TNT Notes Jan. 10th: The Detroit Pistons Defeat The San Antonio Spurs In Big Road Win

It’s a Wu Friday at The Commission
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Last night’s notes. Enjoy. Funny how Barkley’s Sheed comments fit in to our discussion.

Smith on the talent of the Detroit Pistons versus the Boston Celtics: “If you look at the ‘Big Three,’(Celtics Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen) no matter if they are better than anyone they face, they aren’t that much better than Rasheed (Wallace), Chauncey Billups and Rip Hamilton, and then you add in (Antonio) McDyess and Tayshaun Prince. (The Celtics) are not really more talented than Detroit.”

TNT analyst Reggie Miller joined the pre-game show prior to the Spurs/Pistons match-up.

Miller on whether the Spurs/Pistons match-up is a potential NBA Finals preview: “I’m sure Boston will have something to say about this, and (so will) Phoenix and Dallas in the West, but when it comes to experience you have to go with Detroit for the simple fact they’ve been (to the Finals before). I don’t want to discredit what Boston has done to this point, but I like (the Spurs and Pistons) and I don’t think (the Pistons) have reached the zenith of their potential, even though they are a veteran-led team. They are going to show a lot more as the season goes on…I like (the Spurs and the Pistons to make it to) the Finals.”

Miller on if this will be Pistons’ coach Flip Saunders last season if the team doesn’t make the NBA Finals: “Yes, I believe (that Pistons coach Flip Saunders faces pressure to win the NBA Finals). It’s unfair to Flip, he inherited (the team) coming after Larry Brown when they got to the Finals and won it once. They had the best record a few years back and lost to Miami and came up short-changed to Cleveland last year. Someone is knocking on the door of Flip Saunders.”

Smith on Pistons coach Flip Saunders needing to win the NBA Finals: “If you got money to buy a Bentley (but you) come home with a broken down ‘69 car, there is something wrong with you. You need to get to the Finals and get a Bentley, that’s what Flip Saunders has got to do.”

Barkley on Pistons center Rasheed Wallace leaving the arena without a shower the other night: “That means you’re funky. No matter how bad it is, you don’t ever leave the arena like that.”

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Game 1: Detroit Pistons (90) @ San Antonio Spurs (80)

Announcers Marv Albert, Reggie Miller, Mike Fratello with Craig Sager reporting

TNT’s Craig Sager interviewed Pistons coach Flip Saunders after the first quarter.

Saunders on the Pistons match-up against the Spurs: “Our guys look at these guys as the rivalry of the West, they faced them three years ago in the Finals. You’ve got great match-ups- you’ve got (Tim) Duncan against Rasheed (Wallace), Chauncey (Billups) against (Tony) Parker and either (Bruce) Bowen or (Michael) Finley against Rip (Hamilton), so their main players are going against our main players.”

Fratello on San Antonio’s interior defense: “That’s not how (Detroit) built this lead, the way they did it was with four-foot or five-foot shots or lay-ups. I don’t think I remember a team getting that many interior scores against San Antonio’s defense in a long, long time. When you look at the statistics, (San Antonio is ranked) 20th in the league in opponent’s field goal percentages. That’s not the Spurs; they are always one, two, or three. They always have those two shot blockers up there contesting interior play.”

Miller on the Miami Heat not wanting national attention during their losing streak: “If you’re Pat Riley and everyone expected you to be one of the elite teams in the East and you’re in a nine game losing streak, you think you want all these national TV games? The way (the Heat) are playing, with no Shaquille O’Neal and Dwyane Wade is battling injuries, he doesn’t want to be on national TV right now.”

Miller on the potential conference match-up between the Celtics and Pistons: “It’s still a two horse race in the East between Boston and Detroit. They are going to be looking at the standings to see what each one is doing, but that is shaping up to be a seven game series.”

TNT’s Craig Sager interviewed Pistons forward Tayshaun Prince in the first half.

