Throughout Sunday night’s NBA Finals telecast, I kept getting this feeling that ABC/ESPN’s Mark Jackson and Jeff Van Gundy saw every one of the Magic’s faults but hardly any of the Lakers’. In fact, if you didn’t look at the score and just listened to the commentary, you would have thought Orlando was trailing by 10 or more instead of being in an extremely tight game in which the lead often changed hands.
They kept going back and forth as well on Magic center Dwight Howard. They were pointing out how he was either being careless in the post by losing the ball or playing heads-up by passing to open shooters out of double teams. Of course, Howard was doing both. But was he having a good game or a bad game? It depended on the last possession.
Though the analysts pointed out how the Lakers’ defense failed on occasion by leaving Rashard Lewis open for perimeter jump shots, we didn’t hear nearly as much about Los Angeles’ shortcomings as we did about the Magic’s.
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The network reports Game 2 Sunday averaged 14 million viewers, the second-highest NBA rating since ABC began carrying the league again seven years ago.