Brand is not 100% but he’s also hitting shots, playing great D and also leading out there on the floor. Jrue Holiday is becoming a force. Evan Turner hit big free throws and the Sixers as a whole defied what they did all year and converted big attempts at the stripe.  The Sixers are capable and trust me, Philly will be rocking Wednesday. Expect the Celtics to step it up a notch. Should be a classic.

The NBA on TNT set sends Memphis to where ya gotta hook ’em to cook ’em…

**** **** **** ****
Philadelphia 76ers (82) @ Boston Celtics (81) – Series tied 1-1
Announcers: Dick Stockton (play-by-play) and Chris Webber (analyst) with David Aldridge (reporter)

Webber on the Sixers advancing in the playoffs: “This Sixers team has really earned their way this season. They’ve played well. They are one of the best defensive teams in this league, especially early on.”

Webber on the Celtics fans: “The Celtics fans have such a luxury in watching this team. One: [They] have one of the best coaches in Doc Rivers. And two: [they] have [Rajon] Rondo.”

Webber on Celtics bench player and center Ryan Hollins: “Ryan Hollins makes an impact with the ability he has [to play well off the bench]. You have to love him.”


**** **** **** ****
Sprint Halftime Report
Johnson, Barkley, O’Neal and Smith

O’Neal on the Celtics leadership structure: “I like to put it in business terms – KG [Kevin Garnett] is the President, the elder statesman who has been around. [Rajon] Rondo is the CAO – Chief Assist Officer – he makes it easy for everybody. And [Paul] Pierce is the CSO – Chief Scoring Officer – he’s a professional scorer.”

Smith on Celtics guard Rajon Rondo and his ability to think ahead: “Rondo plays chess when everybody else plays checkers. He’s figuring things out as they go and he’s setting you up the next move. When he has the basketball, he keeps you off balance.”

Barkley on the Celtics: “It is 100 percent clear to me the Celtics have zero respect for the Philadelphia 76ers. They’re not playing with any emotion, any passion.”

**** **** **** ***

Webber on Sixers’ effort:“I love the heart and courage of this Sixers team.”

Webber on the Sixers inability to possess the ball late in the game: “The Sixers have to realize they can’t give up possessions late in the game because of execution.”

TNT’s David Aldridge interviewed Philadelphia 76ers forward Andre Iguodala following the 76ers one-point win:

Iguodala:“Tonight we orchestrated a little better.”

**** **** **** ****
Johnson, Barkley, O’Neal and Smith

Barkley on who he likes to win the Lakers/Thunder series: “I like the Lakers. They have some tough match ups for OKC. Between [Ron] Artest and Kobe [Bryant], they can slow those guys [Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook] down four out of seven.”

Smith on who he likes to win the Lakers/Thunder series
: “The Lakers obviously have trouble with pick-and-rolls. The Lakers obviously have trouble with quick point guards. The Lakers obviously have trouble with point guards who can score. This is probably the best scoring point guard [Westbrook] in the basketball right now. The Lakers will win this series unless…Westbrook averages 25 points per game.”

**** **** **** ****
Los Angeles Lakers (90) @ Oklahoma City Thunder (119) – Thunder lead the series 1-0
Announcers: Kevin Harlan (play-by-play) and Reggie Miller (analyst) with Craig Sager (reporter)

Miller on one of the keys to the Lakers in this series: “The Lakers cannot turn the basketball over to the Thunder. They [Thunder] are too young, too athletic and can finish in the open court.”

Miller on the benefits of a balanced Lakers offense: “When more guys score and are engaged offensively, not only does it help your defense out but it makes this Lakers team so much more dangerous because they’re not only focusing in on No. 24 [Kobe Bryant].”

Miller on OKC and one of their keys to success in the series: “For them [OKC] to be successful this series, at some point [Kendrick] Perkins is going to have to play major minutes.”

**** **** **** ****
Sprint Halftime Report
Johnson, Barkley, O’Neal and Smith

Barkley on OKC’s first half of play:“They [OKC] have the game at a really, really fast pace and the Lakers need to find a way to slow down Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant. They [Lakers] gave up [59] points and you’re not going to win the game giving up 120 points.”

**** **** **** ****
Miller on a key to success for the  Thunder as the series progresses:
“As the series goes on…it’s going to be important that the Thunder continue to attack the rim as opposed to relying on outside jump shots.”

Miller looking ahead to Game 2 and how the Lakers will defend the Thunder: “I will not be surprised in Game 2 if Kobe [Bryant] doesn’t start the game [guarding] Westbrook.”

TNT’s Craig Sager interviewed Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook following the Thunder’s 29-pt win:

Westbrook:“We just tried to come out and play our game.”

**** **** **** ****

Inside the NBA presented by Hyundai
Johnson, Barkley, O’Neal and Smith

Barkley on the Thunder:“When OKC is making jump shots, they are tough to beat.”

Barkley on the adjustment the Lakers can make:
“Sometimes when you get blown out, it is easy to get over a game. But they have got to find a way to slow down Westbrook. Westbrook was the key to the game.”

O’Neal’s advice to Laker bigs: “Obviously they played well tonight but it is still not enough. You have to do more. You have to dominate more. I agree with Bynum and Gasol, they need to be in the offense a little more.”

O’Neal on the Thunder: “I was very impressed with how OKC valued each possession. Four turnovers in a playoff game, in a game where they mostly shot jump shots, I was very impressed.”

Smith on what the Game 1 blowout means for the Lakers: “If they can’t find a way to control dribble penetration, they will find themselves watching the Western Conference Finals.”

O’Neal on Sixers/Celtics Game 3: “Now they have to wake up. If you are a veteran team and you don’t show other teams respect, you tend to say I can turn it on and I can turn it off. It bit them in the rear tonight and it didn’t work. But now their backs are against the wall and they are going to start to pick it up.”

O’Neal on Heat forward Chris Bosh’s abdominal strain: “They say he is out indefinitely; he is probably out for the rest of the playoffs. You have to take four to six weeks off where you can’t do anything. You can’t lift your legs, you can’t ride the treadmill. You can’t do anything, every little move hurts.”

Barkley on Bosh’s injury: “I had it one time in Phoenix, you can’t do anything. It just takes rest. It is just one of those injuries; it just has to heal on time.”


4 Responses to “Durant and Westbrook help Thunder rout Lakers; Holiday and Sixers steal one in Boston (With TNT Notes)”

  1. Vinny Hardy says:

    Good stuff Mr. Tillery. I picked your Sixers and I’m sticking with them. They got a split on the road and I think their blend of toughness and athleticism enable them to upset Boston and get to the conference finals.

  2. BonusGeek says:

    A lot of “favorites are in trouble right now. Durant is about to stake his claim to being one of the elite players on the planet!

  3. TheLastPoet says:

    Philly has long stretches where they simply cannot score the ball. I know Boston is banged up, but I thik they eek out the victory tonight with solid defense and better execution in the 4th quarter.

  4. You were right Poet. Sixers laid a stinker. As far as the Spurs and Clippers, you are also right on both accounts. I can’t stand flopping (or charges for that matter). It kills the jazz and the NBA better do something quick about players searching to exploit loopholes.