Prince on the difference in the Pistons’ start between their loss the night before in Dallas versus their fast start against the Spurs: “In last night’s game we let Dallas be the aggressor first and we started playing catch-up. Tonight we tried to be the aggressor and come out and establish ourselves and we did a great job of that in the first quarter.”

Halftime

Johnson, Barkley and Smith

Barkley on the open race in the West: “The Spurs aren’t the Spurs right now. A lot can change between now and the end of the season. I have no idea (who will win) in the West, it’s still up for grabs. I haven’t seen the Spurs be the Spurs and I don’t think the Lakers are for real. Portland is playing terrific, but Utah has disappointed me and Denver has disappointed me. The West is up for grabs.”

Smith on Pistons center Rasheed Wallace’s potential to be the best player in the league: “If (Rasheed Wallace) wanted to be the best player in the NBA he could be. Rasheed Wallace is the X-factor, he has a box game that can create double teams and you still get inside interior scoring. Then all of a sudden he steps out and starts hitting threes and he becomes unguardable. He doesn’t have the mental focus to do it for 82 games, but for a 7-game-series he can be just as good as Kevin Garnett.”

Barkley on Pistons center Rasheed Wallace needing a ‘killer instinct:’ “If you put a Larry Bird, Magic Johnson or Michael Jordan brain in (Rasheed Wallace’s) body, (a guy) who wants to kill the other guy…We’ve never seen a player who’s seven feet tall, can post up and shoot threes, we’ve never had a player like that in the NBA. If he had a killer instinct this guy could be the best player in the NBA.”

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Miller on the calm demeanor of Spurs coach Gregg Popovich in the huddle after halftime: “When you’re a four time World Champion like Gregg Popovich, you don’t panic. You understand that is a 48 minute game and you realize that for the first 24 minutes of that first half you didn’t give your best effort. But in this next 24 (minutes) let’s move the basketball, let’s get some good shots and let’s control what we can, which is the tempo. They are gradually getting back in this ball game.”

TNT’s Craig Sager interviewed Spurs coach Gregg Popovich after halftime.

Popovich on the Spurs’ play earlier in the game: “We look like we were in the ‘Budweiser League,’ so we’re trying to crawl back from that.”

Miller: “I think he was referring to the Premier Basketball League of which Kenny Smith is the commissioner. I think that’s what he was talking about, because I’ve never heard of the ‘Budweiser League.’”

Miller on the compelling match-ups shaping up in the West in the NBA Playoffs: “Think about if the playoffs started today with Phoenix having the number one seed against Golden State, that’s a compelling match-up. This San Antonio Spurs team going against Denver, there’s history there (between the teams). The two teams that are really surprising are Portland who would go against the Lakers. Could you imagine if the playoffs started today with those matchups in the West? “

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Game 2: Phoenix Suns (86) @ Utah Jazz (108)

Announcers: Kevin Harlan, Doug Collins with David Aldridge reporting

Collins on Jazz forward Carlos Boozer whose son recently underwent a bone marrow transplant: “My son has spent 12 years at Duke, four as a player and eight as a coach, and said you would be hard pressed to find a nicer guy (than Carlos Boozer) that has come through Duke and played. Forget about his talent, he’s a wonderful guy and we’re so happy that he’s got his family back. It’s a lonely time when you don’t have your family around and you’re dealing with health issues; it’s nice to see Boozer smiling with his family back.”

Collins on Jazz guard Ronnie Brewer: “(Ronnie Brewer) is a slasher and a cutter and that’s how he does most of his scoring. He’s sixth in the league in steals, he’s very active and is one of the better defenders. He’s not a good perimeter shooter, he’s very streaky, that left arm will fly out on his shot. He’s working hard on his jump shot, that’s going to be his next step to develop as a big guard in this league.”

Collins on Jazz forward Kyle Korver: “Kyle Korver is going to be a welcome addition to (the Jazz). He’s a stable guy, a great team guy in the locker room, he can shoot the ball and throw the ball in the post which is a lost art. He is really going to help this team; a lot of Western Conference teams were very unhappy that Utah was able to make this trade him.”

