TNT Notes Suns Blazers Game 1

These are notes the TNT provides me via email


Game 3: Portland Trail Blazers (105) @ Phoenix Suns (100) – Portland leads the series 1-0

Announcers: Kevin Harlan and Doug Collins with Craig Sager reporting


Collins on the Phoenix Suns bench: “They bring great energy and when they knock down three’s, they create separation.  When they aren’t shooting the ball well, they stay on the floor with their defense.”


Collins on the importance of Rudy Fernandez to the Trail Blazers: “Rudy Fernandez is one of those guys that when he gets it going, he can get exceptionally hot.  But he can really get down on himself.  He’s been a guy who hasn’t been happy this year with his minutes.  When you start thinking about who is going to make up for the loss of Brandon Roy, they need Fernandez.  They need (Martell) Webster.  They need (Jerryd) Bayless.”


Nate McMillan on Rudy Fernandez getting more minutes with Brandon Roy injured: “It’s been difficult for Rudy (Fernandez) because he was Brandon (Roy) over in his (European) league.  He was one of the best players in his league.  Playing behind an All-Star (Roy), his minutes have been limited and that’s been frustrating for him.  Now that opportunity is there for him to play big minutes in a starting role.  We can try to take advantage of what he is able to do which is moving him around and allow him to be aggressive.”



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Johnson, Barkley, Smith and Webber


Barkley on the Sun’s underwhelming first half in a game where they need to make a statement: “I’m very disappointed in the Phoenix Suns and I’ve been on their bandwagon.  They played very well in the second half of the season, clearly they are missing (Robin) Lopez.  But there’s not a person in Portland, Oregon who thinks that the Blazers are going to win this series.  No disrespect but they are missing their best player and you can’t replace your best player.  The Suns, who have (Western) Conference Finals aspirations at least, have a really good shot at going deep in the playoffs.  When you are facing an undermanned team, you’re supposed to send a message.  You can win a series in the first game.  They should’ve come out and said, ‘we’re going to punch you in the mouth and there’s nothing you can do about it.’  The only way the Trail Blazers can beat them is to out-hustle them.”


Smith on the key to the Suns playoff run: “Channing Frye will be the key to the playoff run for Phoenix.  However, against (the Blazers), even though he is scoring well, I don’t think he creates the same disadvantage.”


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Collins on Trail Blazers guard Nicolas Batum: “Batum is smooth.  When his offensive game catches up to his defense, his defense reminds me of Scottie Pippen with his long arms and the way he plays.  If he can improve offensively, he’s going to be a tremendous asset to this team.”


Collins on Trail Blazers point guard Andre Miller: “He is so crafty.  It looks like he’s not going to get to where he wants to go but he’s strong and very deceptively quick. 


Collins on Sun guard Jason Richardson: “When Jason Richardson played at Michigan State, he was a great low-post player.  Early in his career, he went into the post but as his career has gone on, he’s been out to that three-point line more often.  (But) he is a very good low post player.”


Collins on Trail Blazers guard Jerryd Bayless: “When he goes to the basket, he goes with power.  His rookie year, he led his summer league in scoring and he was living at the foul line.  That’s when he is at his best, when he’s not shooting jump shots.”


Collins on the Trail Blazers sloppy play at the end of Game #1: “Portland has done everything wrong you can do in the last 1:30 of this game.  This has been a clinic on how not to close out a game: throwing the ball away, a missed dunk and missed free throws.”

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