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.
Air Check is where we highlight the best and worst of NBA broadcasts.
The new season means we’re back to keeping an ear out for the best and worst in NBA broadcasting. It also means we have a couple of new rules and points of emphasis that broadcasters need to explain to their viewers.
Misinformation in Houston
The biggest change that has affected play in the preseason and early regular season is the delay of game call when the scoring team touches the ball after a made basket. On the play above, Kemba Walker gets called for it and Houston announces try to explain it.
“The officials are trying to speed up the game by blowing the whistle,” Matt Bullard says, “and slowing the game down. Interesting.”
No, the rule isn’t about speeding up the game. It’s about the advantage the scoring team gains by preventing the opponent from getting the ball inbounds quickly.
What’s hilarious is that the Rockets, a team that likes to push the ball after made baskets, were one of the biggest proponents of the rule this summer. And their broadcaster is one of the people spreading misinformation about it.
Matt Harpring, voice of reason
If we’re going to call out Bullard for not understanding the intent of the rule, we should also give it up to Jazz broadcasters Craig Bolerjack and Matt Harpring for explaining the intent of the rule correctly.
Harpring: “You get a little second break there when you catch the ball after the ball goes in and throws it to the referee.”
Bolerjack: “It’s going to take a while.”
Harpring: “And now you have to break the habit of a lot of players.”
Bolerjack: “How long did you do it, you learn that early.”
Harpring: “Oh, I did it early, cuz I was tired, I’d hold it and make the referee say hey Matt, throw the ball back.”
Bolerjack: “What it allows you to do is take a couple steps down court before the opponent.”
Harpring: “Absolutely. So the opposing team can’t get the ball and fast break on you right away. It makes you run back on defense and sprint back and not rest.”
Where’d everybody go?
Switching gears, here’s Pistons broadcasters George Blaha and Greg Kelser having a little fun with the changes the Celtics made this summer.