Notes from TNT’s NBA Coverage – Thursday, January 30, 2014: Knicks beat up the Cavs 117-86; Warriors stick up Clippers 111-92

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TNT’s NBA coverage continues Thursday, February 6, at 7 p.m. ET with a special one-hour edition of TNT NBA Tip-Off presented by AutoTrader.com followed by doubleheader action with the San Antonio Spurs @ Brooklyn Nets at 8 p.m. and the Chicago Bulls @ Golden State Warriors at 10:30 p.m.

 

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Cleveland Cavaliers (86) at New York Knicks (117)

Kevin Harlan (play-by-play), Greg Anthony (analyst) with Craig Sager (reporter)

Anthony on New. York’s J.R. Smith: “I like the rhythm the Knicks have played with in the last few weeks. He’s starting to trust his teammates more and they have rewarded him with some solid play.”

Anthony on Knicks center Tyson Chandler: “That’s one guy – of all the things that have happened – that they miss more than anyone else.  You need that energy down that front line, defensively, and his threat offensively at the rim.”

Anthony on Luol Deng’s role with the Cavaliers: “He is one of the best cutters in the NBA. He does a terrific job of playing without the basketball which is part of the reasoning that the front office thought he would be a good fit with Kyrie (Irving). Those pieces tend to fit together.”

Anthony on Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving: “There’s no doubt about his talent but, at this stage of his career, so much is being asked of this young man [and] he hasn’t had an opportunity to grow into a leader…that takes time. When you are voted into the All-Star Game as a starter, a lot will be expected of you.”

Anthony on Pacers center Lance Stephenson not being named an NBA All-Star:  “I really thought that Lance Stephenson would have had a terrific chance to be an All-Star this year. You can make the argument that he is their second best player [on his team]. He’s had a pretty spectacular season.”

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Sprint Halftime Report

Johnson, Barkley, O’Neal, Smith

O’Neal on Knicks guard J.R. Smith: “[The Knicks] trust J.R. [Smith] with the ball. He has to be the second scorer on the Knicks, Carmelo [Anthony] can’t do everything by himself.”

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Anthony on Kyrie Irving’s development as a player: “He has as many physical tools as anyone who plays the [point guard] position in the game, but there is a big difference between being that talented and being a player. He hasn’t developed to a point where he has made his teammates better. They haven’t responded well to him yet in terms of development.”

Anthony on J.R. Smith: “He’s an ‘x-factor.’ Offensively, J.R. Smith has shown that he can carry you for stretches. That’s when the Knicks can present problems for people when he and Carmelo [Anthony] are both playing at a high level.”

Anthony on Cavaliers rookie and first overall draft pick Anthony Bennett: “We’re living in a time where you want instant gratification but it’s going to be a process with [Bennett] to develop and see if he can become the player [Cleveland] felt he has the opportunity to become.”

Anthony on Knicks rookie guard Tim Hardaway, Jr.: “He has the ability to play without the basketball and he makes good decisions. You want young players who play to their strengths and not their weaknesses. That’s something that he’s done with the Knicks.”

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Los Angeles Clippers (92) at Golden State Warriors (111)

Marv Albert (play-by-play), Steve Kerr and Reggie Miller (analysts) with David Aldridge (reporter)

Kerr on Golden State’s Andrew Bogut: “The key move [for Golden State] was trading for Andrew Bogut. The Warriors were awful defensively for so long. Bogut has changed the identity of this team with his defense and rebounding.”

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Sprint Halftime Report

Johnson, Barkley, O’Neal, Smith

Barkley on Blake Griffin: “Blake Griffin has been playing very well and Chris Paul’s injury has made him more aggressive.”

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Kerr on the Warriors: “When the Warriors are at their best, they get out and run and they move the ball in the half-court.”

Miller on Stephen Curry’s emergence as a star in the league and the responsibility that comes with that: “A year ago, teams would say, ‘The Golden State Warriors are coming to town.’ Now they say, ‘Steph Curry and the Golden State Warriors are coming to town.’ He’s a headline act. When you have those kind of expectations on you, you have to bring you’re A-game every single night.”

Miller on the Clippers: “I think their schedule sets them up well. It wouldn’t shock me at all if they end up with the two seed in the West [Conference Playoffs] behind Oklahoma City.”

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Inside the NBA presented by Kia

Johnson, Barkley, O’Neal, Smith

Barkley on what the Warriors are capable of this season: “They aren’t capable of anything. They are a finesse team and they shoot too many jumpers. They should be better. They do a good enough job of getting the ball down low to the big guys and their bench is a little suspect. They are fun to watch but they are a regular season team.”

Smith on the Warriors: “Their inconsistencies come from mental droughts but they can give you problems in 10 days and that’s all a series is. They can get hot and beat teams four out of seven times in 10 days if they shoot that ball the way they are capable of shooting it.”

O’Neal on Indiana’s Lance Stephenson not making the Eastern Conference All-Star squad: “I’m anxious to see how he responds. He’s a tough kid. When you’re a good player on the verge of becoming a great player, sometimes it takes something like this to take you to that next level. I’m anxious to see if he plays upset but with a lot more poise.”

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