Notes from TNT’s NBA Playoffs Game 7 Coverage – Saturday, May 3, 2014: The winners won


No surprises…


TNT’s NBA Playoffs coverage will continue Monday, May 5, with a second round doubleheader beginning with Washington vs. Indiana Game 1 at 7 p.m. ET. Ian Eagle will call the action with analyst Chris Webber and reporter Tracy Wolfson. The second game of the night will feature the Los Angeles Clippers vs. Oklahoma City Thunder Game 1 at 9:30 p.m. Marv Albert will be court side with analyst Steve Kerr and reporter Lewis Johnson.


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TNT NBA Tip-off presented by

Ernie Johnson, Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith and Grant Hill


Barkley on Mike Conley’s injury: “I’m not a doctor…but to try to guard Russell Westbrook, you probably need two good hamstrings.”


Smith on the Grizzlies’ approach to Game 7: “I’d go with a little bit of a zone to slow the game down…I would not let Mike Conley play man to man.”


Barkley on Clippers/Warriors: “The ‘Splash Brothers’ have to go for 25 points each…DeAndre Jordan has to get 15 points or somewhere in that neighborhood and Blake Griffin has to get 25 [points]…because it’s a little team against a big team…if the big guys play well for the Clippers, they are going to win; if the ‘Splash Brothers’ explode, they’ve got a chance.”


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Atlanta Hawks (80) at Indiana Pacers (92) – Pacers win Series 4-3

Brian Anderson (play-by-play) and Greg Anthony (analyst) with Molly Sullivan (reporter)


Anthony on the rise of four-point opportunities: “You’ve seen it more this year, but [it’s] also because you are seeing more three-point attempts than you ordinarily have seen.  I think that is just the evolution of how this league is changing.”


Anthony on Indiana’s Paul George: “He really has continued to mature and I love him because he is a two-way guy. You always want your best player to have the ability to impact the game on both ends.  Paul George is on the level of just about anybody [elite players on both ends] in our league.”


Anthony on the regular season injury to Atlanta’s Al Horford: “When he was playing, at that time, they were a three seed and what he allows them to do is play up…he, along with [Paul] Millsap, can defend the next position.  Millsap can play the power forward and center [positions], at times, and that’s what Horford [has done] his whole career…plus they both space it well because of their ability to hit from midrange…a bright future ahead for this Hawks team.”


Anthony on Indiana’s Lance Stephenson: “[Lance] Stephenson has the ability at that wing position…even against guys who are smaller…he has enough foot speed and a good enough handle to create his own [offensive] opportunity.”


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Sprint Halftime Report

Johnson, Barkley, Smith and Hill


Grant Hill on Paul George’s 16-point first half performance: “In Game 7s, your best players, your superstars must come out early and establish how they are going to play and [establish] the tempo.  He has certainly done that and scored in a variety of ways –pull up jump shots, getting to the hole, posting up.  He’s putting this team on his back. You can see he really wants to get to the second round and he’s playing like it.”


Smith on Roy Hibbert’s strong first half: “He has played terribly up until today…but I give him credit.  He has come out and was ready…and prepared that it might turn [around for him]…he could have just packed it in [but] he said, ‘No, I’m going to force you to play me in [this] series,’ and I’ve got to give him credit for that.”


Barkley on Conley when healthy: “He is [probably] the most underrated player in this league, right there on that All-Star level. He’s a stud.”


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Anthony on the Pacers: “When they are right, they are going to be dangerous for whoever they are going to play against [throughout the playoffs].”


Anthony on Paul George down the stretch in Game 7: “Paul George has been the momentum breaker.  Every time the Hawks are trying to make a run, George comes up with a big shot on the offensive end.”


Anthony on Indiana center Roy Hibbert: “[He’s] not a great offensive player, but you just want this ability from him, where he can finish in the paint and, more importantly, also be that rim protector defensively. He has been solid on both fronts [tonight].”


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Memphis Grizzlies (109) at Oklahoma City Thunder (120) – Thunder win Series 4-3

Marv Albert (play-by-play) and Steve Kerr (analyst) with Lewis Johnson (reporter)


Kerr on Memphis’ smaller lineup to start Game 7: “This small lineup opens up the floor for [Grizzlies center Marc] Gasol.  He has gotten [some] quick, easy hoops. That’s the good news for Memphis.  The bad news is that a smaller lineup generally means a faster pace and fast is exactly how Oklahoma City wants to play.”


Kerr of Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook: “When he is composed and playing like he did in Game 6, like he started out here [tonight], the Thunder team is just much better.  They get into a better groove and rhythm offensively.”


