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NBA Finals Remote Patrol: ABC analysts agree future is bright for young Thunder team

Although the Thunder fell short in its first appearance in the NBA Finals, ABC studio analysts Magic Johnson and Jon Barry said the team can look ahead to a bright future.
by Mel Bracht Published: June 22, 2012

Van Gundy excellent

Van Gundy wrapped up the series with his usual strong performance, showing why he is the league's most entertaining game analyst. Some of his comments:

-- On starting the game with a coin flip instead of a jump ball. “I think they should have a coin flip like the NFL does. You can receive or you can let the other team.”

-- On the Thunder's porous defense as the Heat built a 17-point lead in the second quarter. “They got to get their defense together. Too many mistakes have led to too many open opportunities.”

-- He supported Heat coach Erik Spoelstra's decision to play Mike Miller with four fouls. When play-by-play announcer Mike Breen said Miller's might stiffen up, he said, “Forget his back. I don't want his arm to stiffen up.”

-- Disagreeing with a flagrant foul being called on Derek Fisher on James. “C'mon, man,” he said. “It's a hard foul because LeBron is coming at you at 100 mph.”

-- After James was called for a foul on an apparent Harden flop, he repeated his contention that the NBA should crack down on flopping. “I can't wait for the commissioner to attack it.”

Short takes

-- Breen on the Heat's strong second half: “What an onslaught by Miami. An incredible offensive performance.”

-- As in the first four games, Barry was the only studio analyst to pick the Thunder to win. “I got plenty of room on my Sooner Schooner to get back to OKC if you guys want to get on board,” he said.

-- ABC showed Brooks addressing his team in the locker room before the game. “I want you guys to think of only one thing: Do whatever it takes to make your teammates look good. If you have an opportunity and have a layup, give it to your teammate for a layup.”

-- On the “Thunder Live” postgame show, Fox Sports Oklahoma analyst Stephen Howard said the Thunder can learn a lot from the loss and the playoff run. “I liked what I saw from this team. They never buckled.”

by Mel Bracht
Copy Editor, Sports Media
Mel Bracht is a copy editor on the presentation desk and also covers sports media. A 1978 graduate of Indiana University, Bracht has been a print journalist for 34 years. He started his career as sports editor of the Rensselaer (Ind.) Republican...
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