HANG TIME NEW JERSEY — For NBA fans like us, there’s nothing better than League Pass. Having the ability to watch every game every night (and then again the next day) is heaven.
Of course, with local broadcasts, you get local broadcasters, which can be good and bad. It can be good, because these guys know their teams better than most national broadcasters. It can be bad, because these guys love their teams more than most national broadcasters. And they’re usually not afraid to show that love.
The national guys aren’t perfect either. And if they’re not careful, they may be featured here, where we highlight the best and worst of NBA broadcasts.
Here are a few more moments that made us laugh, made us smarter, or made us shake our heads.
Last Week: Showing Their Colors
1. The dagger that wasn’t
Game: Detroit @ Washington, Feb. 27
You’ve seen this play and heard Steve Buckhantz‘s call already, but we obviously had to include it here. It’s sort of uncomfortably hilarious.
But guess what? The Pistons announcers got the call wrong, too. And frankly, I thought the ball went in as well … and I already knew it didn’t.
Under the weather, I crashed early on Wednesday. When I woke up Thursday morning, I had an e-mail telling me that we needed to include the blown call “of Trevor Ariza’s missed shot” in the next Air Check.
So I knew the call was wrong. I knew the shot didn’t go in. And when I pulled up the game on my iPad, I knew the final score. But when I watched the play, I thought, for a split second, that the ball went through the basket.
So yeah, it was a tough moment for Buckhantz. But if you read this interview with Sarah Kogod, you’ll understand that he had a bad angle. And we’ll take a mistake like that over some of the other nonsense we hear on League Pass from time to time.
2. Classic Tommy
Game: Chicago @ Boston, Feb. 13
Tommy Heinsohn is an unapologetic Celtics homer. Heck, he’s been a part of the Celtics organization for most of the last 57 years. And of course, Heinsohn can go a little over the top with his analysis of officials’ calls. This one is a perfect example.
He calls the official “terrible” and says that Avery Bradley “plays this perfect.” As the replay clearly shows that Bradley didn’t beat Nate Robinson to the sideline and fouled Robinson with his shoulder, Heinsohn gets louder. “PLAYS IT PERFECT!”
“You couldn’t have played it any better than Bradley played it.”
Not really. But that’s Tommy.
3. Donatas’ Never-Before-Seen Post Moves
Game: Dallas @ Houston, March 3
I’ve watched this play more than a dozen times and I’m still not sure I see a travel. It’s possible that Donatas Motiejunas‘ left foot was his original pivot foot, and then he switched it to the right. He gathers the ball and makes his move so quickly that it’s hard to tell. But that’s not really the point.
What’s hilarious is Matt Bullard‘s insinuation that referee David Jones, with his 23 years of NBA experience, has never seen a move like that before.
“That’s the problem with young players in this league,” Bullard says. “The officials have not seen their moves. I think D-Mo surprised not only the Mavericks’ defender, but also the official.”
It’s also kind of funny that this was the fourth possession of the game and we’re already getting into the complaints about the officiating.
Bullard does take back his complaint after seeing the replay and Clyde Drexler notes that, you know, officials are good at their jobs. But it’s the instinct to immediately complain about a call against your team that’s bothersome.
4. Actually, he’s from Brooklyn
Game: Oklahoma City @ Denver, Jan. 20
Scott Hastings‘ absurd homerism was noted in last week’s post. We should probably give him some time before a second mention, but this one was so ridiculous, it couldn’t wait. Hastings continues to feed conspiracy theorists and question the ethics of NBA officials with unsubstantiated comments.
Late in a close game, Ty Lawson gets his hand on a Russell Westbrook pass, and official Mark Lindsay says the ball went off of Kevin Durant. Then Hastings takes over.
“Scottie Brooks runs to his guy Zach Zarba and says, ‘Hey can you review this?'”
The officials indeed decide to review the call, because the best thing to do is make sure that the calls was right. And then Hastings chimes in one more time.
“Zach lives down around Tulsa or some place,” he says.