TNT Notes: Knicks wear out their welcome and dispose of Cavs in LeBron James’ return to Cleveland 95-90

bron last night

The Knicks disposed of the Cavs last night, but best believe Cleveland is happy nevertheless…

New York spoiled The Kings’s return, but good days are ahead in Cleveland despite a 95-90 opening game loss to the Knicks.

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TNT NBA Tip-off presented by

Ernie Johnson, Shaquille O’Neal, Kenny Smith and Chris Webber


   Smith on Cleveland’s LeBron James being a scorer as opposed to deferring to teammates: “When he did that in Miami they didn’t win. When he said, ‘I’m the best player, and I’m goingto be the best player, and you guys have to fall back,’ that’s when they won championships. So, to me, he’s going to haveto be the best player for themto be successful.”Webber on the excitement building for James’ return as a special event in Cleveland: “When you go to places, New York, L.A., you notice the stars, the celebrities on the side. If you’re a superstar, you want to make sure you give them their money’s worth; you go to their movies and to their concerts. I think it’s going to be electric.”


  Smith on the New York Knicks needing to display patience: “Patience is not a New York City word. I’ve never heard that in the vocabulary of a New York franchise, New York person. So, the lack of patience, they have to get it done, figure out a way to get it done… J.R. Smith and Carmelo Anthony,they have to have phenomenal seasons to take them to the 54 wins they had two or three seasons ago.”O’Neal on players improving individually once they grasp the triangle offense: “History shows the triangle has worked perfectly when you have two Hall of Famers, two great players… Every great player that has used the triangle, when you look at their highlights, it’s [Michael] Jordan in the iso, it’s Shaq in the post, it’s Kobe [Bryant] in the iso; so once these guys learn it, Carmelo can say, ‘cut through, cut through,’ I’m going to do what I do.”



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New York Knicks (95) @ Cleveland Cavaliers (90)
Marv Albert (play-by-play), Charles Barkley and Reggie Miller (analysts) with Rachel Nichols (reporter)


   Miller on the adjustment James’ Cavaliers teammates need to make: “When you acquire the best player on the planet in LeBron James, I said early on, Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters needto be in the gym shooting 500 to 1,000 jump shots a day because LeBron Jamesis going to be double and triple teamed, especially in the open court.”Barkley on Kevin Love as one of the best power forwards in the NBA: “The guy’s been the best power forward in the NBA the last three or four years. He didn’t have a lot of help in Minnesota. You’re getting 12, 13, 14 rebounds a night… You can’t fake rebounding numbers…if you’re getting 14 rebounds a night, you’re a hell of a player.”


Barkley on David Blatt’s goal the first month of the season: “The first month of the season is really going to be for the Cavaliers, trying to figure out who works well together. He’s [Blatt] got to figure out [Anderson] Varejao, Love, Tristan Thompson, he’s got to get their big man rotation in order. That to me is going to be the key to the first month for the Cavaliers.”


Miller on Love’s passing: “An underrated part of Kevin Love’s game is his ability to pass the basketball, and more so, his length of court outlets.”


Barkley on the Cavaliers’ weaknesses: “One thing I think the Cavs need is they’re missing a big guy.”


Barkley on the Cavaliers not handling pressure of such a big game to start the season: “The moment just got too big for them tonight. They played flat the entire game…they played great, like the first five minutes, then the adrenaline, everything, made them tired and flat for the rest of the game.”

  Barkley on Tim Hardaway, Jr.: “I like TimHardaway, Jr. He’s going to be a good player in the league for a long time.”Barkley on Carmelo Anthony, the Knicks and Kevin Durant: “Carmelo’s obviously a great player. It drives me crazy sometimes, he’s not the reason the Knicks are not any good. Kevin Durant is a good scorer, but if I need one basket, inside [or] outside, I’m going to Carmelo Anthony.”

Miller on the Knicks bouncing back for the win: “In this league, you don’t get too high, you don’t get too low. You talk about New York just getting shellacked at home in their season opener versus Chicago. And all the adrenaline is in the favor of Cleveland tonight. And New York comes out here, and got off to a slow start, and found a way.”


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Oklahoma City Thunder (90) @ Los Angeles Clippers (93)
Kevin Harlan (play-by-play) and Greg Anthony (analyst) with David Aldridge (reporter)


   Anthony on Russell Westbrook’s status in the league: “He’s a true superstar. It still baffles me that he catches so much criticism for a guy who’s truly a superstar.”Anthony on Oklahoma City Thunder forward Perry Jones: “This is about as good as he’s looked as a pro. It’s been a transition for him. [He had] only the one year in college. Often times with players like that, it takes them a little longer to get comfortable, and physically be mature enough to have an impact at this level.”


Anthony on the Thunder’s approach without Kevin Durant: “They have realistic expectations. The bottom line, you want to make sure that by the time [Kevin] Durant comes back, our young guys are better basketball players. It may not be reflective in the win-loss column, but it allows you to keep your eye on the big picture.”

  Anthony on Blake Griffin’s improved jumper: “The talk was coming in,the improvement of that midrange jump shot. It just takes a lot of pressure off your body when you have that where you can knock down several of these during the course of a game.”Anthony on new Clippers’ owner Steve Ballmer: “He’s like a kid in a candy store. It is good to see.”


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Inside the NBA presented by Kia

Johnson, O’Neal, Smith and Webber


   Webber on Cavaliers’ struggles: “I want to go back to the Miami Heat. Watching this Cleveland team just made me remember how much of a well-oiled machine the Miami Heat were with LeBron… and remembering their journey, and howthey they had to do that [develop] with Erik [Spoelstra] makes those fans kind of patient.”Smith on James’ uncharacteristic turnovers: “The one thing you don’t expect him to make are mental errors. With eight turnovers it was mental errors. That means possessions when you didn’t get a shot…he is the master at getting the right shot at the right time in his runs with Miami. And, today, he was not that.”
  O’Neal on the Knicks’ triangle offense: “As a professor of the triangle, I gave them a C-minus on the triangle tonight. But, when it comes to heart and effort, I give them a B-plus. When it comes to Carmelo doing what he does, they get an A-plus.”
   Webber on players needing to step up for Oklahoma City following injuries to Durant and Westbrook: “Every team I played on or watched, you see it as an opportunity for other guys to step up. Look at Chicago, the reason why I think Chicago will be such a problem this year, [Jimmy] Butler got chances to play without [Derrick] Rose, other guys got a chance to play.”
  O’Neal on the Clippers needing to put teams away: “We talk about identity, and for so many years the Clippers were viewed as soft… New owner, we’re at home, new, fresh beginning, you have to start developing that killer instinct now.”


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