Posts Tagged ‘Diana Taurasi’

Blogtable: Star player today, NBA analyst tomorrow?

Each week, we’ll ask our stable of scribes across the globe to weigh in on the most important NBA topics of the day — and then give you a chance to step on the scale, too, in the comments below.

BLOGTABLE: Thoughts on these Finals? | Best arena atmosphere? | Next player-turned-analyst?

VIDEOWhat are Kobe Bryant’s goals once his career ends?

> Kobe Bryant is working as a guest analyst for Chinese media company Sina during these NBA Finals. Besides Bryant, which current NBA player would you like to see working as an TV analyst after his playing days are over?

Steve Aschburner, Give me Kevin Garnett. And please, give me a cable network, but there’d be plenty of Not Suitable For Network comments if we got the real, unadulterated KG. He’d be a lot more fun this way than with a piece of Timberwolves ownership. Zzzzz

Fran Blinebury, Tim Duncan. All those years, all those championships, all that greatness. I would love if somebody could get him to sit in front of a camera and tell us really what goes on inside that head when he’s watching/analyzing a game.

Scott Howard-Cooper, Jared Dudley. Elton Brand. David Lee. Pau Gasol. Jamal Crawford. Nick Young. Mike Conley. Ryan Anderson. Channing Frye. Wesley Matthews. Draymond Green. That’s a bunch of guys off the top of my head. I’m sure I’m forgetting many others.

Shaun Powell, There aren’t many superstars other than Kobe who’d be refreshing and entertaining and honest. So I’ll go with someone who’s light on All-Star appearances but heavy on basketball wisdom (which is how I like my analysts): David West of the Pacers. He’s simply a smart man, and he would bring years of experience and a grasp of the language and honesty.

John Schuhmann, For ratings, LeBron James would be pretty good. For entertainment value, give me Dirk Nowitzki. If HBO ever gets the rights to NBA games, Kevin Garnett could certainly provide some color. And for smart analysis (not that the previous three couldn’t provide it), Chris Paul would be the guy I’d want to hear from. Even as an active player, he watches tons of games and he would be able to tell you how to attack any kind of defense.

Sekou Smith, Jamal Crawford has always been one of my favorite players to talk hoops with, as well as other topics. He’s a true connoisseur of the game and so observant. He’s got the perfect personality and basketball IQ to become an excellent television analyst when he’s done playing. I think Jarrett Jack and Jared Dudley possess those same traits and I could see all three of these guys going into coaching one day as well. But they’ve got all of the talent and skill needed to be fine analysts.

Ian Thomsen, Actually, I’m going to span over to the WNBA and say that I would like to see Diana Taurasi commentating fulltime on NBA games. She is funny, smart and at ease; she loves the NBA and relates to the game and its players as an outsider with an insider’s perspective. I predict she is going to be the NBA’s next great media star — if she wishes to be.

Lang Whitaker,’s All Ball blog Among the things make an analyst a must-listen for me are experience and candor. You want to hear from someone who’s spent decades around the sport, and you also want someone who isn’t afraid to tell the truth, even if that means sometimes burning a bridge in the service of the viewers. And while plenty of players these days pull punches because they want to maintain relationships, Paul Pierce isn’t afraid to speak his mind, he’s won titles, he’s going to be a Hall of Famer, and he’s played with and against all the best the NBA has had to offer over the last few generations. I don’t know if a broadcasting future interests Pierce, but I bet he’d be great at it.

USA Women Cruise Past Brazil

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Women’s Senior National Team has only been back together for three days following the first half of the WNBA season. And in Monday’s exhibition against Brazil, they were missing starting point guard Sue Bird, out ecause of a death in her family.

The result was some sloppy play and trouble with pressure defense. The U.S. committed 22 turnovers in the game, including 10 in their first 15 possessions of the second half.

That doesn’t mean that they had any real trouble with Brazil, a team with medal aspirations in London. Holding Brazil to just 32 percent shooting, the U.S. cruised to an easy 99-67 victory.

However, Monday’s game made it clear to the U.S. where there is work to be done, as well as how valuable Bird is to this squad. Starting in Bird’s place, Lindsay Whalen was the only point guard the U.S. had on Monday, and she played great, filling the boxscore with a team-high 21 points, five rebounds and five assists.

But Diana Taurasi, the team’s starting shooting guard and best scorer, was forced into back-up point guard duties and committed six of the team’s turnovers. And as a group, the U.S. just didn’t handle it well when Brazil decided to give them a taste of their own medicine with some full-court pressure in the second quarter.

The U.S. pressure was still better than Brazil’s. Tamika Catchings is a four-time WNBA Defensive Player of the Year, and she clearly made an impact on that end on Monday, picking up two steals, two blocks and few more additional deflections. In fact, she didn’t even let Brazil get the ball across half-court on their first possession of the game, stripping Adriana Pinto at the foul line and cruising in for a layup to put the U.S. up 4-0.

The U.S. led 21-5 midway through the first quarter, but never really poured it on until late, because of their struggles in taking care of the ball.

With the WNBA season keeping them apart while other teams have been working together, the U.S. Women know they are at a disadvantage. And as they leave for Manchester for their next exhibition game against Great Britain, they have just 10 days to clean things up.

Monday’s game against Brazil was a gentle reminder of just how much needs to be done before they get to London.