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TNT's Mike Fratello correctly predicts Mike Conley's big game

Before the game, TNT analyst Mike Fratello called Memphis guard Mike Conley the key player for the Memphis Grizzlies in Game 2 of the playoff series Tuesday night.
by Mel Bracht Published: May 8, 2013
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/articleid/3807602/1/pictures/2047431">Photo - Oklahoma City's Kevin Durant (35) reacts after a play during Game 2 in the second round of the NBA playoffs between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Memphis Grizzlies at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Tuesday, May 7, 2013. Oklahoma  City lost 99-93. Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman
Oklahoma City's Kevin Durant (35) reacts after a play during Game 2 in the second round of the NBA playoffs between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Memphis Grizzlies at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Tuesday, May 7, 2013. Oklahoma City lost 99-93. Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman

--On Thunder center Kendrick Perkins' weak offensive performance:  “A little too frustrated. Trying to do too much.”

 

Halftime

Shaquille O'Neal and Barkley praised Gasol's effort and called him the best big man in the league since Brooklyn's Brook Lopez was no longer paying.

“He's shooting the jumper,” Shaq said. “He's a fabulous player. He's a good passer. He knows how to get into another big man.”

Barkley called Gasol is the best center, period.

“He's a great defender. He and Noah are the two best passers.”

“That is an old-fashioned beat down what him and Randolph are doing to their two big guys. … There was one time when they got like four offensive rebounds.”

“We always talk about how (Serge) Ibaka is a shot blocker. You don't get to block shots when guys are putting the wood on you.”

Kenny Smith said Durant was adapting to his new role as a point forward.

“Because Durant gets so much attention when he has the basketball, he has to be a facilitator. When he catches it from the wings, he's a scorer.”

However, Barkley noted that on the other end, Durant couldn't defend Gasol. “He got a layup three or four times and they can't get a defensive rebound.”

Short takes

— Play-by-play announcer Matt Devlin on Durant's slam dunk late in the third quarter: “Durant crossover … On the rim … Oh, my goodness! Kevin Durant!”

— In the pregame show, TNT host Matt Winer, who was subbing for Ernie Johnson,  complimented Barkley for winning his second straight Sports Emmy as studio analyst. “It's a team win,” Barkley said.

— Barkley said Ibaka need to shoot better if the team had any chance to win the series. “He has to be the second-best player on the starting unit.”

by Mel Bracht
Copy Editor, Sports Media
Mel Bracht is a copy editor on the presentation desk and also covers sports media. A 1978 graduate of Indiana University, Bracht has been a print journalist for 34 years. He started his career as sports editor of the Rensselaer (Ind.) Republican...
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