NBA Finals Game One Lookback

Here’s a quick look back at the coverage of last night’s first game of the NBA Finals, and some people that stuck out to me, both good and bad: 

Approvals:

Mark Jackson and Jeff Van Gundy, ABC: These guys are the best duo I’ve heard on national NBA broadcasts in a long time. They’ve got a shared history, so they can rib each other, but they also give us good insight into the game, and are candid on what they see out on the court. If the refs make a bad call, they say so. If a player makes a dumb play, they point it out. They tell Mike Breen (see below) when he doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

Gary Tanguay, CSN: He drives me nuts on the WBCN Patriots Radio pregame shows by constantly pushing his panic-driven storylines. On these Celtics telecasts, he’s been a pleasure to watch on the pre and post game shows. Last night was no exception, as he guided the show nicely between segments, and didn’t resort to the “serious, concerned voice, bordering on a full fledged meltdown” act that is wearisome on the Patriots shows.

Chad Finn, Boston.com: What a live blog should look like. Bill Simmons may have pioneered this concept, but few do it better than Finn right now. Last night, I actually checked in on the blog during the game, which is something I never do. Having attempted the live blog concept in the past, I know that it is harder that it seems it would be to pull off.

Mike BreenDisapprovals

Mike Breen, ABC: I can’t exactly put my finger on it, but he bugs the hell out of me. Whether it’s the constant references to Rajon Rondo being up and down, or his inability to just call the game and let Jackson and Van Gundy give the analysis, he is the weakest link in the ABC broadcast team.

Ryen Russillo, CSN: One of several people who threw it out there after the game that perhaps Paul Pierce was faking the knee injury, or at least exaggerating the severity of it. He wasn’t alone in suggesting this theory (we’re looking at you, Tom Curran), but this was unlike the usually solid Russillo to go this route.

  • media-tor

    Did Breen ever explain the bandage on his forehead? I haven’t been listening closely enough to him to know if he did. Makeup would’ve been a better way to go.

  • Chris

    Ahhh…the esteemed & enlightened Tom Curran. The ‘We-hardly-knew-Ye’ Tom Curran. The local sports media hack who saw his own ship sinking and groveled successfully for a national on-line gig. Ever the contrarian, Tom is happily suggesting that the Pierce thing could be fraudulent. Of course, in order to maintain even a semblance of objectivity, Curran must–at all costs–take an anti-Boston stance. Of course, that just elicits a big Yawn from everyone not from around here. Let Curran enjoy his little-seen NBC.com gig. Nothing the Peacock network does these days seems to work well.

  • Nick

    Who is Ryen Rusillo? I mean, I know who he is, but what is it about him that makes him this NBA expert? Did he play hoops in college? Does he write for anyone? Does he have a wealth of contacts throughout the league? Did he just wake up one day and somehow land a job as this “NBA expert”? Personally, I don’t think he is even necessary with Gorman, Heinsohn, and Marshall providing solid analysis.

  • anthony

    Can we get a moratorium on CONTRARIAN every single time someone says something stupid? Please?

    Why not just say Tom Curran is acting like a fool?

  • LL

    Breen is absolutely awful. Painfully awful.

    In other news the “remarkable Lebron James” just sat down with Osama Bin Laden and convinced Bin Laden to set down his arms and discuss his issues with the West on Oprah.

  • Chris

    Russillo and Mashburn co-host the best NBA radio show.

  • Siggy

    Van Gundy is good, Jackson is OK, but there is something about the ABC broadcast that is dull – maybe it’s Breen.

    Watching the 80s Finals on Youtube this week I’ve been struck by the excitement on the old CBS broadcasts. Maybe it’s the music, maybe it’s the crowd noise that seemed louder or the cameras that seemed closer to the action. You felt like you were sitting in a front row seat. Breen apparently has a national rep but I don’t know why. Nowhere near Harlan or Albert or some others.

  • bill

    Russillo has been hanging-out with the d-bag, anti-Boston Felger…He is usually reasonable and more intelligent than WEEI morons…