TNT’s David Aldridge interviewed Jazz forward Ronnie Brewer after the first half.

Brewer on a point of emphasis for the Utah Jazz: “Our defense (has been the biggest difference maker). We’ve been trying to defend and execute our offense and it’s been working out for us so far. (Brewer, panting during the interview) They are a fast paced team!”

Halftime

Johnson, Barkley and Smith

Barkley on the Suns needing to play their bench players more: “One of the negatives of the Suns is they don’t play enough players. I think they have one of the deeper benches in the league. I think Marcus Banks should get more playing time than he does, but (coach) Mike D’Antoni only plays eight players.”

Barkley on the Jazz playing a depleted Suns team: “The Jazz don’t blow you out, they don’t want to run and gun. The Suns can hang around, they can’t win the game, but they can hang around.”

Barkley on the Memphis/Sacramento match-up: “When is this going to come out on DVD?”

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Collins on the impact of guard Steve Nash on center Amare Stoudemire: “You miss Steve Nash in a lot of situations. How often have you seen that two-man game tonight? The realization of Nash and how he gets you easy baskets, you just don’t see that tonight. (The Suns) need both (Amare Stoudemire and Steve Nash) because they both do such different things. They need Stoudemire’s inside presence and they need Nash to do what he does. I don’t think there is a leader on the team and I think that’s one of the things they struggle with. When we’ve seen championship teams before we’ve know who THE player was and right here are three or four players on the Suns team that are in that position.”

Suns guard Steve Nash on how this season is different than others: “We haven’t had as much fun as we have in past seasons. The toughest thing or the most disappointing thing is that no matter what goes on, it is just a game and a great game and a great challenge and we’ve got to find a way to perhaps put that challenge above all else.”

Collins on the Suns needing to play through adversity: “Right now, this (Suns) team is under the microscope. There (has been) great scrutiny over the past three years (and) there have been a lot of the expectations. In fairness, they’ve had some bad luck in the playoffs with some inopportune injuries and suspensions and they need to find a way to put that chip off their shoulder and play through those things and put themselves in a position to have success come playoff time.”

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Inside the NBA

Ernie Johnson, Charles Barkley and Kenny Smith

Smith on how playing time affects the mentality of a bench player: “Great players don’t need a rhythm because their confidence level and abilities would sometimes overshadow the opponent. A guy like Marcus Banks, a guy that comes (off the bench) into the game, needs a rhythm, he needs to know that every night he’s going to get 12-14 minutes (of playing time) to prepare himself to play. (Critics) will say that he’s a professional; he should be prepared to play, but I think when you are a player of that caliber you need preparation and insight on what you’re going to do (in the game).”

Smith on Sacramento Kings head coach Reggie Theus: “Reggie Theus has done a great job with the amount of injuries and the talent level that he has on the floor to be competitive each night. (Sacramento’s record is) only 14-20, but they are competitive every night.”

Barkley on the San Antonio Spurs: “I’m concerned about the Spurs. They are missing an energy or something right now. There’s a long way to go (in the season) but even though they have one of the best records in the game, they are just missing something, like an energy level.”

Smith on the inconsistent play of Detroit Pistons forward Rasheed Wallace: “The thing that (Rasheed Wallace) can do in the playoff setting, since the games are minimal, is he can focus in on those seven games (in a playoff series). But over 82 games (in the regular season), something doesn’t trigger him to say, ‘You know what, I can dominate (this team).’ He allows his other teammates to say this is their night as well. But great players make it their night first all the time. It’s always going to be (a great players) night. What that does is send a mental message around the league so that when you walk into town, you know that Rasheed Wallace is going to do something to you. That’s the part that he hasn’t grasped (in the regular season). He can grasp it in the playoffs because (the Pistons) can go so far.”

Washington Wizards forward Caron Butler stopped by the Inside the NBA set.