Kerr on Memphis center Marc Gasol: “Gasol can always make a play – pass, shot, drive – he can do anything…maybe the most skilled center in the NBA.”


Kerr on OKC’s Kevin Durant: “When Kevin Durant can get to his hot spots, all of a sudden it is a different game.”


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Sprint Halftime Report
Johnson, Barkley, O’Neal and Smith

Barkley on Memphis’ Gasol: “Marc Gasol is the best passing big man in the NBA…they are just spreading the floor, they’ve got shooters out there, and they are playing terrific [in the first half].”

Barkley on the adjustments made by Memphis head coach David Joerger in Game 7:I give their coach a lot of credit, to change your strategy in a 24-48 hour period and play totally different than you’ve played for the last 5-6 years.  That is pretty impressive.”


Hill on Oklahoma City’s Westbrook: “We know he prefers to score and likes to be aggressive, hunting [for] his shot…but when he is getting people involved …that’s what Oklahoma City needs and that is what he was doing in the second quarter when the Thunder made its run.”

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Kerr on Memphis playing small against Oklahoma City: “This is the flipside of going small for Memphis…they’ve [OKC has] had some wide open lanes to the basket…Memphis is playing a style they are not accustomed to and Oklahoma City has now adjusted and they are getting anything they want offensively.”


Kerr on Westbrook’s play in Game 7: “It’s all part of the Russell Westbrook experience. You get a little bit of everything. Tonight, most of it has been spectacular.”


Kerr on Grizzlies point guard Mike Conley playing through a hamstring injury: “He was great. I don’t think he could have been any better. In the end, there’s just not enough support or depth with this team [to win with Conley on the bench].”


Kerr on the competitiveness of OKC’s Westbrook: “His competitiveness lights this building up. Sometimes he over does it, but you can’t ever fault the fire and intensity with which he plays. Competitive desire…that’s what he means to this club.”


Kerr on the Thunder’s scoring prowess in Game 7: “It took the Thunder a while to really find their groove, but once they did in the second quarter they really got going and realized how easy it was going to be to score if they were just smart and patient. As long as they’ve taking care of the ball, they’ve gotten wide open looks and fast-break hoops.”


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Golden State Warriors (121) at Los Angeles Clippers (126) – Clippers win Series 4-3

Kevin Harlan (play-by-play) and Reggie Miller (analyst) with David Aldridge (reporter)


Miller on Clippers center DeAndre Jordan’s impact on the Clippers/Warriors series: “He’s had some high-scoring games in this series, but his imprint has been on the defensive end. More importantly, blocking shots and being that rim protector that [Clippers head coach] Doc Rivers has always had as a coach.”

Miller on Warriors guard Jordan Crawford: “He’s fearless. [Warriors head coach] Mark Jackson is not afraid to put him in the game. This guy is full of buckets.”


Miller on Clippers center DeAndre Jordan: “[Clippers power forward] Blake Griffin gets all of the credit, and rightfully so…but DeAndre Jordan has his fingerprints all over this series.”


Miller on Clippers power forward Blake Griffin’s ability to assist his teammates: “Blake Griffin’s vision at the power forward position is a very underrated aspect of his game.”


Miller on the Clippers’ first half play: “[Head coach] Doc Rivers should have a message for his team at halftime – We’re at home. Relax. Everyone is all jacked up trying to do it themselves. Let’s play as a team. Right now, the Clippers are not playing as a team.”


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Sprint Halftime Report

Johnson, Barkley, Smith, Hill


Smith on Warriors guards Stephen Curry and guard Klay Thompson: “The ‘Splash Brothers’ are ball magnets, meaning [the ball] doesn’t stick to them, but people are attracted to them. When the ball is in Steph Curry’s hands, the defense has to know where he is. They’re always attracted to him. That’s why tonight will be more of a collective effort, instead of one guy scoring all the points.”


Barkley on the ‘Splash Brothers’: “Curry is unbelievable in the way he scores. The other [Warriors players] have played really well, but it’s going to come down to Thompson and Curry.”

Hill on Clippers guard Jamal Crawford: “He’s probably my favorite player in the league. He’s got to be aggressive…getting to the basket, creating plays. We know he can get a three-point shot anytime he wants. [Clippers point guard] Chris Paul is struggling right now. They’re going to need Jamal Crawford to continue to play big down the stretch. Crawford and [Clippers power forward] Blake Griffin are going to have to do what they’ve pretty much been doing all season, and that’s carrying the Clippers [in this game].”

