Notes from NBA TV’s NBA Fan Night presented by Sprint – Tuesday, March 11, 2014: Houston Rockets (98) at Oklahoma City Thunder (106)

durant james

Co-MVP’s? Does Webber have a point?

I’ve written that no other player deserves MVP while LeBron is still playing at this level, but it’s obvious Kevin Durant is making things interesting. I also wrote about the two before their Finals match up and it seems Durant is showing and proving that he — at least in the regular season — is nothing second fiddle. Read below and you’ll see Chris Webber makes an interesting case for the two superstars to share the MVP award.

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Toronto Raptors vs. Atlanta Hawks

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****  ****  ****  **** Pregame Show

Matt Winer, Chris Webber and Rick Fox


Fox on the Houston Rockets: “This team is winning because they can score the basketball. They are beating good teams and are heading into the playoffs on a high note. [The Rockets] are a much better team than they were last year, which has a lot to do with [Rockets center] Dwight Howard, but they have also just improved and matured.”


Webber on the recent success of the Houston Rockets: “I love the energy that these guys have. I believe in their second half record. I have to believe in them until they prove me wrong. It just seems like this team could have something special.”


Fox on the Thunder’s offensive struggles since Russell Westbrook returned from injury: “You see how fragile chemistry can be; you remove one link from the chain and things get a little shaky, but I like what [the Thunder] have done all season long. There are enough games left [in the regular season] to right this ship and reintroduce Westbrook into the equation.”


Webber on the tendency for teams to go through lulls at this point in the season: “Lulls are good for some teams, especially teams that need to be agitated. This [current] lull won’t expose [Oklahoma City]. It’s going to have to bring them together and give them a sense of urgency.”


Webber on where the Thunder and Rockets stand in the Western Conference: “I see the Thunder third [in the Western Conference], behind the San Antonio Spurs and Los Angeles Clippers. I like Houston, but I trust San Antonio.”


Fox on [head coach] Doc Rivers’ effect on the Los Angeles Clippers: “I see an identity…Doc’s clear imprint on this team. At the beginning of training camp I saw a young looking team. [During their 48-point victory over the Los Angeles Lakers Thursday night], I saw a seriousness and an attention to detail. I saw Doc Rivers.”


Fox on Rockets guard Patrick Beverley: “Patrick Beverley approaches the game with an intensity you want all of your players to have.”


Webber on Bulls center Joakim Noah: “I love Joakim Noah. He’s my favorite center in the league. He’s a winner. The Chicago Bulls will make a run in the playoffs because of his play.”


Rockets forward Chandler Parsons joined the Fan Night crew


Parsons on what a victory over an elite team in the Western Conference means to the Rockets: “At the end of the day, it’s just one win to us. [The elite teams] are obviously bigger, the crowds are crazier; it gives us a little more confidence and shows we can play with anybody…but at the end of the day it’s just another win.”


Parsons on the Rockets’ embarrassing loss to the Thunder in January: “We haven’t talked about it much. We watched film the next day and learned from our mistakes. Our spacing was terrible and we weren’t making the same passes [in the second half] that we were early on…we’re a different team since that game. We’re rolling and are really starting to click right now.”

Parsons on how the Thunder’s defensive game plan changes when Thunder forward Kevin Durant is on the floor: “Our principles stay the same. We just have to know where he is at all times. Transition defense has to be good with him because he is so explosive, fast and athletic.”


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

Sprint Halftime Report

Winer, Webber and Fox


Webber on Beverley’s aggressive style of play: “He’s not a dirty player. [It takes a lot of] heart to play a full game with this kind of energy. You have to love his heart and attention to detail.”


Fox on Beverley: “My role in a championship era was to show up and play like Patrick Beverley: to disrupt, be aggressive, be physical and dictate the outcome of the game from that end of the floor. That’s how I survived an extra five or six years in the league.”


***** *****

NBA GameTime presented by Kia

Winer, Webber and Fox


Webber on the Thunder’s home court advantage: “When they’re at home, they’re dominant. They have not only the confidence of their fans, but of their bench and team. This is still Houston’s first year together with this unit, but Oklahoma City knows who they are and are trying to get back to their identity [with point guard Russell Westbrook back in the lineup]. I like the intensity that they start the game with.”


Fox on the MVP race between LeBron James and Kevin Durant: “His leadership without Russell Westbrook in the lineup gave him a huge edge. I don’t put LeBron out of it completely yet, but tonight was a huge statement [by Kevin Durant], returning to form again, leading his team and putting them on his back [while] scoring a quiet 42 points. We’re spoiled when we see that number now, we’ve come to expect 50 or 60 [points from Durant].”


Webber on the contrasting styles of MVP candidates James and Durant: “They are two totally different players. Durant is the man for his team in scoring and keeping guys involved and LeBron leads his team in rebounds, steals and everything else…two wonderful players to watch. I’d have to say right now Durant is leading [the MVP race] up to the weekend, but as a person that hates co-winners, this is the first year I have ever thought that two people seriously both deserve it.”


Thunder forward Kevin Durant joined the Fan Night crew


Durant on the physicality of the game against the Rockets: “We’re just two teams trying to get a W…it happens. It’s a physical game with grown men playing out there. We didn’t take offense to it. We just went out there and did what we were supposed to do, which is play hard every possession. We’re going to move forward from it.”


Durant on what it’s like to have teammate Russell Westbrook back from injury: “This has been one of the first seasons we’ve had guys in and out of the lineup. Russell was the biggest guy, just having him out for 28 games…it was tough to adjust. I think we did a good job while he was out but when he came back it was an adjustment period as well. I think tonight was a step in the right direction. Once our whole team gets back from injuries, we’ll start to build that chemistry up more and more and we should be ok down the line.”


Durant on whether or not the Thunder are focused on getting the top seed in the playoffs: “We’re not thinking that far down the line right now. Of course we want to try to win every game and get as hot as we can, but we know that is going to be tough. We just try to build our habits and get tougher every day. We’re not worried about it, but once that time comes hopefully we can get a top seed.”

One Response to “Notes from NBA TV’s NBA Fan Night presented by Sprint – Tuesday, March 11, 2014: Houston Rockets (98) at Oklahoma City Thunder (106)”

  1. Michelle says:

    I say… The King remains the MVP.. Shall we give it to him folks????