NBA On TNT Notes January 18th: “The Suns Are Softer Than Tissue Paper”

TNT NBA Tip-off presented by AutoTrader

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Ernie Johnson, Kenny Smith and Charles Barkley

Spurs guard Manu Ginobili on how the Spurs defended LeBron James in the 2007 NBA Finals: “We didn’t let (LeBron James) get any easy lay-ups. He got two dunks in the four games (in the Finals) and that’s way under his average. We made him set for jumpers and it worked for us. He didn’t have a great series shooting from the outside. I don’t think his teammates did their part either. They didn’t make any shots to create some space for (him), so we were successful collapsing (in) the paint and not making anything easy for him.”

Barkley on second year Cleveland Cavaliers guard Daniel Gibson: “At this stage of (Daniel Gibson’s) career, and after what he did last year, he should be starting. Cleveland’s two weaknesses are they don’t have a point guard and they aren’t good outside shooters. After what Daniel Gibson did in the playoffs, he would be starting by now. That tells me something that he’s not starting.”

Barkley on the Spurs: “The Spurs are the best team in the league because they are the best defensive team in the league. They have three All-Stars who understand how to play together. Their role players just come to work, do their job, they don’t complain about playing time, they don’t complain about shots. The reason that the Spurs are the best team in the league is they have the best coach in the NBA and they play the best defense in the league.”

Barkley on the toughness of the Phoenix Suns: “(The Suns are) softer than tissue paper. They’ve got chemistry problems, but their biggest problem is they are soft. Imagine if you’re playing football and the toughest guy on your team is the kicker, you can’t win. The Phoenix Suns’ toughest player is a kicker (Steve Nash).”

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Game 1: Cleveland Cavaliers (90) @ San Antonio Spurs (88)

Announcers: Kevin Harlan and Reggie Miller with Cheryl Miller reporting

 

Miller on Spurs defensive specialist Bruce Bowen: “It’s a luxury that Gregg Popovich has (in Bruce Bowen). He understands that (Bowen’s) offense is limited, but one thing he is out there for is to guard the best perimeter player on the opposing team night in (and night out).”

Miller on the comments from Memphis Grizzlies head coach Marc Iavaroni that LeBron James is a better passer than Hall of Famer Magic Johnson: “That’s a nice pat on the back, but you have to remember that (Marc) Iavaroni was on the receiving end of a lot of those dunks by (former Lakers forward) James Worthy (on passes) from Magic Johnson. I don’t agree with him that (LeBron James is) a better passer than Magic Johnson, but the similarities are certainly there.”

Miller on Cavaliers guard LeBron James: “(LeBron James is) the face of (the Cavaliers), they are nothing without him. (Cavaliers head coach) Mike Brown said, ‘I would never want to play a game without him. It’s what he does for the other players because he gives them belief in themselves.’”

Miller on the importance of teammates trusting each other: “You have to trust in your teammates and more importantly, you have to trust in your bench. Any championship team always has a great bench. If you don’t have that trust, then you aren’t going to win anything. That’s what (Gregg) Popovich does, he trusts his bench. And (it’s what) Mike Brown is trying to do, trust his bench. No (Anderson) Varejao, no (Sasha) Pavlovic to start the season, LeBron James gets hurt for five games, they went into a slide. This is a chance for the Cavaliers to trust each other.”

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Halftime

Johnson, Barkley and Smith

Barkley on the age of the Spurs catching up with them: “The interesting thing about the Spurs with (Tim) Duncan, (Manu) Ginobili and (Tony) Parker always banged-up (is that) at some point they’re not going to get healthy. Between winning all those championships, playing late every year, playing for Olympic teams for their difference countries, at some point, age is going to catch up with them.”

Smith on the Spurs being able to play with intensity in the regular season: “(A game) in January against Cleveland is not a big game anymore when you’ve been to the NBA Finals and the Western Conference Finals. It’s not as big as it used to be. And sometimes you don’t have that spark, but you consistently chug along and win games. But when it’s all said and done, you can mark it down that there will be Western Conference Finals games played in San Antonio.”

Smith on Lakers guard Kobe Bryant taking 44 shots against Seattle on January 15: “There are certain guys who have the green light (to take shots) and certain guys who are on the freeway.”

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Miller on the Cavaliers’ need for an outside shooter: “Everyone talks about (the Cavaliers’) need for a point guard, but if they had a true outside shooter, someone like Jason Kapono or someone that when LeBron (James) gets double-teamed can flat-out knock down the wide-open shot. Like a Kyle Korver, someone like that to spread the floor. That’s really what this team needs.”