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Miller on Clippers point guard Chris Paul’s ability to score: “There can be three blue [Warriors] jerseys around Chris Paul, and he’ll still find a way to make it go down.”


Miller on the competitiveness between Warriors guard Jordan Crawford and Clippers guard Jamal Crawford: “Crawford and Crawford are [succeeding] at both ends. Jamal Crawford is having an unbelievable effort on the offensive end for the Clippers…Jordan Crawford is answering right back.”


Miller on the officials allowing physical play from the Warriors and Clippers in Game 7: “I want to give a lot of credit to the officials tonight. They have allowed both of these teams in a Game 7, a win or go home situation, to play. There has been physical contact on both ends, but they’ve done a wonderful job of letting them play.”


Miller on Warriors star Steph Curry getting to the free throw line in Game 7: “I’m really impressed with Steph Curry tonight with eight free throw attempts. He hasn’t been getting to the free throw line a lot. That’s been [the subject] of a lot of talk about him…is he a true superstar because he doesn’t shoot a lot of free throws?”


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Inside the NBA presented by Kia

Johnson, Barkley, Smith, Hill


Smith on Clippers center DeAndre Jordan: “DeAndre Jordan was the reason they won Game 7. His defensive ability was big. The rule should be when you play the Clippers that DeAndre Jordan has to shoot more free-throws than field goals. If you do that, then you will be successful [against the Clippers].”


Barkley on Chris Paul as a leader: “Chris Paul is the best leader in the NBA today. He wills his team to win. Tonight he was amazing in the second half, especially in the fourth quarter.”


Smith on the notion that Warriors head coach Mark Jackson might be on the hot seat after losing to the Clippers: “There are a lot of unrealistic expectations in the NBA. If you looked at the Warriors team talent-wise [at the beginning of this year] you thought this team will win 50 games max. They need more personnel. They don’t have enough personnel to win in the West…they just don’t. They need more people. That’s why a guy like [Warriors guard] Jordan Crawford can come into their team, play big minutes and be an integral part. They don’t have enough talent to get over the hump.”


Hill on the Golden State Warriors: “Two years ago, nobody expected anything from Golden State. Last year they beat Denver in the first round and now you have these unrealistic expectations. I don’t understand the lack of patience. You got some young players and you have to be patient.”

Hill on the upcoming Thunder/Clippers series: “I think Westbrook plays big and the interior big men for Oklahoma City will do a decent job of covering [Clippers power forward] Blake Griffin and [center] DeAndre Jordan. It’s a matchup nightmare for the Clippers. They are going to have a hard time with [Thunder stars] Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant. I think Oklahoma City wins.”


Barkley on who will win the Pacers/Wizards series: “I’m going to go with Washington. The Wizards have impressed me. They have grown up and matured, and they have a lot of weapons. I think in the next two years the Wizards are going to have the best back court in the NBA.”


2 Responses to “Notes from TNT’s NBA Playoffs Game 7 Coverage – Saturday, May 3, 2014: The winners won”

  1. D.N. says:

    Thanks for doing this. Its how I keep up !

  2. mapoui says:

    no place to discuss up to date happenings… like the dismissal of Mark Jackson?

    that to my mind is worthy of some the fact that Lacob whatever, appears to really dislike Jackson. what the hey for? what is there about Jackson to engender such dislike by anyone at all?

    Jackson took a team I never even expected to make the playoffs to 51 wins and almost defeated the third western seed..quite a better team than his GSW.

    the more I follow the situation the more I see the high quality of work Jackson did to get this GSW team as far as they ended up.. with this collection of players…in a loaded division.

    the administration of teams in the NBA worsens by the day. security of tenure for coaches can no longer be guaranteed by winning games. the OWNERS apparently need to own the very souls of their coaches now.

    “it is not a question of technical skill at coaching but of fit with ownership”

    the coach must fit, dovetail with the sensibility of ownership or its a no go.

    but that’s disgusting! how do they get good coaches then. what they want are lackeys, automations who can lick arses only?

    maybe it is time to ask the question: do billionaire owners fit with sports..not just basketball?

    it seems to me that it is way past time for billionaire owners to be pasturized….time for collective cooperative community-based ownership of sports all sports.

    why the hell must the majority always be hamstrung by the dictates of billionaires and what they want, how they feel..individuals imposing their crap on everybody else, setting unhelpful standards that result in the firing of excellent professionals like Hollins, karl, Jackson, Woodson etc

    its total nonsense! Jackson won far more than what was thought possible and likely with that GSW team of 2013-14. instead of great praise he gets fired. I am ready to drop it on the NBA.

    I am!