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.
1. A ticky-tack mugging
Game: Philadelphia @ Orlando, March 10
The Magic have one of the best (and smartest) broadcasting crews in the league, and it’s tough to pick on Richie Adubato here, because he’s just filling in for the excellent Matt Guokas. But calling this foul, where Thaddeus Young gets shoved out of bounds by Al Harrington, a “ticky-tack” call is kind of hilarious. In fact, Adubato actually suggests that the call “should have been our way.”
2. Timing is everything
Game: Memphis @ L.A. Clippers, March 13
Sometimes, it all falls into place.
First referencing the Grizzlies’ lack of shooting, Michael Smith explains how Quincy Pondexter gives them one guy who can knock down threes, and how Pondexter likes to spot up in the corner. Pondexter immediately proceeds to spot up in the corner and knock down a three.
As Ralph Lawler said, “Good call, Michael.”
3. But he didn’t MEAN to do it!
Game: Minnesota @ Memphis, March 18
Brevin Knight is a Jersey guy and I’ve been a fan since I saw him put the clamps on a scorer named Mark Bass (who went on to star at St. Joseph’s) as a sophomore in the 1991 state tournament. So it’s hard for me to call him out. But there’s no analyst around the league that uses the word “we” when talking about his team more than Knight, unless it’s back-up, Sean Tuohy.
Here, Knight somehow feels that Tayshaun Prince shouldn’t be called for a foul because he didn’t intend to make contact with Andrei Kirilenko. Play-by-play guy Pete Pranica says he didn’t see the contact at all.
A foul is a foul, intentional or not. It’s clear that both Prince and Kirilenko felt the contact, and Prince didn’t have any beef with the call.
4. Professor Petersen strikes again
Game: New Orleans @ Minnesota, March 17
Three weeks ago, we praised Wolves broadcasters Dave Benz and Jim Petersen for their acknowledgement of advanced statistics. But the best part of a Minnesota broadcast is when Petersen has the time to delve into the Xs and Os behind a particular play.
Here, he explains how the Wolves’ initial actions on the preceding play were designed to get the defense moving and set up a Ricky Rubio – Nikola Pekovic pick-and-roll.
That’s great use of a timeout. Petersen may be the best teacher among NBA analysts, unafraid to bring coaching jargon to the broadcast in an effort to make his audience a little smarter.