Miller on the struggles of the Miami Heat: “I think (the Heat) are on (Heat owner) Mickey Arnason’s Carnival Cruise line because that ship has sailed in Miami. That ship has sailed.”

Miller on the advantage to Tim Duncan has by playing for one head coach (Gregg Popovich) his entire career: “Stability. When you have one coach, you understand what the offensive and defensive philosophies are. He understands how practices are run. He understands his team personnel. There’s a great relationship between Tim Duncan and Gregg Popovich, he’s the leader of this team and he trusts that.”

Miller on the surprising Los Angeles Lakers: “I’m a believer in the Lakers. They are going to take a hit with (Andrew) Bynum going down. Kwame Brown and these other guys are going to have to step up, but Kobe (Bryant) is trusting in his team now and it’s paying dividends.”

 

TNT’s Cheryl Miller interviewed Cavaliers guard LeBron James following the game.

 

James on the Cavaliers’ improved play: “We’ve been playing great basketball (over) the last month and a half. Everyone is healthy, everybody understands what we have to do to get wins and that’s in the defensive end and we did that. (Playing) in a hostile environment (in San Antonio), you have to get (defensive) stops or you can’t win. We did that late in the game.”

James on the momentum the Cavaliers have following their win over the Spurs: “You always want to look at something that will give you momentum. Winning in a building like this can help the younger guys on our team. We need to take this momentum to Miami on Monday.”

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Game 2: Phoenix Suns (106) @ Los Angeles Lakers (98)

Announcers: Marv Albert and Doug Collins with Craig Sager reporting

Collins on how Andrew Bynum’s injury affects the Lakers: “(The Lakers) really miss (Andrew) Bynum. (He was such a part) of that pick-and-roll game. Kobe Bryant trusted him, throwing the ball up and attacking the rim. They just don’t have that confidence in Kwame Brown, they don’t trust his hands. With the Lakers, so much (of their success) depended on being able to get the ball into the paint and score.”

 

Collins on the development of Lakers center Kwame Brown who Collins coached in Washington: “I thought (Kwame Brown’s) upside was tremendous. Offensively, Kwame has always been in a hurry and he does not have great hands. When you magnify being in a hurry and not having great hands, he misses a lot of shots around the basket.”

Collins on Suns forward Amare Stoudemire: “When (Amare Stoudemire) gets off to a great start, (the Suns) are such a good team. His defense and his rebounding pick up when he has a great first quarter offensively.”

Suns guard Raja Bell on the team’s optimism for the remainder of the season: “I think people have been a little bit spoiled with the numbers we have put up the last few years and they have right to be. (The players) are spoiled because we are not where we want to be right now either. But the fact is, we’re right in the mix and we haven’t played our best basketball yet. I choose to look at (the season) as a cup half-full not half-empty.”

 

Collins on Lakers rookie guard Javaris Crittenton: “I really like (Javaris) Crittenton…He’s got good speed and great court awareness. I think he is going to be the point guard of the future for (the Lakers).”

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Halftime

Johnson, Barkley and Smith

Smith on what the Lakers are missing with Andrew Bynum injured: “The Lakers were a big team with Andrew Bynum, now they are just an average-sized front line. They don’t have that size anymore.”

 

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Collins on how important the Suns’ bench is to the success of the team: “For that second unit for Phoenix, when Steve Nash goes out of the game, they’d love to be able to have Boris Diaw on the floor with Grant Hill and (Leandro) Barbosa. Now you’ve got three guys who can make plays, rather than just have Steve Nash trying to make plays all the time. So you spread the wealth a little bit and you give Steve Nash some rest.”

TNT’s Craig Sager interviewed injured Suns guard Grant Hill during the fourth quarter.

Grant Hill on his recent appendectomy that has kept him off the court: “It’s always tough to sit out when I’ve been playing well and feeling good. I’ve stayed away from the injury bug and then (the appendectomy) happened. I asked the doctor, ‘Why is this happening?’ He said it was bad luck. That’s all I need is more bad luck. The good thing is I’ll be back, I feel good. A little break this point in of the year is not bad, charge back up and get ready for the stretch run.”

TNT’s Craig Sager interviewed Suns guard Steve Nash following the game.

Nash on the Suns’ recent struggles: “We suck, what can I say? No, I think we have high expectations and we haven’t lived up to them in our locker room (despite) what everyone else says. Sometimes it’s good to suffer and struggle. We’re going to keep building and keep trying. Hopefully all that suffering, struggling and saltiness will pay off for us somewhere.”

