Marv Albert will call Game 2 of the Clippers-Thunder series at 8:30 p.m. Wednesday on TNT with analyst Steve Kerr and reporter David Aldridge. Albert, a longtime NBA announcer, discussed the series and the league in a phone interview Tuesday.
Were your surprised by the Game 1 blowout?
I said to Steve on the air and it’s funny how one team can look so bad and one team can look so good and how it can turn around. I’ve seen it so many times. It was actually surprising after talking to (Clippers coach) Doc Rivers, who said they were dead (Sunday) and they would come out and have that kind of game. It’s unheard of.
Are you expecting that Game 2 to be a little closer?
From a television point of view, we hope so. The Thunder could come out and do the same with Durant and Westbrook. Even though they have 25 and 29, it was kind of a quiet 25 and 29. They got nothing from the bench. It would be surprising if they don’t come out with incredible energy like they did against Memphis in Games 6 and 7.
What’s your impression of the job Doc Rivers has done in getting the Clippers through such a chaotic period?
Tremendous. I know a lot of people have said this. You could not find a better person in terms of being able to handle a difficult situation and keep everything stable within reason. The players love and respect him. In talking with him yesterday, he took all upon himself. He didn’t want his players constantly talking about this. As it was, they were angry and distracted, very emotional.
You mentioned on the Game 1 telecast about the Clippers possibly being America’s team. Do you think Americans are rallying for this team?
They are getting so much coverage. You turn on CNN, Fox News, MSNBC. I’m a news junkie so I watch all these stations. That’s all you see. Well the Malaysian crisis has now moved aside, so is the one in South Korea. This is part of at least a once an hour look in at the team and what has been revolving around it. There’s an empathy for them. They have been a very good team, and they have stars to like. Everywhere except possibly Oklahoma City and certainly the Bay Area, although they were well received there.