I cannot say how much I appreciate The Starting Five for the TNT transcripts. It's a phenomenal read every time. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
My favorite from last night?
Smith on the impact of having Rockets guard Rafer Alston back in the lineup: “(Alston) puts people in their natural positions, your small forward doesn’t have to play power forward, your two guard doesn’t have to play point guard, everyone now went back to their natural positions so they felt comfortable even though they were in a hostile environment. (The Rockets) were the only team that brought their home game to the road. Usually the role players are a little uncomfortable on the road, they are the first playoff team that I’ve seen that those guys came to the road and actually played better than they did at home.”
Barkley on Rockets forward Tracy McGrady needing to come to terms with getting the blame for the team’s performance: “Tracy McGrady doesn’t understand when you’re a star that you’re going to get the blame. It ain’t right, it ain’t wrong, that’s the way it is. But the way (Adelman) phrased that, ‘he’s the guy who’s got to make plays for us down the stretch, whether it’s a basket or a pass.’ (McGrady) is a little sensitive, I’ve been through it, Kenny’s been through it, Patrick Ewing, Gary Payton, Karl Malone, every great player, that’s just the way it is. Is it fair? No, but you’re going to get the blame. No one’s going to blame Carl Landry, Shane Battier or Rafer Alston, they are going to blame Tracy.”