TNT had its Thanksgiving night doubleheader and we have the quotage from the games plus Inside the NBA.
Notes from TNT’s Coverage of the NBA – Thursday, November 25, 2010TNT’s NBA Thursday coverage continues on December 2 at 8 p.m. ET with an exclusive doubleheader featuring the Miami Heat @ Cleveland Cavaliers followed by the Phoenix Suns @ Golden State Warriors.QUOTE OF THE DAY:“Teams are going to start scheduling the Heat for homecoming.”Charles Barkley on the Miami HeatCLIP OF THE DAY:**** **** **** ****TNT NBA Tip-offErnie Johnson, Charles Barkley and Kenny SmithBarkley on the Miami Heat: “Teams are going to start scheduling the Heat for homecoming.”Barkley on what the Heat need to do to turn their season around: “Everyone is going to overreact. The Miami Heat have a really good team and they are going to go deep into the playoffs. But they play way too slow. It’s the same thing we’ve been saying for a month. They’ve got to speed the tempo up. Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh are scorers but they are going to have to sacrifice part of their game to do other things. Chris Bosh has to become a better rebounder…and a better defender. They have to play at a much faster pace.”**** **** **** ****Game 1: Washington Wizards (96) @ Atlanta Hawks (116)Announcers: Dick Stockton, Mike Fratello and Chris Webber with Craig Sager reportingFratello on Wizards forward Andray Blatche: “Blatche is a very solid offensive player. You can post him up or he can face-up from the outside and hit a 20-foot jump-shot. He also has the ability to put the ball on the floor. (He is) a well-rounded player who has really developed.”Webber on Hawks reserve guard Jamal Crawford: “He’s instant energy off the bench. (He’s) an excellent scorer and ball handler.”Fratello on Wizards reserve guard Nick Young: “(Young) is a great example of young players who the coach may not trust them initially but they have worked their way into earning more minutes. (Wizards head coach) Flip Saunders trusts (Young) because he started to do it on the defensive end. He goes out there and works hard every night.”TNT’s Craig Sager interviewed Wizards head coach Flip Saunders following the first quarterSaunders on the Wizards’ lack of energy: “Maybe too much turkey. We don’t have pace in the game, our pace is slow. We’ve got to get the ball moving. We only have a couple of guys that look like they have energy. We’ll have to go to our bench and try to get some energy.”Fratello on what makes you tired after eating turkey: “I remember having a nutritional conversation with Craig Sager one time and I asked him why do you feel sluggish after eating turkey and I think he said it was the tryptophan.”Webber: “Is that the color of his suit?”**** **** **** ****HalftimeJohnson, Barkley and SmithBarkley on how LeBron James needs to do a better job of running the floor: “LeBron James has to do a better job of running the floor. I think he’s the best player in the NBA but he sucks at running the floor. When the team gets a rebound, you stand there and wait, you don’t run. My perfect scenario would be a fast break with LeBron on one wing and Dwyane Wade on the other end. They never do that. (James) got in a bad habit in Cleveland of playing like a point forward. The only time he should bring the ball up the floor is when he gets the rebound. That would be scary with him leading the fast break. He never runs the floor…he waits.”Smith on why LeBron James should get the ball at the end of games for the Heat: “LeBron James gets the basketball because he’s the guy who can make the play not only for himself, but for other people. When Chris Bosh gets the ball, he can score for himself. Dwyane Wade is great at scoring for himself. He’s not as great of a passer as LeBron James and he doesn’t cause the foul contact to get people into foul trouble.”**** **** **** ****Webber on Wizards rookie guard John Wall having some frustrating games: “It’s very easy to get frustrated as a rookie in this league. You have so many great players, it’s hard to be consistent every night especially when you have a hampering injury like (Wall) has (now).”Webber on players coming off the bench: “If you’re coming off the bench, you always have to be consistent whether it’s a 20-point blowout or a tie game. You have to be ready to come off the bench.”TNT’s Craig Sager interviewed Hall of Famer and Hawks legend Dominique Wilkins during the fourth quarterWilkins on Wizards forward JaVale McGee: “(McGee) has a lot of jumping ability. He’s a very athletic kid. Once he figures out how to play the game on the ground as well as in the air, he’s going to be a pretty good player.”Wilkins on the importance of players holding team meetings: “Sometimes the leaders (of a team) have to do that (hold player-only meetings) to reel the team back in and wake each other up and say, ‘if we don’t start to play better, this thing is going to slide away quickly so we better do something about it.”Fratello on Los Angeles Lakers head coach Phil Jackson’s recent comments on Heat team president Pat Riley taking over as head coach of the Heat: “Phil Jackson doesn’t know what went on behind the scenes between (former Heat head coach Stan) Van Gundy and Pat Riley nor does he know what’s going on between Pat Riley and (current Heat head coach Erik) Spoelstra. It’s inappropriate to make a comment like that and the best thing he can do is worry about his own team. He’s won more championships than anyone in the history of the NBA (as a head coach) and he has done such a nice job, why mess with someone else’s program? You don’t need to do it.”