If things weren't bad enough for the Houston Rockets after their 120-91 loss in Game 1, TNT's studio analyst Charles Barkley laid into them in the postgame show.
After TNT showed a tweet from Rockets general manger Daryl Morey, “That was painful.” Barkley said, “Daryl Morey has done a good job, but don't worry about it. It will be over quickly.
Barkley noted the inexperienced Rockets were outmanned on the court. “They just don't have enough weapons. They got no chance against (Russell) Westbrook. Nobody can guard Kevin Durant. They play small. … They got nobody can guard (Serge) Ibaka. He was doing a great job on the offensive boards.”
In the pregame show, he said, “Oklahoma City is going to beat these guys like they stole something.”
Barkley marveled at Westbrook's speed and athleticism. “That guy could be a cornerback, or a running back, or a wide receiver in the NFL right now.”
Kenny Smith questioned the Rockets' decision to go back to Houston during the break before Wednesday's Game 2. “I have to think there are more distractions at home for a young team.”
Barkley, who claims the Rockets still owe him $5 million in salary, said. “They are a cheap organization. They don't want to pay no extra days at a motel.”
On Fox Sports Oklahoma's postgame show, both Nancy Lieberman and Grant Long complimented the Thunder's defensive effort.
“That was a massive defensive effort,” Lieberman said.
Long noted the Thunder excelled at guarding the Rockets on the 3-point line and also clogged up the middle with nine blocked shots. “Outside and inside, their objectives were met defensively.”
With TNT's lower-ranked broadcast crew of Ian Eagle and Greg Anthony calling the game and Tracy Wolfson reporting from the sidelines, it seemed like a No. 1 vs. 16-seeded NCAA Tournament game.
Anthony said it even seemed like a college game with raucous atmosphere at Chesapeake Energy Arena: “It's a lot of fun to get this atmosphere at a professional game.”
Anthony noted the teams had similar styles, but the Rockets couldn't execute as well. “It's always difficult when you what you do your opponent does better. That creates a lot of problems and makes you uncomfortable as a team.”
After Durant took a questionable charge on a Harden drive, Anthony said, “Here's your best player selling out to take the charge. That sets the example.”
Anthony noted the Thunder's regular-season nine-point differential was impressive. “Every team that was above nine has won the world championship.”
Eagle bragged about Ibaka's improved outside shooting. “He's a major athlete, already showing to be an elite shot blocker and now he's become a weapon from the perimeter. Remember, he's only 23.”
*At halftime, Shaquille O'Neal also complimented Ibaka. “Serge Ibaka is one of the few players in the NBA who is a bona fide superstar without his play being called all the time. He is a hustler. There (on a highlight) you see his blocked shot setting up a fast break for Oklahoma City.”
*Barkley said James Harden started the game “too ramped up” leading to the Rockets' slow start. “He was pressing at the start. He was kind of forcing himself. Then he finally settled down and got going.”
*TNT spent several minutes showing highlights of the performing dogs show, the winners of last year's “America's Got Talent” competition, and then showed a photo of Barkley and his two dogs.
*During the game FSOK game broadcast, Long complimented the Thunder's bench. “The contribution from the bench has moved the scoreboard.”
*On TNT's Milwaukee-Miami telecast, Kevin Harlan marveled at the play of Chris Andersen, “The Birdman,” who played in Oklahoma City with the Hornets. After a Birdman dunk, he said, “Here's the Birdman flapping his wings and soaring for a sweet dunk. When you're aerodynamically designed with that (Mohawk) hairdo, you can do that kind of thing.”