Despite the Oklahoma City Thunder’s NBA-best 12-2 record, the Thunder didn’t receive much praise from TNT’s studio crew during the Thunder-Celtics broadcast Monday night.
Shaquille O’Neal, Charles Barkley and Kenny Smith all said they thought the Los Angeles Lakers would defeat the Thunder in a playoff series, and Barkley thought the Lakers would win it in five games.
Barkley on the best teams in the Western Conference: “The Portland Trail Blazers and the Denver Nuggets are the two best teams I have seen in the West.”
O’Neal on the Thunder being 12-2: “They’ve had an easy schedule.”
Game analyst Chris Webber on how Thunder sixth man James Harden has embraced his role with the team: “The best teams that I played against had role players that were superstars. They took their role seriously and they knew the importance of their role to the team. (Harden) has embraced his role (as sixth man) and has made sure that the bench is better for that.”
Game analysis Mike Fratello on Thunder head coach Scott Brooks: “He really knows his players and he knows which guys to let grow and develop and which ones he can get on a little bit harder. He wants players to grow and experience this learning process and by the way, they’re winning a lot of games in this process.”
Fratello on the unselfishness of Thunder forward Kevin Durant: “He is a very unselfish player. He has the God-given ability to score the basketball whenever he wants to; he understands the team aspect of the game and is a willing passer.”