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TNT comments from Game 5

by Anthony Slater Published: May 2, 2013

Selected comments from various TNT announcers during Game 1 of the opening-round NBA Western Conference series in which the Houston Rockets defeated the Oklahoma City Thunder 107-100 on Wednesday night at Chesapeake Energy Arena:

Shaquille O’Neal on Kevin Durant late in the game: “I saw something I didn’t like, and no lead is safe when Kevin Durant is on the floor…[with the Thunder down 101-92 and 3:47 left in the game] Kevin Durant doesn’t get the ball; he does what is called ‘pout and stop.’  He pouts first; now he is stopping and lets the guys go through the offense.  He’s still not trying to get the ball.  They take the shot and he’s still upset. When he did that, I knew the game was over.”

Charles Barkley on the Thunder: “My biggest criticism of Oklahoma City the last couple of years is they never get easy baskets. All their baskets are jump shots.  When you are not making shots, this is what you get especially without Russell Westbrook.”

Barkley on adjustments for the Thunder in the series: “[Thunder head coach] Scott Brooks has got to make a change…they cannot match up…they have to go small if they are going to win this series.”

Kenny Smith on the Rockets’ chances in the series: “Without question [they have a shot in the series]. I don’t think the Thunder’s small guys are as talented as the Rockets [if the Thunder try and go small].”

Barkley on the Game 5 performances by the Knicks and Thunder:  “You saw the weakness of the two teams – the Knicks and Oklahoma City…you don’t live by jumpers, you die by jumpers.”

Barkley on the absence of Russell Westbrook: “With or without Russell Westbrook, they should beat the Houston Rockets. They are just not playing with any energy [tonight].”

Smith on the Thunder without Westbrook: “He put everyone in their natural positions.  Now, you have Kevin Durant at the point forward.  He’s at the top, [and] you can see him a little bit better at the defensive end. Everything is, ‘We’re trying it out.’ [It’s a] difficult position for the Oklahoma City Thunder.”

Chris Webber on injured Oklahoma City point guard Russell Westbrook: “If he needed to, he could come down right now and get seven points and two assists. Trust me.”

Webber comparing the backcourts of the Rockets and Thunder: “The Houston Rockets guards are so much quicker than the guards of OKC.”

Webber on the strategy to foul Omer Asik: “I’m very surprised and it feels like a gimmick. When the better team starts to do that you think you are in their hands…now you are going to be in the bonus pretty early with Harden and those guys coming at you.”

by Anthony Slater
Thunder Beat Writer
Anthony Slater started on the Thunder beat in the summer of 2013, joining after two years as NewsOK.com's lead sports blogger and web editor. A native Californian, Slater attended Sonoma State for two years before transferring to Oklahoma State in...
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