CLEVELAND: Thoughts from TNT Inside the NBA analysts during and after Thursday's 95-90 loss to the Knicks on opening night...
Kenny Smith on Cleveland’s LeBron James being a scorer as opposed to deferring to teammates: “When he did that in Miami they didn’t win. When he said, ‘I’m the best player, and I’m going to be the best player, and you guys have to fall back,’ that’s when they won championships. So, to me, he’s going to have to be the best player for them to be successful.”
Reggie Miller on the adjustment James’ Cavaliers teammates need to make: "When you acquire the best player on the planet in LeBron James, I said early on, Kyrie Irving and Dion Waters need to be in the gym shooting 500 to 1,000 jump shots a day because LeBron James is going to be double and triple teamed, especially in the open court."
Charles Barkley on Kevin Love as one of the best power forwards in the NBA: “The guy’s been the best power forward in the NBA the last three or four years. He didn’t have a lot of help in Minnesota. You’re getting 12, 13, 14 rebounds a night… You can’t fake rebounding numbers…if you’re getting 14 rebounds a night, you’re a hell of a player.”
Barkley on David Blatt’s goal the first month of the season: “The first month of the season is really going to be for the Cavaliers, trying to figure out who works well together. He’s [Blatt] got to figure out [Anderson] Varejao, Love, Tristan Thompson, he’s got to get their big man rotation in order. That to me is going to be the key to the first month for the Cavaliers.”
Miller on Love’s passing: “An underrated part of Kevin Love’s game is his ability to pass the basketball, and more so, his length of court outlets.”
Barkley on the Cavaliers not handling pressure of such a big game to start the season: “The moment just got too big for them. They played flat the entire game…they played great, like the first five minutes, then the adrenaline, everything, made them tired and flat for the rest of the game.”
Smith on James’ uncharacteristic turnovers: “The one thing you don’t expect him to make are mental errors. With eight turnovers it was mental errors. That means possessions when you didn’t get a shot...he is the master at getting the right shot at the right time in his runs with Miami. And, (Thursday), he was not that.”