TNT analysts had a lot to say about the Heat, most of it favorable, during the network’s cablecast of the Heat’s 106-97 victory against the Hawks game on Thursday, which pushed Miami to 4-1.
Some of the feedback, if you missed it:
▪ Charles Barkley said Tyler Herro and Kendrick Nunn “are going to be two nice building blocks going forward. I love [Bam] Adebayo. This team plays hard. They’re well coached.”
But Barkley predicted at halftime that Miami would lose, despite leading by six at the time, and doesn’t regard the Heat as a sure-fire playoff team.
“You get the 76ers, Milwaukee, the Raptors and the Celtics,” Barkley said of the Eastern Conference. “Everybody else is bunch of ugly girls looking for a date.”
▪ Barkley, on Herro: “He’s my pick for rookie of the year. He got what we call swag. He has tremendous confidence. I saw him play [for Kentucky] at Auburn this year. I got on the bus. I asked [Kentucky coach] John Calipari, ‘Can I talk to that kid for a second?’ He’s one of the best college players I’ve seen this year.
“This kid made three of the greatest plays down the stretch. I said, ‘Man you’ve got a terrific future. Keep working hard on your game.’ I had never done that before to a young college kid. What a great name for a basketball player.”
▪ Barkley, on the development of Herro and Nunn: “That speaks to the Miami Heat. A lot of players go to bad organizations, get bad habits, learn bad habits from players and coaches. You go to the Miami Heat. Number one you’re going to be in shape. They’re going to hold you accountable. It’s a good situation for an undrafted player.”
▪ Reggie Miller on Nunn: “They have found a diamond in the rough. He plays with such a maturity to his game. There is a coolness to this young man’s game.”
Barkley noted “Nunn is playing with tremendous confidence.”
▪ Kenny Smith on Nunn: “Hard as nails type of guy. He understands what he’s good at. He gets to areas of the floor where you say he’s going to make that. Oh, he’s going to make that. Typically you don’t see that until the third year in the league, what they’re really good at.”
▪ Barkley was irritated that the Heat took three-pointers on a couple of fast breaks.
“Three or four chances they could get a layup and shot threes,” Barkley said. “I’m a little tired of these dummies [speaking of NBA players in general] not taking layups.”
▪ Miller and Kevin Harlan gave credit to the Heat’s “culture” and conditioning. And “I love all the shooting they’ve added on this team,” Miller said.
Here are my Thursday pieces on the Dolphins, Hurricanes and Marlins.