TNT’s Brian Anderson and Chris Webber face the ultimate challenge, calling a blowout. The two get an A-



  • Spurs Off-Topic conversation: Brian Anderson - San Antonio Express-NewsTNT had last night’s blowout win by the Los Angeles Clippers over the Dallas Mavericks in game #5 of the first round of the Western Conference playoffs. It was the second straight game for the Mavericks without Kristaps Porzingis. Meanwhile, the Clippers were still without starting guard Patrick Beverly. Brian Anderson (l) and Chris Webber were on the call.
  • Webber noted how George has the worst field goal percentage in the playoffs this year with a minimum of 25 attempts. Webber believed George would be aggressive early and said that Doc Rivers, the veteran coach, would make sure George gets early touches so that he would get into rhythm. George started off the night going four for six with nine points and ended the first half with eighteen points on eight of twelve shooting. George finished on a tear putting up 35 points in the game.
  • At the start of the game, Webber said that Luka Doncic lives in the lane and that he is impossible to stop because his true strength is his passing. Webber said that opponents have to pick their poisons, leaving him alone for an open layup or adding help and leaving someone open for Doncic to find. Doncic didn’t have a great game due in large part to his ankle injury which was visible to Anderson, Webber and viewers. Contributing too, Webber said, was that the fact that the Clippers defense collapsed on Doncic in the lane. Then, right as the Mavericks’ star was about to pass, they would retreat to their ‘man assignments.’ This left Doncic in a tough position and created tough choices for him to make.
  • Without fans it is tough for certain players to get hyped and energized. As such, Anderson noted at the start how pumped the Clippers bench was and how it could be of enormous help. Meanwhile, Webber believed that the Clippers’ intensity was fueled after the devastating last second loss in game #4 and because the rival Lakers blew out the Trailblazers the night before.
  • Orlando Magic trade speculation: DeMarcus Cousins a target - Page 2Webber (l) believes that this series, fraught with technical fouls and ejections, could lead to a rivalry for years to come. While fans love heated and emotional games, so do announcers. Intensity attracts viewers. But Webber and Anderson were rightfully critical of ugly tactics when Marcus Morris stepped on Luka Doncic’s injured ankle forcing him to lose his shoe. Webber was hesitant to say whether it was done on purpose and fell short of accusing Morris of a dirty play. Later in the game, Tim Hardaway Jr. got called for a flagrant foul after smacking Paul George in the face while going for a block. Webber believed it was a flagrant immediately and told Anderson, “I never go on the flagrant side, so you know this should be.”
  • Brian Anderson and Chris Webber have solid chemistry. The two converse naturally. Their interaction is unforced. The men were talking with one another, not talking to or at an audience. Viewers felt as though they were privileged to eavesdrop on a couple of knowledgeable basketball voices, talking about a game for which they were thoroughly prepared and genuinely loved.
  • In the first half, Anderson and Webber focused pretty much strictly on the game, on what viewers saw on their sets at home. While the game turned into a blowout, it remained chippy and tempers ran short. The competitive spirit by itself might have kept fans focused.
  • In the second half, Webber tried a bit of humor, lost on some perhaps. He began engaging the virtual fans, egging them to do the wave or find some way to be creatively entertaining. It triggered a slight chuckle. I hoped that Brian and Chris would address topics that avid or casual fans would find interesting, (e.g., How things will need to change for the Mavericks if they hope to avoid this situation again).
  • A blowout affords an analyst like Webber the time to share anecdotes or offer insight about the playoffs as a whole. I had hoped to hear Webber touch on a number of points like Luka’s heralded game winner in the preceding game. Then there was the issue of why neither Kawhi Leonard or Paul George, guarded  the opposing team’s best player (Doncic). The Clippers were using Marcus Morris as their primary defender on the young superstar. The other topic not discussed in any detail was the injury to Kristaps Porzingis and how it was going to affect Doncic and the Mavericks. Anderson noted his absence early in the game but didn’t elaborate on the effect it would have on the Mavericks. That’s usually the analysts’s assignment. Chris might have earlier in the series but not last night.
  • Webber and Anderson had a solid first half, but broadcasters’ biggest challenge in any sport is to keep things interesting during a lopsided game. I believe fans were a bit underserved during last night’s blowout.
  • Overall, the two had a good broadcast and deserve a little wiggle room due to the fact this game was pretty much over late in the first half. The announcing voices earn an A- with room to improve.
Brian Seitz

Brian Seitz is a student at Arizona State University's Cronkite School of Journalism and hopes to pursue a career as a sportswriter.

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