Nash on what the Suns need out of forward Boris Diaw down the stretch: “Well, (Boris Diaw) sucks, too. No, I think that Boris is such a talent but he (doesn’t have) a fiery personality and people get disappointed in him. We believe in him, we think he’s a tremendous player; we just want to get his confidence going. When his confidence is going, he has that sparkle in his eye and he does the magical things he can do for his size. We believe in him, we think he’s going to come through for us.”

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Inside the NBA

Ernie Johnson, Charles Barkley and Kenny Smith

Smith on the Utah Jazz and Denver Nuggets’ disappointing seasons: “I think that overall, you would expect (Utah and Denver) to do what the Lakers and New Orleans are doing. (Denver and Utah) have fallen to the backside and they have too much talent to fall to the backside.”

Barkley on Denver Nuggets center Marcus Camby: “I saw (Denver head coach) George Karl say that the one player (Denver) can’t afford to lose is Marcus Camby, and I agree with that (because) e does all the dirty work. (Allen Iverson and Carmelo Anthony) are great scorers but Marcus Camby kind of gets lost in the whole team.”

Smith on what’s holding the Utah Jazz back: “If you look at the Utah Jazz when they started out early (in the season), I thought that (guard) Deron Williams and (forward) Carlos Boozer set the tempo of how Utah wanted to play. I think now, they play at the opposing team’s tempo. I think the leadership and the tempo are the two things that are holding them back right now.”

TNT’s Cheryl Miller interviewed Atlanta Hawks rookie guard Al Horford on the challenges he’s faced in his first NBA season.

Horford on the process of changing the mindset of the Hawks fans who have grown accustomed to losing: “(The Hawks) are still in that process. It’s about the (players) here (in Atlanta) wanting to win so badly. With myself and (fellow rookie) A.C. Law coming in, we just want to help the team out and change (the losing mentality) around. We are trying to do that this season and hopefully start a winning tradition.”

Horford on adjusting to playing the center position instead of his usual power forward spot: “There has been (an adjustment). My comfort is playing at the forward (position) and guarding power forwards. But with this team, it’s something that I have to do in order to play. I want to play so I’m going to do whatever it takes. If I (have) to play center, that’s what I have to do.”

Horford on his flagrant foul against Toronto Raptors guard T.J. Ford that sent Ford to the hospital: “The low point (of the season) was that incident I had with T.J. (Ford). It was a very unfortunate incident. The last thing I wanted to do was hurt a guy like that, he’s such a nice guy. It was a point for me in the season that I felt set me back a little bit. I went (to the hospital) and talked to him, he tried to make me feel better but people that know me know that that affected me and my game. It was something that I had to work my way through.”

Horford’s reaction to TNT analyst Charles Barkley saying that Horford should be Rookie of the Year: “It’s exciting for me to hear guys talk so highly of you. Definitely, that’s one of my goals. I would like to (win) Rookie of the Year, but I have my (first) priority of getting (the Hawks) right and into the playoffs.

Horford on the legacy he wants to leave as a player coming from the Dominican Republic: “I want to be someone who opens up opportunities for talented guys who are in the Dominican (Republic) and don’t get a chance to come (to the United States) to develop their game. Before (myself), there were a lot of great players in the Dominican that have paved the way for me. My job is to keep playing and to be the best that I can be so I can help other people.”

Barkley on who Al Horford reminds him of: “(Al Horford) reminds me of (former NBA player) Buck Williams. He’s going to be a really good player, an All-Star type player for ten years or more.”

Barkley on the Chicago Bulls suspending rookie forward Joakim Noah for two games for an altercation with a Bulls assistant coach: “I don’t know what (Joakim Noah) did to the assistant coach (in Chicago). Whatever he did was probably wrong and they suspended him. They are trying to kill this kid and it’s the veterans on that team that stink. I want them to stop trying to throw (Noah) under the bus and say that he is screwing up the team. The reason that the Chicago Bulls stink is because of their veteran players.”

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

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10 Responses to “NBA On TNT Notes January 18th: “The Suns Are Softer Than Tissue Paper””

  1. You’d be challenged to find a funnier studio group than TNT’s Barkley, Smith, and Johnson.

  2. thebrotherreport Says:

    I like the fact that Chuck stuck up for my man J. Noah.

  3. Charles is right the suns are soft as toilet paper. Except nash is included in the softness too.

    I will repeat you can’t win a championship if your best player doesn’t want to play defense………..cough cough nash!!!!

  4. Yo did you all see the video I posted at the end of the first noose piece?

    I’m hot!

  5. I’m glad to hear people standing up for Joakim too. I really don’t understand how a coach allows a team to enact discipline over one player. As Chuck said, that doesn’t diminish the wrongness of whatever Joakim did, but a coach is there to lead, not to be marginalized.