Butler on how the team is dealing with star guard Gilbert Arenas’ injury: “Guys are really stepping up in all aspects of the game. There’s no one particular guy, (Antawn Jamison and myself) are setting the tone, but Roger Mason, Antonio Daniels, Brendan Haywood, he’s having a career year, Andray Blatche, some of the younger guys are stepping up to the forefront.”

Butler on how Wizards head coach Eddie Jordan has handled the team throughout the season: “(Eddie Jordan) set a challenge for us. He’s said it’s not over. A lot of people counted us out and (our) locker room is full of guys who have been counted out their whole life. Whether it’s making it to the league or winning games or going out there performing at a high level, we’ve got to go out there and prove the doubters wrong. A lot of guys are stepping up and doing it.”

Butler on his nickname “Tough Juice:” “Coach Jordan gave me that name. He said I’m a hard-nosed dude and (the nickname) stuck.”

Johnson: “We’ve got fruit juice (Kenny Smith) and prune juice (Charles Barkley).”

Barkley: “It keeps me regular.”

Log on to TNT OverTime on NBA.com for a full replay of Inside the NBA.

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13 Responses to “TNT Notes Jan. 10th: The Detroit Pistons Defeat The San Antonio Spurs In Big Road Win”

  1. I can’t stand barkley. But I have to agree with what he said about Rasheed skills. It is true that the NBA has never seen a big man like him (who could post up and shoot 3s).

    So why aren’t GMs saying they want to find Big men with the skill set of Rasheed?

    Also why isn’t players like Rasheed and others who are american aren’t considered fundamentally sound.

    It seems as though it is a word only used for foreign players. You could argue skill wise that no big man is more fundamentally sound then him.

  2. So CHuckles the fat ass clown thinks the Lakers aren’t for real.

    As if third in the league in point diffirential, third in scoring and third in opponenets field goal percentage aren’t real. As if being 11 deep with guys who can vome off of the bench and contribute isn’t real, as if having the best player in the game, a raidly improving center who started the season looking like he belonged in the D league and is now a top 6 or 7 center and improving every week ain’t real.

    Fact is, Barkley hates Kobe and has done so every since Shaq left the Lakers, Barkley is afraid of Kobe because he knows Kobe is better than he ever was, Barkley hates Kobe because Kobe don’t shuck and jive like Fat ass Charles needs to do in order to feel good about himself.

    Not for real huh? We’ll see fool.

  3. Yo, if you say anything negative about the Lakers Kevdog will eat your babies.

    And then burp.

    Seriously, you don’t take criticism of the Lakers well at all dawg.

  4. Allen

    Just because I’m paranoid don’t mean someone ain’t out to get me and just because I don’t take criticism of the Lakers well don’t mean people who are supposed to be experts don’t have an obligation to let their personal feelings not get in the way of them doing their jobs.

  5. Kevdog I like the lakers chance a lot after the development of bynum.

    I can actually see the lakers playing the celtics in the finals.

    It would be the best for the NBA. This would give them a year where the NBA could outshine the NFL.

    I rather see that then the suns vs the celtics. The commentators would slurp all over the paper champ nash the whole series.

  6. LOL @ Allen…..if he don’t eat ‘em, I’ll finish them off. Well as a Laker fan, I tend to think the Lakers are for real now, but I’m not willilng to put big money on my team just yet. If they’re still doing this in two months though, talk to me and I would definitely set down some little money on them. I don’t think Chuck has watched enough of the Laker games but I can also see where they got off to a very good start last year and then fell away down the stretch-not that I really think they are the same-with DFish and Bynum’s development, not to mention Ariza, Farmar’s development, and Kupchak just having faith in his guys, I think they are for real. But I’d say I’m 88% sure….not 100% yet. I don’t think we’re getting past San Antone yet though. I’m still not sure what Utah is doing but I think they lost some team D with Fish; Brewer’s a great individual defender but not such a good help defender. I thought they would be better. Golden State I still think could be beaten more dependably, just like PHX, if teams played full-court defense and didn’t concede 47 ft. If they took those two teams out of their flows, I’m convinced they’d be a lot less successful….Dallas is a head-case team at this point I think and I don’t see anyone else. As long as T-mac is undependable for his team, I don’t see HOU doing anything.