**** **** **** ****Game 2: Sacramento Kings (82) @ Los Angeles Clippers (100)Announcers: Marv Albert and Steve Kerr with Cheryl Miller reportingKerr on who Clippers forward Blake Griffin reminds him of: “Griffin reminds me a little bit of Amar’e Stoudemire when he first came into the league in terms of the explosiveness and the dominant right hand. I see a little bit of Charles Barkley in him when he gets out in transition. He has incredible athleticism and power. It’s awe-inspiring.”Kerr on Kings rookie forward DeMarcus Cousins: “He’s a force, an absolute monster down on the block and on the offensive boards but he’s just a puppy. He should be a sophomore at Kentucky right now. He’s really not ready to play at this level.”Kerr on the Clippers lacking a veteran presence: “You look at the Clippers roster and it’s just amazing how much young talent (they have). Their starting lineup could’ve been in the NCAA Tournament with their collective ages. But this is the NBA and this is a totally different game. They are all young and talented but they’ve got a long way to go. They don’t have the veteran mentoring and leadership to really get them where they need to go.”Kerr on Kings guard Beno Udrih: “He’s a nice player. I think he really needs to find a playoff team to go to. He’s the kind of guy who can fill a role and play either guard spot. He’s got a good feel for the game.”Clippers rookie forward Blake Griffin on the team’s losing culture: “Last year sitting (injured) and watching all of those games with all the negative talk and I heard everything. We started out kind of slow this year and you hear everything, you hear the jokes, you hear this and that. As a team, we haven’t been on the team for the past 25 or 30 years so you have to give us a chance but at the same time, I understand. We have to change that mindset.”**** **** **** ****HalftimeJohnson, Barkley, SmithSmith on Clippers rookie forward Blake Griffin: “(Griffin) is able to do things off the dribble. It’s not always because someone gives him the basketball, he can do it himself and he can create his own shot. He is the future power forward in the NBA.”Barkley on the Clippers needing leadership: “(The Clippers) have something most teams don’t have…they’ve got talent. There are a bunch of players who are older and can’t play dead. These kids (with the Clippers) have a lot of talent. The one thing they’re missing is leadership.”**** **** **** ****Kerr on young players needing to consistently improve their game: “So many young players are so talented but have one thing they have to get better at. Once you’ve established yourself in the league, the second time around, people have the scouting report. Everyone is going to play (Kings guard) Tyreke Evans the same way this year, they’re going to take away his right hand and make him shoot outside shots.”Kerr on Clippers reserve forward Brian Cook: “(Cook is) an excellent perimeter shooter and a guy who can space the floor. What that does is give driving lanes to guys like (Eric) Bledsoe and (Eric) Gordon. Cook has a chance to be a valuable piece for the Clippers.”Kerr on Clippers guard Eric Gordon: “It’ll be interesting to watch (Eric) Gordon in his career to see just how good he’ll become. He can create and take late-game shots. Gordon is a guy with the explosiveness and strength to get to the rim. He can make plays when there isn’t anything going.”**** **** **** ****Inside the NBAJohnson, Barkley, SmithBarkley on the Clippers: “The Clippers have a lot of talent and they have a bright future but unfortunately…this is the present.”Smith on Clippers forward Blake Griffin’s feel for the game: “The one thing you always look at when you see highlights is dunks, finishes and plays. That’s not the reason why guys are great or have the potential to be great. It’s the understanding of the game and knowing when to (make a play) and when not to. Blake Griffin has a great understanding and a great feel (for the game).”TNT’s Charles Barkley and Kenny Smith made their Playoff predictionsEastern ConferenceBarkley: 1) Orlando Magic; 2) Chicago Bulls; 3) Boston Celtics; 4) Miami Heat; 5) Atlanta Hawks; 6) Indiana Pacers; 7) New Jersey Nets; 8) New York KnicksSmith: 1) Boston Celtics; 2) Orlando Magic; 3) Miami Heat; 4) Chicago Bulls; 5) Atlanta Hawks; 6) Milwaukee Bucks; 7) New York Knicks; 8) Washington WizardsWestern ConferenceBarkley: 1) Los Angeles Lakers; 2) Utah Jazz; 3) Dallas Mavericks; 4) San Antonio Spurs; 5) Oklahoma City Thunder; 6) New Orleans Hornets; 7) Portland Trail Blazers; 8) Denver NuggetsSmith: 1) Los Angeles Lakers; 2) Oklahoma City Thunder; 3) San Antonio Spurs; 4) Utah Jazz; 5) Dallas Mavericks; 6) New Orleans Hornets; 7) Denver Nuggets; 8) Phoenix SunsBarkley on the Utah Jazz: “When they get (Mehmet) Okur back (from injury), the Utah Jazz are a clear and present danger to the Lakers.”
One more NBA press release coming up.