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Remote patrol: ESPN analysts heap praise on Dirk Nowitzki

by Mel Bracht Published: May 18, 2011
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“He has got to be much better,” Barry said. “This (Dallas) zone is going to be hard to break. They are going to turn him into a jump shooter. That's not his strength.”

SHORT TAKES

* ESPN's No. 1 game crew of play-by-play announcer Mike Breen, Jackson, Van Gundy and sideline reporter Doris Burke turned in another excellent effort. Viewers need to hope that Jackson and Van Gundy don't get head coaching jobs in the league.

* Credit the NBA's excellent access policy for allowing ESPN to get shots of Thunder coach Scott Brooks addressing his team before the game and at halftime. Before the game he said, “You guys have earned this opportunity with your work. Nothing changes for us. Play hard, play for each other, play with your instincts and we'll have success.”

* In the pregame show, Johnson predicted that Barea would earn a triple-double, Barry predicted Jason Kidd would get a triple-double and Wilbon said Westbrook would be two rebounds short of a triple-double. Johnson said Westbrook needed to get 25 points, 14 assists and eight rebounds. “He must be active tonight. He has to keep the tempo up in order for Oklahoma to get in the transition.”

* At halftime, Johnson said Westbrook needed to play smarter and get the ball more to Durant, noting Dallas had done a good job of feeding Nowitzki. “If my man is hot, let me get Kevin Durant more shots. If I'm not hot, let's get my teammates more shots. He's not being aggressive.”

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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