    Rasheed is the man…..DET-BOS would be a fantastic Eastern finals. If I were betting (which I might just be) I wouldn’t put much money on DET…but I’d put some, just because they’ve done it before.

  7. Everyone knows I’m the biggest Kobe jocker alive. but man, Bynum is number 2 with a bullet. I’ve been watching the NBA intently for 30 years and I can honestly say I’ve never seen a player make in season strides in such a fashion as Bynum has the past 20-25 games. Hell, 5 games ago, I was bitching about how he didn’t have a post game to speak of and since then, he’s shown every post move in the book and then some. This Laker team is far and away better than last years team despite the similiarity in records, opponent FG% and point differential not only don’t lie, but they tell the tale. For Charles to give his idiotic opinion just shows how little work the far slob does in preparation for his gig. He was a lazy ass when he was in the NBA and he’s a lazy ass now. And props to Orgimn for pointing out Bynum’s post moves before I could appreciate them.

  8. BTW, LA-Boston would be HUGE!

  9. Kevdog-I agree with you…and I’m much closer to agreeing with you about the Lakers than I am with Charles. Like you said, they aren’t just beating teams, the point differential is significant and as a Laker fan and watching them, one sees that they’re not losing to the mediocre teams. They’re not playing down to a team’s level. They’re blowing bad teams out of the water. I think Chuck will believe the hype after the All-Star break if they’re still doing this well. Yeah, a BOS-LAL series would be something. And yeah, re: Andrew, yeah, you’re right, I can’t think of anyone who’s improved so much in such a short time. Al Jefferson improved some but it was more gradual. I was telling friends, as I’m sure you were, be patient with him. Laker fans were jonesing for J. O’Neal and I was saying, why we wanna trade a guy who’s 19 years old….there is so much potential there. There’s less “potential” with J.O. simply because his skill set and abilities are more defined….and do we want AB torturing us by showing the Lakers as a Pacer? Anyway, I’m so glad we kept him. And I’m real happy for Kareem. This must be some serious gratification for him.

  10. TC

    Kareem has made this young man into a monster. I am so happy for him. He’s always had a bad rep with the white folks who run shit because he don’t shuck and jive, and with his 140 IQ simply doesn’t seem to want to engage them in the idiotic small talk that pretty much defines American culture. He’s been shut out of coaching for decades, but he’s hit a HR with Bynum. I hope this leads to a lot more for Cap, he deserves it. And of course his absolute love for Jazz music makes me even more fo a fan.

    As to the Bynum/LO for JO trade. I have to admit I was for the trade. I was cussing’ Jim Buss all day and night for not making the move. I’m not too arrogant to admit I was wrong, wrong, wrong and I’m glad they showed the patience that neither I, nor Kobe displayed.

  11. Yeah Kev I’m witcha on it all..the jazz Kareem not tappin’ for anyone and him being vindicated. It was great to see him interviewed by whoeverthefuckwhiteemptyheadedbitchasasidelinreporter in a recent game….but yeah…..I got the man’s autograph up in Oakland a while ago, it’s definitely one of my prized possessions….and you know now they’ll probably still overlook his efforts….but we all know…..Andrew knows, and the league knows. And yeah, Kareem always keeping it real, working on the res, writing books about African-American pioneers….what can I say, this honky got all kinds o’ mad love for Kareem.

  12. One thing you are NOT, TC, is a honky. So, about Jazz, who you like?

    And all of that stuff about Kareem, absolutely!

  13. Nah Kevdog, maybe not….but a bit of humor at white people’s expense never hurt anyone…I’m big enough to clown myself…it also discourages others from doing it…..anyway…..I got into it via Charlie Parker and then I got into Miles and Duke and….well, got into blues more before I got further into it. Just have loved the blues for a long time. But yeah, jazz, really enjoy Thelonious Monk too, Coltrane; to me that’s enough right there…..

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