Notes from TNT’s NBA Coverage – Thursday, December 26, 2013: “If you don’t like Z-Bo, you don’t like basketball”



How good are either of these teams?


TNT’s NBA coverage continues Thursday, Jan. 9, at 8 p.m. ET with doubleheader action featuring the Miami Heat @ New York Knicks followed by the Oklahoma City Thunder @ Denver Nuggets at 10:30 p.m.

TNT NBA Tip-off presented by

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


Smith on Rockets center Dwight Howard needing to show consistency: “He’s playing fantastic [now] but it has to be a continuation, it can’t be a 10-game stint.”


Barkley on teams taking hard fouls on Clippers forward Blake Griffin: “I like Blake as a player but he has to stop this…people are disrespecting him. They are just hitting him for the hell of it and at some point, he has to knock the hell out of someone.”


O’Neal on Griffin: “He’s a great player and knows he’s going to take a hard foul…on a break, when he knows he’s going to get a hard foul, he has to make sure…they feel it as well.”


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Memphis Grizzlies (92) at Houston Rockets (100)

Marv Albert (play-by-play) and Chris Webber (analyst) with Craig Sager (reporter)


Webber on the Grizzlies trying to define their new identity: “It’s really hard to define who the Grizzlies are. They have two big guys but they are playing finesse basketball…which is something you never thought you’d see Memphis do. So they’re trying to establish their new identity.”


Webber on Grizzlies center Zach Randolph: “You want Memphis to keep that grind mentality because they have one of the best grinders in the NBA in Zach Randolph.”


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Sprint Halftime Report

Johnson, Barkley, O’Neal, Smith


Smith on the Grizzlies: “They have to get back to playing inside-out if they want to win.”


Barkley on the Rockets needing to get the ball inside to Dwight Howard: “Big guys don’t normally run the floor but if you get your big guys to run the floor, you have to reward them. Dwight is doing a fantastic job of getting up and down the floor; they’ve got to get him the ball.”


Webber on Rockets centers Dwight Howard and Omer Asik: “[Asik is] an incredible player and to have him and Dwight together on the same team is something that most teams don’t have. They could have the best center in the league [Howard] and the best backup [Asik]. They could be a heck of a combination if they were to stay together.”


Webber on Randolph: “He is a guy you just trust in the paint.”


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Los Angeles Clippers (112) at Portland Trail Blazers (116) in OT

Kevin Harlan (play-by-play) and Steve Kerr (analyst) with Lewis Johnson (reporter)


Kerr on the Trail Blazers: “They are the most efficient offense in the league.”


Kerr on Clippers’ Jamal Crawford: “He’s a natural scorer. He can score from deep or inside. That’s his mentality, to always attack. That’s why he’s suited to come off the bench.”


Kerr on Clippers’ DeAndre Jordan: “He’s taken a big leap this year in terms of his production and his defensive awareness. He has been fantastic for his team.”


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Sprint Halftime Report

Johnson, Barkley, O’Neal, Smith


Barkley on the Clippers: “If the Clippers get into the open court, they are going to be successful. They struggle in the half-court because Chris Paul has to do so much.”


Kerr on Trail Blazers forward Nicolas Batum: “He’s a tremendous all-around player. He’s a ball-mover on offense. The ball never sticks in his hand. But when he’s given the ball in a late game situation, he has the ability to break down the defense and create a shot for himself.”


Kerr on the Clippers: “It’s amazing what has happened with this Clippers franchise in the last few years. Between Blake Griffin and his spectacular dunks and Chris Paul and his guard play, they’ve become one of the marquee franchises in the NBA.”


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Inside the NBA presented by Kia

Johnson, Barkley, O’Neal, Smith


Barkley on the Blazers: “Nicolas Batum and Wesley Matthews are the two guys that make everything go [for the Blazers].”


Smith on the best team in the Western Conference: “Oklahoma City is playing the best but they are unproven. To me, San Antonio is the best [team].”


Barkley on Zach Randolph: “If you don’t like Z-Bo, you don’t like basketball.”

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