Notes from NBA TV’s NBA Fan Night presented by Sprint – Tuesday, February 11, 2014: Durant double doubles the Blazers

(US Presswire)



Durant goes for 36 and 10 in the 98-95 win.

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****  ****  ****  **** Pregame Show

Matt Winer, Greg Anthony and Chris Webber

Anthony on Trail Blazers power forward LaMarcus Aldridge: “Aldridge has put himself into the conversation of being one of the five best players in this league with how he has played this season. He has completely been able to carry his team.”


Anthony on Trail Blazers head coach Terry Stotts’ management of minutes: “I think Coach Stotts is arguably coach of the year, but he’s got to do a better job of using the regular season to get ready for the postseason. You need to tweak your rotation to a point where you’re getting consistent minutes from [your players] and figure out a way to still be competitive. That ultimately is one of the reasons [the Trail Blazers] are struggling now — the minutes. It’s going to hinder them to have any real chance once the postseason starts.”


Webber on Trail Blazers point guard Damian Lillard participating in five All-Star events: “Lillard being in every event, that’s draining. You want a whole team that’s energized [in the postseason].”
Webber on what has been the most impressive thing about Kevin Durant’s recent play: “What’s most impressive is leadership. I’ve always known he is one of the best scorers in the game, but I think last year’s playoff series helped him show his maturity this year. Last year, when Oklahoma City played without [Thunder point guard Russell] Westbrook you saw a team playing with Durant at the top and opponents chasing him around. Now, he’s still getting the shots whenever he wants, but he knows how to take three plays off to be a decoy. The easiest guy to check is the guy you know is a hog. I’m impressed with his maturity, getting other guys involved and still keeping his pacing to score as much as he does.”


Webber on the Oklahoma City Thunder: “The way that Durant’s been playing…they’re my favorites to win the championship when Westbrook comes back [from injury].”


Anthony on the Thunder in the absence of Russell Westbrook: “The most important part is they haven’t had to change their style. It’s not like they’ve had to reinvent the way they play the game while Westbrook has been out. Reggie Jackson is a similar type of player — aggressive scorer, long, athletic and can be very good defensively. That fits right in. Now, when they get Westbrook back, they will have more flexibility…Durant doesn’t dominate the basketball; he allows other guys to have an impact, much like LeBron James.”


Anthony on Kevin Durant’s MVP ability: “As great as [Heat forward] LeBron James has been, and [Pacers forward] Paul George has had his moments, Kevin Durant has been the MVP thus far in the league. I don’t know that anybody is going to be able do anything, moving forward this year, to supplant him. He’s been that special.”
Anthony on the impact of Thunder power forward Serge Ibaka being left off the Western Conference All-Star team: “It’s almost comical that we forget the better the team, the less you’re going to do individually. It’s not about your stats; it’s about your impact.”
Anthony on the excitement surrounding the Western Conference heading into the second-half of the season: “I think the West is going to be a hell of a ride. There’s not an overwhelming favorite in the West…too much talent.”


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

Sprint Halftime Report

Winer, Anthony and Webber


Anthony on Trail Blazers guard C.J. McCollum: “Offensively he’s very gifted. He was a steal, going tenth in last year’s draft, and will be a nice compliment to what Damian Lillard gives them at the point.”


Webber on Thunder power forward Serge Ibaka: “Ibaka is one of the best defenders in the league. I dare you to find someone who has improved year after year as much as Ibaka has.”


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NBA GameTime presented by Kia

Winer, Anthony and Webber


Anthony on Kevin Durant: “He’s the second best player in the world and continuing to get better. He sensed tonight that his guys, for whatever reason, didn’t have the confidence and weren’t ready to play. As a great player, you sense when your guys aren’t where they need to be mentally. He didn’t allow them to take the night off. Kevin Durant came to win the game.”


Anthony on the success of great players in the postseason: “In the regular season your system can win games, in the postseason the great players win. [Up against the Thunder in the postseason] I would try to take away what [Thunder guard] Reggie Jackson and [Thunder small forward] Jeremy Lamb did. I would have a better chance with that than with stopping Kevin Durant. If LeBron James or Kevin Durant is on, you’re not going to stop them.”


Webber on the Portland Trail Blazers: “[The Trail Blazers] are going to make every game ugly in the playoffs. They don’t care about the score; they just want to win.”


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