NBA TV Previews 2011-12 Season

From NBA TV – 

Notesfrom NBA TV Conference Call
Dec. 13,2011
Participants: NBA TV analysts GregAnthony, Steve Smith, Chris Webber and Vice President of Content, NBA Digital,Albert “Scooter” Vertino
Anthony on this year’spotential contenders and surprises:  “First of all, I am excited to be a partof the NBA TV family and even more so excited to have the NBA back. I stillthink Boston isa team that could really benefit from having a short season because of theveteran status of their roster.  The Lamar Odom trade is a bit perplexingto me and a few other people.  The Lakers are not necessarily the sameteam that had the chance to win it last year without a player like Odom. Dallas has a great chanceof repeating because they are a team that has enough to get over thehump.” 
Webber on this year’s potentialcontenders and surprises:  “While it’s too early to tell who has the clearadvantage, I will say that being a big fan of Dallas, I think they let the goods getaway.  I think that Tyson Chandler is a game-changer and he’s theonly reason they won the championship last year.” 
Anthony on who might have anadvantage this season – older teams vs. younger teams:  “The big advantage Boston is going to have istheir core group of guys have gone through a lockout before.  And I thinkDoc Rivers can do a really good job of resting his guys over the course of theregular season to prepare for the postseason.” 
Webber on who has the advantage thisseason – older teams vs. younger teams – and whether or not injuries willbe an issue: “Idon’t think injuries are going to be an issue.  You reallycan’t predict who is going to get hurt. The biggest difference on whowill have the advantage is how well the teams know each other.” 
Webber on playing for Rick Adelmanand his thoughts as a coach and what to expect from the Timberwolves with himin charge: “He is going to empower players to be as good as you want or give youenough rope to hang yourself.  He knows Minnesota isn’t going to win achampionship anytime soon, so he is really going to build his team. He’s prepared for success and I think he is going to do greatthere.” 
Webber on Adelman working with RickyRubio who is being compared to Jason Williams:  “Rick is patient. He earned his patiencedegree working with Jason.  Rubio hasn’t played in the League yet sohe doesn’t need to think about being Jason Williams, he needs to thinkabout getting through a game and defensively checking some people.  I hopehe doesn’t get caught up in being flashy.” 
Webber on why players aren’tlooking to come to Atlanta:  “To be very honest, Atlanta doesn’t sellout games.  You have to have die-hard fans, and Atlanta needs to ask itself ‘Does ithave die-hard fans?’  That might answer the question as to whyplayers don’t want to come here.”
Smith on why players aren’tlooking to come to Atlanta:  “When you look at the topfree agents, there has been an uncertainty of ownership and management in Atlanta and if you are afranchise star player like Chris Paul and Dwight Howard, you want to know whoyour ownership is.  It’s been in-flux for several years.”
Anthony on the reaction from fans toLeBron James this year:  “In these economic times, fans aren’t going to be asforgiving.  But, your superstars of today are far more marketable andlikeable and if they play at a high level, ultimately the fans will comeback.  But there will be a feeling out period.”
Webber on the reaction from fans toLeBron James this year:  “I think LeBron is going to get booed more than everbefore.  He doesn’t have to accept the villain role, butthat’s who he is.  Hopefully, he knows it’s not personal,it’s basketball.  I think fans will come back to supporting theirteams and hopefully, it will take off with the momentum of lastyear.” 
Smith on the acquisition of ChaunceyBillups by the L.A.Clippers: “I said it last night on NBA TV, it’s just unfair for him as anindividual.  One thing you have to love about Chauncey Billups; he’sbeen professional even through these circumstances.” 
Webber on the Nuggets hope forsuccess this year: “If we have learned anything about George Karl  it’s that heis a fighter and a survivor.  Who knows; they might make it to theplayoffs even though there is no way they should after losing the players thatthey had.” 
Anthony on whether the lack of apre-season will affect the quality of play during the regular season:  “The product will still behigh quality.  Before our generation, you came to camp to get inshape.  Today, you have to come to camp in shape in order to have a chanceto play.  The issue from a coaching standpoint will be when to push andwhen to pull back to make sure you don’t run your guys into the groundand create a situation that will hurt you in the long run.”
Smith onthe Golden State Warriors offseason and theselection of Kwame Brown: “When you talk about the Warriors, there was an unbelievablehire in Mark Jackson. The Warriors have done a great job. The focus is ondefense and to win championships that is what you have to do. He (Jackson) isbringing an element that has not been there in the past.  When you starttalking about winning in the playoffs – and winning a championship – you haveto play a little defense. Maybe Kwame Brown is not Tyson Chandler but that is agood start for the Warriors to begin thinking with that (defensive)mindset.”
Webber: “Their best off-seasonacquisition is their coach – Mark Jackson. When you look at the Warriorsover time, they have had great players, great fans and maybe it just has been alack of identity for the team. I think Mark Jackson will establish that(identity). There will be more of a defensive presence.”
Anthonyon what Kwame Brown will bring to the Warriors: “If you looked at Kwame Brown like ChrisWebber as a No. 1 overall pick, then you don’t think of him as a solidbasketball player.  But if you look at Kwame Brown for what he is able andcapable of doing, he’s a nice acquisition because he can defend the rim.He’s one of the best post-defenders in our league. That’s thebiggest weakness that Golden State has. His game isnot about statistics, it is about impact.”
Webberon the MinnesotaTimberwolves coaching staff: “I trust Rick Adelman and his assessment of talent. I like thefact that they have a guy in Kevin Love that can do everything. He works hard,he can score. He’s going to get the best out of players. He finds playersbest for his system.”
Anthonyon Timberwolves coach Rick Adelman’s coaching style:   “There are twocoaches in the NBA that are Hall of Fame great coaches when you get beyond thePat Rileys and Phil Jacksons, it would be:   Rick Adelman and GeorgeKarl.  Adelman is one of the best offensive basketball minds in thegame.  If you look at all the teams he’s ever coached, he alwaysgets more offensively out of those teams. He is a genius in thatrespect.”
Smith onhow valuable Lamar Odom was for the Lakers: “If you start talking about the Lamarsituation – he sacrificed for this team. He plugged in whatever holes heneeded. When (Andrew) Bynum went down, he played power forward. He had a greatyear winning Sixth Man of the Year. He sacrificed so much.”
Webberon the void Lamar Odom will leave the Lakers:  “Last season, he was filling in for theguys that couldn’t do it.  That’s going to be missed in the(Lakers) locker room. That was a situation that he didn’t see coming andwe didn’t see either.”
Webberon playing games on Christmas Day:  “I love playing on Christmas day, it isan honor. As a player – for me personally – there was nothing like playingagainst the Lakers on Christmas Day. As a fan, I’m looking forward towatching every single game that day.”
Smith onthe teams that play on Christmas Day:  “You want to be playing on Christmas Day,because if you are playing on Christmas Day, your team is pretty good. If youare watching as an NBA player, your team is not good.”
Anthonyon Christmas Day being the tip-off to the regular season:  “It was a great honor ifyou got to play on Christmas Day, especially playing for the (New York) Knicks.  A lot of casual fansare tuning-in on Christmas day too.  In a lot of ways, it is a tip-off tothe season. It’s going to be a little bit different this year in terms ofit being the start of the season but it is still going to be an honor to playon that day.  A vast majority of the guys in the League would love to playon Christmas Day.”
Webberon the WashingtonWizards improving this season:  I’minterested in seeing the development of the rookie point guard.  It allstarts with (John) Wall and how he goes. I just want to see where he hasimproved. Has he improved on his jump shot or his court vision?”



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