Notes from TNT’s NBA Coverage – Thursday, February 27, 2014: Heat crush Knicks; Nets do same to Nuggets



TNT’s NBA coverage continues Thursday, March 6, at 8 p.m. ET with doubleheader action featuring the Miami Heat @ San Antonio Spurs followed by the Los Angeles Clippers @ Los Angeles Lakers at 10:30 p.m.

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TNT NBA Tip-off presented by
Ernie Johnson, Charles Barkley, Shaquille O’Neal and Chris Webber
O’Neal on Brooklyn Nets center Jason Collins being the first openly gay player in the NBA: “When we are in the locker room, we are together. We don’t care about what you did or what you are doing. As long as you can give us something, a couple of fouls, a couple of rebounds…a couple of charges. It is a big step for Jason and a big step for the NBA. Kudos to both parties.”
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New York Knicks (82) at Miami Heat (108)
Marv Albert (play-by-play) and Steve Kerr (analyst) with David Aldridge (reporter)

Kerr on Knicks center Tyson Chandler: “I think he is the heart and soul of this team; without him they are rudderless.”


Kerr on Heat guard Mario Chalmers: “What he brings to this team is defense on the opposing point guard; when he can score eight or nine points, that’s frosting on the cake. His defense on the opposing point is the biggest attribute he can bring.”


Kerr on Miami’s road to another Championship: “I know it is the end of February and it is probably foolish to prognosticate, [but] I feel like watching Miami now, if they are healthy in May, I don’t see anyone in the West beating them.  The West is incredible deep and they are going to beat each other up in the playoffs. I don’t see any team in the West beating them four times. If you look at the East, the only team standing in their way is Indiana, which we know can give Miami a lot of trouble. I really believe that if healthy, Indiana is the only team standing in their way of a third straight ring.”


Kerr on the chances of the Thunder meeting the Heat in the playoffs: “It is a tough matchup for Oklahoma City. They are going through their own issues right now, trying to reintegrate [Russell] Westbrook.  I think OKC is really good and they can give Miami a lot of problems, but I don’t think they can beat them four times.”


Kerr on Miami’s size: “Miami is gravitating towards playing a bigger lineup involving [Chris]Anderson and Chris Bosh as they prepare to face the Indiana Pacers down the road.”
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Sprint Halftime Report
Johnson, Barkley, O’Neal, Webber


Barkley on the Knicks: “It is an honor and a pleasure to watch Carmelo [Anthony] play. He is a great player and a great scorer but the Knicks stink and we know that.”
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Kerr on the Pacers offensive prowess: “One of the reasons Indiana can bother Miami is, when they get offensive rebounds, they pound the Heat. They are physical and get right back to the rim. They really take advantage of Miami’s weakness.”


Kerr on Knicks guard Pablo Prigioni: “I love Prigioni. He’s the perfect backup point guard. Excellent defender. [He is] constantly looking for his teammates. Trying to set up field goals for whoever is open.”


Kerr on the Heat struggling against bad teams: “The emotional wear and tear of going back to The Finals year after year makes the 82-game season even longer. I think it is a great sign that Miami is struggling against the bad teams; better than the other way around.”


Kerr on the contest between Kevin Durant and LeBron James for MVP: “I was on record a few weeks ago saying I would vote for Durant. At this point, I’m rethinking my vote.”


Kerr on the Knicks: “They have a ton of decisions to make. Do they restructure their front office? I feel horrible for Mike Woodson. A coach of the year candidate a year ago… handed a roster that wasn’t capable of winning and, of course, all the injuries. You have a ton of change that is coming. On top of that it’s the Knicks, they are the center of the media universe, there is a ton of pressure coming from their fan base…[it] wouldn’t shock me to see a dramatic change across the board and that includes Carmelo.”


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Brooklyn Nets (112) at Denver Nuggets (89)
Kevin Harlan (play-by-play), Reggie Miller (analyst) with Rachel Nichols (reporter)

Miller on Jason Collins’ 10-day contract with the Brooklyn Nets: “You want to give ownership and management a lot of credit, especially Jason Kidd. I’m just happy that he is able to get back and play basketball because, at the end of the day, that is what it is all about.”  


Miller on the lack of veteran players on the Nuggets: “There is no veteran presence on this Denver team. Who is going to tell these guys to stay late to work on their game, work on their craft? They are somewhat policing themselves.”


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Sprint Halftime Report
Johnson, Barkley, O’Neal, Webber

O’Neal on the Nuggets lack of effort: “You should never play without any effort. That’s the first thing you should always come with. Your shot may be off sometimes, you may not be feeling well, but you should never ever play without effort.”


Barkley on the Nuggets: “We blame coaches for everything in this league. For the Nuggets to come out and play with no passion and no energy, I blame this 100 percent on the players.”


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Miller on the Nets playoff chances: “It is very rare, especially post All-Star break, for a team that is in the hunt in the Eastern Conference to get blown out by 44 points [against Portland]. I don’t care who you play, I don’t care if you play a group of All-Stars…that just doesn’t happen.”


Miller on Nets guard Shaun Livingston: “He’s playing so smooth on this team. He’s so comfortable on where his game has taken him…after the injury.”


Miller on the Nets finding their rhythm: “This team is scary come playoff time. If you get Deron Williams playing at that All-Star level when he was in Utah, get Paul Pierce making shots…with the energy of KG…this is a scary team to win four out of seven against. Certainly age plays a factor and they are terrible on the boards…but don’t let the game be close because they have enough closers.”


Miller on Nuggets coach Brian Shaw: “You can’t coach effort. He can’t continually beg guys to play hard; that’s not a coach’s job.  He put these guys in the right opportunity and the right position to succeed…now it’s up to them to go out and play.”


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Inside the NBA presented by Kia
Johnson, Barkley, O’Neal, Webber

Barkley on the teams vying for the third spot: “In that third spot, Washington [Wizards], Toronto [Raptors] and Chicago [Bulls] are all together. Chicago is the best defensive team and the other two teams are better offensively. On paper – just on paper — as far as having good offense at the guard position and with big guys, the Wizards have the best talent. Chicago is great offensively but I don’t think they can score on a nightly basis.”

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