    I dunno that I’d call the individual players on the Suns soft. To me Marion is a gamer, Stoudamire is underrated as a passer and he’s not soft; Barbosa isn’t soft and neither is Raja Bell. I think Nash is pretty tough too. Thing is, they can be beaten if you play defense……they’re always going to give up points, like the Warriors…that’s the reason the Spurs and Detroit make up the cream that rises to the top. I guess I wouldn’t call the Suns tough, but they are beatable.

    And damn, Camby might be the most underrated balla of the last 10 years. He puts up monster rebound and blocked shot number whenever he’s healthy…but ESPN doesn’t care much for anything but scoring numbers. Camby is a defensive rock and he can hit that mid range jumper.

    And I don’t wanna hear Doug Collins cappin’ on Kwame. If he hadn’t been Michael’s royal courtier and been a leader on Michael’s comeback Wiz, maybe Kwame wouldn’t have been so downed by Michael and he might have a bit more confidence. His confidence is shot when he comes in the league and Michael is cappin’ on him and Collins runs no interference or anything…..there’s someone that’s soft-Collins.

    And Charles is right about Daniel Gibson (I ain’t callin’ a grown man Boobie unless I know him real well and he insists I call him that). That dude should be starting. They need a PG who can hit an open J and will take more of the sag off LeBron. He’s a hell of a shooter.

  6. TC says

    “And Charles is right about Daniel Gibson (I ain’t callin’ a grown man Boobie unless I know him real well and he insists I call him that).”

    HAHA…………TC that was pretty funny.

    But I hear you man.

  7. Yeah I just saw that brotha Mizzo. Man the struggle continues brotha. I am working late and its 3:00 in the morning and those good ole boys got me hot. If these fools talk that way to a total stranger………think how they talk when they are in private??

    Brotha Mizzo you need to post that up top of the website so that everyone can see. I wnet to college about 90 minutes from N.O. and it always amazed me how a city so open when it comes to all the sinful things was so racist. A women on burban st would be taking off her clothes for beads…..but then the bar on the next street wouldn’t let black students in for no reason. Crazy. But that area of the south is on another level. Louisiana and Mississippi ain’t no joke when it comes to race relations.

    The tripped out part is those fools think every black person who lives in those communities are broke or live in public housing. Many of those people own their own homes and businesses.

    Check this out Mizzo………when I was in school down there I would run into many good ole boys. The ignorant part is I have heard fools like that complain about lazy black folks who will not work. Then if they found out your @ss was going to college or were more educated then them they would hate you even more then if you were that lazy black person they would always talk about.

    Perfect example I was working a part time job when I was in grad school. Well a good ole boy (who worked full-time) asks me why was I being lazy and didn’t want to work more then part time. He then goes into his superior complex and assumes that I live in the ghetto and am living in public housing.

    I then tell the fool that not only did I have a degree but I was finishing my masters and completeing my degree was more important then working full time at a dead end job. You should have seen the look on his face. I thought he saw a ghost.

    Not only that but the real kicker was that he went to the same school as was in the same major as me in undergrad (engineering) but was kicked out of school because of poor grads.

    But still Mizzo he had to play the superior role with me. Do you know this fool would read up on old physics books he had and bring in equations everyday. Betting me that I couldn’t solve them. I swear anything that would help him prove he was smarter then me.

    So this one day he brings in a problem trying to prove he knows it and I don’t. So I stop and in front of everyone I say “If you were so smart your dumb @ss would have graduated and not flunk out”

    Yeap that pretty much ended all of his ignorance………..

  8. Origin it is and will be like that untill the African/anglo-saxon dynamics changes in the world. I work in a mens hostel, where I see some of the most vile, nasty mindset, hygene and health practices that one can inflict on one self.

    I’m talking about crack smooking, lysol drinking, month long unwashed bodies, and men who litterally shit and piss themselves at the inhalation of oxygen, yet they would call me fucking ass hole, nigger this, nigger that, go back to where you come from etc.

    This is the false superiority complex that White Supremacy indoctrinate into the mind of citizen sheeps, placing any kind of Anglo-saxon condition above any type of African or none Anglo exhistance.

    So unlesss these so called “race neutral mother fuckers want harmony they gots to take the fucking log out of their eyes before attempting to remove the stye from mine.

  9. Origin,
    You’re right about Nash, and it applies to Stoudemire as well. By the way Sankofa, I replied to you on the other thread.

  10. Origin,
    Do you work as an engineer in the south? Do people still react to you the same way? I was wondering because I have an adopted sister who is black and lives in Atlanta. Some of the stories I’ve heard…….

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