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2018 NBA Western Conference Finals on TNT - Media Conference Call Highlights

Highlights from Today's 2018 NBA Western Conference Finals on TNT Media Conference Call
NBA on TNT
Tuesday, May 15, 2018  

Editor's note: Audio & time stamps by topic from today's 2018 NBA Western Conference Finals on TNT media conference call with Chris Webber and Reggie Miller can be found by clicking here.

The NBA Playoffs on TNT will continue with exclusive coverage of the 2018 NBA Western Conference Finals presented by Hulu. The No. 1 seeded Houston Rockets and James Harden face the defending NBA Champion Golden State Warriors and Stephen Curry, continuing with Game 2 coverage tomorrow, Wednesday, May 15, beginning at 8 p.m. ET.

TNT’s exclusive coverage of the 2018 NBA Western Conference Finals Game 1 – the Golden State Warriors vs. Houston Rockets – averaged 8.8 million total viewers to deliver the network’s most-watched WCF Game 1 of all time. Last night’s telecast is the most-viewed WCF Game 1 across any network since the Lakers/Kings in 2002.

Play-by-play announcer Marv Albert will call the series, joined by analysts Chris Webber and Reggie Miller with reporters David Aldridge and Kristen Ledlow. TNT’s award-winning Inside the NBA presented by Kia – which is averaging a four-year high of two million nightly viewers since the beginning of the Playoffs – studio team of Ernie Johnson, Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith & Shaquille O'Neal will provide on-site pregame, halftime and postgame coverage throughout the Western Conference Finals.

Select quotes from today's conference call follow. For the full audio, please click here.

"It's too late for a leopard to change its spots. If you're the best team in the league during the regular season, I don't know why you'd want to change who you are. You can't reinvent yourself now, you just have to be better at who you are... If I'm a Houston fan, I still believe we have a great chance, we were just punched in the mouth the first game. It's about how you react."
Chris Webber on Houston not overreacting after a Game 1 loss
"This is what the Rockets did to get to this point. I think this is who they are. I'm sure there are minor tweaks to be had as all teams make adjustments from game to game, but overall, this is who the Houston Rockets are. They are heavily isolation based, they've got the potential MVP in James Harden and another ball dominant point guard in Chris Paul. This is why they've been successful - they put up a bevy of three pointers because of that isolation when [Harden and Paul] are able to break down and collapse the defense."
Reggie Miller on the Rockets sticking to their strengths despite a Game 1 loss
"There's no one-man adjustment that can be made... There's no one on Houston that can check [Kevin] Durant... The genius of the Golden State system is the ball movement, so a double team doesn't matter... You can't stop an option on a team that likes using as many options, perusing the options and finding the best shot possible... You can't make this about one guy."
Webber on what makes Golden State's offense so challenging to defend
"The game has evolved... you've got to redefine your game... That's why P.J. Tucker, Trevor Ariza, primarily known as defensive-minded guys earlier in their career... now they stay on the floor by having a reliable, count-on jump shot, especially from the three-point line and it shows you that guys are spending more time in the lab working on that."
Miller on the evolution of the game and the three-pointer becoming universal
"If Draymond [Green] was supposed to just score and that's all he could do, there are teams he could not or would not start for, because he's more than a scorer... The fact that he's the engine on the best team that's playing, the fact that he's the heart and soul, the defensive heart and soul, another coach on the floor - he's one of the best players to have on any team... I've also said before that [Stephen] Curry is the MVP of the league and Draymond is the MVP of the Warriors."
Webber on the importance of Draymond Green to all that the Warriors do
"I think LeBron James, who has been and will be one of the best basketball minds, will always make the correct basketball play. It's just that at times, the media - I'm included in that - we want to make him out to be Kobe [Bryant] or Michael Jordan. [We want him to] have the killer instinct, always take that last shot, you're the best player, you've got to do it, as opposed to making the correct basketball play, which he's always done. The older he's gotten, understanding team dynamics, there's a time to be a little bit selfish."
Miller on LeBron James taking it upon himself to take more end of game shots this season
"It's so hard to deny Durant because he's seven feet tall and he can post you up at the free throw line or the three point line... He's quick, he's skilled, he'll dunk on you. It's really tough in that type of an offense that features so many players... It's the unselfishness of the players, the willingness to pass with guys like Draymond...and players knowing each other... It's really hard to deny any great player, especially one that can post up and has a size advantage on anyone, anytime, on the floor."
Webber on Houston's difficulties ball denying Kevin Durant
"If Chris Paul decides to retire after this season, he's a Hall of Famer. In my opinion, he's a basketball savant... He's had some games where he hasn't played well, but if I'm going to the foxhole, I want Chris Paul going with me... [He] just wants to win, by any means necessary. That's old school... I want to roll with guys like that."
Miller on Chris Paul making a Conference Final for the first time in his career
 
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