Celtics/Magic Notes from NBA on TNT

From TNT Sports – 

Notesfrom TNT’s Coverage of the NBA – Thursday, January 26, 2012
TNT’s NBA coverage continues Thursday, Feb.2, 2012 at 7 p.m. ET with a special one-hour edition of TNT NBA Tip-offpresented by AutoTrader.com.  Ernie Johnson, Charles Barkley, Shaquille O’Nealand Kenny Smith will have the exclusive announcement of the 2012 NBA All-Starstarters.
Following the pre-game show, TNT’sdoubleheader will feature the Chicago Bulls @ NewYork Knicks (8 p.m. ET) followed by the DenverNuggets @ Los Angeles Clippers (10:30 p.m. ET)
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TNT NBATip-off presented by AutoTrader.com
Ernie Johnson, Charles Barkley, ShaquilleO’Neal and Kenny Smith
Orlando Magic center DwightHoward on Charles Barkley: “[Charles] has always had my back since day oneand I appreciate it.”
Barkley on Magic center Dwight Howardand his impact: “Bill Russell is the greatest defensive center ever. Dwight Howard,I’m not going to put him in Bill Russell’s category. [But Howard]is a great defender and great rebounder.”
  
O’Neal on Dwight Howard and thenickname ‘Superman’: “The good thing about Dwight Howard is he listened andresponded. The one thing you have to know about me is that I know whatI’m doing.”
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Game 1:  BostonCeltics (91) @ OrlandoMagic (83)
Announcers: Marv Albert (play-by-play) and Mike Fratello (analyst) withCraig Sager (reporter)
Fratello on Orlandoforward Glen “Big Baby” Davis:“When it comes to team defense, ‘Big Baby’ Davis is an importantpart.”
Fratello on potentialEastern Conference playoff matchups: “In the East there aretwo teams who are clearly a step above the rest – Chicago and Miami. After that, whocan’t beat anybody else in the Eastern Conference? If one of those teams[Orlando or Boston] end up with the wrong matchup in thefirst round [of the playoffs], watch out.”
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Halftime
Johnson, O’Neal, Smith and Barkley
Smith on the Boston Celtics’ sloppy first-half play resultingin the Magic holding a 21-point lead: “It’s mental effort that makes thedifference, not always shots and rebounds.”
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Magic center DwightHoward on trade rumors: “I’m not going to get tradedany time [soon], so just play.”
Fratello on theCeltics’ surge in the second half and the Magic’s demise due topoor shot selection at the end of the 24-second clock: “Those arethe shots the Magic have wound up with in the fourth quarter.”
Fratello on the Celticsdefensive pressure that helped them close a 27-point deficit and wintonight’s game against the Magic: “You normally don’tsee, in a NBA game, pressure take a toll [on a team] the way the Celtics did inthe first game of this week [Monday vs. the Clippers] and the second half oftonight’s game.”
  
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Game 2:  MemphisGrizzlies (91) @ L.A.Clippers (98)
Announcers: Dick Stockton (play-by-play), Steve Kerr (analyst), ReggieMiller (analyst) with Cheryl Miller (reporter)
Reggie Miller on Memphis Grizzlies MarcGasol as the second best center in the league: “(Gasol is) muchmore well-rounded than [Los Angeles Lakers’] Andrew Bynum or [UtahJazz’s] Al Jefferson. He can rebound, blocks shots, he’s got greathands and he can score.”
Kerr on the throwbackuniforms and the night’s retro theme: “I wish some ofthe guys would’ve busted out the mutton chops and afros fortonight’s game.”
Reggie Miller on the Los Angeles Clippersoffensive identity this season: “Eventually, they will bea good half-court team because of CP3 [Chris Paul] and Chauncey Billups.They’ll be an excellent half-court team.”
Kerr on the popularity ofthe Clippers in Los Angeles:“It’s fun. Let’s face it, theClippers…they’ve been, probably, the worst franchise in the historyof this league. You can’t sugarcoat it – 33 seasons here in L.A. and three winningseasons. Finally, we’re seeing some hope; actually, more than hope.We’re seeing tremendous talent from a team that is on the rise.”
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Halftime
Johnson, Barkley, O’Neal and Smith
O’Neal on Grizzlies forwardRudy Gay: “He’sleading his team and playing very well. When big Zach [Randolph] comes back they’re going tobe a dangerous team.”
Barkley on Grizzliesforwards Rudy Gay and Zach Randolph: “That’s a reallynice combination those two guys. If they can get on the same page, Memphis is a legitcontender in the West.”
Smith on the Celtics headcoach Doc Rivers: “I would love to play for Doc Riversbecause he’s the kind of coach who’s with you in thetrenches.”
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Kerr on Clippers pointguard Chris Paul’s ability to score at the end of a game: “Chris Paul is aworld-class game closer.”
TNT’s CherylMiller interviewed Clippers point guard Chris Paul following the game.
Chris Paul on what it will take toget to the next level despite blowing a big first-half lead: “We gotta get betterdefensively.”
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Inside the NBA presented by Hyundai
Johnson, Barkley, O’Neal and Smith
Barkley on the Clippersweaknesses: “They aren’t the best team in their ownbuilding.  Their half-court offense is not very good and I don’t liketheir bench as far as the ‘bigs’ go. There is such a drop-off [insize] after Blake [Griffin]and DeAndre [Jordan] come out of the game. They get really small.”
O’Neal on theClippers: “They are a work in progress but they play with a lot ofeffort and energy.  They can win a lot of games with that.  Down the stretch,they will become a better half court team as they play more games.  I thinkthey are going to be fine.”
Barkley on the DwightHoward trade rumors: “The Dwight Howard [trade rumors]are not going to go away because the trade deadline is looming [March 15]. [TheMagic] are going to have to address that and answer that question everyday.”
The TNTstudio crew picked their biggest surprise of the season
O’Neal on Magicguard Ryan Anderson: “He’s a great role playerand a very consistent shooter. He doesn’t try to do too much, he doeswhat he does and gets the open shot. If I was a general manager, I would signhim up today.”
Smith on the Chicago Bulls:“They’ve had injuries to key players and through that time,they’ve had John Lucas, Jr. and Mike James holding the fort down. Whenyou expect Rose, Noah and Boozer to lead the team, [head coach Tom] Thibodeauhas done a great job to get them to say, ‘no excuses, we should still bethe best team in the East’ and they are.”
Barkley on the Denver Nuggets andGrizzlies: “The Nuggets are one of the best teams in the Westand the Grizzlies have played very well since losing Zach Randolph [to injury].[Nuggets] head coach George Karl has proven that he is one of the best coaches inthe league.”
The TNTstudio crew picked their biggest disappointments of the season
Barkley on the level ofplay in the NBA: “I love basketball but we’vegot some bad basketball teams in the NBA.”
O’Neal on the Washington Wizards: “With allthe ability and talent that [guard] John Wall has, he needs to do a better jobleading the team. They make a lot of juvenile mistakes. [Forward] AndrayBlatche is a good player but he needs to step up his game a little bit.I’m surprised and disappointed that they are the worst team in the leagueright now.”

Smith on the New York Knicks: “They madea big acquisition with [center] Tyson Chandler and now they have ‘stickum’on the basketball. They have a lot of guys that hold the basketball. This isnot a team I want to watch with [head coach Mike] D’Antoni and the wayit’s constructed.”

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